Former champions Roger Federer and Andy Murray, along with the reigning French Open Stanislas Wawrinka, the in-form trio of Kevin Anderson, Richard Gasquet and the top American John Isner have advanced into the round of 16 on the first day of Labor Day weekend as all the six players progressed without dropping a set at the Flushing Meadows in New York. Joining them are the sixth seeded Tomas Berdych who took four sets to put out the last remaining Spaniard in the bottom half of the men’s draw – Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, while another American, Donald Young once again rallied from a two set deficit to end the hopes of Victor Troicki of Serbia in five sets.
Five time champion Federer (2004-2008) has dropped only twenty games in his three matches at the Open, and on Saturday he dispatched the capable German Phillipp Kohlschreiber 6-3,6-4,6-4. The 2012 champion Andy Murray was equally impressive as he beat the left handed Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci in the evening session 6-2,6-3,7-5.
Federer next faces the winner of the BB&T Atlanta Open John Isner who progressed after Jiri Vesley of the Czech Republic became the 14th men’s player to pull out due to injury after Isner took a two set to love lead. Murray next plays the winner of the Salem Open last week, Kevin Anderson of South Africa in a repeat of this year’s final at the grass court event in Queen’s Club, London where the Scot prevailed. Anderson beat the promising teenager from Austria Dominic Thiem 6-3,7-6(3),7-6(3).
Another Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka also won against Belgium’s Ruben Bemelmans 6-3,7-6(5),6-4 and next plays the left handed American Donald Young who came from behind to beat Victor Troicki 4-6,0-6,7-6(3),6-2,6-4 in a match lasting 3 hours and 33 minutes. Young had also upset the 11th seeded Frenchman Giles Simon on Tuesday coming from a two set deficit.
Tomas Berdych whos has had consistently good restults, but without a title in 2015, had to overcome the loss of the first set tie-break to beat the 31st seeded Garcia Lopez 6-7(2),7-6(7),6-3,6-3. He takes on Richard Gasquet of France who beat a lacklustre Bernard Tomic 6-4,6-3,6-1. Tomic had taken five sets to end the hopes of the 2001 champion and fellow countryman Lleyton Hewitt and looked fatigued and utterly drained from the effort he had invested in the previous round.
Here is a list of round of 16 matches to be played on Day 7 in the men’s section with my pick mentioned first :-
Novak Djokovic(1) v. Roberto Bautista Agut (23)
Feliciano Lopez (18) v. Fabio Fognini (32)
Jo Wilfred Tsonga (19) v. Benoit Paire
Marin Cilic (9) v. Jeremy Chardy (27)
In the bottom half of the women’s draw, Simona Halep, Petra Kvitova advanced into the round of 16 along with Britain’s Johanna Konta as they won in straight sets on Saturday. Other seeded players to advance took three sets. They are the former world number one Victoria Azarenka, Sabine Lisicki of Germany, the Italian Flavia Pannetta, and the 2011 champion Samantha Stosur of Australia.
Konta ranked 97th in the world and who had to qualify for the main draw upset the 18th seeded German Andrea Petkovic 7-6(2),6-3. In a battle of unseeded players the American Varvara Lepchenko beat another German Mona Barthel 1-6,6-3,6-4. Halep, the second seed from Romania beat the American Shelby Rogers 6-2,6-3, while Kvitova of the Czech Republic beat Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 6-2,6-1.
– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy.You can reach him at the email: firstname.lastname@example.org]