Roddick Soars, Jankovic Dragging at US Open
by Richard Vach | August 27th, 2008, 11:26 pm

Roddick Batters Way into US Open 2nd Round with Confidence

With Davis Cup captain Patrick McEnroe in his coaching corner for this US Open, former world No. 1 Andy Roddick looked back to his meat-and-potatoes serve-and-forehand ways in his opener Wednesday night, pounding Fabrice Santoro into submission 6-2, 6-2, 6-2.
Roddick immediately went up a break in all three sets, and was not bothered by the Frenchman’s slice-and-dice theatrics.

“I felt good, that’s the best I’ve played in four or five months,” Roddick said. “Something about this place always gets me energized and the fans are great and I’m just happy to be healthy.”

Only two other Top 10 seeds were in action, with No. 3 Novak Djokovic looking sharp in a straight-set win over Frenchman Arnaud Clement, and No. 5 Nikolay Davydenko likewise straight-setting Israel’s Dudi Sela.

“It’s very surprising that I was playing good for the first round,” Davydenko said. “Because I’m always nervous and my confidence is not so great just at the beginning of the tournament. But I played good all three sets, I was fighting good and I had very good concentration.”

Other winners on a day of no seeded upsets on the men’s side were (18) Nicolas Almagro (d. Frank Dancevic), (19) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (d. Santiago Ventura in four), (26) Dmitry Tursunov (d. Eduardo Schwank in four), (28) Radek Stepanek (d. Potito Starace), and (30) Marin Cilic (d. Julien Benneteau in five).

The 23-year-old Tsonga was playing in his first match since May after undergoing right knee surgery.

Three unseeded Americans advanced in Robby Ginepri (d. an injured Amer Delic), Robert Kendrick (d. Nicolas Mahut in four), and Sam Warburg who benefited when Janko Tipsarevic retired in the second set with injury.

Other winners on the day were Ernests Gulbis (d. Thomas Johansson), former No. 1 Carlos Moya (d. Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi in four), Agustin Calleri (d. American Austin Krajicek), Victor Hanescu (d. Albert Montanes in four), and Aussie Chris “Penthouse” Guccione (d. Jesse Levine in four).

“It was a good experience,” said Krajicek, a cousin of former Wimbledon champ Richard Krajicek and a freshman at Texas A&M. “My goal is to play pro, and I think college tennis is a good route. I’m improving a lot out there and I hope it will make the transition to turning pro easier.”

Highlights Thursday include (9) James Blake vs. Steve Darcis, (1) Rafael Nadal vs. Ryler De Heart, (10) Stan Wawrinka vs. Wayne Odesnik, (24) Paul-Henri Mathieu vs. Mardy Fish, and (6) Andy Murray vs. Michael Llodra.

Three Seeds Fall, Jankovic Pooped Wednesday at US Open

World No. 2 Jelena Jankovic, struggling with a handful of players to exit the US Open as the No. 1 player in the world, looked to be struggling the most in an exhausting 6-3, 6-7(5), 7-5 win over Sofia Arvidsson.

In light of recent injuries, the Serb says she has not been training as hard as she would like and is not in the best of shape. In the third set Jankovic went down, but not for the entire count, falling then lying still on the court.

“I was just tired, and I couldn’t get up,” said Jankovic, who cramped after the match. “I was so exhausted at that moment. I was breathing hard, and I didn’t have the energy to get up. That was the reason I was just lying there without, you know, kind of moving. I was just trying to come back to, you know, normal position where I can just stand up and regroup again and play the next point. That was it…I would have loved to, you know, take a nap on court, because I was really exhausted.”

Other Top 10-seeded winners were (3) Svetlana Kuznetsova (d. Sorana Cirstea), and (5) Elena Dementieva (d. Pauline Parmentier).

“I think this girl, the French girl, I think maybe she was not playing at her best,” Dementieva said. “Maybe she was a little bit nervous. But it was quite difficult because of the wind, you know, and the sun.”

