Surging youngster Nick Kyrgios dismissed slumping veteran Mikhail Youzhny in four sets yesterday. In a minor upset, the mercurial Benoit Paire topped his countryman Julien Benneteau in a five set match.
Simona Halep lost the first set to wildcard Danielle Rose Collins—who was playing her first ever tour-level main draw match—before righting the ship and coming away with a three set win. Andy Murray also had a first round scare and had to grind through severe cramps to win his match against Robin Haase. Other seeded players requiring extra sets to get through included Angelique Kerber, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Caroline Wozniacki, and Andrea Petkovic.
Flags of the World
Italian Simone Bolelli sported some interesting gear during his opening match. He wore a polo with the American flag as the right sleeve, but later switched into a tee shirt with the flag of the United Kingdom as the right sleeve. I'm not sure how or why an Italian player ended up with that kit, but he scored a nice win over Vasek Pospisil to move into the second round. Japanese player Taro Daniel also sported an American flag sleeve during his straight sets loss to Milos Raonic.
Twenty-four players in the men's draw for the 2014 US Open were also in the draw a decade ago during the 2004 US Open. The list includes some notable names like Tommy Robredo, Marcos Baghdatis, Fernando Verdasco, Philipp Kohlschreiber, Roger Federer, Ivo Karlovic, David Ferrer, Tomas Berdych, Lleyton Hewitt, and Feliciano Lopez, among others. Fourteen women who played in 2004 are also entered in this year's singles draw, including Jelena Jankovic, Venus Williams, Maria Kirilenko, Flavia Pennetta, Sam Stosur, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Serena Williams, and Maria Sharapova.
The two are oldest players in the women's singles draw—Kimiko Date-Krumm and Venus Williams, who have a combined age of 77—faced off in the first round yesterday, but their match was delayed several times by a rogue bee that buzzed both players. There were some humorous moments as ball kids and players alike swatted at the bee with racquets and towels. Venus finally managed to corral the bee and it was removed by the ball kids. Venus went on to prevail in three sets.
There's no doubt that Aga Radwanska is a very good tennis player—after all, you don't reach a career high ranking of 2 in the world by being mediocre—but I'm often guilty of forgetting just how good she's is. Maybe it's the way that she goes about winning tennis matches in a quiet, crafty sort of way instead of blowing people off the court with monster serves and groundies. In any case, yesterday she reminded me why she's at the top of the game with a 6-0, 6-1 destruction of Canada's Sharon Fichman. The match took 47 minutes and Aga only surrendered three points in the second set.
Juan Monaco couldn't get past Jo-Wilfried Tsonga but he did have the shot of the day. While trailing in the fourth set, Monaco hit a fantastic tweener past Tsonga to win the point. Djokovic came in a close second when he ripped a ball around the net during a straight sets win over Diego Schwartzman.
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On the opening day of play at the US Open, Google honored tennis legend and Hall-of-Famer Althea Gibson by featuring her on the Google Doodle. Yesterday would have been Gibson's 87th birthday.