Nadal advances at US Open
Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:59
Nadal, who was known as a clay-court specialist before his domination this year, looked comfortable on the hardcourt here against the inexperienced De Heart.
Despite dropping the first two sets De Heart did not seem intimidated, winning the first three games of the third before getting overwhelmed by Nadal’s superior talent.
De Heart played with an incredible enthusiasm and quickly won over the crowd, which included his fiancee and former college coach – who each gave him a standing ovation despite the loss. In the next round, Nadal will face Viktor Troicki, who advanced when number 25 Philipp Kohlschreiber retired with an undisclosed injury. Troicki was leading 2-6 6-3 6-4 3-0 when the match was halted.
While Nadal has had two easy matches thus far, James Blake had a much easier time in Thursday’s match than he did in the opening round. The ninth-seeded American advanced to the third round of this year’s final major, when Belgian Steve Darcis retired in the third set with Blake leading 4-6 6-3 1-0.
A quarterfinalist here in 2005 and 2006, Blake was eliminated in the fourth round at the US Open last year and the 28-year-old has yet to make it past the quarters in any major during his career but has enjoyed the most success in this event. Up next for Blake is countryman Mardy Fish, who upset 24th-seeded Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu, 6-2 3-6 6-3 6-4.
Also on Thursday, fourth-seeded David Ferrer defeated German Andreas Beck 4-6 7-5 6-3 7-6 (7/5). The world number four who reached the semi-finals here a year ago, Ferrer next will face Japan’s Kei Nishikori, who won the first two sets, 6-1, 7-5, against Roko Karanusic before the Croatian retired.
Like Ferrer, Andy Murray also had his hands full as the Scot edged French lefthander Michael Llodra 6-4 1-6 7-5 7-6 (9/7). Murray, who never has advanced beyond the fourth round in Flushing, will meet Jurgen Melzer in the third round. The Austrian moved on with a 6-0 6-2 6-2 victory over Czech Jiri Vanek.
Also on Thursday, seventh seed David Nalbandian of Argentina defeated Kazakhstan’s Andrey Golubev, 6-2 6-4 6-2 while number 10 Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland advanced with a 6-4 7-6 (8/6) 6-2 victory over American Wayne Odesnik.
Other seeded winners were number 14 Ivo Karlovic of Croatia, number 16 Gilles Simon of France, countryman Gael Monfils, the 32nd seed and number 17 Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina, who continued his hot streak of late.