Nadal, Blake Avoid Upsets on Opening Day at US Open
James Blake turned around an awful career five-set record on the opening day at the US Open, turning back fellow American “The” Donald Young in five sets 6-1, 3-6, 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 in a match ending well after midnight.
Top seed Rafael Nadal was also tested in a tight three-setter, defeating German Bjorn Phau 7-6(4), 6-3, 7-6(4).
“I think I help a little bit him, to play to this level,” Nadal told reporters. “Sure, he’s good player. He played well today. But I didn’t play with normal intensity. I play a little bit less intensity than last few months for sure…Probably I’m a little bit tired more than I usually.”
Other Top 10-seeded winners were (4) David Ferrer (d. Martin Vassallo Arguello), (6) Andy Murray (d. Sergio Roitman, bagel in the third), (7) David Nalbandian (d. Marcos Daniel), and (10) Stanislas Wawrinka (d. Simone Bolelli), all in straight sets.
Upset-makers Tuesday were Austrian Jurgen “Tuna” Melzer (d. (27) Feliciano Lopez in five), and Florida-via-Japan’s Kei Nishikori (d. (29) Juan Monaco in four).
“It was great win, I think because he’s a good player, and seeded,” Nishikori told reporters. “And, yeah, I didn’t think I was going to win, so I’m happy of it.”
Matches to look for on the Tuesday include Marat Safin vs. Vince “Ain’t Afraida Ya” Spadea, (12) Richard Gasquet vs. Tommy Haas, (22) Tomas Berdych vs. Sam Querrey, Dominik “The Dominator” Hrbaty vs. Guillermo “G-Lo” Garcia-Lopez, and (24) Paul-Henri Mathieu vs. Sebastien Grosjean in an all-French.
Chaky Loses, Americans Head for Exits at US Open
No. 10 seed Anna Chakvetadze felt the pain of meeting a practice partner countrywoman on Monday at the US Open, losing 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 to Ekaterina Makarova.
Top 10 winners into the second round Monday were (2) Jelena Jankovic (d. Coco Vandeweghe), (3) Svetlana Kuznetsova (d. Shuai Zhang), (5) Elena Dementieva (d. Akgul Amanmuradova), and (8) Vera Zvonareva (d. Barbora Zahlavova Strycova), all in straight sets.
“It’s very hard not to think about the Olympic Games and very difficult to refocus and get ready for the Open because still all my thinking is there in Beijing,” said the gold-medal winning Dementieva. “Yesterday, I was trying to go to sleep, but I couldn’t because I was watching the closing ceremony and my mind is still there.”
Former No. 1 Lindsay Davenport, competing in singles for the first time since April due to injury, eased past Aleksandra Wozniak in straights.
“I thought I played pretty well,” Davenport said. “I knew I drew a tough opponent in the first round, so happy to have played the way I did, and get through in the scoreline in the fashion I did.”
Falling in upsets were (22) Maria Kirilenko who lost to Tamira Paszek, and (24) Shahar Peer who was topped by Na Li.
The “B”-level Americans also headed for the exits, with losses by Ahsha Rolle, Shenay Perry, Vania King, Alexa Glatch, and Asia Muhammad.
Matches to watch for Tuesday are (7) Venus Williams vs. Sam Stosur, (6) Dinara Safina vs. American Kristie Ahn, and (32) Amelie Mauresmo vs. Nathalie Dechy in an all-French.
TENNIS-X NEWS, NOTES, QUOTES AND BARBS
With all the talk about Rafael Nadal’s supposedly-new Nike classic wardrobe at the US Open, he debuts in his regular muscle shirt and pirate pants?…John McEnroe might be a candidate for the new ATP CEO slot — if he hadn’t gone apeshit at the Newport seniors event, flipping off the crowd en route to being defaulted…Five women have a chance to end the US Open in the No. 1 ranking.
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