August 1, 2015

Federer Rolls Past Verdasco at US Open

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – No. 1 Roger Federer continued his perfect record against  25th seed Fernando Verdasco on Saturday with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win at the US Open.

Federer is vying to win his sixth US Open title which would be an Open Era record.

The Swiss moved into net frequently winning 26 of 27 points while earning 36 points from the baseline.

“I had no clue my stats were that good coming in, said Federer.

Fernando did have some good chances for good passing shots. Looking bacl, I don’t remember missing too many volleys and overheads, all that stuff. Probably half of the time I didn’t have to volley because it was hard to hit a good pass. It was windy. Usually when I do come in, it’s probably on one I can be offensive on.”

Federer was not really challenged on his serve, only having to save one break point.

Playing under the heat and humidity of New York City, does not bother Federer. “Wasn’t hot at all for me. Bit of a breeze,” Federer said.

“Had a great time out there. I was happy with my performance today.”

Federer will meet the winner of Mardy Fish- Gilles Simon match in the fourth round.



Baker Sails through

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – The last time Brian Baker won a match at the US Open it was 2005. Since then Baker has been on the road back to tennis, battling injuries, surgeries until his comeback a few months ago.

The man from Nashville, won his second career match at the US Open seven years since the first moving past Czech Jan Hajek 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 on Wednesday.

“I think just being older and, you know, knowing how easy the game was taken away from me, said Baker. It’s very easy to appreciate it a lot.  I don’t take anything for granted.


“I remember several years watching it on TV wishing I was here, so just to be here is an awesome feeling.  And then at the same time, the competitive side kicks over and I want to do really well.

“I had some nerves,” said Baker.  “I don’t think it was probably the prettiest match ever.  A win is a win.  I felt like when I needed to I played well.  I’m not sure exactly the break point stats, but I know I didn’t get broken and was probably pretty high percentage on my conversion rate.”

Baker began the year with a ranking of 458th in the world and now he’s at 70.

“It’s always exciting to play the Open, said Baker, “but that was another sense of just pride knowing I had done it on my own.  I hope to be able to play several more US Opens, but I don’t take any of them for granted.

“My mind is in the present right now, and I still have a long way to go this next couple of weeks.”

Next up for Baker is Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia. Tipsarevic needed to rally from two sets down to get past Frenchman  Guillaume Rufin of France 4-6, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-2.


Murray, Sharapova into Second Round of the US Open

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Third seeds Andy Murray and Maria Sharapova have reached the US Open second round on Monday with straight set victories.

Despite the 6-2, 6-4, 6-1 win over Russian Alex Bogomolov, he struggled at times with his serve and play in general.

“I just didn’t serve that well” Murray told media.  “Didn’t serve well most of the match.  That was why I actually felt okay.  I mean, I lost serve, then I broke straight back I think both times.

“It was more the serving.  I just didn’t serve that well.

“I won in three sets.  You know, I didn’t serve very well.  Only lost seven games in three sets, so I must have done something well today.

“Bogomolov, you know, I think he was seeded here last year.  He made the third round.  He plays his best tennis on the hard courts.  He’s a tough player.

“I played fairly well from the back of the court.  I just would have liked to have served a bit better because, you know, I wasn’t getting many free points on my serve.

“Because of that, there were a lot more rallies.  When he’s in a rhythm, he’s tough to break down.”

Sharapova cruised past Melinda Czink of Hungary 6-2, 6-2 on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

“ It’s been a few weeks,” said the Russian who has been out of action since the Olympics with a stomach virus.  “It was a nice break in a way, but after so many weeks of practicing, you’re just eager to get back on the court.

“The tournament almost seems a little bit easier because the practice is a little bit shorter getting ready to play matches.  It’s so much better than having practice weeks, to be honest.

“But I was happy with the way I came out.  Never played my opponent before.  A lefty.  Conditions weren’t exactly perfect.  Overall I played steady, but there’s room for improvement, that’s for sure.”

Karen Pestaina is covering the US Open as media for Tennis Panorama News. Follow her updates on twitter at @TennisNewsTPN.


Americans Blake and Sock Gain Second Round at US Open


James Blake

FLUSHING MEADOWS –  American “elder statesman” James Blake and the “new kid on the block” Jack Sock advanced to the second  round of the US Open on Monday.

