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US Open Day 4 Round-Up: Federer, Murray, Halep progress, Muguruza ousted

FEATURED COLUMNIST
619   //    04 Sep 2015, 09:05 IST

Federer dominated over Steve Darcis, winning 6-1, 6-2, 6-2

Men’s second seed Roger Federer dispatched his Belgian rival Steve Darcis in straight sets, taking the match 6-1, 6-2, 6-2. He has continued to puzzle competitors with new techniques, He beat Leonardo Mayer of Argentina in his previous match in similar fashion, finishing it with identical figures.

At the end of his second match at Flushing Meadows, Federer has lost only 9 games. He now goes on to meet German Philipp Kolschreiber.

Second seed Simona Halep is continuing a fine run of form, and has beaten her competitor Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine in straight sets as well, winning 6-3, 6-4. Halep looked in complete domination in her previous match against New Zealand’s Marina Erakovic, winning the first set 6-0. With the Romanian three games up in the second set, rival Erakovic retired with a knee injury, giving Halep the match in under an hour. Halep also made short work of yesterday’s match, finishing that in 77 minutes.

Third-seeded Andy Murray came back from a tough start to beat Frenchman Adrian Mannarino. The match saw Murray two sets down and struggling against Mannarino, with the scoreboard reading 5–7, 4–6. Incensed at one point during the match by what he perceived as a bad line call, Murray nevertheless soldiered on as it appeared that World No 35 Mannarino lost the focus and momentum he had built up by the third set, despite ending the second on a high note.

He took the third in just over half an hour,

Mannarino by this point began to look tired, and the Scot took advantage of this to break Mannarino and take the match to a fifth set. Murray cleaned up the final three sets in a way expected of the World No 3, with the match ending 5-7, 4-6, 6-1, 6-3, 6-1. It is to be noted, however, that the Mannarino round was expected to be an ‘easy’ one for Murray, one that he should not have struggled in as much as he did.

Murray will next face Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing for 5th seed Stan Wawrinka, either. Up against Chung Hyeon of South Korea, Wawrinka sweated it out on court against the 19-year-old, finally holding his own; the Swiss took 3 hours to reach victory, and acknowledged that the match could have “gone to more than three sets” in a press conference following play. The victory took over 3 hours. It ended 7-6(B2), 7-6(4), 7-6(6) in the Swiss’ favour.

Women’s 5th seed Petra Kvitova polished off opponent Nicole Gibbs of the United States 6-3, 6-4.

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Angelique Kerber of Germany, seeded 11th, won her match against Karin Knapp 7-5, 6-2.

20th seed Victoria Azarenka, who lost her temper at an umpire during her last game, beat Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium 7-5, 6-4 to progress.

Upsets

Notable upsets today included 9th seed Garbine Muguruza of Spain. Muguruza, who was the runner up at Wimbledon earlier this year, losing to World No. 1 Serena Williams in the final, lost to Britain’s Johanna Konta in a 3 hour 23 minute match which ended 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (4-7) 6-2. It is the longest ever women’s match in New York.

The earlier record of 3h20 minutes had been set by American Madison Brengle and China’s Saisai Zheng only three days prior.

This will be World No. 97 Konta’s first time in the final 32 of a Grand Slam, and she is expected to rise significantly in the rankings after defeating Muguruza.

Heating up

Several players had problems with the heat at Flushing Meadows yesterday. Temperatures are high, nearly reaching all-time record highs for the area.

Jack Sock of the United States was leading Dutch rival Ruben Bemelmans 6–4, 6–4, 3–6, 2–1 when he was overcome by the heat. Severely cramping and left unable to stand up, Sock sat slumped on court, assisted by medical professionals who draped him in cool towels and brought out ice packs. He was wheeled off court in a wheelchair, retiring from the match.

Italy’s Sara Errani had problems with the heat too, and lost her first set to 18-year-old Jelena Ostapenko. Following a medical timeout, she won the final two sets to take the match 0-6, 6-4, 6-3.


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