Haas Downs Gasquet, Safin Goes Off at US Open
Former world No. 2 Tommy Haas orchestrated the upset of the US Open on Tuesday, outlasting mentally sketchy No. 12 seed Richard Gasquet 6-7(3), 6-4, 5-7, 7-5, 6-2.
Gasquet kicked in 64 unforced errors.
No. 2 Roger Federer, asking “What can Brown do for you?” in a brown UPS-delivery-type shorts and shirt, was the only other Top 10 seed in action Tuesday, dispatching of unheralded Maximo Gonzalez in straight sets, opening his campaign for a fifth consecutive US Open title.
“I think it was a good match to start off with,” Federer said. “Never saw my opponent before. Never saw him play obviously because I never saw him. That was the tricky part. I thought the other guy played good for the pressure he was under.”
American Sam Querrey was also an upset-maker, rolling over No. 22 seed Tomas Berdych 6-3, 6-1, 6-2.
“Just playing really smart, really well,” summed up Querrey. “Tennis is a lot about momentum. I just kept it going.”
Mardy Fish was another unseeded American winner, defeating Robert Smeets in four sets, while Bobby Reynolds edged Tomas Zib in a fifth-set tiebreak. On the losing end were Scoville Jenkins, and Vince Spadea who lost a five-setter to former No. 1 Marat Safin, who had a problem with foot faults called during the match.
“The officials are telling me about the rules, but sorry, we are the players,” said the Russian. “The older players, we know this. This is really pissing me off.”
The droll Russian alternated between anger and keeping the media in stitches during his post-match conference.
“The guy on the side [of the court] was shouting, ‘Come on Vince! Come on Vince!’ It was annoying.”
Ivo Minar also topped No. 20 seed Nicolas Kiefer when the German retired in the fourth set.
Wednesday’s highlights are (3) Novak Djokovic vs. Arnaud Clement, (8) Andy Roddick vs. Fabrice “The Magician” Santoro, Amer Delic vs. Robby Ginepri in an all-American, former Slam champ Thomas Johansson vs. “The Importance of Being” Ernests Gulbis, and Jesse Levine vs. Chris “Penthouse” Guccione.
Ivanovic, Williams Sisters Roll at US Open
World No. 1 Ana Ivanovic, fighting off five other players who could take the No. 1 spot during the US Open, successfully took to the court after missing the Beijing Olympics, outlasting Russian Vera Dushevina 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.
“I’m just so thrilled to be here and to have the opportunity to play, because after the Olympics it was obviously very disappointing,” said Ivanovic, who withdrew due to a thumb injury. “Since Montreal I haven’t had chance to practice. I only started practicing this Monday. So with so much in practice, I thought I did pretty well. When I went first on the court, I was very excited and I started to play really well. Obviously lack of practice showed off a little bit later, but just so thrilled to have an opportunity to slowly get into tournament and improve.”
Other Top 10-seeded winners Tuesday were (4) Serena Williams (d. K.Bondarenko), (6) Dinara Safina (d. Ahn), (7) Venus Williams (d. Stosur), and (9) Agnieszka Radwanska (d. Shvedova), all in straight sets.
Upset victims Tuesday were (11) Daniela Hantuchova, ousted by German Anna-Lena Groenefeld; and (31) Virginie Razzano, defeated in straight sets by Switzerland’s Timea Bacsinszky.
Highlights Wednesday at Flushing Meadow are (2) Jelena Jankovic vs. Sofia Arvidsson, (23) Lindsay Davenport vs. Alisa Kleybanova, and an all-Ekaterina all-Russian in Ekaterina “The” Bychkova “is Back” vs. Ekaterina Makarova.
TENNIS-X NEWS, NOTES, QUOTES AND BARBS
BOMBS OVER BANGALORE: The September ATP event in Bangalore, India, has been cancelled due to security concerns. A series of bomb attacks killed one person in July, and 50 in the western city of Ahmedabad the next day. Organizers submitted a petition to the ATP to cancel the event.
RUSSIAN FIGHT CLUB: Dinara Safina on what she and big brother Marat would fight about when younger: “I would say he would, on the court, that I would behave like a baby and the crying and all this. He hated it. He was always like, ‘Come on. You have to grow up in your mind. You cannot behave like this.’ Mostly that he would give me advice like that. I just have to grow up in my mind. But it needed time, so…Only thing that I was doing [at home] every time, messing the room and he had to clean everything. But that’s okay.”
SAM THE QUOTE MACHINE: Sam Querrey on his favorite/funny athletes at the Beijing Olympics: “I didn’t meet him, but he was probably the funniest thing I saw. There was this guy, I think he’s from Great Britain, playing badminton. Stocky guy. We were watching him on TV and he won, and I was with James and Robby. We were eating lunch and he walked into with a sleeveless shirt like he was the man of the Olympics. Like 20 minutes later like this power walk badminton guy. So kind of funny. The other thing I thought was weird too is the gymnasts are so much smaller than you actually think. On TV they’re small, but when they walk in packs, looks like a group of second graders. They look about 14 and they’re about 4’8″.” And Sam on his best/worst moments in tennis: “Greatest moment is probably winning the Vegas tournament. The most painful, I lost a challenger last summer in Great Britain to this guy James May, and I remember he beat me. One ATP point. I was at like 60, and after he won he called his mom while I was still on the court and said he won. So that was probably the worst moment.”
MISC: Andy Roddick debuts with new coach Patrick McEnroe on Wednesday…The last time Roger, Venus and Serena played all on the same day, they lost…Jeremy Chardy has defeated Federico Gil in the first round this year at the French, Wimbledon and the US Open…For just the fifth time in the last four years, “Dr.” Ivo Karlovic has advanced past the first time at a Slam…Serena Williams has never lost first round in 36 Slam appearances…Former French champ Anastasia Myskina is doing Russian television at the US Open…John McEnroe Sr. has reportedly applied for the vacant ATP CEO post.
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