Djokovic, Serena Right Ships Wed. at US Open; Tennis-X Notes
by Staff | September 2nd, 2015, 11:48 pm
  • 141 Comments

No huge upsets on Wednesday at the US Open as world No. 1 Novak Djokovic capped the night session off by beating on unseeded Austrian Andreas “Don’t Be a” Haider-Maurer 6-4, 6-1, 6-2.


“I never played Andreas on a hardcourt, so it took time to get the positioning,” said Djokovic, who was forced to do an uncomfortable dance with a fan by uncomfortable ESPN on-court interviewer Brad Gilbert. “[Andreas] has a big serve. These are the kind of humid conditions you’re getting ready for so luckily I have enough shirts.”

Other Top 10-seeded winners on the day were No. 7 David Ferrer who straight-setted Serb Filip Krajinovic 7-5, 7-5, 7-6(4); No. 8 Rafael Nadal who put down diminutive Argentine Diego Schwartzman 7-6(5), 6-3, 7-5; No. 9 seed and defending champ Marin Cilic who defeated Russian Evgeny Donskoy 6-2, 6-3, 7-5; and No. 10 Milos Raonic who put down a threat from Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco 6-2, 6-4, 6-7(5), 7-6(1).

ESPN commentator John McEnroe derided Nadal for being “pushed around” in the match, but Nadal says he is happy with his progress from a summer season where he failed to win a U.S. summer hardcourt match for the second year in a row.

“Today I felt that I was practicing great before the match, and yesterday, too,” Nadal said. “I fought well. I fought until the end. I came back, even if I had lot of opportunities the real thing is I was a break down in both sets and I came back well to win both sets. That is an important improvement for me and I’m happy for that.”

Nadal will next meet No. 32-seeded nemesis Fabio Fognini, who on Wednesday defeated Pablo Cuevas 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.

The defending champ Cilic said he enjoyed playing under the new roof structure on Ashe.

“It was very hot day, very humid,” he said. “Evgeny is kind of player that’s very, very quick. Gets a lot of balls back. I had to work a little bit extra in some points. But overall, really satisfied with my tennis, and with serving performance today. So glad to be back on the Arthur Ashe with good tennis, for sure.”

Lower-seeded players into the third round on Wednesday were No. 14 David Goffin who beat Ricardas Berankis 6-1 in the fifth, No. 18 Feliciano “F-Lo” Lopez who saw a cramping Mardy Fish into retirement 6-3 in the fifth, No. 19 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, No. 23 Roberto Bautista Agut who outlasted Spanish compatriot Pablo Carreno 6-4 in the fifth, No. 25 Andreas Seppi who defeated Teymuraz Gabashvili in four, No. 26 Tommy Robredo, and No. 27 Jeremy Chardy.

Fish said the cramping loss was an even more difficult way to go into retirement considering his earlier chances to put the match away.

“I don’t feel that great just from the match,” Fish said. “So it takes a little bit away, you know, just — I don’t know. I mean, it will probably sink in a little bit later when I start feeling a little bit better.”

Unseeded winners on the day were France’s Benoit Paire topping Turkey’s Marsel Ilhan in four, Ukraine veteran Sergiy Stakhovsky beating countryman Illya Marchenko in four, and Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin upsetting No. 17 Grigor Dimitrov 6-4 in the fifth.

The women’s side of the US Open righted the ship on Wednesday after a slew of upsets the first two days as world No. 1 Serena Williams, the lone Top 10 seed on her side of the draw, defeated hard-hitting Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens 7-6(5), 6-3 to move into the third round in her quest to secure a calendar-year Grand Slam.

“Today I just said, ‘One point at a time,’” Williams said. “When I get down, I tend to get really relaxed and I start to play a little better. But yeah, I’m just taking it one moment at a time.”

She will next meet fellow American Bethanie Mattek-Sands, who defeated CoCo Vandeweghe 6-2, 6-1, after Vandeweghe had upended seeded fellow American Sloane Stephens.

“She’s playing great,” Mattek-Sands said of Serena. “Right now she’s on a mission to get a record, and I’m here playing my game. I think it’s going to be a battle out there. I’m going to do my best. Right now I’m giving myself the best chance I can to play well, that’s all I can ask for.”

Serena says she knows what to expect from the all-court net-rushing Mattek-Sands.

“Knowing that she’s capable of having big wins kind of relaxes me because I know she’s going to come out and I know what to expect,” Williams said. “She’s going to give 300 percent. She’s a huge fighter. I have to start out strong if I want to stay in the tournament. If not, I can go on vacation.”

Other seeded winners on Wednesday were No. 15 Agnieszka Radwanska, No. 12 Belinda Bencic coming from a set down to defeat Japan’s Misaki Doi, No. 13 Ekaterina Makarova, No. 17 Elina Svitolina, No. 19 Madison Keys, No. 23 Venus Williams needing three sets to beat fellow American Irina Falconi, and No. 25 Eugenie Bouchard attempting to turn around her horrendous season with a three-set win over Slovenia’s Polona Hercog.