Other seeded winners were (12) Marion Bartoli (d. Virginia Ruano Pascual), (14) Victoria Azarenka (d. Iveta Benesova), (15) Patty Schnyder (d. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova), (21) Caroline Wozniacki (d. Maria Camerin), (23) Lindsay Davenport (d. the rotund Alisa Kleybanova), (28) Katarina Srebotnik (d. Yvonne Meusburger), and (29) Sybille Bammer (d. Aravane Rezai), all in straight sets.

Orchestrating upsets Wednesday were Tatiana Perebiynis who ousted No. 8 Vera Zvonareva, Brit Anne Keothavong who oustlasted No. 25 Francesca Schiavone in three, and China’s Jie Zheng who eased past No. 26 Anabel Medina Garrigues.

Thursday’s highlights includes the Williams sisters, Ana Ivanovic, and Dinara Safina in action, and (17) Alize Cornet vs. Bethanie Mattek.


MUHAMMAD PASSES ON USC, GOES PRO: 17-year-old Asia Muhammad made the decision to go pro following her first-round loss at the US Open, making her no longer eligible to play for USC. The decision now makes her eligible to collect the minimum $25,000 for competing in singles, doubles and mixed doubles at the US Open. In March Muhammad lost in the final of the Las Vegas Challenger, but hasn’t progressed past the second round in any other events. Muhammad trains at Andre Agassi’s facility in Las Vegas, and will play mixed at the US Open with Sam Querrey. “Asia has been training 4-7 hours a day, with me, Gil Reyes who is one of the best trainers in the world, and even had the thrill of hitting with Steffi and Andre,” said her coach Tim Blenkiron. “Being great at this level takes sacrifice and Asia has been willing to trade the parties, and time with friends for long hours of training and hard work. She has earned every bit of her success. But we have a long way to go.”

DELIC DOWN BUT NOT OUT: Former NCAA champ Amer Delic lost in straight sets to fellow American Robby Ginepri on Wednesday at the US Open, nursing a shoulder injury that is not a tear, but is slow healing. “The plan was to serve and volley,” Delic said. “With Robby you have Plan A, Plan B, Plan C — I had to play Plan F.” Delic entered the event with almost three weeks of no serving, and on Monday beat Ginepri in doubles before the shoulder flared up. In April the 26-year-old underwent surgery to correct excessive sweating, recommended by the pro-golfing girlfriend of fellow player Kevin Anderson. “It’s life altering,” said Delic of the surgery. The American will after the Open head to Asia for the Tokyo and Beijing ATP events, and play some Challengers in Europe. Last year at this time Delic went through a massive slump. “I joke with my friends, the good thing is, I have zero points to defend the rest of the year,” Delic said.

MISC: Florida’s Austin Krajicek has been named as a hitting partner for the upcoming U.S. Davis Cup tie at Spain…Gail Brodsky of Brooklyn has turned pro…Interesting that the ATP pulled the plug on the Bangalore event over security concerns, but the India vs. Australia cricket series will be held in Bangalore (whispers were that the event has failed to attract top players and was looking for a reason to bail)…Elena Dementieva refused comment on the Ashley Harkleroad Playboy magazine spread…Novak Djokovic looked fine walking around the stadium tunnels post-match after his ankle scare…Seen and Heard: John McEnroe, Sr., politicking in the Ashe Stadium tunnels with passersby for the ATP Chairman job vacated by Etienne de Villiers…Lots of Tennis Channel people poking around the US Open tennis center, scoping out the grounds for when they join ESPN in taking over television coverage from USA Network in 2009.

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51 Comments for Roddick Soars, Jankovic Dragging at US Open

jane Says:

Jankovic needs to play more offensively; no wonder she’s pooped running around like mad 8 feet behind the baseline. She’s got the talent and shots to do better. She needs to play less tournaments and train a bit harder. And then just step in and let it rip. With her variety I think she could be number 1 – I mean really BE number 1, if you know what I mean.

jane Says:

Roddick was also very successful at the net; he seemed confident in getting up there tonight, coming in 34 times over the 3 sets and winning 74% of the time. That’s darn good! Even Federer only won 66% of his 32 net approaches in his first round match.

Roddick looked really sharp tonight; if he can continue playing like this, he’s gotta be considered a serious contender here, no matter what the nay-sayers say.

