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Muguruza, Raonic crash at US Open

Update: August, 01/2016 - 09:00
Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia celebrates her victory over Garbine Muguruza of Spain in their 2016 US Open women’s singles match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 31 in New York. — AFP/VNA Photo
Viet Nam News

Tennis

NEW YORKFrench Open champion Garbine Muguruza and Wimbledon runner-up Milos Raonic were knocked out of the US Open on Wednesday as Novak Djokovic was handed a free pass into the last 32.

Third seeded Spaniard Muguruza, who has struggled in the aftermath of her Roland Garros breakthrough in June, slumped to a 7-5, 6-4 loss to Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova, the world No 48.

A horribly out of sorts Muguruza rallied from 1-5 down in the second set, saving three match points, but Sevastova, who quit the sport in 2013 to study leisure management, held her nerve for the victory.

Having not won a match at the US Open in five years before this week, 26-year-old Sevastova now goes on to face Kateryna Bondarenko, a 5-7, 7-6 (7/5), 7-5 winner over China’s Zheng Saisai.

"This us why I came back to the sport for the big stages like this and night sessions at the Slams. But I was shaking a little at the end," she said.

Meanwhile, 120th-ranked Ryan Harrison of the United States stunned fifth seeded Raonic 6-7 (4/7), 7-5, 7-5, 6-1 in another second round upset.

"It was extremely physical out there. I was playing on adrenaline," said 24-year-old qualifier Harrison who was as high as 43 in the world in 2012.

He goes on to face experienced Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis for a place in the last 16.

Raonic, considered as a potential title dangerman in New York, hit 18 aces and 69 winners but committed 62 unforced errors.

Harrison has now reached the third round of a Slam for the first time after recording just a second win over a top 10 opponent in 27 meetings.

"I started cramping midway through the second set. There was a lot of nerves and stress. It was a result of over-exuberance," said 25-year-old Raonic who claimed that the pain eventually spread to his back and arms and that, as a result, he was unable to carry his bags.

World No 1 Djokovic made the last 32 of a major for the 33rd successive time without hitting a ball when Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic withdrew from their second round encounter suffering an inflammation of the left forearm.

Djokovic will face 34-year-old Russian Mikhail Youzhny, twice a semi-finalist, on Friday for a place in the last 16.

Former number one Caroline Wozniacki, the US Open runner-up in 2009 and 2014 but who has slipped to 74 in the world after a season decimated by a right ankle injury, defeated 2004 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4, 6-4.

The 26-year-old Dane recovered from 0-4 down in the first set to record a seventh win in eight meetings and third in New York over the ninth-seeded Russian.

Konta drama

Britain’s Johanna Konta, the 13th seed, collapsed on court with heat sickness before completing a 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 win over Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova.

After a medical timeout, the Briton dropped the set before heading off on a lengthy toilet break which did little to help her opponent’s composure.

"I’m a little embarrassed. I’m not a fan of drama. I did the best that I could with the cards that I had," said Konta.

Angelique Kerber, the second seeded Australian Open champion, made the last 32 by seeing off 34-year-old Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia 6-2, 7-6 (9/7).

Kerber faces 17-year-old CiCi Bellis of the United States, for a place in the last 16.

Britain’s Kyle Edmund backed up his first round win over world No 15 Richard Gasquet with a 7-5, 6-4, 6-4 victory over US wildcard Ernesto Escobedo on the back of 53 winners.

John Isner of the United States fired 38 aces to beat Belgian qualifier Steve Darcis 6-3, 6-4, 6-7 (10/12), 6-3 and next faces Edmund.

Croatian seventh seed Marin Cilic, the 2014 champion, made the last 32 by seeing off Sergiy Stakhovsky 6-1, 6-2, 6-3.

Later Wednesday, Spanish fourth seed Rafael Nadal, the 2010 and 2013 champion, takes a 7-1 career record over Italy’s Andreas Seppi into their night time clash. -- AFP

 

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