Upsets Monday at US Open; Serena, Federer Up Tuesday
by Staff | August 25th, 2014, 11:56 pm

The top seeds protected their turf on the men’s side on the opening day at the US Open, but two lower seeds were shown the door by up-and-comers.
Aussie Nick Kyrgios topped a less-than-100-percent No. 21 seed Mikhail Youzhny 7-5, 7-6(4), 2-6, 7-6(1), and Frenchman Benoit Paire topped countryman and No. 24 seed Julien Benneteau 7-6(4), 5-7, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.

“Yeah, I guess just heat of the moment,” said the fiery Kyrgios about being one code violation from being defaulted in the match against Youzhny. “I was frustrated the way I was playing, it was just all that sort of stuff. It was just an outburst, and hopefully I will be able to control that the next time I play.”

Top 10 winners into the second round on Monday were No. 3 Stan Wawrinka straight-setting Jiri Vesely 6-2, 7-6(6), 7-6(3); No. 5 Milos Raonic rolling Japan’s Taro Daniel 6-3, 6-2, 7-6(1); No. 8 Andy Murray overcoming cramps to beat Robin Haase 6-3, 7-6(6), 1-6, 7-5; No. 9 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga wearing down Juan Monaco 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-1; and in the final night match, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic rolling past Argentine Diego Schwartzman 6-1, 6-2, 6-4.

“It’s unlikely, I would say, that it’s down to maybe poor physical condition, because I have trained and played matches,” Murray said of the cramping during his match, which had him contorting grabbing body parts like a hip-hop dancer. “Like in Toronto against [Jo-Wilfried] Tsonga was longer than that, and I felt absolutely fine at the end. I don’t know if it’s something I have done in the last few days that’s been wrong or not, but I need to try and find out why.”

Tsonga is looking to continue the stellar run he produced this summer in capturing the Canadian Open title in Toronto.

“For me it’s really good because it give me motivation to continue on this way, to continue to work hard,” Tsonga said. “So I just want to continue on this way and continue to work hard like this, be serious, and be just — how you say — consistent to win other matches like this, other tournaments.”

Other seeded winners were No. 16 Tommy Robredo, No. 22 Philipp Kohlschreiber, No. 23 Leonardo Mayer, No. 30 Jeremy Chardy, and No. 31 Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco who edged former NCAA star Blaz Rola 6-4 in the fifth.

On the women’s side, one seeded upset and a few close calls by Top 10 seeds marked Day One of play.

Mirjana Lucic provided the lone upset on the day, topping No. 25 seed Garbine Muguruza Blanco 6-3, 7-6(4). The 32-year-old qualifier Lucic turned back the clock to her Wimbledon semifinal play in 1999, and she will next face Israel’s Shahar Peer.

Among the top seeds, No. 2 Simona Halep, No. 6 Angie Kerber and No. 10 Caroline Wozniacki turned around slow starts to move into the second round in three sets.

Halep’s coaching advice against the current NCAA champ Danielle Collins must have been along the lines of ‘just keep it in play and watch her implode,’ but the Florida native dictated play in the first set with a flurry of winners, with Halep changing her game plan to eventually exit victoriously 6-7(2), 6-1, 6-2.

“I think a lot of times people get a little bit intimidated if they focus too much on who they’re playing against, especially if you’re looking at it, like, oh, you’re playing the No. 2 girl in the world,” Collins said. “I kind of threw all of that out the door and took the pressure off myself and just really focused on the things I could do and the things that I could control.”

Kerber outlasted Ksenia Pervak 6-2, 3-6, 7-5, while Wozniacki advanced when Maggie Rybarikova retired with injury at 6-1, 3-6, 2-0.

Other Top 10-seeded winners were No. 4 Aggie Radwankska over Sharon Fichman 6-1, 6-0; No. 5 Maria Sharapova 6-4, 6-0 over fellow Russian Maria Kirilenko, and No. 9 Jelena Jankovic defeating Bojana Jovanovski 6-2, 6-3.

The remaining seeds into the second round were No. 13 Sara Errani, No. 14 Lucie Safarova, No. 18 Andrea Petkovic who needed three sets to beat Ons Jabeur, No. 19 Venus Williams who needed three to beat the 43-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm, No. 21 Sloane Stephens, No. 22 Alize Cornet, No. 26 Sabine Lisicki, No. 28 Roberta Vinci, and No. 31 Kurumi Nara.

