The 2009 champion Juan Martin Del Potro has firmly established himself as the dark horse to regain the title he won at the age of 20, after beating the local favourite Steve Johnson 7-6(5), 6-3, 6-2 on Arthur Ashe Stadium at the Flushing Meadows in New York. The second seed Andy Murray, widely considered the player to beat at the Open, also advanced into the the third round with a 6-4, 6-1, 6-4 win over the Spaniard Marcel Granollers in the afternoon session.
Del Potro failed to take advantage of four break points on the ninteenth seeded Johnson’s serve in the first set, and had to get into tie break, where he took a 5-1 lead, only for the American to fight back, but the Silver medalist in Rio Olympics 2016 finally won the breaker 7-5. Del Potro then won 15 consecutive points in the middle of the second set and took 20 of the last 22 points to win it 6-3. He had 15 aces and 33 winners in the entire match and next faces the Spaniard David Ferrer who beat the Italian Fabio Fognini in five sets 6-0, 4-6, 5-7, 6-1, 6-4, match lasting 3 hours and 25 minutes.
The early part of the morning play was delayed by rain, but when play resumed there were hardly any real surprises as Stanislas Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori, Dominic Thiem defeated little known Alessandro Giannessi, Karen Khachanov and Ricardas Berankis respectively.
Also winning on Day Four were the Australian Nick Kyrgios, the Croat Ivo Karlovic and Grigor Dmitrov of Bulgaria. Nicolas Mahut, better known for his doubles play, defeated fellow Frenchman Paul Henri Mathieu 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 in just under two hours. There will be a few relatively unknowns in the round of 32, as the Italian Paolo Lorenzi, the Ukrainian Illya Marchenko, Daniel Evans of Britain, Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain and the American Jared Donaldson also won their second round matches.
Lorenzi upset the 30th seeded Giles Simon in a match lasting 4 hours and 54 minutes, the scoreline was 3-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-7(1), 7-6(3). Evans upset the promising German Alexander Zverev 6-4, 6-4, 5-7, 6-2, while Donaldson took out a fatigued Victor Troicki 7-5 ,6-3, 6-3. The Spaniard Carreno Busta rallied from a two set deficit against the Serb Janko Tipsarevic who was making a comeback after a long injury lay off. Marchenko beat Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia Herzegovina in straight sets.
Following are the eight round of 32 matches to be played on Wednesday with my pick mentioned first:-
Novak Djokovic (1) v. Mikhail Youzhny
John Isner (20) v. Kyle Edmund
Jo Wilfred Tsonga (9) v. Kevin Anderson (23)
Marin Cilic (7) v. Jack Sock (23)
Rafael Nadal (4) v. Andrey Kuznetsov
Lucas Pouille (24) v. Roberto Bautista Agut (15)
Gael Monfils (10) v. Nicolas Almagro
Marcos Baghdatis v. Ryan Harrison
Among the ladies, the Williams sisters, Serena and Venus, Simona Halep of Romania and Agnieska Radwanska of Poland all came through in straight sets. However, the Australian Sam Stosur, winner in 2011, was upset by Shuai Zheng of China in straight sets.
The other ladies to win their second round matches were Johanna Larsson of Sweden, Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan, Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro, Russians Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Elina Vesnina, Timea Babos of Hungary, Caroline Garcia of France, Ana Konjuh of Croatia, Karina Pliskova of the Czech Republic, Laura Siegmund of Germany and the American Varvara Lepchenko.
– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy. You can reach him at the email: firstname.lastname@example.org]