“[Irina] played a great tiebreaker and produced a lot of great shots,” Venus Williams said of her fellow American. “In the third set I felt like I had a lot more clarity, and I had the crowd behind me.”

Radwanska will next face off against Keys.

“We really had great match at Wimbledon, and hopefully we have the same kind of game here at the US Open,” Radwanska said. “For sure different conditions, different surface, so different story. So we will see how it’s going to be on hard court. It will be a really tough third round. She’s playing home.”

Keys says the Pole’s game does not exactly fit into her game.

“I think I have always kind of struggled with Radwanska’s game a little bit,” Keys said. “She just seems to always kind of get that extra ball back. I think going into that match just a little bit more patient but still going for my shots.”

In the lone upset of the day, Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit toppled No. 31 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia 7-5, 6-4.

Matches to look for on Thursday in Flushing Meadows are former No. 1 and (20) seed Victoria Azarenka vs. the resurgent Yanina Wickmayer, (3) Andy Murray vs. Adrian Mannarino, (2) Roger Federer vs. Steve Darcis, (13) John Isner vs. Mikhail Youzhny, (5) Petra Kvitova vs. American Nicole Gibbs, Camila Giorgi vs. (24) Sabine Lisicki, (24) Bernard “The Tank Engine” Tomic vs. Lleyton “The Lawnmower” Hewitt, (6) Tomas Berdych vs. Jurgen “Tuna” Melzer, and an upset alert in Nicolas Mahut vs. (31) Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.

TENNIS-X NEWS, NOTES, QUOTES AND BARBS
Nick Kyrgios
needs to get over the need to look at his player’s box after every point like a 15-year-old WTA player…Anyone else feel their soul being sucked out of their body when ESPN’s Hannah Storm does her fake-friendly banter?…Esurance commercial where the old guy stands in for a Bryan brother and wants to “get money on these fools”? Brilliant…Journalists don’t call players “buddy,” Brad Gilbert…American Madison Keys on her funniest moment of being recognized in public: “I think the funniest one was in L.A. A woman recognized me as she was driving and hit her brakes and rolled the window down and screamed out of her window. She was freaking out and rolling down her window, and I was like freaking out and [she] screaming my name and was like, ‘I love you.’ I’m like, ‘Okay. Don’t crash. Bye.’”…So sad to watch these male coaches during the summer having to come out during the change-overs to tell the WTA players strategy on how to win their matches. Or the rare female coach. Time to abandon this sad experiment and return to players having to figure it out for themselves — like actual tennis. So glad the Slams said no to that ridiculous shit…Two years ago Belinda Bencic was winning junior Slams, now she’s beating world No. 1s…When are the ATP senior tour and Jim Courier’s champions/Powershares tour going to combine and create a real worldwide senior tour that means something?…Pete Sampras speaking to the ATP Champions Tour on Rafael Nadal: “When I was struggling, I still felt I was like the best player in the world. When Rafa struggles, I think he feels like his career is over, just with some of the things he says.”…And Pete Sampras on Serena Williams winning the calendar year Grand Slam at the US Open: “It will be different for her just because of the attention and the media attention. But when you are the best player in the world, you are the best player in the world, no matter what is going on. I wish her nothing but the best, and it would be great for tennis, great for American tennis, and I hope she does it.”…Former No. 1 Justine Henin on her ‘Greatest Generation’: “When I was playing, I had the feeling that if you were the last 16, really everyone could win the tournament. It was a great generation. Venus and Serena pushed a lot of players to raise their level. I mean they put the game to another level, and it was fantastic to be part of it because we had to push ourselves all the time to get better. And there was Kim Clijsters, there was a time of Lindsay Davenport, Jennifer Capriati. There was Martina Hingis. There was the Williams sisters, all the Russian girls coming on the tour. There was Amelie Mauresmo, Maria Sharapova coming. That was a fantastic time.”

 


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141 Comments for Djokovic, Serena Right Ships Wed. at US Open; Tennis-X Notes

jane Says:

…also the bryans are out; i think i heard it’s the first year since 2004 they’ll go slamless?

“Anyone else feel their soul being sucked out of their body when ESPN’s Hannah Storm does her fake-friendly banter?”

YES!


sienna Says:

What was Nadal thinking when he picked his new outfit?


Giles Says:

Congrats to Rafa on his 750thcareer win yesterday.
Vamos Champ!


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Interesting comments from JMac on Rafa. I only caught the end of his match but from the little I saw he did not look as good as Rd 1. His rally balls were WAY short, landing several feet inside the service box. Schwartzman couldn’t put them away, but it doesn’t take a Novak to take advantage of that.

Anyone else have more insight into Rafa’s rd two level?

