Three Top 10 men’s seeds navigated three difficult paths to the fourth round on Saturday at the US Open, including world No. 1 Novak Djokovic who defeated former Top 10 perennial resident Nikolay Davydenko of Russia 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.
“I think I played well in the important moments,” Djokovic said. “I managed to make the crucial breaks in all three sets.”
No. 3 Roger Federer worked his way through a struggling encounter with No. 27 seed Marin Cilic 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, and No. 8 Mardy Fish edged South African Kevin Anderson 6-4, 7-6(4), 7-6(3).
“I seriously don’t care how I’m playing,” Federer said. “I wish I play my best every single time and feel amazing. That’s not reality. Anybody who goes to work knows it’s not as great as he wishes to be, and we go through the same thing. But you find a way to win when maybe someone is not playing so well or when your opponent is playing well, and that’s what the beauty is of this game, I think, is trying to find a way when you’re not feeling great. That’s what I maybe was able to do today.”
Upset winners on the day were No. 20 Janko Tipsarevic advancing over No. 9 Tomas Berdych when the Czech retired in the second set with a right shoulder injury, and former No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero beating fellow Spaniard and No. 31 seed Marcel Granollers when he retired in the second set with a back injury.
“I felt yesterday very tired, of course,” Ferrero said. “Today I was a little bit better, but still, you know, very tired in all my body. Of course, helped me a little bit with Marcel today because I was tired. I was hoping to not play a long match, but, yeah, of course 1 to 10, I’m tired 6 or 7 today, for sure.”
Other winners on the day were No. 11 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeating No. 19 Fernando Gonzalez in straights, No. 22 Alexandr Dolgopolov beating Ivo Karlovic in four, and Juan Monaco topping Tommy Haas in four.
Men’s matches to look for on Sunday are (2) Rafael Nadal vs. David Nalbandian, (21) Andy Roddick vs. Julien Benneteau, (4) Andy Murray vs. Feliciano Lopez, (18) Juan Martin Del Potro vs. (12) Gilles Simon, Alex Bogomolov Jr. vs. (28) John Isner in an all-American, and Donald Young vs. (24) Juan Ignacio Chela, and (5) David Ferrer vs. (26) Florian Mayer.
On the women’s side in third-round action, world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki overcame an early challenge to subdue American journeywoman Vania King in straights, while No. 28-seeded Serena Williams predictably ousted No. 4 seed Victoria Azarenka 6-1, 7-6(5).
“I was fighting a lot out there, getting quite a lot of balls back,” Wozniacki said. “But it’s quite windy out there, so it was difficult to play. Definitely the serve was difficult, as well, because it wasn’t just going one way, the wind, it was going everywhere. Yeah, you had to keep the margin over the net and from the lines.”
Wozniacki will next face former US Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, also a winner Saturday.
“She’s a tough competitor,” the Woz said of Sveta. “She can play very aggressive. Her serve is big, her forehand. It’s not easy. I mean, it’s a match that definitely would need me to play on my best. We have had quite some good matches in the past.”
Other Top 10-seeded winners were No. 7 Francesca Schiavone saving a match point against South African Chanelle Scheepers 5-7, 7-6(5), 6-3, and No. 10 Andrea Petkovic easing past No. 18 Roberta Vinci 6-4, 6-0.
“Was here in inside here because I keep going to go down,” said Schiavone, pointing to her stomach, referring to a number of time-outs she took. “The [pains] was really short and they say I really need to open, to breathe much more, and I ask to open this part…they put their hands inside and the muscle, I think they relax a little bit and you start to again to breathe.”
Petkovic also complained of difficult conditions.
“I was really tired after 20 minutes, and I told my coaches, ‘What is happening here?’ Petkovic said. “They said, ‘It’s really hot.’ I think I am one of the fittest players on tour. I work really hard and I practice a lot. If I know that I’m tired, I know that the other one is probably almost dying.”
No. 17 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova led the lower seeds into the fourth round with a mild upset over No. 11 seed Jelena Jankovic in straights. She was joined by No. 16 Ana Ivanovic who stopped the run of American Sloane Stephens in straights, and Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro.
Matches to watch for on Sunday are (25) Maria Kirilenko vs. (9) Samantha Stosur, (22) Sabine Lisicki vs. (2) Vera Zvonareva, and (13) Shuai Peng vs. (26) Flavia Pennetta.
Arthur Ashe Stadium 11:00 AM Start Time
David Nalbandian (ARG) v. Rafael Nadal (ESP)
Andy Roddick (USA) v. Julien Benneteau (FRA)
This match may be moved to Armstrong Stadium.Not Before:3:30 PM
Maria Kirilenko (RUS) v. Samantha Stosur (AUS)
Arthur Ashe Stadium 7:00 PM Start Time
Feliciano Lopez (ESP) v. Andy Murray (GBR)
Sabine Lisicki (GER) v. Vera Zvonareva (RUS)
Louis Armstrong Stadium 11:00 AM Start Time
Shuai Peng (CHN) v. Flavia Pennetta (ITA)
Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG) v. Gilles Simon (FRA)
Alex Bogomolov Jr. (USA) v. John Isner (USA)
Grandstand 12:00 PM Start Time
Gilles Muller (LUX) v. Igor Kunitsyn (RUS)
Donald Young (USA) v. Juan Ignacio Chela (ARG)
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