All four Top 10 seeds in action Tuesday at the US Open advanced in straight sets, with No. 2 Andy Murray, No. 4 Novak Djokovic, No. 7 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and No. 10 Fernando Verdasco into the second round.
“If you play a big server who has been the third player of the world, won a Davis Cup, had a lot of titles under his belt, so much experience, you’ve got to be cautious,” said Djokovic, who eased past Ivan Ljubicic, dropping only seven games. “He’s got a baby on his way recently. He’s not on his best as he was a couple years ago. He hits the ball well and he serves great. I was aware of his quality.”
Murray straight-setted the Latvian slacker Ernests Gulbis, Tsonga initiated American junior Chase Buchanan 6-0, 6-2, 6-1, and Verdasco tamed German Benjamin Becker 7-5, 6-4, 7-5.
“I thought a high standard of match,” Murray said. “You know, I had a few chances in the third set to go up breaks. I had Love-30 in the first game, maybe Love-40 in the second service game, then a couple times in the first two sets where I was up a break and got broken straight back pretty much. You know, I was giving him chances to break me. When it was sort of on serve, and I needed to, I didn’t give him many chances at all.”
Other seeded winners were (11) Fernando Gonzalez topping Chilean countryman Nicolas Massu, (16) Marin Cilic beating American Ryan Sweeting in straights, (17) Tomas Berdych straight-setting American Wayne Odesnik, (22) Sam Querrey straight-setting Mike Yani, and (30) Viktor Troicki beating Aussie Peter Luczak 6-1 in the fifth.
On the upset tip was Spain’s Ivan Navarro topping No. 27 Ivo Karlovic in straights, American Jesse Witten stomping No. 29 Igor Andreev in straights, and Ecuador’s Nicolas Lapentti reaching back to his Anna Kournikova-dating glory days with a five-set win over No. 19 Stan Wawrinka.
Highlights of Wednesday play is Richard Gasquet vs. (3) Rafael Nadal, (1) Roger Federer vs. Simon Greul, Jurgen “Tuna” Melzer vs. Marat Safin, (6) Juan Martin Del Potro vs. Juan Monaco in an all-Argentine, (13) Gael “Force” Monfils vs. Jeremy Chardy in an all-French, Al Martin vs. (18) David Ferrer in an all-Spanish, and (24) Juan Carlos Ferrero vs. Fabrice “The Magician” Santoro.
TENNIS-X NEWS, NOTES, QUOTES AND BARBS
Martina Hingis will appear on the British TV reality show ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ starting this month…
Donald Young said Monday at the US Open after a loss that right before the tournament, he got a letter from USTA officials offering him full-time training at the Boca Raton, Fla., or Carson, Calif., centers if he would essentially dump his overbearing parents and let the USTA guide his training. He says his parents got him to where he is now and he can’t leave them behind. Meanwhile, the men’s tour has left him behind…
Serena Williams has failed to win a title in her last 16 WTA Tour-level events (not including Slams)…
Novak Djokovic on working with Todd Martin: “Yes, I can confirm now that we started cooperating and working. The last couple weeks we have been negotiating and trying to work things out. Definitely we started working Monday after Cincinnati. We spend the whole week together away from the site at one place in New Jersey. We had a lot of hours on the court daily, and of course fitness with my coach, really trying hard to work on some things to improve the game and get ready for the most important tournament in this period of the year. So Todd, being a top-five player, playing a couple finals of the Grand Slams, and, of course, many other tournaments, and he’s very respected in the tennis world, and he’s a person that can help me a lot in any way, his experience. And he brought freshness to our team, which is always welcome…I was, you know, thinking about working with somebody that can help me out with my, you know, serve and my volley game, you know, a lot of different variety, and somebody that has been on top of the men’s tennis, and somebody that has a positive attitude and great experience. I think Todd is a perfect guy for that. He always looks for positives, and this is exactly what I need.”…
Novak Djokovic on his meltdown last year after beating Andy Roddick: “Well, look, I mean, this is past. What happened last year, the way I get it, to be honest, was like, I don’t know, a fight with a girlfriend. Just a little fight with a girlfriend. These things happen. It was something that everybody can learn from it. I always felt like at home here. I played so well last three years. I see no reason for me thinking about something that happened already.”…
How strange is the ESPN telecast with the McEnroe brothers not quite in sync, and John hating on Brad Gilbert, and Patrick playing the moderator between the two?
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