FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – The day at the US Open began with six Americans in singles action, including a pair of 19-year olds in Jack Sock and Sloane Stephens with promising upsides. Unfortunately for the Americans, it wasn’t a good day, as four of the six in action were defeated.
The action began with Sock taking on Nicolas Almagro from Spain. It was a closely contested match through the first three sets, with Almagro taking the first-set tiebreaker, 7-3, and Sock taking the second tie break, 7-4. The first break of the match didn’t occur until the third set, which also ended in a tie break, won by Almagro,
7-2. The Spainard dominated the fourth set to win the match, 7-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-1.
“He played a lot better in the fourth set,” Sock said after the match. Continuing, he added “I think obviously it was a good match and I had my opportunities. I think it was just a couple points here and there that changed it. In that third set for sure not converting on his break points and then him kind of taking advantage and riding the
James Blake, a contemporary of Andy Roddick, who announced his retirement earlier in the week, also had a tough day. Playing against Milos Raonic from Canada, Blake lost the first two sets 3-6, 0-6. He did show determination in the third set, but eventually lost in a tiebreak, 7-6 (7-3).
Raonic dominated the match with his serve, hitting 29 aces. “Before the match I knew if I get chances, there’s a good chance he’s going to ace me, hit an unreturnable serve, do something like that,” Blake explained after his loss. Offering more, Blake added “with that serve, it can take him a long way because that can take the racquet
out of another guy’s hands,” something Raonic did to Blake today.
Sloane Stephens suffered a tough loss to her third-round opponent in the US Open for the second year in a row, Ana Ivanovic. And like a year ago, Ivanovic was victorious, defeating Stephens 6-7 (4-7), 6-4, 6-2. Stephens had numerous break point opportunities, but converted only 31% (4-13) of them. Her service game was also off, as she won
only 8 of the 15 games in which she served. A minor injury may have had an impact.
“Just have like a minor ab strain and it affected my serve, kind of threw me off a little bit. Things like that happen. It’s nothing you can control.” When asked specifically about the injury, she responded “this morning I woke up with some swelling. It was unfortunate that that happened.” Of Ivanovic’s play, Stephens said “she hits a lot of
forehands. She hits the ball really hard. She made some really great shots. That’s just kind of how she plays.”
Like Stephens, Sam Querrey won the first set of his match against Tomas Berdych, but he didn’t win another set either. Berdych was
victorious 6-7 (8-6), 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 over Querrey, the fourth American to go down in singles for the day.
Querrey praised his opponent after the match. “He’s a great player. He played the big points tough.” Discussing the tournament, hemreflected “I played well here even though I lost today. I think I am going to end the year strong.”
When asked about the losses of the, four Americans, Querrey expressed it was a “tough day, but hopefully tomorrow some of the Americans can get through.”
Serena Williams did win today defeating Russian Ekaterina Makarova, 6-4, 6-0, while Mardy Fish played No. 15 seed Gilles Simon late.