Monday, 31 August 2009

US Open

Venus Williams
Serena Williams

Tatjana Malek

Alexandra Wozniak

2202: Tommy Haas's match with Alejandro Falla is still in the balance - Falla served for the third set at 5-4 but failed he is serving to stay in it at 5-6. It also appears that Haas might need a trainer next too - not sure whether he is also suffering from blisters but we will find out soon enough.
BBC Radio 5 live's Steve Rudge tweeting from Flushing Meadows: "Andy Murray v Ernests Gulbis on 5 live in the early hours of wednesday AM - approx 0230 BST. Right now, 'New York, New York' on the stadium speakers. Original!"
2153: Er, that 'comeback' by Nuria Llagostera Vives didn't last long. From 3-3 in the second set, she won only one more game and went out 6-0 6-4 to seventh seed Vera Zvonareva of Russia. The seventh seed plays either Yurika Sema or Anna Chakvetadze of Russia next - Sema took the first set of that match 6-4.
BBC Radio 5 live's Jonathan Overend tweeting from Flushing Meadows: "Out on Court six for a landmark moment in Turkish tennis - qualifier Marsel Ilhan beats Christophe Rochus - the first ever Grand Slam singles win for a Turkish player."
2145: Problems for Alejandro Falla, who came through three qualifying matches to make the first round. He is still a break up in the third set against Tommy Hass, leading 4-3 but is having a medical time-out while he has a problem with a blister on his hand sorted out. This whole thing reminds me of previous matches I've had against a certain Caroline Cheese, who is known to show off a few 'blisters' on her hand, usually when she's lost...
2136: Amelie Mauresmo is through! She served for the match against Tatjana Malek at 5-4 and came back from 15-40 to see it out 6-3 6-4, with a characteristic wobble along the way. The 17th seed will play Canada's Aleksandra Wozniak next. Wozniak beat Laura Granville 6-1 7-6 (9-7) in her first-round match.
2132: After losing the first set 6-0, Spain's Nuria Llagostera Vives is making more of a game of it against Vera Zvonareva in the second set, which is currently with serve at 3-3. And, on Court 11, Alejandro Falla is back from his extended toilet break and is a break up at 3-1 in the third set against 20th seed Tommy Haas.
2126: It's not all bad news for the Rochus family tonight though. Christophe's younger brother Olivier looks set to make it to the second round as he leads Russia's Igor Kunitsyn 6-3 6-0 3-2. Amelie Mauresmo is almost through too - she leads Tatjana Malek 6-3 5-3.
2122: I'm still waiting for more news on tomorrow's order of play - the only thing I know at the moment is that Andy Murray will follow Maria Sharapova as the second night match, meaning he will play Ernests Gulbis in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Here's another result for you too - the world number 221, Marsel Ilhan of Turkey, who is playing in the main draw of the US Open for the first time, has battled past Belgium's Christope Rochus 3-6 6-3 3-6 7-5 7-5.
2115: It's game-on over on Court 11, where Alejandro Falla has taken the second set 6-4 against 20th seed Tommy Haas to level the match at a set-all. The Colombian has just disappeared through the crowd for a toilet break, and nobody seems to know where the nearest toilet actually is. He could be a while then.
2113: Defending champion Roger Federer after starting his bid for a sixth-successive US Open title with a 6-1 6-3 7-5 win over Devin Britton, the world number 1,370: "It was difficult. I didn't know anything of my opponent, or what his technique was. I played well in the beginning but I struggled after that. I was down a break in the second and third. It was tricky but I'm just glad I got through."
2107: It's bagel-time on Grandstand Court, where Vera Zvonareva has taken the first set 6-0 against Nuria Llagostera Vives in just 17 minutes. There is some good news for the Spaniard though - she held serve to take the first game of the second set... is a comeback on the cards?
2101: There's no way back for Glatch now. Some more punishing groundstrokes take Serena Williams to match-point and a big forehand down the line is enough to put the defending champion into the second round with a 6-4 6-1 win. Easy-peasy for the three-time champion.
2058: Serena Williams seems to have put some of her earlier inconsistency behind her and is closing in on victory over Alexa Glatch. The defending champion puts away a potentially tricky backhand from close to the net and leads 6-4 5-1. She has won the last five games and a place in round two looks very close now.
