Friday, 2 September 2016

US Open Day 4 - Rain & Roof

Rain interrupted proceedings on Day four of the US Open and for once at Flushing Meadows there was tennis played despite the weather wanting otherwise.  The dividend from the new roof on Arthur Ashe Stadium began to be paid as, while players scheduled to compete on other courts twiddled their thumbs, Simona Halep battled with Lucie Safarova on the protected Centre Court.

Thankfully, the rain delays were brief enough to allow the completion of the full singles programme, including the impressive victory of fifth seed Halep in straight sets.  Many. breaks of serve occurred in the match, but the chances offered Safarova to remain in contention were repeatedly blown and Simona eventually decided that since her generosity was being wasted, she would simply finish off the job and reach the third round 6-3 6-4.

Andy Murray, serving first and with an early break was quickly leading Marcel Granollers 4-1, before a lapse from the number two seed gave the Spanish player some heart.  A number of chances to level at 5-5 came to nought, and Murray ended up breaking for the set 6-4.  That was all she wrote, the rest of the contest not really a contest and Andy handily into round three 6-4 6-1 6-4.
Expecting to play 30th seed Gilles Simon, Andy will instead meet Italian Paolo Lorenzi who took five sets to knock over the Frenchman.

Another of Murray's expected opponents was to be 16th seed Feliciano Lopez in the round of sixteen, but that won't happen either, as Lopez lost his second round match to unseeded Joao Sousa from Portugal.  Not a huge upset, since Sousa is ranked 36 in the world; more of a shock because of Joao's recent form, losing in the opening round of half his tournaments since Roland Garros.

Juan Martin Del Potro defeated 19th seed American Steve Johnson in straight sets and his third round task will be to relieve 11th seed David Ferrer of his singles duties.  Ferrer in his second round encounter took the long route, finally overcoming Fognini in five sets.

Thiem, Wawrinka and Kyrgios all won in straight sets, and could well, given current form, together with Delpo, form the basis of two fantastic fourth round matches.

The Williams sisters both succeeded in their second round matches, each requiring the minimum of fuss, but no more convincing than Karolina Pliskova or Carla Suarez Navarro.  

Carla dumped 2008 finalist Jelena Jankovic 6-1 6-4, surrendering her first games for the tournament, while Pliskova is threatening to actually go beyond the third round in a major for the first time in her career.  She showed no mercy to Paraguayan qualifier Montserrat Gonzalez in the first set, sealing it 6-1 and although she eased up to win 6-1 7-5, Pliskova is primed for her next match, a ripper against 18th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

No big name casualties like we saw on Day three, although another former US Open champion left the tournament.  16th seed Samantha Stosur, the.2011 winner, was no match for Shuai Zhang, bowing out to the unseeded Chinese player 6-3 6-3.

England's Naomi Broady caused Aga Radwanska some anxious first set moments forcing the fourth seed to a tie breaker which Aga eventually won 11-9, and then the match 7-6 6-3.

Day Five sees the first of the third round singles matches and potential for some great contests - Kvitova v Svitolina, Tsonga v Anderson, Konta v Bencic and Pouille v Bautista Agut  are just some to savour.

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