Andy and Genie own the night in New York
Originally published on 29/08/14
Murray cruises into third round
Andy Murray showed no adverse effects of the severe cramping he suffered in his first round win over Robin Haase as he dispatched German qualifier Matthias Bachinger 6-3 6-3 6-4 on Arthur Ashe.
After three days’ rest and practice, Murray looked fresh and sharp, and dealt with the swirling winds around the court far better than the world No.235. A solitary break in the opening set was followed by two more in the first and last games of the second as Murray chipped, lobbed and ran his opponent into submission.
Bachinger briefly worked his way within sight of a break at 0-40 in the fifth game of the third set, but Murray served his way out of trouble, only to let five break points pass him by at 4-3. But he refused to make the same mistake twice, breaking to love to seal victory and a third round showdown with Russia’s Andrey Kuznetsov.
“I've never played him before,” Murray said. “I don't know his game that well, but I've seen him play a little bit. He hits the ball pretty flat, likes to go for his shots a lot. This court's fairly quick, so that will probably help him, as well. But I'll watch a little bit of video tomorrow evening, try to understand his game a bit better.”
Bouchard beats Cirstea in three
Eugenie Bouchard’s record of reaching the semi-finals or better of each of the four Grand Slams in 2014 remains alive after defeating Sorana Cirstea 6-2 6-7(4) 6-4.
The Canadian 20-year-old made her Arthur Ashe Stadium debut against the Romanian, who beat Heather Watson in the first round and took the match into a decider having twice led by a break in the second set.
The third was equally tight but Bouchard kept firing at the world No.80, battering her into submission with a series of full-blooded drives from either wing.
Barbora Zahlavova Strycova awaits Bouchard in the third round, with a possible repeat of her Wimbledon final showdown with Petra Kvitova slated for the quarter-finals should both women win.
Estrella Burgos advances, Bellis bows out
One of the feel-good stories of this year’s US Open ended on Thursday, but another continues as age won out against youth. CiCi Bellis, the 15-year-old who stunned No.12 seed Dominika Cibulkova in the first round, fell in three sets to Kazakhstan’s Zarina Diyas 6-3 0-6 6-2, but leaves as the youngest American to win a round at Flushing Meadows in 28 years.
Another record-breaker, Victor Estrella Burgos – at 34, the oldest main-draw debutant at the US Open – marches on after beating a player half his age in the second round. Croatian teenager Borna Coric showed plenty of talent but Estrella Burgos, buoyed by the support of a raucous Dominican crowd, ran away with a 7-6(2) 4-6 6-4 6-2 victory to set up a third-round clash with No.5 seed Milos Raonic.
There was some good news for the teenagers on show, however, as 19-year-old Nick Kyrgios beat Andreas Seppi to face Tommy Robredo in the third round.
Performance of the day
In spite of the wind – and the knowledge he will soon be a father – Novak Djokovic was imperious as he beat Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-1 6-3 6-0 in less than 90 minutes. The world No.1 gave up just six points in the final set to set up a third round clash with American Sam Querrey, a 6-3 6-4 6-4 winner over Guillermo Garcia Lopez
Quote of the day
“I had great leadups to every Grand Slam, I played a lot of matches and won lot of matches – and big matches, as well. I do put a lot of expectations on myself – I tried to, yeah, overanalyze and overthink instead of just playing the game. It's a work in process. But I really think I have potential to do well, and that's something I want to change for next year.”
Ana Ivanovic, beaten 7-5 6-4 by Karolina Pliskova, reflects on another Grand Slam season where she has failed to reach the semi-finals. Since winning the French Open in 2008, the Serbian has reached the quarter-finals of the 2012 US Open and 2014 Australian Open.
Stat of the day
40-91 – combined winners-unforced errors ratio for CiCi Bellis and Zarina Diyas on Court 17. Bellis hit 21 winners, two more than Diyas, but paid the price for hitting 54 unforced errors. She’ll be back…