Thursday, August 28, 2014

U.S. Open Day 3 highlights: No. 4 Radwanska ousted

Agnieszka Radwanska became the first top-10 seed, male or
female, to lose in the U.S. Open. 2013 photo by Paul Bauman
   Upset of the day -- No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland became the first top-10 seed, male or female, to fall in the tournament. The 2012 Wimbledon runner-up succumbed to 39th-ranked Peng Shuai, a Chinese veteran who uses two hands on both sides, 6-3, 6-4 in the second round.
   Radwanska has failed to advance past the fourth round in nine trips to the U.S. Open. Seeded second in the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford last month, the 2013 runner-up lost in the second round to Varvara Lepchenko of the United States after receiving a bye.
   Radwanska rebounded, though, to win the Montreal title the following week.
   Matches of the day -- No. 18 Kevin Anderson of South Africa and No. 32 Joao Sousa of Portugal pulled out fifth-set tiebreakers, and No. 18 Andrea Petkovic of Germany reeled off four straight points to win a third-set tiebreaker against Monica Puig of Puerto Rico.
   Notable -- No. 7 Grigor Dimitrov earned his first U.S. Open victory after three losses, beating U.S. wild card Ryan Harrison 6-2, 7-6 (4), 6-2. No. 6 Tomas Berdych eliminated 33-year-old Lleyton Hewitt, the 2001 champion, 6-3, 6-4, 6-3.
   U.S. report -- American men and women went 1-4 combined in singles. No. 19 Venus Williams, 34, downed Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland 6-1, 6-4 in the first match of the night session in Arthur Ashe Stadium. Losing were No. 21 Sloane Stephens, wild card Madison Brengle, Steve Johnson and Harrison.
   The 21-year-old Stephens, who has dropped from a career-high No. 11 in the world last October to No. 24, lost to Johanna Larsson of Sweden 5-7, 6-4, 6-2. Johnson, a 24-year-old former USC star, retired with severe leg and arm cramps while leading Tatsuma Ito of Japan 2-6, 6-3, 7-5, 1-4.
   Northern California connection -- After the first round of men's singles, only three Americans remain: No. 13 John Isner (6-foot-10/2.08 meters), Sam Querrey (6-foot-6/1.98 meters) and Tim Smyczek (5-foot-9/1.75 meters). With half of the second round in women's singles completed, 10 U.S. players are left. Nine are scheduled to play today in the top half. Only Williams remains in the bottom half.
   Marcos Baghdatis, the Australian Open runner-up in 2006 and Aptos Challenger champion three weeks ago, retired with an ankle injury with No. 14 Marin Cilic of Croatia leading 6-3, 3-1, 0-15.
   Top-seeded Bob and Mike Bryan, former Stanford All-Americans seeking their fifth U.S. Open men's doubles title and 100th overall, coasted in the first round.
   In women's doubles, sixth-seeded Raquel Kops-Jones of San Jose and Abigail Spears of San Diego were upset by Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan and Yi-Fan Xu of China 6-4, 2-6, 6-1. Also, ex-Stanford star Nicole Gibbs, from Marina del Rey in the Los Angeles area, and Maria Sanchez, originally from Modesto, lost to Lauren Davis of Boca Raton, Fla., and Renata Voracova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 4-6, 6-1.
   Bradley Klahn, who graduated from Stanford in 2012, lost in the first round of mixed doubles with Shelby Rogers of Charleston, S.C.
   Fast fact -- No. 5 Maria Sharapova improved to 17-6 (.739) in three-set matches this year after beating Alexandra Dulgheru of Romania 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
   Quote -- No. 10 Caroline Wozniacki, after her hair got caught in her racket during her victory over qualifier Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus: “Actually, it used to happen when I didn't braid my hair. That's why I started braiding it. Once it gets to a certain length, sometimes it can get stuck in the arm of the racket. It's a first, when it's braided that it's been stuck that good in my racket. I still tried to hit the ball. Almost took my head off.”

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