Saturday, September 1, 2012

US Open Report: Days 4 and 5

Just a quick update on days 4 and 5 of the US Open before the start of a hopefully beautiful holiday weekend of tennis.

The big story of course was Andy Roddick sudden announcement that he will retire after this tournament. He made the announcement on his 30th birthday and a day before he played his second round match against Bernard Tomic. That match, which was played last night was a blow out as Roddick feeding off from the appreciative crowd and perhaps playing free from pressure dominated the young Aussie feeding him a bagel for the third set to win. It was another story when it came to another Aussie as Lleyton Hewitt outlasted Gilles Muller to win in five sets. Veteran James Blake also found success upsetting 24th seed Marcel Granollers.

Speaking of upsets, the biggest one of the tournament so far has been Jo-Wilfred Tsonga's 4-set defeat in the hands of Martin Klizan of Slovakia. For the women, Olympic silver medalist Laura Robson took out another big name in 9th seed Li Na after beating Kim Clijsters the round before. Next match for Robson will be against defending champion Sam Stosur. As for Clijsters, she is still around albeit playing in doubles. She lost in the first round of women's doubles, but won a match in mixed with Bob Bryan.

Venus Williams was defeated by 6th seed Angelique Kerber in the tournament's most competitive night match on Ashe so far this year. Venus, however, is still alive in doubles with sister Serena Williams who, along with many of the top contenders including Roger Federer, Victoria Azarenka, Novak Djokovic, Maria Sharapova, David Ferrer, Petra Kvitova, and Tomas Berdych, easily moved into the next round with very little problems.

Along with Roddick, Blake, and Serena, the American presence is significant. Top American men John Isner, Sam Querrey, and Mardy Fish moved on with the latter becoming the 10th man in the tournament to come back from being down 2 sets, a US Open record.  Newcomers Steve Johnson, Sloane Stephens, and Jack Sock also won their matches. It wasn't all good news however as Varvara Lepchenko and Mallory Burdette were denied getting to their first ever major fourth round while Comeback Kid Brian Baker's progress was halted by 8th seed Janko Tipsarevic. Meanwhile, Ryan Harrison was beaten by 7th seed Juan Martin Del Potro.

Other notable results include 18th seed Stan Wawrinka, 19th seed Philipp Kohlschreiber, and 30th seed Feliciano Lopez surviving their grueling five-set matches, 15th seed Lucie Safarova losing to 19th seed Nadia Petrova, and 14th seed Alexander Dolgopolov winning in 4 sets against Marcos Baghdatis. Perhaps the most surprising result so far are the lack of retirements (not including the career kinds) especially with the hot and humid conditions. There also hasn't been a single drop of... wait, I should stop now before I jinx it, right?

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