Six years after his sensational debut at the Open, Ryan Harrison finally came good once again as he caused the biggest upset in the men’s section of the draw, beating Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic 6-7(4), 7-5, 7-5, 6-1 in a match lasting 3 hours and 37 minutes, on Wednesday, at the Flushing Meadows in New York. Novak Djokovic advanced courtesy of a walkover from Jiri Vesley, while two time champion Rafael Nadal looked in ominous form as he defeated the veteran Italian Andreas Seppi in routine fashion, 6-0, 7-5, 6-1 in the final match of the day.
The Louisiana native Harrison, who had to qualify for the final grand slam of the year, had shot into limelight upsetting the 15th seeded Croat Ivan Ljubicic, as a teenager. Now aged 24, Harrison next plays Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus in what will be his maiden appearance in the round of 32 at any of the majors. The 2006 Australian Open finalist Baghdatis upset the 32nd seeded Benoit Paire of France 6-2, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.
Djokovic next plays the 2006 and 2010 semi finalist Mikhail Youzhny in the third round after the Russian beat the Argentine Davis Cup player Guido Pella comfortably, 6-2, 6-1, 7-6(3). Nadal, too, will face another Russian, Andrey Kuznetsov who knocked out another Spanish left hander Albert Ramos Vinolas 7-5, 6-4, 7-6(5).
Other notable winners on Day 3 were the 2014 champion Marin Cilic of Croatia, Frenchmen Jo Wilfred Tsonga and Gael Monfils, Americans John Isner and Jack Sock, South African Kevin Anderson and the Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut. Another Frenchman, Lucas Pouille who had reached the quarter finals at Wimbledon this year came from a two set deficit before finishing strongly against the Swiss Davis Cup player Marco Chiudinelli 4-6, 3-6, 7-6(6), 6-2, 6-0. The Swiss, who turns 35 on September 10th, was within two points of winning the match in straight sets after erasing a 2-6 deficit in the tie-break but the 24th seeded Pouille claimed the next two points to clinch the tie-break 8-6.
Nicolas Almagro of Spain won a battle of baseliners against Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas 7-6(7), 6-4, 7-6(9). The British Davis Cup player Kyle Edmund continued his impressive run with a straight set win over the 20 year old American Ernesto Escobedo 7-5, 6-4, 6-4. Edmund had knocked off the thirteenth seeded Richard Gasquet in the first round and now looks certain to be the second singles player when Britain takes on Argentina in the Davis Cup semi final in Glasgow to be played September 16-18.
Following is the list of matches in the bottom half of the men’s draw in the second round with my pick mentioned first:-
Andy Murray (2) v. Marcel Granollers
Giles Simon (30) v. Paolo Lorenzi
Grigor Dmitrov (22) v. Jeremy Chardy
Feliciano Lopez (16) v. Joao Sousa
Victor Troicki v. Jared Donaldson
Ivo Karlovic (21) v. Donald Young
Nicholas Mahut v. Paul Henri Mathieu
Kei Nishikori (6) v. Karen Khachanov
Stanislas Wawrinka (3) v. Alessandro Giannessi
Alexander Zverev (27) v. Daniel Evans
Damir Dzumhur v. Illya Marchenko
Nick Kyrgios (14) v. Horacio Zeballos
David Ferrer (11) v. Fabio Fognini
Juan Martin Del Potro v. Steve Johnson (19)
Janko Tipsarevic v. Pablo Carreno Guests
Dominic Thiem (8) v. Ricardas Berankis
In the women’s section of the draw there was an early exit for the French Open champion Garbine Muguruza of Spain who lost to the Latvian Anastasia Sevastova in straight sets, 5-7, 4-6. The Latvian last played in New York in 2011 and spent 18 months sidelined by injury and illness. Former world number one Caroline Wozniacki upset the ninth seeded Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4, 6-4. Kuznetsova won the Open in 2004. There were wins for the Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber of Germany over Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 6-2, 7-6(7).
There were wins, also, for the two time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic, Dominica Cibulkova of Slovakia, last years finalist Roberta Vinci, Briton Johanna Konta, the American prodigy Madison Keys, Swiss Belinda Bencic and the Ukrainian Elina Svitolina. However the Chinese Saisai Zheng who upset the Olympic champion Monica Puig of Puerto Rico was beaten by another Ukrainian Kateryna Bondarenko 5-7, 7-6(5), 7-5 in a match lasting just over three hours.
– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy. You can reach him at the email: email@example.com]