The main title contenders in the top half of the men’s draw, top seed and the 2011 champion Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal – the 2010 and 2013 champion and the defending champion Marin Cilic have booked their places in the round of 32 in the final grand slam of the year in New York. Grigor Dimitrov’s miserable year continued as the 17th seeded Bulgarian was knocked out in five sets by the dogged Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan at the Flushing Meadows.
Novak Djokovic played the second match of the evening session and looked razor sharp in his 6-4,6-1,6-2 demolition of the Austrian Andreas Haider-Maurer. Rafael Nadal was briefly tested by the Argentine Diego Schwartzman but came through 7-6(5),6-3,7-5. The 74th ranked 5ft 7 inches tall Schwartzman led 5-3 in the first set tie-break before Nadal took the next four points to clinch the tie-break 7-5. The 2014 champion Marin Cilic of Croatia beat the Russian Evgeny Donskoy 6-2,6-3,7-5 and next faces Kukushkin. The 27 year Kazakh who is coached by his wife went two sets up against Dimitrov but was stretched to the limit before winning 6-3,7-6(2),2-6,4-6,6-4.
The other seeds in action, all, won on Day 3, as Spaniards David Ferrer, Roberto Bautista Agut, Tommy Robredo and Feliciano Lopez, Frenchmen Jo-Wilfred Tsonga and Jeremy Chardy, Italians Andreas Seppi and Fabio Fognini, Milos Raonic of Canada, David Goffin of Belgium advanced. They have been joined by Benoit Paire of France, the conqueror of last year’s finalist Kei Nishikori of Japan in the first round, and the Russian Sergiy Stakhovsky. Sadly it was curtains for the American Mardy Fish, playing in his last match before retirement went down in five sets to the Spanish left hander Feliciano Lopez after leading 2-1 in sets.
Here is a list of matches to be played on Day 4 in the men’s section with my pick mentioned first :-
Andy Murray (3) v. Adrienne Mannarino
Thomaz Bellucci (30) v. Yoshihito Nishioka
Kevin Anderson (15) v. Austin Krajicek
Donald Young v. Aijaz Bedene
Victor Troicki (22) v. Rajeev Ram
Jack Sock (28) v. Ruben Bemelmans
Donald Young v. Aijaz Bedene
Stanislas Wawrinka (5) v. Hyeon Chung
Dominic Thiem (20) v. Denis Istomin
Tomas Berdych (6) v. Juergen Melzer
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (31) v. Nicolas Mahut
Bernard Tomic (24) v. Lleyton Hewitt
Richard Gasquet (12) v. Robin Haase
John Isner (13) v. Mikhail Youzhny
Ivo Karlovic (21) v. Jiri Vesley
Phillipp Kohlschreiber (29) v. Lucas Rosol
Roger Federer (2) v. Steve Darcis
The top seed in the women’s draw, the American Serena Williams stayed on course to complete a career slam but was taken to a tie-break in the first set before coming through 7-6(5), 6-3 to Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands. She served ten double faults and made 34 unforced errors and even trailed 0-4 in the tie-break to the 110th ranked Bertens. Once again her elder sibling Venus was taken to three sets by her compatriot Irina Falconi before prevailing 6-3,6-7(2),6-2.
Other winners included the Americans Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Madison Keys and Madison Brengle, Agnieska Radwanska,Belinda Bencic, Elina Svitolina, Kristina Mladenovic, Ekaterina Makarova, Canada’s Eugene Bouchard and Dominica Cibulkova of Slovak Republic who had upset the seventh seeded Ana Ivanovic in the first round of Opening Day. Also advancing were the Russian Daria Kasatkina, Italian Roberta Vinci and Colombia’s Maria Duque-Marino. The 31st seeded Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova was upset by the Estonian Anett Kontaveit.
– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy.You can reach him at the email: firstname.lastname@example.org]