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US Open Diary: Day Five

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Originally published on: 03/09/11 01:00

The US Open is the only major where the deciding set is settled by a tiebreaker. Today we witnessed what drama it adds to a match. Personally I like it, but everyone has his or her opinion.

Igor Kunitsyn defeated the No. 17 seed Jurgen Melzer 3-6 6-3 1-6 6-2 7-6(5), which was unexpected, but the most unexpected final set tiebreaker winner must be Donald Young. The 22-year-old wild card entrant defeated No. 14 seed Stanislas Wawrinka in a match that lasted 4 hours and 20 minutes. Court 17 was packed as the epic match unfolded and the final score 7-6(7) 3-6 2-6 6-3 7-6(1) reflects well the ups and downs of this match. Young was aware of the passage of time.

Talking after the match he said: “I saw the clock at the end. Throughout the whole match I was looking at the clock, and like ‘Oh man am I going to make it the whole time’?” He was also delighted that commentators like Patrick McEnroe were tweeting that today Young had become a man. “Yeah, I mean, to come through a match like that and not wilt like I have before, yeah, it’s great,” he said. “I thought I became a man, you know, when I turned 21. On a serious note, that’s great for someone of his status to say something like that and really feel that, it’s great.  I’m happy he feels that way.”  It was a great result for the home crowd and a player who was tipped for the top from a young age.

On the subject of which, Britain’s Andy Murray was part of another topsy turvy match. Lasting 3 hours and 23 minutes it may have been an hour shorter than the Young vs. Wawrinka epic and did not finish with a tiebreaker but Murray came back from two sets to love down to defeat Robin Haase. Murray served it out to take the match 6-7 2-6 6-2 6-0 6-4 and Muzza’s prize is a third round meeting with Feliciano Lopez. The Spaniard won two tiebreakers himself to come through in four sets against Canadian Vasek Pospisil.

While the Young and Murray matches unfolded, Rafael Nadal eased quietly through to the next round on Arthur Ashe Stadium. His opponent Nicolas Mahut retired in the third set trailing two sets to love. Rafa had played his match and been through interviews before we even got a whiff of Murray at his presser.

The biggest upset of the day was when Flavia Pennetta defeated No. 3 seed Maria Sharapova 6-3 3-6 6-4 in 2 hours and 29 minutes. No doubting MaSha made 60 unforced errors but all credit to Pennetta who held her nerve to advance to the fourth round.

The Italian was back on court a few hours later for her doubles match with Gisela Dulko. “It’s tough, but I love to play doubles,” she said. “I love to play singles, doubles, mixed when I can. Last year I play a lot of matches, and my body feel a little bit I think in the beginning of this year. But I’m healthy. I like to play with my partner, so I’m really looking forward to going on the court and playing these doubles now.” She meets Peng Shuai in the next round of the singles and she and Dulko won their doubles match easily against the American pair of Sloane Stephens and Alison Riske

Aside from all the on court action the USTA billed today as ‘Member Appreciation Day’ to thank all their members for helping to fulfill the USTA’s mission to promote and develop the growth of tennis. Even more apt then that Young delivered this result today.

The USTA were not so lucky with one of the US Open 2011 sponsors Esurance. The Bryan Brothers, who were knocked out of the men’s doubles in the first round by Ivo Karlovic and Frank Moser have their photo plastered all over town on behalf of the car insurance company and tonight at the US Open, dubbed Esurance Night, fans can win a chance to play with the Brothers. At least they will have plenty of time to fulfil their duties!

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