I never liked Henin, but those are great comments. Women’s tour has been so weak since Henin, Hingis and Davenport retired, and Sharapova had surgery. Other than the brief Clijsters resurgence, there just hasn’t been anyone you thought deserved to stay at the top, certainly not Sharapova who couldn’t beat Serena now if she was spotted two sets.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Interesting comments from JMac on Rafa. I only caught the end of his match but from the little I saw he did not look as good as Rd 1. His rally balls were WAY short, landing several feet inside the service box. Schwartzman couldn’t put them away, but it doesn’t take a Novak to take advantage of that.

Anyone else have more insight into Rafa’s rd two level?

I never liked Henin, but those are great comments. Women’s tour has been so weak since Henin, Hingis and Davenport retired, and Sharapova had surgery. Other than the brief Clijsters resurgence, there just hasn’t been anyone you thought deserved to stay at the top, certainly not Sharapova who couldn’t beat Serena now if she was spotted two sets.


Margot Says:

Lol TV. So good you said it twice…;) A touch of the Marcus’s there.


Margot Says:

Oh and PS staff: “Like a 15 year old WTA player.” Could you not, just for once, cut out the gratuitous sexism?


brando Says:

McEnroe is correct. Rafa gets passive, ceases the initiative TOO EASILY and gets pushed around. It’s just too easy. BUT when he cuts that bullsh-t out, sorts his mind state, gets aggressive then he’s like the champion we know. In essence: he reminds me of a young Andy Murray. When he’s passive: he gets toyed with. When he cuts the crap out: he looks a elite player. To be honest: the reason why rafa has lost too many matches this year against players who hardly even hit their best is because he essentially gives them complete control to do whatever they want. He does not fight, be bullish about wanting to control the match. He just cedes it over weakly. When he cuts the crap out: he still is the elite player we have seen for many a year. Put simply: it’s all on rafa. He needs to be bullish, stubborn and defiantly say: fu-k it. F-ck the opponent, f-ck the match situation, f-ck the anxiety. I’m going to go out there and be bully. Be aggressive at all times. Step in court immediately. Hit every shot aggressively so it goes deep. It goes in? I win the point. It goes long? I don’t give a f-ck: onto the next one. He needs to that and he’ll liberate himself from his self imposed shackles, and his attitude will quickly see him hit the heights, latitude he calls normal in every year gone by. He’s ready. He’s there. And it’s all on his racquet. He can beat the lot of them. It’s ALL about whether he let’s himself do so, since right now: he’s in a car race, but rafa has the handbrake down on his motor. He needs to let go and hit the accelerator! The sooner rafa gets aggressive: the more ass he’s going to kick since the bottomline line is: form is temporarily, class is permanent. Rafa is of a class the tennis community way back in 2012 anointed top 4 of all time. Since then he added to that status. The tour? Most of the big names he’s whupped repeatedly over the years. You check the facts, hear the opponents and they say it straight: he’s my worst nightmare. So rafa needs to: realize the champion he is. Act like the champion he is. Walk, strut, swagger like a champion ought to win he has THAT success, regard and then say: f-ck it, I ain’t here to win. Nor is that even in doubt: I’m here to whup ass since that’s what I do better than them all on the big stage, versus the best. Be that guy they call the BEAST. Not this sorry ass player who leaves everyone bewildered asking: is that guy really rafael nadal? Seem like a imposter walking with a legendary players name. Rafa: get mad. Get crazy. Get pissed off. Punch someone if you have to. But stop playing like a f-cking pus-y at times. Play like the f–king animal you can play like. You can do it. Do that: the competition will soil themselves since they know about the BEAST and when he’s on. Unleash the real you!!!!


Ben Pronin Says:

Blah blah blah.

The only 2 matches I’d really say Nadal gave up in was against Djokovic at the French and Murray in Madrid. In Madrid he played so bad that I think he just didn’t care and knew he needed to get off the court. In France, it was more surprising. He seemed resigned to his fate even though he played pretty well for about a set and a half.

Other than that, he always fights hard. Even if it’s the last few games of the match (like against Nishikori), he really does fight hard. But he’s more inconsistent this year. He ends up being passive because he’s missing a lot more of his aggressive forehands than he used to. His backhand was never 100% reliable when he flattens it out (no one’s is, really). And his serve has been all kinds of up and down, but mostly down. I think his inconsistency has lead to some poor footwork choices. I can’t recall specific matches but at least a few times this year I saw him camping in the backhand corner waiting for forehands like he was Fernando Gonzalez.

Overall, I don’t think the day-to-day inconsistency he’s struggled with this year is suddenly going to vanish. It’s not just about “getting his head straight” or whatever. His game is just a little off. And really it’s only a little because those are the margins. It doesn’t take a lot to suddenly see worse results.

Take Gulbis, for example. By his standards, he was playing amazing for the first half of last year and it culminated in a semifinal showing at the French Open. Since then, he’s struggled to even win matches. Does anyone think his game just completely fell a part? No, he had a slight dip and that’s simply where his results go when his game dips. The margins are tiny.


jane Says:

is rafa using his old racquet or his new one now?


jane Says:

margpt esp considering how many ATP guys look at their boxes during a match. murray, novak, rafa all do it rather frequently. henin used to do it a lot. it’s fairly widespread, i.e., not limited to 15 year old WTA players. ;)


jane Says:

^ my apologies = margot. need my coffee still.


