Just a day after Novak Djokovic raced through his match
against Carlos Berlocq like a turbo-charged Ferrari, Andy Murray coughed and spluttered
against Robin Haase before the Scot finally found the right gear and roared
into the third round.
To indulge in this rather lame analogy further, it was as if
Murray was an old banger that had been left out in the cold overnight and
needed to be warmed up for an hour before it could function properly.
Perhaps that is slightly unfair on Murray, because once he
had been revved up and was ready to get going, he more resembled Djokovic's super
car than a clapped out wreck.
At least he did for the 13 straight games he won on his way
to a 4-0 lead in the final set. But that's when Murray's bangwagon appeared to
develop a problem with its choke in a stop-start encounter.
Unseeded Haase took the next four games to draw back
alongside the world number four as the skids were put on Murray's bid for the
Thankfully for Murray - and the rest of Britain, considering
he is now their last remaining singles representative at Flushing Meadows - he
managed to pull away once again to take the chequered flag in thrilling fashion.
His leaping, fist-pumping celebrations at the end of the
match betrayed an immense feeling of relief at getting through a match that
could easily have ended in a total break-down - but also his enjoyment at
having been involved in such a great contest (and no doubt, having come out on
top of said great contest).
Like Djokovic's highly entertaining thumping of Berlocq, it
made for great viewing, if for entirely different reasons. And like Nole, at
the end of it all, Murray's bid to claim the final Grand Slam of the season
remains firmly on track.
- - -
Another player not afraid to hang about a little longer on
court than the likes of Djokovic, Serena and Caroline Woznicki - all
double-quick winners yesterday - was Sam Stosur, who stuttered her way into the
record books in her match against Nadia Petrova.
The Queenslander had Aussies tearing their hair out as she
wasted two chances to put the match to bed in the second set and was made to
pay the price as Petrova took her all the way.
Eventually Stosur sealed an epic 7-6 6-7 7-5 win in three
hours and 16 minutes - the longest women's match of the tie-break era.
- - -
the old dog yet: Much has been said about a passing of the torch
in American tennis, a situation brought in stark view by young Jack Sock's
match-up with Andy Roddick in the late match on Arthur Ashe. But it seems that
A-Rod isn't quite ready to go just yet: the master taught the student a bit of
a lesson in a straight set win and there was to be no fairytale ending for the
youngster with a fairytale name.
Quote of the day: "I need to try and make sure I get
my emotions right in the next match, make sure I get the crowd involved a bit,
show some fist pumps and 'C'mons!' That's what I always did when I was a kid,
and that's when I felt like I always moved my best, when I enjoyed playing
tennis the most." Murray looks to ramp it up in his next match against
Upset of the day: Flavia Pennetta's sensational victory
against Maria Sharapova. The women's game is proving increasingly difficult,
nay, impossible to predict.
Looking ahead: So let's try to predict what's going to
happen tomorrow, with 28th seed Serena to down fourth seed Victoria
Azarenka (28th seed vs fourth seed is an upset, isn't it?) and
double joy for America with Vania King beating Caroline Wozniacki and Sloane
Stephens stunning Ana Ivanovic.
- Andy Murray
- Novak Djokovic