Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Serb upsets giant killer Querrey in U.S. Open

Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia leaves the court at Louis Armstrong Stadium
after upsetting 29th-seeded Sam Querrey, a San Francisco native, 7-6 (4),
6-7 (0), 6-3, 6-3 in the first round of the U.S. Open. Photo by Paul Bauman
   NEW YORK -- One day, you're the toast of the tennis world.
   In the next Grand Slam tournament, you're upset in the first round in your home country by a guy who has missed most of the past three years with injuries.
   Welcome to the unpredictable, cutthroat world of professional tennis.
   Two months after stunning top-ranked Novak Djokovic en route to the Wimbledon quarterfinals, 29th-seeded Sam Querrey lost to Janko Tipsarevic 7-6 (4), 6-7 (0), 6-3, 6-3 today in Louis Armstrong Stadium at the U.S. Open.
   Ironically, both Djokovic and Tipsarevic are from Serbia.
   It was the second consecutive first-round loss in the U.S. Open for Querrey, a 28-year-old San Francisco native now living in the Los Angeles suburb of Santa Monica. He fell to Nicolas Mahut of France last year at Flushing Meadows.
   No. 19 seed Steve Johnson of Redondo Beach in the Los Angeles area barely avoided an upset. Johnson, who won the $100,000 Aptos Challenger in Northern California in 2012, saved six match points in a 4-6, 1-6, 7-6 (2), 6-3, 6-3 victory over Evgeny Donskoy of Russia in the new Grandstand.
   Qualifier Jared Donaldson, a 19-year-old Rhode Island native now living in Irvine in the Los Angeles region, made his first Grand Slam victory a big one. He shocked Belgium's David Goffin, the 12th seed and a French Open quarterfinalist in June, 4-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-0.
   Donaldson has played extensively in Northern California, reaching the final of the $100,000 Sacramento Challenger last October before losing to countryman Taylor Fritz.
   John Millman, who won 2010 Sacramento and 2015 Aptos Challengers, almost outdid Donaldson. The 27-year-old Australian battled eighth-seeded Dominic Thiem of Austria for 3 hours, 5 minutes before falling 6-3, 2-6, 5-7, 6-4, 6-3. Millman had lost to Thiem 7-5, 6-1 two weeks ago in the second round in Cincinnati.
Ex-Stanford star Nicole Gibbs whipped qualifier Aleksandra Krunic
of Serbia 6-1, 6-0. Gibbs won the last 11 games. Photo by Paul Bauman
  On the women's side of the U.S. Open, former Stanford star Nicole Gibbs of Marina del Rey in the L.A. area crushed error-prone Aleksandra Krunic, a qualifier from Serbia, 6-1, 6-0 in 58 minutes.
   Gibbs reeled off the last 11 games in the first-time matchup of undersized 23-year-olds, both of whom have had their best Grand Slam results in the 2014 U.S. Open. Krunic, a 5-foot-4 (1.63-meter), 117-pound (63-kilogram) Moscow native who's 12 days younger than Gibbs, reached the fourth round, and Gibbs, 5-foot-6 (1.68 meters), advanced to the third round.
   Gibbs, ranked No. 69, will play red-hot Laura Siegemund of Germany on Thursday. Siegemund, seeded 26th, defeated Patricia Maria Tig of Romania 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.
   Since losing to ninth-seeded Madison Keys in the first round at Wimbledon, Siegemund has reached the semifinals on clay in Bucharest, won her first career WTA title on clay in Bastad and advanced to the Olympic quarterfinals on hardcourts in Rio de Janeiro. 
   Siegemund won her only previous match against Gibbs 3-6, 6-0, 7-6 (3) on clay in the first round of a $25,000 tournament in Daytona Beach in 2014.
   Querrey, 6-foot-6 (1.98 meters), blasted 18 aces but committed 15 double faults and 77 unforced errors against the 250th-ranked Tipsarevic. Despite standing only 5-foot-9 (1.75 meters), Tipsarevic pounded 17 aces to go with 11 double faults.
   Tipsarevic, 32, was coming off the title in a $125,000 Challenger in Qingdao, China, as a qualifier. The former world No. 8 returned to competition in April after missing six months since last year's U.S. Open with right knee tendinitis.
   Tipsarevic also came back in April 2015 after sitting out for 18 months because of foot problems, including two surgeries to remove a benign tumor in his left heel.
   Tipsarevic, a U.S. Open quarterfinalist in 2011 and 2012, improved to 4-3 against Querrey in their first meeting since 2013. All of their matches except one have been in the United States; Tipsarevic won in four sets in the first round of the 2012 French Open.

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