“According to Kimiko I have another decade,” Venus said regarding her retirement date. “She set the prime example. She’s Top 100 and no one can beat her easily.”

Matches to look for on Tuesday are (8) Ana Ivanovic vs. Alison Riske, (2) Roger Federer vs. Marinko Matosevic, (1) Serena Williams vs. fellow American Taylor Townsend, and an up-and-comers battle in American Coco Vandeweghe vs. Croat Donna Vekic.

The Atlantic magazine wrote a hilarious tennis expose “Explaining the U.S. Tennis Slump” where they reveal some hard-hitting reporting: “American juniors train on hard courts, while Europeans and South Americans learn the sport on clay. Both The Economist and The New Republic have theorized that in recent years, the sport has shifted to favor players raised on clay, a ‘slower’ surface.” — Oh shit, stop the presses! The New Republic and The Economist, those bastions of tennis knowledge, have dropped science on how to fix tennis! Uh, with suggestions that have been in the public domain, and implemented, for 10 years. The USTA needs to hire some of these guys. Who needs Patrick McEnroe and Jose Higueras when you have author Philip Sopher, who also pointed out in the article that Jimmy Connors thrived on tour because of his massive serve. Which is news even to Connors…Like American men’s tennis, Russian women’s tennis has hit bottom — Maria Sharpaova is the only Russian in the Top 10 when it seemed like not long ago you had SIX in the Top 10, and now with few young Russians coming behind…55 Grand Slam tournament’s have passed since a U.S. man (Andy Roddick) last lifted a trophy…Boris Becker has gotten so big, does he look like Santa Claus to anyone else?…The average ticket price to attend the US Open last year was $142…On the starting day of the US Open, the “Google doodle” honored tennis pioneer Althea Gibson…Doubles specialist Eric Butorac was named president of the ATP Player Council…Price Point #2: The average ticket price to catch the US Open men’s final? $755 according to U.S. News & World Report, and our scalpers.


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29 Comments for Upsets Monday at US Open; Serena, Federer Up Tuesday

elina Says:

You guys! After the match, Djokovic said conditions are very quick like I said they would be if any of you may remember and that was a night match!

SX1 Says:

“55 Grand Slam tournament’s have passed since a U.S. man (Andy Roddick) last lifted a trophy”


Daniel Says:


Conditions seems pretty fast, but US Ooen usually is always fast.

SG1 Says:

There have to be some concerns in the Murray camp. It was hot yesterday but cramping so early on in the match? Strange. Unless there’s some lack of transparency regarding a problem he is already aware of. Sampras didn’t expose the blood disorder until after his playing days. Wonder it it’s the same with Murray.

SG1 Says:

Fast conditions definitely favor Federer. Particularly with his new affinity for getting to the net. It also ensures that points don’t too long which also plays into Fed’s hands.

SG1 Says:

As for Milos, he won yesterday but strangely, he almost looks more comfortable on a slower surface. His serve is a massive weapon on a fast court but once the rallies start, he looks a little awkward and rushed. He may just need to adjust to the surface. Time will tell for him. I do think he’ll make to at least R16. Not sure after that.

jane Says:

sg1, it almost seems – to date anyhow – that milos’ best surface is clay.

jane Says:

skeezer that link about sports salaries is very interesting: my goodness but basketball, football and baseball are INSANELY inflated!

especially because tennis and hockey are the best! ;)

Polo Says:

Football and baseball generate huge revenues and can therefore pay their top athletes exorbitant salaries. But taken individually, Federer ranks way up there, higher than football and baseball players.

skeezer Says:

I thought it showed the disparity between the top players and lowered ranked players pay well. Although they compared it most to other pro athletes that were in team sports(golf excluded). However would like to know if some think, based on this disparity, if it impacts the lesser player with less means to break through to the top players. They probably have no camp, entourage, etc.

jane Says:

skeezer, that’s a good point, re: having the money to afford such things. i am not sure. if we think about fed and nadal, i believe they had a fair amount of money starting out, because their families were well off. at least i think that is the case, especially with the nadals. and they were able to keep the coaching in the family too.

