NEW YORK -- One of the great on-court fighters of this generation, David Ferrer lasted only a little more than a set in the opening round of the US Open against Spanish compatriot Rafael Nadal before retiring from the match with a calf injury.
Moments later, Ferrer the 2013 French Open runner-up (to Nadal), announced to the crowd that this was his final Grand Slam event.
A former world No. 3, Ferrer is only 9-17 this season. Afterward, Nadal weighed in: "We had amazing moments together playing French Open finals, playing Davis Cup finals, one of the great players."
Roger Federer, who makes his 2018 US Open debut Tuesday night, took to Twitter immediately.
Ultimate respect for road warrior @DavidFerrer87— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) August 28, 2018
Having spent what feels like forever battling a hip injury, Andy Murray made his triumphant return to Grand Slam competition on Monday. Playing in the new Louis Armstrong Stadium, the 2012 US Open champion needed five sets to top James Duckworth 6-7, (5-7), 6-3, 7-5, 6-3. It was just his eighth match of the year, and his first major appearance since Wimbledon in 2017.
Currently ranked No. 382 in the world, Murray struggled at times, and needed 3 hours and 17 minutes to clinch the victory, but was clearly thrilled about the outcome. Having made headlines earlier in the summer for his emotional reaction to a win at the Citi Open, Murray didn't shed any tears in New York but instead raised his hands above his head and clenched his fist.
"At times it was tricky especially early on, it was very lively, very hot," said the 31-year old after the match. "James was serving big and playing a lot of drop shots, throwing me off rhythm. I was happy I managed to get through that and play some good stuff at times.
"I've lost a lot of matches out here over the years, I've struggled a lot, but it's like a new beginning. It was beautiful, a great atmosphere and I'm very, very happy to be back."
And if Murray's heartfelt win isn't enough to win you over, perhaps his continuing stance on equality for women might do the trick. (If those two things combined don't do it, you might want to take a hard look in the mirror and ask yourself what's wrong with you.)
"Have I become a feminist? If being a feminist is about fighting so that a woman is treated like a man, then yes, I suppose I have." - @andy_murray— US Open Tennis (@usopen) August 27, 2018
She Is. We Are. Embrace All.@TeamSheIS x @USTA Embrace All#SheISUSTAEmbraceAll
Read: https://t.co/WGPwvSq6rm pic.twitter.com/UrnZjkr5tD
Preach, Sir Andy!
After dropping the second set to 2004 US Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, Venus Williams took a quick break in the locker room and came back all like, "New shirt, who dis?" Swapping out her shirt for another, likely less sweaty, one, the elder Williams sister seemed to have found her lucky charm in holding off her Russian foe.
Williams and her yellow shirt had no problems in the third set, ultimately winning 6-3. She now is a mind-blowing (and record-breaking) 20-0 in first-round matches in Flushing Meadows.
"She played her best when I was up," said Williams after the nearly three-hour match. "So it wasn't easy to close that match out."
"The conditions were tough and my preparations weren't ideal, but I got to hit a lot of balls out here today so hopefully that will help."
Facing a friend on the ATP or WTA tour is nothing new, but facing a best friend and sometimes roommate? Well, that's another story -- and exactly what happened on Monday in the all-Canadian clash between Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov.
The two are longtime friends, even winning the 2015 US Open boys' doubles title together, and Shapovalov stayed with Auger-Aliassime and his family during the 2017 Rogers Cup. If you recall, that was the site of Shapovalov's incredible win over Rafael Nadal, and Auger-Aliassime, and his mom and sister, were Shapovalov's biggest fans that week.
Their friendship was very much on display when Auger-Aliassime was forced to retire in the third set due to a heart issue. He was clearly distraught, and in tears, and Shapovalov went to comfort him. It was a sweet moment (after a few very scary ones) and showed what sports are truly all about.
Canadian Comfort...— US Open Tennis (@usopen) August 28, 2018
A nice exchange under unfortunate circumstances as @denis_shapo advances to R2 after @felixtennis was forced to retire from their match on Grandstand...
Kei Nishikori doesn't make his 2018 US Open debut until Tuesday, but he still had some fun during the first day of the tournament. The 2014 finalist hung out with New York Knicks star Enes Kanter (and the NBA's resident troll) at an undisclosed location.
Nishikori, an apparent fan of the team, had some fun with their height difference:
Kelly Clarkson kicked off the night session in Arthur Ashe Stadium by performing a medley of her hits, including "Stronger," "Behind These Hazel Eyes" and my personal favorite and the one that will be in my head for the next three days, "Since U Been Gone." While her singing was ridiculously good, it was a one-liner she said to the crowd that REALLY won the night:
And she's not the only pop star who appreciates Serena's greatness. Nicki Minaj collaborated with the 23-time Grand Slam champion and Beats to release a special "Queen of Queens" video, set to her song "Majesty."
This one is for queens everywhere: It takes both grace and strength to own all that you are and never settle with having to choose so let's own it, declare it, and let the world watch us conquer. 👑 pic.twitter.com/jcEBU6YdsE— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) August 27, 2018
Sure, the tennis at Flushing Meadows is amazing, but the food offerings might be almost as incredible. If you're looking for a way to convince your friend to come with you, or are just someone who enjoys watching people cook food on television, you're probably going to love this "Good Morning America" segment on the foodie scene at the US Open.
If you need me, I'll be eating everything in sight for the next two weeks.