Gulbis, however, will be a much tougher test because Gulbis will not be over-powered; he’s got a lot of power of his own. But he can be inconsistent and he doesn’t have the slam experience of Roddick. So if Roddick can stay focused, then we’ll see.

zola Says:

Roddick completely over-powered Santoro. Will be interesting how he will play against Gulbis. I want to see a Roddick-Djoko QF but I wanted Santoro to win a set. Not a lot of magic tonight, but still very entertaining to watch.

I watched a bit of Jankovic’s match and I felt that she took a lot of time between her points. She did look tired. I did not see the “hand” incident.

jane Says:

Oh I don’t think the hand incident was a big deal; maybe Jelena didn’t even see her put up her hand. I didn’t notice it, until the commentators went off about it, that is, and then they showed a replay.

“Novak Djokovic looked fine walking around the stadium tunnels post-match after his ankle scare…” Well that’s good to hear. That, I did see. He came over the front of it when lunging for a ball and then called the trainer immediately. It was kind of funny because Clement decided to have his thighs worked on in the process. Guess he was tired. Anyhow, I think Novak should wrap his ankles as a precautionary measure, like Roger apparently always does. It makes sense.

zola Says:

Rafa tapes his ankles too and I think it make sense. I think Murray wears braces.
That’s the part of tennis that is hardest to watch. when someone gets injured. Like Andy Murray’s wrist injury last year or RAfa’s knee injury in the open. I am glad I did not see Djoko twisting his ankle. Hopefully he will be fine.

NachoF Says:

I think Gulbis beats Roddick in 4….. Roddick will not be able to get up to the net cause he will be easily passed and when it comes down to rallies from the baseline Gulbis will have the upper hand most of the times.

Sanjeev Says:

Roddick played really well – I never expected it. I doubt he’ll win his current draw considering Djokovic is in it. Although last year at some tournament Roddick beat Novak…I doubt it will repeat. Check out my article for more info/opinions on the US Open:

Andy Roddick Says:

that was this year’s dubai tournament you douche

JoshDragon Says:

I’m going with Roddick in four sets over Gulbis. Roddick usually plays his best at the US Open and I think he may be able to make it a ways into the draw.

Von Says:


I would love for you to be right about Roddick. I’d like to see him go deep but he’s got one of the toughest draws. I’ll keep the faith. :)

Von Says:

Andy Roddick
Is that really you? I doubt it, bit if it is, I’m one of your beiggest fans — an all weather one — through the good and bad times. :)

jane Says:

Andy Roddick,

It’s true – she is your biggest fan.


Gulbis played two tight sets with Johansson, winning one 7-5 and one 7-6, but the other, he won 6-1, so he can dominate. I am not sure he’s the type to adjust as needed throughout a match though. He has the game to move up the ranks; I am just not sure if he’s there yet.

Thus, I am giving Roddick the edge too, but I think it’ll be a tight match, filled with powerful shots. I am looking forward to it – Friday night under the lights – should be fun!

Von Says:


If Gulbis had a difficult time with Tomas Johansson, who’s been struggling for quite a few years with some arm issues, then I think Andy has a good chance of pulling off the win. Tomas has a poor H2H against Andy. FYI, last evening John McEnroe was just gushing about Andy, for once, normally it’s the other way around, but he’s happy Andy is using his brother, PMac’s coaching abilities. My point in all of this is that Johnny Mc stated that Andy is one of the most popular guys in the locker room. That says a lot for Andy’s wit and glibness. Johnny Mc also stated he likes Roddick. You could have knocked me down with a feather — I was shocked. Friday night should be fun.

Von Says:

I suppose Sean Randall is on vacation, maybe in NYC at the USO. I haven’t seen any articles or posts from him for this week.

Sean, if the above is true, say hello to NYC for me. Give my regards to Broadway, say hello to Herald Square — you can finish the song….. :P

I like tennis bullies not tennis sissies Says:

bully arod smashes santoro with a serve, sweet!

jane Says:

Von, Johnny Mac actually said he’s a “fan” of Roddick’s; that was nice to hear. I do expect Andy to beat Gulbis, but I just think Gulbis will be a tougher contest than Santoro as he can match Roddick for power. Gulbis, according to the USO website article, is being compared to a young Safin in tennis circles so he’s definitely got potential. But I don’t think this will be his break-through year.

