No Upsets On Day 6
Top seeded players face the pressure of playing every match on main courts, under the bright lights, the humid New York summer night, every move scrutinized. Moving into the middle rounds, journeymen and younger players face the challenge of being put under the microscope. They have varying degrees of success.
Sloane Stephens picked up a ball that had just been ripped past her by Ana Ivanovic and threw it against the backwall in exasperation. Such was the case with the Stephens-Ivanovic match, one that became more frustrating than riveting as it wore on. Stephens was going through growing pains and pains in her abdominal muscle, as she would later reveal. She showcased her shot making ability, moving Ivanovic around the court during the first and second sets. But for every beautiful point, Stephens hit three errors, amassing a total of 61. Ivanovic did not play particularly well either, generating 47 errors of her own. Stephens was betrayed by her serve, hitting 10 double faults including a 68 MPH looper in the third set that landed 7 feet outside the service box.
Commentingon her loss Stephens noted, “I played really well. Things just didn’t go my way. But there are a lot of things to be learned. I just keep moving forward with that.”
Young American Jack Sock echoed Stephens saying, “I need to improve on everything.” He lost a close 4 set match to 11 seed Nicholas Almagro of Spain. The first 3 sets were decided by tiebreak with Sock taking the second.
Russian Ekataria Makarova, ranked 53, beat Serena Williams (4) earlier this year in Australia. Today, Serena got her revenge winning 6-4, 6-0. She continued her dominant play hitting only 2 unforced errors the entire match. When asked if she learned something from her previous encounter Serena responded, “Definitely I was motivated. Knowing that I lost, that could definitely happen again. I did not want that to happen.”
Twenty-year old Canadian Milos Raonic has had an excellent year rising to16 in the rankings. He defeated veteran James Blake 6-3, 6-0, 7-6.
Fellow American Sam Querrey (27) lost to 6th seed Thomas Berdych in 4 sets.
The last match on Arthur Ashe was a drawn out 6-1, 5-7, 7-6, 6-3 victory for Mardy Fish (23) over Giles Simon (16). Simon was overwhelmed by Fish early and began clutching his leg and bending forward in pain. Simon's injury seemed to throw Fish off his game.
Fish was unable to hold his usual post-match press conference because he was receiving treatment from the trainer, raisining questions about his health. His next opponent will be Roger Federer (1) in Round 3.
Federer looked his usual unstoppable self, rolling over 25th-ranked Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-4, 6-4. Meanwhile, Andy Murray (3) survived a dogfight with 30th-ranked Feliciano Lopez, 7-6(5), 7-6(5), 4-6, 7-6(4). Murray said he struggled because the Olympics interfered with the hard court tune-ups. He managed to win the deciding points, but made 48 unforced errors compared to 19 for Lopez.
On the Women’s side, 2nd seed Agnieszka Radwanska advanced, handling 30th-ranked Jelena Jankovic, 6-3, 7-5. After defeating Venus Williams in the previous round, Angelique Kerber continued her strong play by trouncing Olga Govortsova 6-1, 6-2.
Finally, the mixed doubles team of Bob Bryan and Kim Clijsters was eliminated by Ekaterina Makarova and Bruno Soares of Brazil 15-13 in the deciding tiebreak. This was Clijsters’ final professional tennis match.