Federer rolls into 3rd round
NEW YORK (AP) – Roger Federer is one cool customer.
The temperature climbed into the 90s yet again Thursday at Flushing Meadows, and the guy showed up for work wearing a warmup jacket. Then he put in his 1 hour, 41 minutes on court, dismissing 104th-ranked Andreas Beck of Germany 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 with the help of 15 aces, to ease into the third round of the U.S. Open.
Kei Nishikori, the 147th-ranked qualifier from Japan, who fought cramps in his racket-holding right hand and elsewhere while taking a minute shy of five hours to wrap up a 5-7, 7-6 (6), 3-6, 7-6 (3), 6-1 victory over 11th-seeded Marin Cilic.
Beatrice Capra, an 18-year-old from Ellicott City, Md., ousted No. 18-seeded Aravane Rezai of France 7-5, 2-6, 6-3.
No. 9 Agnieszka Radwanska lost to Peng Shuai, and No. 22 Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez lost to Patty Schnyder. Seeded winners included 2004 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, 2008 runner-up Jelena Jankovic and 2010 Wimbledon finalist Vera Zvonareva. Top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki, like Federer, didn’t waste any time on court, blanking 84th-ranked Chang Kai-chen 6-0, 6-0.
Maria Sharapova beat 68th-ranked Iveta Benesova of the Czech Republic 6-1, 6-2.
Novak Djokovic battled to a 7-5, 6-3, 7-6 (6) victory over 52nd-ranked Philipp Petzschner.
Djokovic made it to at least the semifinals in New York each of the past three years – and lost to Federer each time.
Among those winning in the afternoon were Richard Gasquet, a former top-10 player who eliminated No. 6-seeded Nikolay Davydenko 6-3, 6-4, 6-2; Robin Soderling, a two-time French Open runner-up who beat American Taylor Dent 6-2, 6-2, 6-4; and South Africa’s Kevin Anderson, who outlasted No. 26 Thomaz Bellucci 6-7 (4), 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 7-6 (2).
Americans Mardy Fish and James Blake won, as did No. 13 Jurgen Melzer, No. 21 Albert Montanes, and No. 22 Juan Carlos Ferrero. Blake, a wild-card entry, will take on No. 3 Djokovic in the third round.
The No. 5-seeded Soderling’s next opponent will be 48th-ranked Thiemo de Bakker, who advanced Thursday when Ivan Dodig quit in the fourth set because of cramping.
Soderling-Dent was in the third set during Federer’s postmatch news conference. And Federer – whose loss to Soderling in the French Open quarterfinals this year ended a record streak of 23 consecutive Grand Slam semifinal appearances – kept glancing at the flat-screen TV on the wall to his right, surely aware that he could meet the Swede again in that round next week.
Federer has won 42 of his past 43 matches at Flushing Meadows, the only loss coming in last year’s final to Juan Martin del Potro, who didn’t defend his title after wrist surgery. With Andy Roddick’s exit in the second round Wednesday night, and Lleyton Hewitt’s departure in the first, Federer is the only previous winner of the U.S. Open left in the men’s field.
“It’s definitely an advantage, I would think, because (of) the conditions here,” Federer said. “You could be unlucky and get hit with a really hot day or a very windy day, and not even in your control, sometimes, you lose a match here. That’s where it’s important, like today, to get through easily, instead of maybe going (through a) five-hour match.”
Tell that to Nishikori.