Radwanska and Roddick rout rivals

 

TENNIS US OPEN:AFTER A soggy morning gave way to a brilliant, if breezy, afternoon at the United States Open, several players in yesterday’s early first-round matches wasted no time getting on and off the court to enjoy the rest of the afternoon.

Number two seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland needed just 54 minutes to dispatch Nina Bratchikova of Russia, 6-1, 6-1, giving the early Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd very little to focus on.

Andy Roddick and Rhyne Williams, both of the United States, were next up at 1pm. Roddick gave the stadium crowd a little more tennis but not much more drama, winning, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.

Williams, a 21-year-old who needed a wild card to gain entry to the qualifying tournament, fared well considering he is ranked 283rd and was playing in his first main draw match at a Grand Slam.

Radwanska said the conditions on the Open’s big stage were not as placid as they looked. The wind, always a challenge at Ashe Stadium, was particularly gusty.

“Conditions this year are very tough, especially the last few days were very humid,” Radwanska said.”

Ana Ivanovic, the 12th seed, needed one hour, 10 minutes to stave off any challenge from Elina Svitolina of Ukraine, 6-3, 6-2. And in a match of unseeded players, Sofia Arvidsson of Sweden took 66 minutes for her 6-4, 6-2 defeat of Kimiko Date-Krumm of Japan.

A few of the men’s matches became more grinding affairs, including one featuring Milos Raonic of Canada, the 15th seed, who seemed to battle himself as much as his opponent, Santiago Giraldo of Colombia.

After winning the first set, Raonic lost the next two and needed a gritty fifth set to ensure victory – 6-3, 4-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Raonic, playing in the relentless mid-afternoon sun on Court 11, finished red-faced and relieved.

When asked how tired he was, he said: “A bit more mentally than I was physically.”

Ivo Karlovic of Croatia seemed poised for a long, gruelling match against the qualifier Jimmy Wang of Taiwan when their first two sets went to tiebreakers, Wang winning the first, 7-6 (4), and Karlovic winning the second, 7-6 (8). But Wang took control in the third and went on to win easily in the fourth.

Number six seed Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic made relatively quick work of David Goffin of Belgium in a 7-5, 6-3, 6-3 victory. And Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France, seeded fifth, powered past Karol Beck of Slovakia, 6-3, 6-1, 7-6 (2).

New York Times Service

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