Daniel Says:

Maybe Bartoli was right all along ref Rafa, his balls doesseems lacks “power”. The huge FHnis there but half the times he uses it he misses now. And in the old days he use to take more risks and ger closer to the baseine and corners. Now every player can stay with him in rallies, even Lopez with no BH could win in Cincy. I don’t knpw, it just seems his balls are not effevtive anymore power wise. I mean, a guy like Schwatrz shouldn’t be 2 points from taking first set tiebreak nor break Nadal 3 or 4 times as was the case.

Maybe this was just his “off” match and tomorrow knowijg how dangerous Fognini is he will start guns blazing. But seems he can lose to any of his next opponents pre Novak.

And Djoko is feeling the ball well, returiming as good as ever. Seema the roof cut the wind and it will favor Djoko the most I think.


Ben Pronin Says:

I think Nadal will destroy Fognini. I think he comes out the way he did against Coric. But Fognini has his own consistency issues so it’s still not the best gauge of where Nadal’s game is. Unless he loses, in which case we’ll know he’s still far from where he needs to be.


Skeezer Says:

Lol the quote by Sampras on Nadal!


sienna Says:

So according to Branda Nadal can
screw his way to US open winner.


Markus Says:

Luckily, Nadal was playing against Schwartzman last night. Had Coric met him in that form, Rafa would have had a harder time to win. Good time to be in bad form. He’ll wake up and be better against Fognini who often looks disinterested.


FedExpress Says:

Stosur is so in the zone right now


jalep Says:

Fognini’s mode is to be nonchalant with outbursts of flamboyance here and there. He’s got such great posture when striking his backhand – can’t get enough of Fabio’s tennis. But never watch him expecting him to win. If he wins, consider it a gift.

Should be asleep after my night shift but had to watch Nole. Not sure I’ve seen such smooth and seamless tennis. ever.

No change in the tennis-x bracket leaders – Daniel and RZ still on top!


Ben Pronin Says:

I watched Fognini in the first round last year. He lost in 3 pathetic sets. I forget who it was to, but the guy was a glorified pusher, generally a clay court player. And Fognini fell into the trap. He started going for winners too early, missing badly, and just gave no fight. It was super disappointing to watch knowing that I could’ve seen awesome tennis instead.

So, yeah, I never expect him to win. And reaching the third round is a nice surprise from him.


RZ Says:

Men’s double seeds are dropping like flies! Bryans out, Dodig-Melo out, just now Peya-Soares out. Fortunately Murray-Peers won easily yesterday.


RZ Says:

^ And Pospisil-Sock lost yesterday too.


Okiegal Says:

Nadal’s Gal on Rafa…Still, ever so humble….. :)


jane Says:

jalep you’re probably asleep but i notice wawrinka is playing chung; i didnt realize they were playing. wawa had a break but lost it…on serve in the first.


jane Says:

^ oh and meanwhile the other teen who was left – nishioka – is about to go out in straights to bellucci.


jalep Says:

Yeah, PospiSock :(

If you are not watching Wawrinka – Chung (on now), you should be! Hyeong Chung looked to be toast at 0-3 and suddenly figured it out and broke back – now even 3-3. Chung is not flotsam. Smart, disciplined tennis.


jalep Says:

Nishioka is tiny, jane. Fast, feisty, talented, but at 5’6″… He did really well to get this far!


jalep Says:

haha, Fogna can be pathetic for sure. If he’s not in the mood, it shows.


jane Says:

tiebreak!

gilbert says it feels like the hottest day on armstrong so far.


jalep Says:

I’ve only been to NYC in the spring and fall – very pleasant. Loved running in Central Park. Really don’t like hot and humid. Evening should be better for the heat part but I think the humidity is worse. dunno…

Proud of Chung’s fight to get to a tb. Glad I got to see a little of him but have to sleep, jane. Wasn’t thinking he had much of a chance v Stan anyway. cheers.


Ben Pronin Says:

It was really nice this morning. No idea how it keeps getting so hot during the day.

I also don’t understand how Chung is winning games let alone breaking Wawrinka. I watched the TB and, simply put, Chung’s effort to get this far is unbelievable. His serve, through no fault of his own, is like a good woman’s serve. All he can do is place it well but it’s impossible for it to be a weapon due to his size. He also definitely can’t hit through Stan. He’s smart around the net but his size hurts him there, too.


Margot Says:

jalep, they’ve changed the scores on the bracket at long last….moving up…:)


FedExpress Says:

muguruza is toast


Margot Says:

Konta has done really well this year.
Go Jo!


jane Says:

impressive how close chung has kept it, esp considering he’s put in only 45% firsts.


Margot Says:

And Jo went and did it! Well done!
Spanish tennis coaches, Spanish mental coach.
Working!