with nole and andy, i think they come from more humble origins, money wise, although andy had the help of the british tennis federation. i know nole’s dad was apparently into dept with some loan sharks to get him going. (maybe the williams sisters are similar too; i.e., from humble beginnings? not sure)

so i am not sure if we can say it’s money holding players back. nole and andy managed to break through – as teens – without a lot of financial support or entourage. it’s only much much later that they hired star coaches and the rest of the entourage. when nole won his first slam it was just family and vajda around him.

i think if a player has talent and ambition, then he can break through, regardless of money / entourage.

sometimes, even, you could argue that money holds a player back – gulbis being a case in point. or even some american players who are given a fair amount of support (i think) from the usta but are unable to take it to another level.

anyhow it’s a super interesting link.

polo that’s true about generating revenue. but doesn’t hockey too? i guess my perspective is skewed being a canadian and all, eh?

Polo Says:

How did the top players start? I don’t think they had a lot of money to begin with but they still rose to the top. And then when they get there, they get all these resources that help them stay at the top for a long period of time. When you’re good, you’ll get there. Money helps but talent trumps that all the time.

jane Says:

agree with you polo!

Polo Says:

My post sounds like an echo of Jane’s. Hahaha! She beat me to the draw and she even wrote a much longer one.

Hockey is not as big as football, baseball and basketball in the USA. Their big stars get paid a lot but I doubt if the second or third stringers get paid as generously. The discrepancy may not be that different from tennis.

But I must say that I am impressed when I see tennis players who keep losing early in tournaments week after week yet still generate six-figure earnings. Good for them. They do well enough to offset the huge overhead expenses that individual sports entails.

jane Says:

yes, you were much more pithy and efficient, as usual, polo.

Polo Says:

No, Jane. I did not mean it that way. Yours went much deeper which behooves greater detail. I was complimenting your speed!

Margot Says:

Judy Murray has said they had to beg, borrow from banks and accept funding from the LTA to get Andy to Barcelona.

Gee Says:

Forza, female power! 15 year old ‘murican bellis took cibulkova to the woodshed! Look at that fear hand!

Speaking of girls, someone has his life savings riding on Roddick’s law abiding lifestyle, high morals, good looks, angelic charm & “career”.

Daniel Says:

Loved Fed outfit!

Purcell Says:

Have to agree Daniel. Shirt works much better in black than blue. Regarding the tennis, he’s played some smashing shots. Wonder if he will have a let down at some point. Still, according to my observations, all players, including those at the top have these moments. It’s like a mid-life crisis on court.

jane Says:

polo, i was complimenting you! you always manage to pack a punch into a small amount of words. i admire your writing style a lot.

margot, there you go. i thought that was the case, and judy was also going it more or less alone too, with 2 boys, so it couldn’t’ve been easy.

i really think talent + ambition make success. i am sure money can help but it’s not needed.

Tennis Fan Says:

“Raonic’s best surface is clay” … sure, that is why all six of his Tennis titles are on hard court … astute observation …

jane Says:

^ no need to be snarky tennis fan. okay, fine. his most successful surface is clearly hard. but i was responding to sg1’s comment that “he almost looks more comfortable on a slower surface”

maybe i recall his recent matches versus nole on clay, where he’s pushed nole very hard; those stand out in my memory. but also, he sets up well on clay, possibly because he has more time to get to balls on a slower surface, i.e., like clay is, not to mention the fact that he lives and trains in monte carlo so i’d imagine he practices on clay a fair bit?

this year, he reached quarters of monte carlo, semis of rome, and quarters of the french, and at those events he lost only to wawrinka and nole, 2 pretty good clay-courters. he lost in the r32 in australia (to dimitrov). it’ll be interesting to see how deep he goes at the us open.

anyhow, thanks for correcting me but also allowing me to clarify why i made that comment. it’s not for nothing.

skeezer Says:

Yes! Fed back to the “Darth Vader” Black, and it looks good.
Classy. Go Fed!

van orten Says:

Well the white shoes should be changed to black ones

Hippy Chic Says:

Obviously in sport money will always become a factor sooner or later,the top stars in sport will always reap the benifits more than the also rans,premiership footballers earn around 50 thousand a week,and the third division footballers little more than 300 pound a week,some of the none league footballers actually play part time,and have jobs too to make ends meet,i know football is different to tennis but i just think its an interesting comparison to make with the elite and the rest….

Hippy Chic Says:

BTW I do like Feds look,i like it when they wear all black,like Rafas in 2010 and 2013….

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