Rain falls on Murray US Open parade, Venus crashes
- Published: 29/08/2013 at 08:49 AM
- Online news:
Defending champion Andy Murray was plunged into a nightmare scheduling scenario at the rain-lashed US Open which saw two-time champion Venus Williams slip to defeat.
Spectators pull out their umbrellas at the USTA Billie Jean King National Center August 28, 2013 in New York. Defending champion Andy Murray was plunged into a nightmare US Open scheduling scenario on a rain-ravaged Wednesday in New York which saw two-time champion Venus Williams slide to defeat.
Third seed Murray had been slated to play his first match almost 48 hours after second seed Rafael Nadal, viewed as the most likely contender to triumph this year, had started his campaign on Monday.
However, Murray's scheduled 7 p.m. (2300 GMT) start on the Arthur Ashe Stadium was pushed back because of a four-hour rain suspension.
That delay was compounded when 2009 champion Juan Martin del Potro and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez battled out a four-hour and 13-minute dogfight in the same arena, which the Argentine sixth seed won 6-7 (5/7), 6-4, 7-6 (9/7).
Murray and Llodra eventually started their match at 9:55 p.m. (0155GMT) in what was the third-latest start for a US Open night session.
Del Potro goes on to face 2001 champion Lleyton Hewitt, who saw off Brian Baker 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.
"This court means a lot to me after winning in 2009. I had a tough opponent tonight," said Del Potro, who exchanged heated words with Garcia-Lopez over the number of injury timeouts the Spaniard was taking.
Williams, the US Open champion in 2000 and 2001 and a seven-time Grand Slam singles title winner, went down in a three-hour second round clash to tenacious Chinese player Zheng Jie.
Two-time major semi-finalist Zheng advanced to the third round by outlasting the American 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (7/5) in a victory she called "unbelievable."
"Today was a tough match for me. It's unbelievable I can beat her," said Zheng, who next faces Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro.
At three hours and two minutes, it was the joint fifth-longest women's singles match in US Open history.
"I didn't realize the clock was at three hours until the end. I was like, Wow, this is a marathon," said Williams.
As a result of Wednesday's downpours, organizers postponed eight women's second-round singles matches and 20 doubles matches until Thursday.
One of those held over was the second-round clash between reigning women's champion Serena Williams, chasing a fifth US Open title, and Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan.
The rain meant that somes matches that started at 11 a.m. were being completed as darkness fell with Indian qualifier Somdev Devvarman defeating Lukas Lacko of Slovakia, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 in a tie spread out over eight hours.
Agnieszka Radwanska and Li Na managed to beat the rain to reach the third round.
Third-seeded Radwanska defeated Spanish world number 103 Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor, 6-0, 7-5 while Li, the Chinese fifth seed, beat 100th-ranked Swede Sofia Arvidsson 6-2, 6-2.
Radwanska, who has never got beyond the fourth round, was on course for a quick-fire win over Torro-Flor, her second successive Spanish opponent, when she raced through the first set in just 21 minutes, losing just seven points.
But Torro-Flor, dressed in matching colors of blue and pink, made the Pole work for her win in the second set with three breaks of serve.
Radwanska weathered the unexpected storm, going through to a third-round clash against Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, capitalizing on her rival's 38 unforced errors and 10 double faults.
Li, playing in her 30th Grand Slam and a New York quarter-finalist in 2009, clinched her third career win over policeman's daughter Arvidsson, who has not progressed beyond the second round in seven attempts.
The Chinese star will next face 30th seed Laura Robson in a rematch of their clash in New York 12 months ago, which the British player won.
Robson defeated France's Caroline Garcia 6-4, 7-6 (7/5) to book her third round slot.
"I'm going to go out there like I approach every other match and, you know, just try my best on court and try and played my own game," said Robson who was 89 in the world this time last year when she stunned Li.
Elsewhere, Italian 16th seed Fabio Fognini lost 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 to Rajeev Ram of the United States while Jurgen Melzer, the 29th-seeded Austrian who captured the New Haven title at the weekend, slumped 7-5, 6-3, 7-6 (7/3) to Russia's Evgeny Donskoy.
About the author
- Writer: AFP
Position: News agency