RZ Says:

Nice win for Johanna Konta! I’ve been waiting for her to get her game going.


RZ Says:

Another seeded men’s doubles team is out: Fognini-Bolelli lost to Fleming-Huey.


FedExpress Says:

fognini planned it. all concentration for tomorrow


Margot Says:

Brits doing well in the doubles. Dom + partner also won.
Good Andy has some company.


RZ Says:

@Margot – you probably already know this, but Huey used to be Dom’s partner but is now playing with Fleming. I wish an insider would write a blog about all the different doubles pairings and break-ups and why they happened. I’m always so intrigued as so many successful pairs go their separate ways. This year has seen a lot of doubles specialists switch partners.


Ben Pronin Says:

Speak of the devil! It was Adrian Mannarino that I watched beat Fognini last year! This guys is such a pusher it makes me angry.

Wawrinka through in 3 ridiculous tiebreakers.


jane Says:

nice effort from chung; stan hit 26 aces and 50-some winners just to get by him in 3 tiebreak sets. wow.


jane Says:

oh wow, jack sock collapsed. :( cramping.


RZ Says:

Another British doubles winner today – Laura Robson, partnering with Kirsten Flipkens. They beat Madison Keys and Laura’s old (no pun intended) doubles partner, Lisa Raymond.


courbon Says:

Jane-Chung is only 19 year old-very impressive for that age. Obviously his serving needs massive improvment.Good returner


jane Says:

sock being removed via wheelchair; had to retire so will not face stan next round. oh that’s such a shame for him. just hope he is okay.


Ben Pronin Says:

Wow Sock retired! Unreal.


jane Says:

courbon, yes i agree. his serve needs a lot of work, but he showed great composure today.


Daniel Says:

Jack sock almost fainted on court. Survival of the fittest.

Murray lost first gambit got the break back. He needs a clean win and not spend too much energy in this early matches. Seems he will play Wawa in Quarters. But Wawa didn’t look that great either, maybe he is saving best for last.


jane Says:

i thought stan showed flashes of brilliance today daniel. his serving in particular. 26 aces, won 76% on first serves and 61% on second serves. he also his 62 winners. the problems was he hit even MORE errors and didnt take advantage of chung’s weak serve like he should’ve.


Ben Pronin Says:

Stan is not a great returner.


Ben Pronin Says:

Is anyone watching the Murray match?


jane Says:

ben, i am not watching murray because my stupid t.v. is showing the abysmal isner/youz match. sigh.


Jock-KatH Says:

Murray lost the first set!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


RZ Says:

Saw that Jock-KatH. If the weather conditions are still hot and muggy, I think that will be to Murray’s advantage as the match goes on.


Brando Says:

Rafa loses 3 meager service games but NO set yesterday: OMG he’s doing abysmal.

Andy loses a set: meh, only a set.

LMAO: these commentators cannot be any more full of s–t if they tried any harder.

Re Andy:

Need’s to get more aggressive. With the lesser players Andy’s like Rafa: it’s a bit of grind. Fed and Novak are better: clinical, cutthroat.


van orten Says:

Yeah mannarino just won. First set . Murray had 0:40 to break back at 5:6 . M pretty much outplaying him because Murray seems passiv at times ..


Jock-KatH Says:

Margot – help…………….


Ben Pronin Says:

I want to know what’s actually going on. Like I said, Mannarino is a pusher so I’d guess the only way he’s having any success against Murray is because Murray is making too many mistakes. But winners/errors for Mannarino are 17-17 and for Murray 14-10. So maybe Murray isn’t being aggressive enough. Or probably, anyway.


Jock-KatH Says:

Hope U are right RZ.


jane Says:

if murray loses the second set it’s worrisome but sometimes he starts a bit slowly. also, mannarino apparently struggled with heat versus lopez in australia so the longer this goes the more likely he may experience that again.


RZ Says:

@Jane – I agree. I’m not concerned about the loss of one set, but I would be very concerned if he loses the second set (heat or no heat). I’ve only been checking in on the scores every now and then, but when I do it seems as if Murray has a bunch of break chances that he isn’t converting.

@Ben – based on the match stats, it seems as if Mannarino has been going to net fairly often and with some success. http://www.usopen.org/en_US/scores/stats/day10/1224ms.html


RZ Says:

@Brando – I don’t disagree with your point about the reaction to Rafa’s match, but as for being “meh” about Andy losing a set, remember that Andy never makes it easy even when it should be.


Daniel Says:

Murray in trouble, he shouldn’t be losing sets to Mannarino


Jock-KatH Says:

Oh dear – Murray will lose 2 sets – doubt he’ll take the next 3. Bye bye Andy.


Brando Says:

Oh f–k:

0-2 down Andy!

What the hell is going on here! I’ll tune in now, this is just unbelievable!


FedExpress Says:

Lol. Murray what are u doing ffs. Bellucci could reach a sf after all


Ben Pronin Says:

Well one thing is for sure, this match won’t be less than 4 sets. The other thing that is almost for sure, Mannarino will choke.


