Despite the confinement he suffered there, the US Open has been a positive exception in Adrian Mannarino’s results since the resumption. The Frenchman thus won at Flushing Meadows his only two matches in two months. On Tuesday, he lost in St. Petersburg against the qualifier and 141st world player Ilya Ivashka in two sets (6-3, 7-6) and 2h02 of play. This setback constitutes his 5th defeat in the 1st round in 6 tournaments played. since August. His executioner of the day will have a lot to do in his next match since he could find Denis Shapovalov who will previously face Viktor Troicki when he enters the running.
The tricolor southpaw beat Ivashka in their only previous encounter in Washington last year, but on Tuesday he failed to find the solutions. Blame it on a more enterprising opponent, especially with his forehand, but also an discomfort in the left thigh which clearly polluted Mannarino’s mind. On the forehand side, he made many more mistakes than usual.
A penalty break without consequences for Ivashka
Unable to push on his legs as well as usual on serve, Mannarino only hit 49% of first balls, leaving him vulnerable. Ivashka took the opportunity to make the break in the sixth game of the first set and he held his advantage to tackle the lead. And if the French delighted the opponent’s entry into the second set, he was unable to keep up, conceding an immediate break.
Finally, the only big fear for Ivashka, who controlled the proceedings, came 3-2 against him in the same second act. He then took the liberty of changing sides of going to the bathroom. If he warned the referee, the latter told him that he was making this decision “on his own time”, that is to say the time allotted when changing sides. The Belarusian obviously did not understand it that way, and when he returned to the court, he was amazed to receive a penalty play (and therefore a break). After a surreal scene, the game finally resumed and Ivashka immediately caught up. More fear than harm.