Ferrer runs into fitness problem

NEW YORK -- Usually, David Ferrer is a bristling, boisterous ball of energy.

But on a hot and humid Sunday, the 32-year-old Spaniard looked a little disheveled. He seemed to labor, even when walking to the baseline. It looked like he was nursing a rib injury, and on the last of three match points, he pressed two fingers to his neck as if he was looking for a pulse.

Ferrer, the No. 4 seed, soon became the highest men's seed to exit the tournament as No. 26 Gilles Simon won the kind of match Ferrer usually does 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, 6-3. The Frenchman -- who didn't look winded in the least -- broke Ferrer's serve seven times and was handed 52 unforced errors.

Afterward, Ferrer declined to specify any of his physical issues.

"It was not easy for me," Ferrer said, vaguely. "I was not good with my fitness. Nothing else, no? He was better.

"It's one match of my career. Don't worry. Now we have couple of weeks to rest, to stay in home [Valencia, Spain]. Nothing else. Enjoy with my family."

Suspended animation

You could see the lightning bolts in the distance, even as Roger Federer was serving to Marcel Granollers. Sure enough, play was suspended a few minutes later, around 4:35 p.m. ET.

The surprise? Federer, the No. 2 seed, was trailing 5-2 in the first set.

The USTA decided to send the day session crowd at Arthur Ashe home and make Federer the first match of the night session. Two sets of 23,000-plus crowds would have the privilege of seeing the 17-time Grand Slam champion in the same match.

And the night proved to be exactly what Federer needed. When play resumed, the Swiss demolished Granollers 4-6, 6-1, 6-1, 6-1 in just under two hours.

The rest of the day session continued after a more than 90-minute delay. No. 6 seed Tomas Berdych beat Teymuraz Gabashvili in straight sets, and No. 19 seed Feliciano Lopez and Dominic Thiem were at 3-all before the Austrian ran away with the match, 6-4, 6-2, 6-3.

A nice run

Her last run this deep at a major came 15 years ago when she lost in the Wimbledon semifinals to Steffi Graf.

But Sunday, after seven matches in 13 days, Mirjana Lucic-Baroni's journey came to an end with a New York bagel, 6-3, 2-6, 6-0 at the hands of Sara Errani.

The 32-year-old qualifier from Croatia looked weary, hitting 69 unforced errors.

"It was way too much," Lucic-Baroni said. "I knew I was going for too much. It was really difficult to play because it was very windy day. It was really difficult to time the balls, especially on her ball and her serve. It comes so slow, and it kind of floats in the air."

Errani, the No. 13 seed, was a semifinalist here two years ago. Against Venus Williams in the third round she won a 6-love set -- and lost one too. Errani meets Caroline Wozniacki in a Tuesday quarterfinal match. Errani has lost two of three versus Woz.

For Lucic-Baroni, it was a memorable fortnight, featuring a straight-sets win over No. 2 seed Simona Halep.

"I think I'm living proof here these last two weeks that it's never over," Lucic-Baroni said. "I have come back so many times here, just here, from 5-2 down in the third or in the first and set points and everything. So it's never over."

Et cetera

After Venus and Serena Williams defeated Garbine Muguruza and Carla Suarez Navarro 6-1, 6-0 (in 47 minutes), Serena greeted Muguruza warmly at the net. The same Muguruza who knocked her unceremoniously out of the French Open in the second round. It was probably something along the lines of "I got you this time." The Williams sisters meet Makarova/Vesnina in the quarterfinals. ... The juniors began play Sunday with matches all across the grounds. No. 1 boys seed Andrey Rublev defeated Dennis Uspensky of the United States 6-3, 6-0. No. 6 seed Francis Tiafoe, who trains in Maryland, was a winner over Oh Chan-yeong of South Korea 6-2, 6-3. Kelly Chen of the U.S. defeated Slovakia's Tamara Zidansek. American Henrik Wiersholm defeated Brazil's Joao Menezes 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-3. Michaela Gordon (U.S) handled Miriam Kolodziejova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.