Friday, August 31, 2007
Updated: September 4, 5:46 PM ET
U.S. Open live blog
By Keith Hawkins
Sunday, Sept. 2
One last post for the day: Rafa's legs look just fine as he's up two sets on Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, while Nalbandian and Ferrer are tied 5-5 in the fifth. Nalbandian's one of those players who, when healthy, seems to be able to play all day long.
The first of the Argentines is through to the fourth round as Juan Ignacio Chela comes back to beat Ivan Ljubicic in five sets. Meanwhile, Nalbandian appears headed to a tiebreaker in the fifth set.
You might not find a nicer man here than Nick Bollettieri, who runs the tremendously successful tennis academy in Bradenton, Fla. He was out on Court 7, watch Rhyne Williams, the No. 9 seed in the Juniors' draw. Williams doesn't attend the academy, but he and his travel coach spend a lot of time working out at Bollettieri's facility. Bonnie D. Ford will have a more in-depth piece in Week 2 on Williams and fellow Jeff Dadamo, who were among a half-dozen juniors who went through a Marine boot camp last January.
"He's one of the best potentials coming up in America," Bollettieri said of the 16-year-old. "He has a lot of the goods to be a good pro player."
Bollettieri pointed out the number of managers who were watching Williams take on Cesar Ramirez, adding that if they hang around for more than just a game you know the player they are watching has some potential.
Thailand's Peerakiat Siriluethaiwattana (27 letters if you're counting) won his boys' singles first-round match in straight sets.
Nalbandian heading to a fifth set
who didn't see that coming? Nalbandian is 14-8 in five-set matches while Ferrer has played just six, but won five of them. Nalbandian's compatriot, Juan Ignacio Chela, is up a break in the fifth on Ivan Ljubicic.
Nalbandian and Ferrer are tied in the fourth set. Ferrer broke back in an eighth game that lasted at least 10 minutes.
Chatted briefly with Agnieszka Radwanska on the morning after what probably was the biggest win of her career, beating the defending champ Maria Sharapova.
"It was a great feeling [to] beat top player
and to beat [the] player who won last year," she said just outside racket-stringing center before going off to practice.
The area between courts 13 and 14 is a good place to set up shop with Nestor-Knowles vs. Gimelstob-Delic on 13 (Gimelstob is great entertainment value just by himself) and Shahar Peer is practicing on 14.
There are five Argentines left in the men's draw, and all are playing today. David Nalbandian leads No. 15 David Ferrer after three sets, and Juan Ignacio Chela is tied with No. 12 Ivan Ljubicic. Argentina is guaranteed to get at least one player into the fourth round since Juan Monaco and Agustin Calleri will play out on Court 11. Juan Martin del Potro -- the youngest player left in the men's draw -- will play in the last match of the evening against Novak Djokovic.
Interesting stat of the day: Roger Federer is a combined 47-4 against the seven players left in the top half of the draw. The only two who have Ws against Fed are Tommy Haas (2-8 vs. Roger), Andy Roddick (1-13) and Tomas Berdych (1-4).
Saturday's blog got a bit derailed following the Sharapova upset, followed by more upsets.
There are only 38 singles matches left in the main draws, so the U.S. Open juniors are taking over the outside courts. Uladzimir Ignatik of Belarus is the boys' No. 1 seed and Anastasia Pavlyuchenko of Russia is the top seed on the girls' side. The boys' draw. American Donald Young initially was the second seed in the boys' draw, but he withdrew Saturday following his third-round match in the men's draw. Agnieszka Radwanska's younger sister Urszula -- who won the Wimbledon juniors in July -- is the No. 2 seed.
A couple of notes, courtesy of Colette Lewis, who knows all things junior and college tennis, at zootennis.com:
• Watch Australia's Bernard Tomic. He lost in qualifying, but now is in the draw as a lucky loser. He could be a name worth remembering down the road.
• Of the 64 players in the girls' draw, almost one-third of them (20) are Americans. The highest-seeded player from the States is Madison Brengle (No. 3), who lost to Bethanie Mattek in the women's main draw in the first round.
Saturday, Sept. 1
Sharapova's news conference is slated for 2:10 p.m., and it should be an interesting one.
Some Russians are having a good day aside from Sharapova, Petrova and Kirilenko. Nikolay Davydenko ran through Nicolas Almagro in straight sets and Anna Chakvetadze took the first set from Sania Mirza.
Cheering from the Polish and other European journalists with Radwanska's upset of Sharapova.
Agnieszka Radwanska is a game away from knocking off Sharapova. (Polish journalists cheering in the media center!)
12 double faults now for Sharapova.
1:10 p.m. From Ernie S.
Just read an ESPN story on your site called "the other woman" -- and no mention of Bartoli. After Wimbledon and just off beating Safarova, she looks perfectly capable of beating anyone at any time, more so than some of the other names mentioned. She's the Rodney Dangerfield of women's tennis.
Sharapova might be in trouble. She's double faulted 11 times and trails Agnieszka Radwanska 3-2 in the decisive set.
1 p.m. ET
Recapping some of the early action:
Ashe, Armstrong and the Grandstand are LOADED with great singles matches, but the best outside action is on Court 11. The best match not taking place on a show court today will be between Anna Chakvetadze and Sania Mirza. Chakvetadze has gotten the best of Mirza three times already in 2007 -- including twice this summer. Earlier on 11, Russian Igor Andreev (who could easily be mistaken for David Nalbandian) sat somewhat anonymously in the metal bleachers watching compatriot Maria Kirilenko play.
Agnes Szavay clearly isn't fatigued from her run to the final last week at the Pilot Pen. The 18-year-old from Hungary pulled off the first notable upset in the women's draw, beating No. 7 Nadia Petrova in straight sets. A few minutes after Petrova was eliminated, fellow Russian Kirilenko went down in straight sets to Julia Vakulenko, who is in the third round at the U.S. Open for the first time in three tries. Szavay and Vakulenko will now meet for a spot in the quarterfinals.
Maria Sharapova's bathroom break after losing the first set against Agnieszka Radwanska appears to have worked. The defending champ rolled in the second set (6-1).