US Open Tennis 2013: Recapping Biggest Storylines from 1st Week in Queens

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent ISeptember 1, 2013

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 31:  Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates victory during his men's singles third round match against Ivan Dodig of Croatia on Day Six of the 2013 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 31, 2013 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

There was certainly no shortage of thrills during the first week of the 2013 U.S. Open.

Whether you enjoy watching the top players put on tennis clinics or live for early-round upsets, Week 1 at Flushing Meadows had something for everyone. 

Rafael Nadal and the rest of the Big Four have looked sharp from the opening point while women's favorites Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka appear to be on a collision course. In the midst of all the first-week action, Victoria Duval became a household name and Gael Monfils showed that it's not where you come from, but how you play that matters.

With Week 2 on the horizon, let's recap the biggest storylines from the first week in Queens.


Victoria Duval Shocks Former U.S. Open Champion

Anytime the world's 296th-ranked player knocks off a competitor ranked inside the top-15 at a major tournament it's noteworthy.

But in the case of American teenager Victoria Duval, she didn't just upset one of the top players in women's tennis in Round 1 on Day 2, but a former U.S. Open champion in Samantha Stosur.

What made the 17-year-old's achievement even more impressive was the fact that she blew several opportunities to win the first set but remained focused and battled back to win the match in three sets, booking a trip to the second round after well over two and a half hours of play.

Duval would lose her second-round match in straight sets but not before picking up the biggest win of her young career, per's Johnette Howard:

It was overwhelming. Beating Sam in the first round and feeling a little bit of expectations in the second round, that's something I'm going to learn to adapt to...I mean, I had goose bumps watching it in the locker room yesterday. That was a great achievement. Hopefully, I'll have many more.


Gael Monfils Wins Over the American Crowd

In arguably the most entertaining second-round singles match at this year's tournament, electrifying Frenchman Gael Monfils achieved the unthinkable against top-ranked American John Isner, winning over the New York crowd inside Louis Armstrong Stadium.

But the fans weren't just clapping and whistling for Monfils during the last two sets, instead stomping and chanting his name in rhythm. 

The shocking atmosphere lead several players and fans to react on Twitter, most notably former U.S. Open finalist Caroline Wozniacki:

While Monfils, a former U.S. Open quarterfinalist, no doubt deserved some praise for battling back from a two sets to love hole to force a fourth set (he went on to lose in the fourth set tiebreaker), the level of support from the American crowd was stunning. After the match, Isner expressed his disappointment, per Sports Illustrated:

I was a little bit disappointed in that, actually. Not going to sugar-coat it. It was certainly, if I was playing him in France, it certainly wouldn't be like that. 

Isner advanced to the third round where he lost to Philipp Kohlschreiber for the second straight year.


Tournament Favorites Look Strong in Early Rounds

While there were several notable upsets during the first week of action at Flushing Meadows, the favorites in both the men's and women's draws lived up to the hype in the early stages.

The Big Four each cruised to the third round, with defending champion Andy Murray being the only top contender to drop a set en route to the round of 32. Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are both comfortably into the round of 16, each one win away from an epic quarterfinal showdown in Week 2.

With victories on Sunday, both Novak Djokovic and Murray will join them in the round of 16.

On the women's side, top-ranked stars Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka are both into the round of 16. Defending U.S. Open champion Williams hasn't dropped a set yet while world No. 2 Azarenka has lost only one.

If Williams can defeat Sloane Stephens on Sunday, she'll be just three wins away from winning her second straight U.S. Open title and fifth overall.


Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter. 

Follow _Pat_Clarke on Twitter