Looks like Murray went on walk-about for a set against Llorda, losing it 1-6. I can’t figure out why he does that sometimes.

Colin Says:

Jane – I’ve been listening to BBC radio commentary on Llodra-Murray, and it sounds as if Murray has been far too casual. OK, he doesn’t want to expend too much energy early in the tournament, but I hope he can raise the intensity when it’s needed, as it will be later on.

jane Says:


Murray has a tendency to do that and it bugs me; he can also get too defensive. I am a big fan of his tennis; I find his game thrilling to watch when it’s on because of his sheer talent and variety. But he has these sets from time-to-time that he just tanks. It reminds me of Nalbandian. I think, though, Murray has better focus and stonger desire than Nalby so he should get it all together and win some slams! I hope so anyhow.

JoshDragon Says:


Roddick hasn’t had a very good year especially at the majors. If you look at his major results this year (3rd round Australia, didn’t play at the French, 2nd round Wimbledon,) it would be hard to justify his place in the top ten. Andy, knows this and I think this will give him an extra incentive to make a run at the US Open.

S Green Says:

If you like chip-n-charge match, Murray-Llodra was the best.
It was difficult, but he pulled it off.

blah Says:

Ugh. Llodra could’ve taken it to five if he used better strategy.

jane Says:

Yep, that Murray Llodra match was entertaining; Llorda did have a shot to get it to five, but as Courier pointed out, he kept hitting to Murray’s strong backhand side rather than to the weaker forehand, and that cost him at crucial moments, especially in the tiebreak.

Leftykick Says:


Leftykick Says:

Murray is turning into Jankovic!!!
I wish he would be more offensive and take the game to his opponent more – just ask his former coach:

Leftykick Says:

Murray is turning into Jankovic!!!
I wish he would be more offensive and take the game to his opponent more – just ask his former coach…

blah Says:

When’s the last time a s and ver got to a slam final? Does one have to go far back to Rafter or Sampras?

S Green Says:

For Fed fans, there is a Facebook group called “If tennis were a religion then Roger Federer would be God.” And John Isner is one of the officers of the group, with the subtitle, “Head and sholders above everyone.”

Sean Randall Says:

Sorry Von, I can’t say hello to NY for you, wish I could but I’m not there.

I like to post after each round but looks like I’m tardy as round two of the mens bracket is well under way.

Maybe I will post later…

NachoF Says:

I think Gulbis is destined to be much more than a new Safin…, according to Nadal he is the future of tennis, and I DO think this could be his breakthrough year… so watch out Novak! cause hes gonna get you as well.

jane Says:

I agree that Gulbis is the “future” of tennis, but it’s the present. There is a chance he’ll get Roddick, of course; I recognize him as a serious threat.

But if I were Novak, I’d be more worried about the winner of Safin vs. Tsonga first (should those two meet). And furthermore, if Gulbis does beat Novak, then there is a very good chance he’ll beat Federer, given that Novak has had a better year on hardcourts than Roger. So be careful what you wish for. ;-)

NachoF Says:

To be honest Im just wishing for the weakest link to get to the semi so it can be easier for Roger :)

jane Says:

I know NachoF, hence I was taunting you a bit. I hope the best guy wins (out of Novak, Roger and Roddick ideally)!

Roddick is a zebra Says:

Ok! I admit I was wrong! I took a good look at Roddick yesterday, and I got to say he looked more like a zebra than a donkey.

Back to bullying the lower ranked players before he gets kicked like the village mule by, someone who has game. Who is that someone going to be? Gulbis? Djokovic? Whoever it is, it will be fun to watch!

Go Zebra!

tenski Says:

I lost all respect for Santoro last night. What a pussy. If you are going to play pro tennis then expect a few balls coming your way.

Even with the guys I play with I have been hit a few times, you just suck it up and keep going.

S Green Says:

My man Troicki takes care of Kohls. Is he on the march to making a big upset in the next round?