2052: Blimey, I look away for two minutes and Mauresmo wins three games in a row to take the first set 6-3. Meanwhile, seventh seed Vera Zvonareva has started like a train against Spain's Nuria Llagostera Vives, breaking twice to open up a 3-0 lead.
2046: Serena is a break up at the start of the second set too, leading 3-1. Meanwhile, over on Louis Armstrong Court, Amelie Mauresmo has just started her first-round match with Tatjana Malek, which is going with serve in the first set. Mauresmo has lost in the last eight at Flushing Meadows four times and has been beaten in the semi-finals twice so she certainly has a decent record in New York. More worryingly for the veteran French star, she hasn't been past the fourth round at a Grand Slam since she reached the last four here in 2006. Can she put that right this year?
2042: Just a reminder of tonight's late matches, that begin at 0000 BST. Venus Williams, the 1999 women's champion, takes on Russia's Vera Dushevina before Andy Roddick, who clinched the men's title in 2003, takes on Germany's Bjorn Phau.
2037: Tommy Haas, three times a quarter-finalist at Flushing Meadows and a semi-finalist at Wimbledon earlier this year, is out on Court 11 against Colombia's Alejandro Falla. Haas, the 20th seed, has made a good start too - taking the first set 7-5, and he is already a break up in the second set, leading 2-0.
2031: Back to the Arthur Ashe Court, where Serena Williams is back on track against Alexa Glatch. Serving for the first set for the second time, she moves 40-0 up and clinches it 6-4 with an ace, her fourth of the match.
2028: We've just found out when Andy Murray will start his US Open campaign... his match against Latvia's Ernests Gulbis is Tuesday's second night match, following Maria Sharapova's clash with Tsvetana Pironkova. Shara won't start her match until midnight British time so, if we're talking BST, Murray will be playing in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Worth staying up for though...
2024: Oooh. I told you earlier that Serena Williams was making mistakes and, erm, she still is. Leading 5-2 and serving for the first set, she loses a bit of focus and finds herself facing two break-points. Serena saves one, but Glatch attacks a weak(ish) second serve on the next point and cleans up - she's still a break down, mind, but at least she is alive and kicking.
2021: More Fed news. The defending champion will play Simon Greul in round two after the German, the world number 65, beat Ecuador's Giovanni Lapentti 6-3 4-6 3-6 6-0 7-6 (11-9). A bit of a marathon, that one.
2018: Another men's seed has tumbled out, with John Isner beating Romania's Victor Hanescu, seeded 28th, in straight sets - including that marathon tie-break. The American won 6-1 7-6 (16-14) 7-6 (7-5) and will play Christophe Rochus or Marsel Ilhan in round two - that one has just gone into a fifth set.
2015: Serena breaks again, with a huge backhand winner, and she is now 4-1 - and two breaks up - on the world number 103.
2010: Back on the Arthur Ashe Court and Alexa Glatch is off the mark against Serena, but the defending champion is still a break up in the first set, leading 3-1. Both players are making plenty of mistakes right now, and they are both wearing 'hot pink' outfits too. Those two things are probably not connected to be honest.
2005: It was a bit of a struggle at times but Spain's Tommy Robredo has come through his first-round match with America's Donald Young. The 14th seed won 6-4 3-6 6-2 6-3.
2002: Not a great start for Alexa Glatch against Serena Williams on the Arthur Ashe Court. Her first double fault sees her broken in the very first game.
From BulletMonkey on 606: "A good opening win for Roger Federer, but Devin Britton looks like he could be pretty handy in a few years. Keep an eye on him..."
1956: Sounds like an extraordinary second set tie-break over on Louis Armstrong Court, where America's John Isner triumphed 16-14 to move two sets up against 28th seed Victor Hanescu - it's just a shame I didn't see a single point of it. They are just about to have another tie-break in the third set so I'll get back to you in an hour or so when they've finished and let you know how they got on.
1952: We've just seen the defending men's champion strut his stuff - now it's Serena Williams' turn. Like Federer, she is up against an American wildcard - Alexa Glatch, who has not won a match on hard-courts this season. Doesn't bode too well, does it?
< class="inlineText" href="" __eventidglow505264579="127">From clairefedererfan on 606: "Federer is cruising through in first or second gear, nowhere near top gear. Pops himself into third to get back on serve every so often."
Federer 6-1 6-3 6-5* BrittonOnly one hiccup here for Federer - a drop-shot attempt that falls just the wrong side of the net. Four big serves mean he still holds with comfortably, and the pressure switches back to Britton.