In a rain interrupted match on Louis Armstrong, 32-year-old Blake defeated Lukas Lacko Slovakia 7-5, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.

“It’s a good feeling,” said Blake of the win.  “You know, every time I come back here it’s still sort of the goosebumps walking out on Louis Armstrong or Arthur Ashe.  I’m excited, and I get a lot of ticket requests.  I get to see my fans and friends having a good time.  That definitely keeps my spirits up, keeps my head up throughout the whole match.

“I can’t believe that it’s been I think 12 years I have been playing here just about every year.  You know, it still doesn’t feel normal.  It’s still an incredible feeling to be here and to be doing what I dreamed of as a kid.”

Blake  who is playing the tournament as a wildcard was asked about what it will take for an American like himself or John Isner to break through and make a run against the top three players.

“ I need to worry about one match at a time,” the 32-year-old Blake said.  “I can’t worry about quarters or semis or finals right now.

“I’m still kind of scratching to get through these matches and get my confidence back and feel like I’m ready to compete.  I don’t think that will change if I’m playing someone that’s 1, 2, or 3 in the world.

“I have been fortunate enough.  I am an elder statesman.  I have been around and have won a lot of matches.  I have beaten guys 1 in the world, I’ve beaten guys that are top 3, top 4, top 5 plenty of times.  There is no reason for me to go out there and play one of players those guys and be scared.

“I think it will take an unbelievable effort.  I will have to play my best tennis.”

Jack Sock led 27th seed Florian Mayer 6-3, 6-2, 3-2 when the German retired with an illness. “I think today is definitely good for the confidence and good for the overall game and everything going into the next round,” said the young American in his second-ever win at the US Open.

“I think my serve was definitely pretty reliable when I was down.  I was down Love‑30 once or twice, down Love‑40 once.  Came up with some good serves, first‑ball combos.  I think that was definitely some turning points, not letting him get a break and not letting him get some momentum back.

The 19-year-old loves playing on the Grandstand court. “ You can’t ask for a better tournament, a better atmosphere, a better environment,” sock said.  “That grandstand court was awesome.  The fans were pretty close and really into it.  It was a great environment.  I’d love to play on there again sometime.”

Jack Sock paired with Melanie Oudin last year to win the US Open Mixed Doubles title.

Karen Pestaina is covering the US Open as media for Tennis Panorama News. Follow her updates on twitter at @TennisNewsTPN.


Li Na Advances at US Open with New Confidence and a New Coach

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Li Na received a boost of confidence by winning Cincinnati less than two weeks ago, her first tournament win of the year. The momentum carried over to her first round match of the US Open on Monday, where the former French Open champion displayed her experience, power and control in defeating Great Britain’s  Heather Watson 6-2, 6-3 on Court 17.

“At least I win the title this year,” said a smiling Li of her  Western and Southern Open tournament win.

“Because before I was like three times in the final but I always lose in three sets.  I was happy I can win in Cincy.  Nice time if I come to final again I can tell myself, Okay, you can do it.  Like before, Oh, come on, you always lose the final.  What happen?”

The ninth seed continued, “Cincy is over.  So you go somewhere else, you have to looking forward to see what you should do in the US Open.”

On the match Li said her years on the court won her the match. “At least I was 10 years older than her, so I got more experience on the court.  I mean, she’s play very good, but sometimes I have to show her how good I am.

“So maybe I was put little more pressure for her to ‑‑ I mean, doesn’t matter.  I was like 3‑1 down or 5‑3 up.  If she look me I always been there, so maybe a little bit tough for her.”

Along with some new confidence is a new coach – Li dismissed her husband who was her coach, and hired the former coach of Justine Henin, Carlos Rodriguez.

“After I got new coach I think for both me and my husband I think much, much easier.  Love is love; coach is coach.  You have to separate.

“You know, I mean, after I change the coach, didn’t say my husband didn’t do a good job.  I think he’s still doing good job.  But for both sometimes it’s too much, you know.  Like it’s really tough to find a balance between coaching and husband.”

The match numbers tell the story of how dominant theChinese woman was against her opponent – knocking 28 winners past her opponent, won almost 60 percent of the baseline points, putting almost almost 80 pe rcent of returns in play and was only broken once.


Karen Pestaina is covering the US Open as media for Tennis Panorama News. Follow her updates on twitter at @TennisNewsTPN.