By Dave Gertler
(August 13, 2014) MASON, OHIO – Within 10 minutes of each other, three of the biggest names in the tennis world have been bundled out of the draw at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati on Wednesday.
While Andy Murray was wasting no time on Center Court against Joao Sousa, for a straight sets 6-3, 6-3 win, other top seeds were getting some serious grief from their lower-ranked opponents on Grandstand, and courts 3 and 9.
Czech 3rd seed Petra Kvitova was up against Ukrainian world No. 39 Elina Svitolina and, having never faced her before, Kvitova went down an early break before losing the set 6-2 in just over half an hour. In the second set, it was the world No. 4 who got the upper hand early, and found herself leading 3-1 before handing back the break. Both players gave up three breaks on the way to a second-set tie-break, and although she didn’t serve any double faults in the breaker, Kvitova’s 9 in total was indicative of her inconsistency throughout the match, as she dropped the second set, and the match, to a more aggressive Svitolina. “From the beginning I didn’t feel very comfortable out there,” said Kvitova after the match, “And I was trying really fight, I just wasn’t able to do that today.”
Over on Court 9, Yen-Hsun Lu was attempting for the second time in a week to topple world No. 5 Tomas Berdych, having lost to him in three sets last week in Toronto. The Taiwanese world No. 43 served strongly throughout the match, serving 9 aces to Berdych’s 6, and saving 4 out of 5 break points, all in the first set, which he lost 3-6. Turning the match around in the second and third set, Lu would break his opponent once in each set, not facing any break points himself, taking the second and third sets, and the match in 1 hour, 44 minutes. Lu will face either Fabio Fognini or Lleyton Hewitt in the third round.
As they say, good/bad things happen in threes, so to cap off this threesome of upsets within ten minutes of each other, Jerzy Janowicz was in the final stages of a significant win over fellow 23-year-old Grigor Dimitrov. The two had never played each other outside of juniors, and while up until a year ago, the two were comparable as prospects, Dimitrov has been the first to break into the upper echelons of the game, recently breaking into the top 10 while Janowicz’s string of bad results and injury has relegated him to world No.65, his lowest rank since 2012.
Janowicz dictated on serve in the first and third sets, serving a total of 12 aces – none of which came in the second set, which was the only one he would lose on his way to a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 win over the Bulgarian. Janowicz will now face Julien Benneteau in the third round.
Dave Gertler is a tennis journalist, player and musician based in Sydney covering the Western & Southern Open for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his Twitter updates from the tournament on @TennisNewsTPN, follow him on his personal Twitter @davegertler, read his blog, and listen to his podcast, Tennis Days .