Brando Says:

Come on, a break by Andy! Just tuned in and immediate thoughts:

1. Mannarino looks even more average than scwartzman yesterday. No weapons at all, so surely this must be because Andy is playing well under par. That’s annoying BUT:

Surely match is on Andy’s racquet.

2. I think Andy’s problem seems to be the heat and humidity. He seems decisively low on energy, lethargic even.

Just a quick snapshot judgment.


Margot Says:

Absolutely dreadful from Andy. WHT? Awful serving, can’t keep ball in court. Humidity has addled his brain.
Going out.
Too late fot crystals Kat! :’(


Brando Says:

Yes a hold and 3-0, plus some energetic fist pump.

Andy needs to beatdown Mannarino 6-1 atleast in this set to let him know he’s woken up.


Markus Says:

This will be one round better than I anticipared. I really thought Murray would lose to Kyrgios.


Ben Pronin Says:

Mannarino is a pusher, of course he has no weapons. And Murray has been lulled into that nonsense. Murray’s not the best at generating his own pace to begin with. I think he’ll pull through but it’s not good for him physically. Bad day to play a long match.


Brando Says:

Beautiful return winner by Andy! This is the first time I have seen Adrian and if ever there was a tennis dictionary definition of average it’s him.

Andy should be spanking him!


Margot Says:

Lol Kat…stopped watching just checked score and…Andy seems to have woken up, or has Mannarino fallen asleep?
Obviously not RZ who is jinx, but me…:0


Jock-KatH Says:

Getting the crystals, Margot – maybe too late – but can’t figure out what the h-ll is the matter with Andy…………..


Brando Says:

Andy needs to cut out the cute, muppet shots which Adrian likes. Damn it, your 2-0 down not ahead!

Just be aggressive, have baseline exchanges which you are winning easily.


chris ford1 Says:

Margot – “Oh and PS staff: “Like a 15 year old WTA player.” Could you not, just for once, cut out the gratuitous sexism?”

It may be sexist, but it is dead on mark. While some men are dependent on coaching, get signals on a number of points and on changeovers, Rafa being the most high profile, they try to be discrete. Not so with some of the younger women, its blatant, it’s on every point, and the WTA looks by it. You’ve seen it yourself, Margot, I’m sure..


Brando Says:

phew! a 40-0 turns to deuce, man this is going to be nervy all the way.


Brando Says:

Man, Mannarino is even putting in a shift to help Andy win, Muzza better not f this up!


jane Says:

still no way to watch but it’s not over till it’s over!

i read that istomin has retired vs thiem. so it’s a new open era record for retirements on the men’s side at a slam or at least at the us open.


Brando Says:

Good, double break! 5-1 to andy!


Ben Pronin Says:

Djokovic and Murray look to their boxes constantly. I also don’t see that many 15 year olds on the WTA tour. So it is sexist. Toni and Boris have admitted to doing some coaching nonsense. If you’re going to remark on Kyrgios looking at his box, you can easily reference the bozos at the top of the game. Dead on mark my ass.


the_mind_reels Says:

@jane: the heat is oppressive in the city today. Total sweat/dehydration fest out here.


Brando Says:

6-1 more like it! Need to hit Adrian hard, no mercy shown early in 4th set.


Jock-KatH Says:

Well Margo – the colour was bright pink and shining – the crystals not me……got to go, duty calls ……


Brando Says:

BTW Folks:

It was Thiem’s 22nd birthday today, happy birthday Dominic!

Better than Dimitrov right now for sure.


Daniel Says:

Finally Murray playing as he should. Unnecessary 5 sets


Margot Says:

I know Andy starts slow, but this is ridiculous! Let’s hope those crystals keep glowing Kat!
Cheers Ben. Sexist remark it is indeedy. I also think this constant anti Nick barrage is getting tired.


Brando Says:

this is going to be tough andy looks so knackered.


Brando Says:

damn that was a much needed game missed by andy!


Brando Says:

Break in. Should be 3-0 to Andy though he needs to grab every chance since the real problem for him is being low on energy and slipping up in a game.

He needs this set won sharpish!


Margot Says:

Mannarino’s starting to miss now, if Andy can stay standing I think he’ll win. Literally as well as metaphorically.
Agree tho really bad having this kind of energy sapping match so early in the tournament.


Brando Says:

Break consolidated, need another break to shorten set if possible.


Brando Says:

yes, break for the set. 2-2 now and most crucially:

Andy serves first in 5th!


Margot Says:

Let’s have a score of 6-0 pleeeeaaase Andy!


Jock-KatH Says:

Heh Margo – crystals doing well – me I’m exhausted – a quick wine fill-up – W.(e/g/ Hubbie asleep) – hell’s bells do these crystals help ?????????

Off to work I go – last set – let’s give it another high quality concentration – if I sound stupid and tired – I’m certainly the latter………..


Brando Says:

yes, break won, cosolidated and 3-0 up now. Phew. Should control situation and shepherd it to a win now, come on andy!


