2015 US Open – Day 3

Day-3 Eye Openers:

  • Farewell Mardy Fish. May the journey be rewarding.
  • [18] Feliciano Lopez finished Mardy’s career in five-sets: 2-6, 6-3, 1-6, 7-5, 6-3
  • Mardy’s story – in his own words
  • Last year, they won their 100th career title together right here in Arthur Ashe Stadium. Today, in 1st-Round play, [1] Bob and Mike Bryan were defeated by fellow Americans Steve Johnson and Sam Querrey
  • Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Huge. She only allowed Coco Vandeweghe 3-games, earning her first “singles” trip to the US Open’s 3rd-Round
  • [17] Grigor Dimitrov is going home early after a 5-set loss to Mikhail Kukushkin.
  • 2014 Wimbledon Champs [11] Jack Sock and Vasaek Pospisil were upended in 1st-Round play by Leonardo Mayer and Joao Sousa
  • In his final US Open, Michael Russell has reached the 2nd-Round with partner Donald Young defeating David Goffin and Dominic Thiem

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Round-2 here in Arthur Ashe Stadium:

[19] Madison Keys (USA) def. Tereza Smitkova (CZE) – Since before her semifinal run in Melbourne back in January, Madison Keys has been pegged as America’s next big talent. Working with Lindsay Davenport, she’s casually shouldered those expectations thanks to the guidance of a champion who knows all too well the demanding work and sacrifice required to deliver. After a quarterfinal loss to Agnieszka Radwanska at Wimbledon, Keys bailed early in her three events on the US Open Series…falling to Ajla Tomljanovic, Jelena Jankovic and Petra Kvitova in the second rounds of Stanford, Cincinnati and New Haven. Who cares? She’s fit, getting stronger, growing stategically and can still smack a forehand harder than any opponent on tour. Her weapons are solid. Davenport and husband Rick Leach continue to craft her in-match I.Q. She had no problems with Tereza Smitkova in Round-2, finishing in one-hour: 6-1, 6-2. She’ll play Radwanska on Friday in a rematch of their All England Club quarterfinal, where Keys fell 6-7(3), 6-3, 3-6.

[9] Marin Cilic (CRO) def. Evgeny Donskoy (RUS) – After winning his first Grand Slam title a year ago in Flushing, Marin Cilic went on to win his 13th career ATP World Tour singles title at the Kremlin Cup in October. Unfortunately, he never made it past round robin play at the ATP World Tour Finals, then spent several months away from the game before returning in March at Indian Wells. While he fell to Juan Monaco in his first match back, Marin has gained momentum over the Spring and Summer – reaching the semifinals in Stuttgart, the Wimbledon quarterfinals and the Citi Open semifinals in Washington D.C. He’s eager to defend his US Open title, and delivered a routine win in under 2-hours over Evgeny Donskoy to reach the third round: 6-2, 6-3, 7-5. He served well, scored timely breaks while attacking Donskoy’s second serve, and will face Mikhail Kukushkin on Friday.

[1] Serena Williams (USA) def. Kiki Bertens (NED) – Despite being down a break most of the first set, no one doubted that Serena would win a berth into the third round. Up 5-4, Kiki Bertens was actually serving to claim the first set, but double faulted at 15-all, pumped a routine forehand into the net, then sprayed another unforced error wide to give up the break. With that save, as she’s done so many time before, most assumed Serena would then run away with the match; but that wasn’t in Kiki’s script. In the tiebreak, Bertens jumped out to a 4-0 lead…giving Williams another opportunity to launch a fearless comeback – which she delivered on cue. Serena won five straight points, scored a timely mini-break at 5-all, then claimed the set on her serve. In the second, Serena won the match on her second break of the set: 7-6(5), 6-3. The defending US Open Champion will have to go through fellow American Bethanie Mattek-Sands on Friday to earn her 51st match win of 2015 – Bethanie dispatched Coco Vandeweghe in straight-sets on Armstrong earlier in the day.

[23] Venus Williams (USA) def. Irina Falconi (USA) – World #73 Irina Falconi of West Palm Beach would try and replicate the magic she felt four years ago when she defeated heavy-favorite Dominka Cibulkova in the US Open’s 2nd round. 2011’s Open was her first trip to the third round of a Grand Slam, an accomplishment she finally repeated a few months back at Roland Garros. On a humid Wednesday night in Flushing, Irina pulled-out a clutch second set, but couldn’t translate that momentum to the third: Down a break at 4-5, Falconi would break back, then win the set 7-2 in the tiebreak. But as was the case in the first and second, Venus broke early in the third. This time, she never let up. Final: Venus Williams 6-3, 6-7(2), 6-2. That is two three-set matches for Venus going into the 3rd Round, where she’ll face Swiss phenom Belinda Bencic. After a slow start to the year, Bencic has won two titles (Eastbourne, Toronto) in three finals (‘S-Hertogenbosch).

[1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) def. Andreas Haider-Maurer (AUT) – Honestly, the most compelling aspect of Wednesday’s late match on Arthur Ashe Stadium was the man most are calling “The US Open Dance Fan.” Novak cruised past Andreas Haider-Maurer 6-4, 6-1, 6-2…but during the match, the “dance fan” tore it up on a changeover rocking out to Billy Idol’s Mony Mony, tossing US Open t-shirts to other fans. Novak couldn’t help but clap along, an observation Brad Gilbert brought into the post-match interview. Just as he brought it up, “Mony Mony” blasted back in from the sound system and the “US Open Dance Fan” hopped on the court for some fun with the World #1.

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Round-2. Arthur Ashe Stadium: Day-4 Schedule.

  • [DAY] Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) vs. [20] Victoria Azarenka (BLR)
  • [DAY] Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) vs. [2] Simona Halep (ROM)
  • [DAY] Adrian Mannarino (FRA) vs. 2012 US Open Champion [3] Andy Murray
  • [NIGHT] Steve Darcis (BEL) vs. 5-time US Open Champion [2] Roger Federer
  • [NIGHT] Petra Cetkovska (CZE) vs. 2-time US Open Finalist [4] Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)