My Latvian boy Ernests made it through in 4 sets to set up a probable Friday night matchup with Andy. If Andy wants a test he's going to get one. Ernie, for better or worse, always plays as if he has nothing to lose. Probably because he comes from a filthy rich family. Seriously, boy, why are you playing tennis? Go home and drive your sportscars!
Nole looked great in his straight set win over Clement. Unfortunately the match wasn't without incident as Nole rolled his ankle returning a serve in the third set. He called for the trainer and looked alright, but who knows. But really, he looked sharp, orange and turquoise Adidas gear notwithstanding.
As for A-Rod, he kicked off his 2008 campaign with a new "coach" in PMac, and improved form against The Magician. Andy reminded me tonight of how good he can be, which was encouraging. But once again it was a match that was marred with a touch of controversy. On the second to last point of the match, A-Rod smacked a 140mph body serve that almost took Fabrice's head off. Fabrice was none too happy and basically stood there while Andy aced him for the match. Afterwards, Andy was extremely apologetic. But something tells me Fabrice is a little miffed to lose so badly to the young brash American at his last US Open.
For the rest of the men, no huge surprises, though the start of the day saw retirements and withdrawals from Janko and Youzhny. Robby Ginepri had a nice win today, as did Chris Guccione (as coached by Killer Cahill). New Haven champ Marin Cilic fought hard for a 5 set win over French cutie Julien Benneteau. And welcome back Jo Wilfried Tsonga! He didn't look too sharp today, which is understandable since he's coming off injury, but he did win which means we'll get to see more of that million dollar smile.
Meanwhile, Kuzzie is doing what she does and quietly making her way through the tournament. She beat my girl Sorana Cirstea (seriously, people, keep an eye on this girl) in straight sets, but Sorana showed a lot of fight in the first, taking Kuzzie to a tiebreak. Cirstea's got a great serve and solid groundstrokes. She just needs the consistency and maybe some fitness work. And she also needs to not wear that stupid Adidas petal dress.
As for Lindsay, with Bepa's surprise loss today and JJ's struggles, boy, she's looking pretty good. I've been really impressed with both of her matches. If she can get past Mono Bartoli in the next round and stay injury free, I think she's clear into the quarters to potentially play JJ, who I can see her beating. So keep an eye out on this bottom half.
As for the rest of the Ladies, I've already mentioned the Bepa upset. But look out Britain! Anne Keothavong had a huge win over Franny Schiavone. I love Anne. Her accept is lovely. In another upset only on paper, Zheng Jie beat Annabel Medina Garrigues. On the other hand, Pazcek lost to Rybarikova 1 and 2. A real shame as I was expecting at least a run to the third round after her success in Montreal. But don't lose faith in the youth of the tour. Ski Boots and Vika Azarenka both had solid straight set wins today and will play each other on Friday. Go Ski Boots!
Lastly, I leave you with this:
Seriously, I could just write an entire blog on JJ. But it's just too easy.