Margot Says:

Lol Kat
Why oh why, oh why, does Andy have to take the scenic rout?
Hope he heard me now for a 6 love final set…;)


Margot Says:

Easy in the end. Damn him…:)
Night Kat, night Brando. Sweet dreams and flying machines.


Jock-KatH Says:

Margo – How about that ———-Unbelievable —he did it – did do the crystals as you suggested – but absolutely sure that they only help me – Andy did it, by golly, he did – (still got sneaking respect for the crystals as they improved pain levels for 2 of my relatives) – but who cares now – I’m absolutely over-the-moon — in fact I’ll be able to see any turd as it launches! Yipee, yippee, hurrah am absolutely exultant……..

Cheers, Luv, Keep well – there’s magic afoot.


the DA Says:

“Mannarino is a pusher, of course he has no weapons”

WINNERS
45 Murray & 45 Mannarino

were they *all* drop shots? You guys kill me sometimes.

Margot, the young man gives us another night of fitful sleep.


Markus Says:

Andy should thank me, I stopped watching after the second set. Didn’t see the last 3 sets. Didn’t even peek to check the score until I was sure it was over. Oh, the sacrifice I had to do. Happy in the end. That’s all that matters. For now.


RZ Says:

@Markus – Thank you! But I deserve some credit too. I had to be on a conference call after the 2nd set and couldn’t check scores.


RZ Says:

@Margot – it’s not a jinx when I watch. it’s just that I help when I’m not able to watch. :-)


Ben Pronin Says:

DA, one stat from one match doesn’t define a player’s style. He’s a pusher. Get over it.


Markus Says:

@RZ, we double-teamed for that Andy come from behind win. :-)


Brando Says:

@Margot:

Thanks, and good night to your good self too. I am about to hit the sack as it’s well late, but like yourself I imagine with a sense of relief after that muzza drama.

I’m not too worried about the match as he got what mattered: the win. The minuses are not too big for me:

Dropped 2 sets? Meh, based on my reading it was a combination of a slow start, frazzled mind that likely was affected due to the humidity.

Time on court? Meh again. It was in the humidity so Andy’s self confidence in his body will improve since he passed the test. It wasn’t a long 5 setter wither, as last 3 sets flew by. The weather also will get better so that should help.

He got tested but he came through it and what pleases me was though he was 0-2 down and really feeling the conditions he raced through professionally and clinically in last 3 sets.

Me hope’s this is that bad match, lull match that Andy coughs up in a tournament is now out of his system and he’ll fare better. On that hopeful note:

Good night to you and all!


RZ Says:

@Markus – I’m heading out of town tomorrow through Tuesday so I’m doing my part for rounds 3 and 4. Please make sure you do yours too. :-)


RZ Says:

Hewitt needs to take this to 5 sets. For him not to play a 5 setter in his last US Open would just be wrong.


Markus Says:

@RZ, that’s a deal. If it works, neuther of us will ever see Andy play ever again.


RZ Says:

@Markus – that is the downside of our strategy.


the DA Says:

“He’s a pusher. Get over it.”

The most overused term in the wannabe pundit’s vernacular. Nothing to get over. I’m amused. :)


jatin Says:

Loving the way fed is playing. So aggressive and clean.
6-1,6-2 already.


Flyer Says:

Come ON Hewitt – stay with it and win this match.


jatin Says:

Hewitt with a lead in the final set.
Hope he will come through. Such a fighter


jatin Says:

Fed tried that new trademark return of his two times in that game and won both points ;)
4-0


jatin Says:

hewiit one game away from the match, so do fed ;)


Ben Pronin Says:

If you want to refute my claim then back it up with more than 1 stat from 1 match.

Here’s my wannabe pundit reasoning:
There’s a difference between what recreational players think of as a pusher and what a pusher at the pro level is. A recreational pusher is literally just that, a pusher. He will push or guide the ball with minimal racket head acceleration. The ball more or less floats to its spot.

A pro level pusher isn’t like that. He still hits the ball with spin, pace, and preferably depth. What makes a player a pusher is the way they play. Simply put, a pusher doesn’t force the issue. He’ll try to sustain a rally as long as he can to illicit an error or until he has an opening. It’s not like he’s just going to hit the ball back to his opponent repeatedly, he will move the ball around.

A guy like Mannarino is a pusher because he has no weapons. He doesn’t have a big forehand or backhand or serve. All he can really do is rally. Obviously he’s going to hit winners. You can’t win 100% of points on your opponent’s errors.

The general consensus is Murray was very passive in the first 2 sets. So if he’s passive then Mannarino is going to have more openings and have the chance to hit more winners.

And 45 winners over 5 sets is only 9 winners per set. That’s a very low number, so good on you for using a stat that doesn’t help your point.

I know it’s tough to digest that your precious Murray could have struggled against a pusher, but that’s what happened. Like I said, get over it. He won the match. The last 3 sets played out the way you’d have expected the match to go if you ignore the first 2 sets.