Federer *6-1 6-3 5-5 BrittonA couple more booming serves, both to the Federer forehand, and a precise backhand winner into the corner put Britton 40-0 up and make you feel as though he is a champion in the making. As we've seen in the last hour-and-a-half or so, it doesn't last. Fed perseveres and claws his way back to deuce and it takes some brave serve-volleying from Britton to hold. For a moment there, it looked like we were near the end.
Federer 6-1 6-3 5-4* BrittonA double-fault by Federer, his third of the match, gets him off to a bad start but Britton seems to have lost the plot a bit, and at such a crucial time too. His forehand is now wild rather than inspired and more mistakes mean Fed does not have to work hard to hold - Britton will serve to stay in the match next, he needs to pull himself together and fast.
Federer *6-1 6-3 4-4 BrittonErm, no. At 30-all, Britton is actually looking good but a sloppy forehand volley flies long and, on the next point, he mis-hits a forehand that loops horribly out. That was a chance, but he wasted it - will he get another one? We're back with serve in this third set.
Federer 6-1 6-3 3-4* BrittonCrikey, I didn't see that coming! Britton again attacks the Fed serve and it pays off, forcing the Swiss star on the back foot and into a series of mistakes - culminating in a backhand into the net that means Britton is a break up in this third set. Now, can he hold himself this time?
Federer *6-1 6-3 3-3 BrittonBritton is not just a one-trick serving pony - he can mix them up to good effect, and when Fed appears to get the measure of things on his forehand, he switches to a kick-serve to the champion's backhand. It works, and he holds to love. Impressive stuff from last year's junior US Open runner-up.
Federer 6-1 6-3 3-2* BrittonAnother solid service game from Federer, who backs up some big deliveries with some strong shots from the back of the court. Too good for Britton.
Federer *6-1 6-3 2-2 BrittonCredit to Britton - he is still serving, and volleying, well too. He holds and is still level in this third set. For now.
Tommy Robredo, seeded 14th, has just lost the second set 6-4 to America's Donald Young - that match is level at one-set apiece. And eighth seed Nikolay Davydenko has broken back against Dieter Kindlmann to ensure the third set is now going with serve at 4-4. Over on Court 11, Robin Soderling looks on course for victory over Albert Montanes after going a break up in the fourth set - he leads 6-1 3-6 6-1 5-3.
Federer 6-1 6-3 2-1* BrittonThe top seed is still serving like a dream and Britton can do nothing to stop it. The American is still trying those big returns, but they stopped working around the middle of the second set.
Federer *6-1 6-3 1-1 BrittonBritton occasionally looks unbeatable at the net but throw in a couple of low shots and you can see why he still has a lot of improving to do - if he has to stoop for anything he invariably makes an error. Having said all that, he keeps coming in and gets his reward - he is off the mark in the third set and that darned bagel graphic has still not got an outing.
News of a first defeat for a men's seed. Paul-Henri Mathieu, seeded 26th, has lost 2-6 7-5 6-0 6-2 to Russia's Mikhail Youzhny.
Federer 6-1 6-3 1-0 Britton*Federer's serve has been smooth as you like today - the one game he has dropped was more to do with Britton's superb returning than any drop in standard by the champion - and he is untroubled again here, bossing things from the back of the court.
SECOND SETFederer *6-1 6-3 BrittonBritton is fighting on (the battle of Britton?) but a double fault when he is advantage up does not help his cause. Two stinging returns by Federer are too hot for the American to handle and the Swiss star is quickly two sets up - that second set took him 29 minutes.
Federer 6-1 5-3* BrittonOn the plus side for Britton, he did at least win a point following a run of 12 in a row for Federer. He didn't manage a sniff of a break, though, and the champ will fancy his chances of closing this set out in the next game.
Federer *6-1 4-3 BrittonHmmm, Britton (or Little Britton as some of you have christened him on 606 despite him being 6ft 3in) is still going backwards and he cannot win a point, let alone a game, at the moment. He is broken to love and Fed is in control of this second set.
By the way, Slammin' Sam came good in the end - Sam Stosur, seeded 15th, battled her way into round two with a 6-4 4-6 6-4 victory over Ai Sugiyama of Japan. Lots of mistakes from both players, especially on serve - Stosur converted seven of 13 break points and Sugiyama six of 16. But it was Stosur who prevailed to set up a second-round meeting with unseeded American Vania King.
