Photo: Paul ZimmerAndy Roddick (USA)
Andy Roddick, who announced earlier in the week he will retire after this tournament, prolonged his career on Friday night by defeating Australian Bernard Tomic 63 64 60 to reach the US Open third round in New York.
“I've played a lot of matches, but that was a different kind of nerves than I've had before,” said Roddick, admitting that his impending retirement left him feeling the pressure. “Twenty minutes before it was kind of getting the best of me. I kind of had to like get my stuff together before I walked out there.”
Roddick may not be playing as well as he did in 2003 when he won his sole Grand Slam title here at the US Open, but one thing he’s always possessed is a massive serve, and while that well oiled machine is firing on all cylinders he is a match for anyone. Against Tomic, the American hit 13 aces and didn’t face a break point.
Next up for Roddick is Italian Fabio Fognini, who easily came through his second round clash with Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 64 64 62. Looking ahead, the former world No. 1 is in a tough section of the draw with possible meetings against Juan Martin del Potro and Novak Djokovic coming soon if he advances, but then Roddick wouldn’t want it any other way.
Djokovic, seeded No. 2, continued his title defence in impressive fashion by dispatching Rogerio Dutra Silva 62 61 62 in 1 hour 39 minutes. After a fruitless summer on the clay and grass courts of Europe, the Serb is showing some of his best form once again on the American hard courts. He now faces Julien Benneteau in the third round.
Del Potro, a potential quarterfinal opponent for Djokovic, also advanced in the bottom half of the draw. The former US Open champion defeated Ryan Harrison 62 63 26 62 to set up a meeting with fellow Argentine Leonardo Mayer.
David Ferrer and Lleyton Hewitt will go head-to-head in a big third round clash after they both recorded wins on Friday. Ferrer came through a marathon tiebreak to beat Igor Sijsling 62 63 76(12), while a typically gutsy performance from Hewitt saw him outlast Gilles Muller 36 76(5) 67(5) 75 64.
Other winners on Friday included Janko Tipsarevic, John Isner, Richard Gasquet and Stanislas Wawrinka, who battled past Steve Darcis in five sets 67(6) 63 46 61 75.
The big shock in the women’s event saw Laura Robson record another upset as she took down the in-form Li Na 64 67(5) 62 to reach the last 16, her best ever Grand Slam performance to date.
Just days after ending the career of four-time Grand Slam champion Kim Clijsters, the British teenager was giant killing again versus last year’s Roland Garros winner. Next up for Robson is the reigning US Open champion, Samantha Stosur, who won’t be taking her young opponent lightly.
Stosur, seeded No. 7, opened the Arthur Ashe Stadium programme on Friday and wasted little time in wrapping up a 76(5) 62 victory over Varvara Lepchenko. The Aussie hasn’t won a tournament since her triumph at Flushing Meadows 12 months ago, but the early signs are good as she is yet to drop a set in her opening three matches here.
Maria Sharapova and world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka appeared in the main arena later in the day, and the outcome was the same for both players. Sharapova hammered Mallory Burdette 61 61 in 58 minutes, and Azarenka took apart Jie Zheng 61 60 in 59 minutes.
Petra Kvitova and Marion Bartoli were also on target as the pair set up a fourth round showdown against each other. Kvitova defeated Pauline Parmentier 64 64, and Bartoli knocked out Kristina Mladenovic 62 64.
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