Flyer Says:

Hewitt – crap – stay with it stay with it Hewey


jatin Says:

Hewiit just blowed out his leader just like he did in wimbledon :(
5-5
Comon on hewitt..
Meanwhile, fed through 6-1,6-2,6-1


jatin Says:

So hewiit somehow lost the match from the jaws of victory. Feeling sad for him.


Flyer Says:

Too bad would have been great win for Hewitt – ah well. Wonder how injured Tomic is….limping some


RZ Says:

@jatin – Sad but I’d think that Hewitt would rather lose to one of Australia’s Generation Next than anyone else in the draw (except perhaps Fed based on their history)


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Saw Fed win those 2nd-serve-attacks in the 3rd set. Awesome stuff. He looked great, wish I could have seen more than the 3rd but it went too fast.

Tourney gets interesting now. Brando, I appreciate your POV that a 5 set test is good in a way for Murray- it shows great will to come back from 2 sets down. On the other hand, you OUGHT to believe you can come back when you’re ranked 32 spots higher, so I don’t really consider that a huge mental victory. Losing those first 2 sets is certainly not a GOOD sign.


FedExpress Says:

How many five setters has hewitt lost lately. From mentally the toughest he has beome one of the worst. Choking so many matches. Unlike him.

kudo to tomic.

and bravo federer. Sublime performance


steve-o Says:

A bittersweet match. Sad that Hewitt couldn’t pull out one more gritty come-from-behind win in his final US Open campaign. Mentally must have been tough for Tomic to stay in it mentally after Hewitt overturned his lead, credit to him for continuing to fight.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

I really didn’t expect Tomic to take a 5 setter from Hewitt, but he made big shots when they counted. Not that Hewitt choked, he still played well, but, he does have a few miles on him.


Markus Says:

By Ben Pronin’s definition, Nishikori is a pusher.


steve-o Says:

@FedExpress: that’s probably why Hewitt’s retiring next year. Two years ago he would have won that match in five sets, but that famous fighting spirit isn’t quite enough these days to compensate for the aging process, not even for the early rounds.

And Federer was amazing today. He pulled off those remarkable charging returns repeatedly, he was always crowding the net. Hope he can keep it up.


Ben Pronin Says:

Nishikori has a weapon in his backhand that allows him to be, what I call, and aggressive baseliner.

But hell you guys must be seeing something I’m not. Mannarino obviously makes Federer look like Gilles Simon.


Daniel Says:

Guys, Mannarino is a pusher, period. He only had this many winners because Murray allowed him to by being oddily passive. Nishikori takes all balls on the rise like only a few could ever do: Agassi, Nalbandian, Safin, Davydenko. And he hits flat and powerful strokes. If you compared key with Mannarino, I don’t know what have you watching last 3 years.

Mannarino has a short swing and Murray kind of underestimate his opponent in my eyes. He entered this match knowing that he wouldn’t lose, so kind of was disinterested in the beginning. When he lost second set he got pissed and realize that it was time to play like one of the favorites he is.

Ba match in all because he shouldn’t lose 2 sets second round to guys like Mannarino. If only had a serve or a monster stroke to justify the danger, like Kyrgios or Coric. It would be the same case had Nadal lost any sets to Schwartz yesterday, which he didn’t but was pushed in all which cause the concern.

2 rounds and Murray lost 3 sets already, and things are only gonna get tough from now on. Hope he regroup because Bellucci is playing power tennis and Anderson if having a great day could steal a set. So he may arrive to Wawa match losing sets in all rounds and that Quarter could be a long affair.

Hope he has some testimony wins next few rounds and clean his game.


Tennisfan Says:

Murray played pretty badly for those first two sets tbh. Here’s hoping he brings it up a notch from now on. Federer was a joy to watch, but I have an uneasy feeling he might get knocked out unexpectedly early.


Markus Says:

Pushers: Mannarino, Nishikori, Goffin, Ferrer…Some more successful than the others but all pushers nonetheless based on Ben Pronin’s definition.


FedExpress Says:

Ferrer is more aggressive than nadal nowadays


FedExpress Says:

Wozniacki out. Cant convert 4 mps. Peak wta.


FedExpress Says:

Ben wrote on twitter that since 2010 hewitt is 2-11 in 5 setters. Ouch


sienna Says:

losing or winning 5SETTERS has litle to nothing to do with how you are mental strong enough.

player like Federer plays lesser 5 sets because he wins his matches within required 5. so using all 5 is already indication of playing below par.
losing 5 sets is even more indication of plating more worse…

But it still is better then to loose in 4 or 3.

if a player like Federer has a bad record 5 sets it is probably Thatcher he even plating bad squeeses out a fifth set.

So winlos % on 5th set is realy no meassurement.


Jock-KatH Says:

Reading Sienna’s comments – inadvertently she has reminded me that Andy had a 5-setter (v Verdasco) en route to his Wimbledon GS win – so…..will he? can he? make a little bit of history…….

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