Federer 6-1 3-3* BrittonNo repeat from Britton of the heroics he produced on Federer's last service game. He tries to find more of those big forehands but they have dried up just as quickly as they appeared. Instead, those unforced errors are back - not good when you are facing the five-time champion...
More news from around the courts. We could be about to see our first seed to fall on the men's side of the draw. Paul-Henri Mathieu, trailing by two sets to one against Mikhail Youzhny, is a break down in the fourth set and trails 2-3. Elsewhere, Spanish 14th seed Tommy Robredo has taken the first set against unseeded American Donald Young and Nikolay Davydenko is now two sets up against Dieter Kindlmann but 3-0 down in the third set.
Federer *6-1 2-3 BrittonAh, that didn't last long did it? Britton follows up the best game of his life (probably) with one of his worst, capped by a lame half-volley that clips the net and flies into a tramline. We're back with serve in the second set.
Federer 6-1 1-3* BrittonEr, did I mention Britton's forehand was a weak link!? It seems to have turned into something of a weapon in the space of a few minutes - two huge cross-court winners off the Fed serve help the American break to love. Brilliant stuff.
Federer *6-1 1-2 BrittonIt's fair to say Britton's forehand is his weakest shot but he can still pull out the odd cracker on that flank, and slams down a big winner to seal another impressive service game. Not sure how many points he has won from the back of the court - it hasn't been many - but maybe this is a sign of things to come?
Federer 6-1 1-1 *BrittonBreaking Federer is not quite so easy though - and the champion again holds to love. He has won 89% of points off his first serve, and 80% on his second. Compare that to Britton (50% and 44%) and you can see why this game is going in only one direction.
Federer *6-1 0-1 BrittonIt would be easy for Britton to fold here but he is showing no signs of that and is rewarded for a spirited start to the second set by another hold. As long as he keeps serving well, he can hold Fed up - it's a big ask though...
Elsewhere in the men's first round, French Open finalist Robin Soderling, seeded 12th, has just seen unseeded Spaniard Albert Montanes level their match at one-set all. Mikhail Youzhny has continued his comeback against Paul-Henri Mathieu to lead 2-6 7-5 6-0 3-1 and John Isner took the first set 6-1 against 28th seed Victor Hanescu.
Federer 6-1 *BrittonA sloppy bit of serve-volley from Federer sees him waste his first set point at 40-0 but it doesn't really matter as Britton's forehand is making more mistakes than I did in my GCSE maths exam - he sees his next return fly out and Fed is a set up in just 18 minutes.
Federer *5-1 BrittonOh dear. At 30-all, Britton is in with a sniff of another hold but he goes downhill fast from there. A wild volley sails long before another poor forehand flies a mile out. Fed will serve for the first set next.
From sean2mush on 606: "Come on Britton, do it for the Queen!"
Federer 4-1 *BrittonBetter by Britton - well, he wins a point on the Federer serve anyway - but Fed ups the ante and some swinging serves out wide see him through. He's still looking very comfortable. Very comfortable indeed...
Federer *3-1 BrittonA couple of crashing serves by Britton give him a fighting chance at 30-love and it is clear he needs to put Fed on the back foot with that kind of delivery if he is to stand a chance here - Fed reaches his next three serves and wins every point. It's not looking good for the teenager but two more aces dig him out of a hole and suddenly he is on the scoreboard against the five-time champion. Well done.
BBC Radio 5 live's Alistair Eykyn's tweeting from Flushing Meadows: "Viktoriya Kutusova walloped by Kim Clijsters then not even given an interview room afterwards... left in a corridor looking lonely for the press."
Federer 3-0 *BrittonPoor Devin just cannot compete from the back of the court - Federer is able to move him around at will and either find a winner or force the mistake and he holds to love, again. Just one point dropped by the champion in the first three games.
Federer *2-0 BrittonBritton, who loves to serve and volley, gets off the mark by doing just that with the first point but that is as good as it gets for the American. Federer quickly realises that he can boss this from the back of the court and draws errors out of his opponent to take the next four points with relative ease. This looks ominous, and I fear that bagel graphic might be appearing quite soon.
Federer 1-0 *BrittonUm, not a bad start for the defending champ. Fed kicks off with an ace and does not drop a point as he holds to love.* denotes NEXT server

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