December 10, 2013
Tennis — US OpenThursday, August 29, 2013
Del Potro advances after tough match
Venus Williams loses third-set tiebreaker
Juan Martín del Potro advanced to the second round of the US Open yesterday after beating Spaniard Guillermo García López 6-3 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 7-6 (9-7) in a tough match which was delayed twice due to rain.
NEW YORK — Former champion Juan Martín del Potro earned a hard-fought, first-round win on a rain-hit day at the US Open, prevailing against Spaniard Guillermo García López 6-3 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 7-6 (9-7), eight hours after first stepping on court.
The pair had played just three games yesterday before all matches were suspended due to storms and heavy rain. Del Potro waited out another brief rain delay on Arthur Ashe Stadium before serving out the third set, and needed to rally from a break down in the fourth.
The 2009 US Open champion notched his 20th match win at the season’s final major, and first since defeating Andy Roddick last year in the US player’s final match on the ATP World Tour.
Argentine Leonardo Mayer was playing last night against Victor Hanescu of Romania at press time.
Peter Gojowczyk of Germany, Andreas Seppi of Italy, Tim Smyczek of the US, Somdev Devvarman of India, Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine, Mikhail Youzhny of Russia, Kevin Anderson of South Africa and Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus also advanced yesterday.
In the women’s draw, Venus Williams dug herself out of deficits over and over again, until she simply ran out of solutions, exiting the US Open before the third round for the third year in a row.
At 33, Williams was the oldest woman in the second round at Flushing Meadows. And while she made things interesting after a poor start to the first and third sets, she couldn’t sustain her solid play all the way through and lost to 56th-ranked Zheng Jie of China 6-3 2-6 7-6 (7-5) yesterday.
The third set alone lasted one and a half hours, and Williams missed a volley, then a return, on the last two points.
Rain began falling in the early afternoon, jumbling the schedule, and eight women’s singles matches were postponed, including Williams’ younger sister, defending champion Serena, against Galina Voskoboeva and Argentine Paula Ormaechea’s match against Sabine Lisicki of Germany.
Li Na got her work done quickly yesterday, so when the rain started falling, she had little to worry about.
The fifth-seeded Li defeated Sweden’s Sofia Arvidsson 6-2 6-2 in the day’s first match at Arthur Ashe Stadium to advance to the third round. Shortly afterward, heavy rain came and Li’s only concern was finding an umbrella.
Five matches were wrapped up before the rain, including 18th-seeded Carla Suárez Navarro’s 6-3 6-4 victory over Coco Vandeweghe of the US and third-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska’s 6-0 7-5 victory over María Teresa Torro Flor of Spain.