After watching Andy Roddick push his way into the second round at the US Open, you have to begin to wonder how many more Opens the American former No. 1 has left in him. Last night, Roddick needed four lackluster sets to knock out fellow American Michael Russell 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 in the first round.
Roddick was back to his usual ways of playing defensive tennis, well behind the baseline and it nearly cost him. Russell, a capable, steady journeyman, was up a break in the fourth before Roddick was able to put the 33-year-old away.
“It was okay… I’m still trying to find myself,” Roddick told ESPN2. “I’m certainly still short on match play this year. I’ll keep fighting because it’s what I do. I don’t care if it’s ugly. I’ll try to get through.
“I’m not going to pretend that I am in championship form right now [but] people have worked their way into tournaments before and I’ll get that opportunity. I don’t have to win the tournament tomorrow, I just have to win my next match.”
The 21st-ranked Roddick moves on to play 18-year-old Jack Sock tomorrow.
Other big results Wednesday was the smashing return of Juan Martin Del Potro who ripped through Filippo Volandri.
“I feel really glad,” he admitted. “[It] was a short match, but I served well. I was improving my game during the match. It’s my favourite tournament, so I’m really happy to take the opportunity to play here again. I’m feeling really glad to see the crowd again, to see the Argentinian fans come to see me specially play here [at] the US Open.”
Andy Murray, John Isner and Gilles Simon, who went five sets, were also winners.
For the ladies, the sad news was the withdrawal of Venus Williams with an auto-immune disease. Younger sis Serena suffered a pulmonary embolism in early March and now Venus gets diagnosed with this?
Young Americans did well as 19-year-old Christina McHale pulled a huge win upsetting No. 8 seed Marion Bartoli. Irina Falconi also stunned a seed sending out Dominika Cibulkova.
Serena is back on the court today against Michaella Krajicek. World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki is on tonight along with Serbs Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic.
For the men, it should be another light, straightforward day with Roger Federer against Dudi Sela, Novak Djokovic tonight takes on Carlos Berlocq.
My man Gael Monfils celebrates his 25th birthday against former US Open finalist Juan Carlos Ferrero and his countryman JW Tsonga and Richard Gasquet are also in action.
In maybe the best match on the card 18-year-old Bernard Tomic tackles Marin Cilic for the likely right to play Federer on Saturday.
Tennis Channel has coverage at 11am with ESPN2 picking it up at 1pm.
THURSDAY US OPEN SCHEDULE
Arthur Ashe Stadium 11:00 Start Time
Mirjana Lucic (CRO) v. Francesca Schiavone (ITA)
Roger Federer (SUI) v. Dudi Sela (ISR)
Michaella Krajicek (NED) v. Serena Williams (USA)
Arthur Ashe Stadium 19:00 Start Time
Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) v. Arantxa Rus (NED)
Novak Djokovic (SRB) v. Carlos Berlocq (ARG)
Louis Armstrong Stadium 11:00 Start Time
Jelena Jankovic (SRB) v. Jelena Dokic (AUS)
Juan Carlos Ferrero (ESP) v. Gael Monfils (FRA)
Malek Jaziri (TUN) v. Mardy Fish (USA)
Victoria Azarenka (BLR) v. Gisela Dulko (ARG)
Grandstand 11:00 Start Time
Tomas Berdych (CZE) v. Fabio Fognini (ITA)
Andrea Petkovic (GER) v. Jie Zheng (CHN)
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) v. Sergei Bubka (UKR)
Shahar Peer (ISR) v. Sloane Stephens (USA)
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