JCF Says:

“When’s the last time a s and ver got to a slam final? Does one have to go far back to Rafter or Sampras?”

I think it was Rafter and Ivanisevic in 01 Wimbledon.

Latent Talent Says:

Sampras in USopen final 01 and 02. Phillipoussis in 03 Wimbledon. In the 03 final, Federer S and Ved a good number of times as well (definitely not in the league of Sampras and co)

JCF Says:

Oops. Forgot about Phil. And Pete. Will be a while before we see another S&Ver in a final.

blah Says:

aye. I missed the 90’s, good balance of serve and volley and baseline players. All signs point to serve and volleying not making a return in the next decades though.

Von Says:

Sean Randall:

“Sorry Von, I can’t say hello to NY for you, wish I could but I’m not there.”

Gosh, darn it, Sean, now I have to behave myself? I can’t go on one of my Roddick tirades. I’m so sad!!!! :P

Von Says:

“I lost all respect for Santoro last night. What a pussy. If you are going to play pro tennis then expect a few balls coming your way.”

I think Santoro was ticked off at not winning a set and then the ball which nearly took off his head, made the situation worse. I expected better from such a veteran — he should know that it was not intentional, and I’m sure it wasn’t his first experience.

Von Says:


“.. before he gets kicked like the village mule by,….”

Be careful you don’t get kicked by the mule and/or the zebra. it will be a double whammy, and we’ll all get a kick (pun intended) out of watching you get kicked. You just love yanking the Roddick fans’ chains don’t you? I think you’re so funny. Anyway, I enjoy the humour. BTW, I love zebras, and I know you do.

Von Says:



“Roddick hasn’t had a very good year especially at the majors. ….. Andy, knows this and I think this will give him an extra incentive to make a run at the US Open.”

I agree, and that’s why he’s trying to focus on salvaging the balance of the season.

I like tennis bullies not tennis sissies like Santoro Says:

zebras can kick pretty hard..

Von Says:

I like tennis bullies:

“zebras can kick pretty hard..”

You’ve said it! a kick from a zebra plus a donkey and he’ll be kicked into the next court in smithereens, and then Roddick will have the last laugh. You know the saying: “He who laughs last, laughs the hardest.” A swift kick = a barrel of laughs!! :P

Roddick is a zebra Says:

I think I like my odds of zebras serving as food to the lions.

You know the saying : Once a donkey gets mauled by a lion, he is dead?

How many times has roddick laughed this year? 2 times? He has been roadkill 10 times already!

How pathetic of jonny mac and the other idiot to keep mentioning that muller beat nadal at 2005 wimbledon but not how he made a donkey out of roddick after all those mojo ads at the 2005 US Open, in the 1st round!

Like tommy haas told courier to get his tongue off fed’s ass at the 2005 australian open, some one should tell the american media to get their heads out of the american players’ butts and see the world in a more fair way.

Von Says:

R/zebra/latent/fedex/K/and/or aliases, too many to mention:

“Like tommy haas told courier to get his tongue off fed’s ass at the 2005 australian open, some one should tell the american media to get their heads out of the american players’ butts and see the world in a more fair way.”

As Johnny Mc says “You cannot be serious”. the American media sucking up to Roddick? You’ve got to be kidding. It’s the other way around. They drool and suck up to Fed NOT Roddick. Today, Johnny Mc had an excuse for every one of Fed’s errors. The US media/commentators are the most critical and biased when it concerns Roddick. Even if the guys takes an honest breath of air, they’re ready to crucify him. They’re awful, and the head honcho is Johnny Mc and his little side-kicks Carillo and Robinson. Be a bigger person with some objectivity and honesty; it’s healthy for the mind and/or body. Blake is so many rungs down the ladder in terms of talent and success and he’s spared all of the criticism, but Roddick is slaughtered. You’re entitled to your opinion but i think you’re a quite a bit off and your prejudice is cluding your judgment.

Von Says:

please excuse typo: ‘cluding’ last line of post, s/b ‘clouding’

Barbara Says:

Roddick? The biggest waste of time in American men’s tennis. I hope he retires early!

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