Day three saw Andy Murray finally get on the court and get his title defence underway, but the weather issues that have so far marred this year’s showpiece event at Flushing Meadows continued. Before Murray overcame Michael Llodra players had been pulled off the court because of the risk of lightning, and the slow progress of this tournament has seen the holder have to wait until the third game on Friday to play his second round match. Read on for a recap of days three and four of the US Open:
Along with Murray’s superb and professional win in straight sets against Llodra, there were generally fairly straight forward wins for the seeds in the men’s half of the draw, with Juan Martin del Potro, Kevin Anderson, Mikhail Youzhny, Andreas Seppi and Stanislas Wawrinka recording comfortable wins as the tournament went up a gear. Nevertheless, there were a few upsets, with 29th seed Jurgen Melzer going down in straight sets to the Russia Evgeny Donskoy and the unseeded Rajeev Ram overcoming 16th seed Fabio Fognini in comprehensive fashion.
Over in the women’s tournament, Venus Williams lost in three sets to Jie Zheng whilst Brit hopeful Laura Robson marched into the third round with a routine victory over 19-year old Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia. Elsewhere, Li, Hampton, Stephens and Radwanska cruised into the next round to set up some great potential fourth round clashes.
With all round one games finally completed, Thursday saw a much greater rate of game completion than the previous days. Rafael Nadal continued his superb run of form with a straightforward victory over world No.505 Brazilian Daniel Dutra Da Silva, and given his emphatic 6-2, 6-1, 6-0 win, the top players have every reason to be scared of Nadal this year. Not to be outdone, former no.1 Roger Federer also won with ease, recording a 6-3, 6-2. 6-1victory over Argentine Carlos Berlocq. Elsewhere in the men’s, there were wins for Milos Raonic, David Ferrer and John Isner as the majority of the big boys came through unscathed. The match of the day was probably the UK’s Dan Evans continuing his unlikely progress at the expense of Australian Bernard Tomic.
When it comes to the women’s tournament, we always expect a lot of Serena, and Serena (nearly) always delivers, and she did again in New York with a straight sets victory over Kazakhstani Galina Voskoboeva. Eighth seed Angelique Kerber also won in one of the games of the round, defeating Eugenie Bouchard in three sets. Caroline Wosniacki made short work of Chanelle Scheepers whilst 2nd seed Victoria Azarenka beat Aleksandra Wozniak to show Serena that it’s not all going to be plain sailing for the world number one. Elsewhere, there were wins for Lisicki, Vinci, Kirilenko and Kvitova as seeds generally prevailed; although Sorana Cirstea was surprisingly undone in straight sets by unseeded Kurumi Nara.
With Nadal in this sort of form, it’s hard to look past the Spaniard, but with Murray on court later today, the Scot will certainly want to put his mark down on the tournament and show that he is more than a match for the former world number one. With Federer and Djokovic still in the tournament too, this year’s US Open has got all the makings of a classic.