Monday, September 1, 2014

U.S. Open Day 7 highlights: Wozniacki tops Sharapova

Caroline Wozniacki practices during the 2012 Austral-
ian Open. On Sunday, she reached her first Grand Slam
quarterfinal since then. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Match of the day -- In a battle of former No. 1 players, 10th-seeded Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark outslugged fifth-seeded Maria Sharapova of Russia 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 in high humidity in 2 hours, 37 minutes.
   Wozniacki, 24, advanced to her first Grand Slam quarterfinal since the 2012 Australian Open. Only one of the top six women's seeds, No. 1 Serena Williams, remains alive entering the second week.
   Upset of the day -- The men's draw, unlike the women's, has gone largely according to form. No. 4 David Ferrer of Spain became the first top-10 seed to fall, succumbing to No. 26 Gilles Simon of France 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, 6-3 in the third round.
   Notable -- Belinda Bencic, 17, of Switzerland became the youngest U.S. Open quarterfinalist since her mentor, Martina Hingis, in 1997. Bencic ousted ninth-seeded Jelena Jankovic 7-6 (6), 6-3.
   Second-seeded Roger Federer lost the first 10 points in his 4-6, 6-1, 6-1, 6-1 victory over Marcel Granollers of Spain in the third round. Federer, a five-time U.S. Open champon, trailed 2-5 (one service break) in the first set when thunderstorms delayed the match for two hours.
   Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, a 32-year-old qualifier who had shocked second-seeded Simona Halep in the third round, lost to 13th-seeded Sara Errani 6-3, 2-6, 6-0. The 5-foot-4 1/2 (1.64-meter) Errani had four winners and nine errors to the 5-foot-11 (1.80-meter) Lucic-Baroni's 46 and 69, respectively.
   Men's seeded winners -- Federer, No. 6 Tomas Berdych, No. 7 Grigor Dimitrov, No. 14 Marin Cilic, No. 17 Roberto Bautista Agut, No. 20 Gael Monfils and Simon.
   Men's seeded losers -- Ferrer, No. 12 Richard Gasquet, No. 18 Kevin Anderson and No. 19 Feliciano Lopez.
   Women's seeded winners -- Wozniacki and Errani.
   Women's seeded losers -- Sharapova, Jankovic and No. 14 Lucie Safarova.
   Northern California connection -- Unseeded Americans Scott Lipsky, a 33-year-old former Stanford star, and Rajeev Ram surprised third-seeded Daniel Nestor of Canada and Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia 6-3, 6-4 to reach the men's doubles quarterfinals. Nestor, who will turn 42 on Thursday, has won eight Grand Slam men's doubles titles, and the 38-year-old Zimonjic six.
   Michaela Gordon, 15, of Saratoga in the San Francisco Bay Area dominated Miriam Kolodziejova of the Czech Republic 6-1, 6-2 in the first round of girls singles. 
   Fast fact -- Wozniacki plans to run in the New York City Marathon on Nov. 2.
   Quote -- Wozniacki, on taking a break from marathon training during the U.S. Open: "I have a pretty big tournament here that I kind of want to try and win."

Sunday, August 31, 2014

U.S. Open Day 6 highlights: Kvitova, last U.S. men gone

Third-seeded Petra Kvitova lost to qualifier
Aleksandra Krunic 6-4, 6-4 in the third round.
2014 photo by Paul Bauman
   Upset of the day -- Aleksandra Krunic, a 21-year-old Serbian qualifier ranked No. 145, stunned third-seeded Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-4 to reach the round of 16.
   Kvitova, who won her second Wimbledon title last month, has never advanced past the fourth round in seven trips to the U.S. Open.
   Of the top eight women, only three remain: No. 1 Serena Williams, No. 5 Maria Sharapova and No. 7 Eugenie Bouchard.
   Match of the day -- No. 22 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany topped No. 13 John Isner of Tampa, Fla., 7-6 (4), 4-6, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (4). Isner, 6-foot-10 (2.08 meters), blasted 42 aces and saved all five break points he faced.
   It's the third straight year that Kohlschreiber has eliminated Isner in the third round at Flushing Meadows.
   U.S. report -- Now it's up to Williams, the two-time defending champion. All other U.S. men and women are gone in singles.
   It's the second year in a row that no American man has reached the round of 16. Until last year, that had never happened since the tournament began in 1881.
   Notable -- Italians Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci, the top seeds in women's doubles, lost to Jarmila Gajdosova and Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 in the second round. Gajdosova and Tomljanovic are from Slovakia and Croatia originally.
Men's seeded winners -- No. 1 Novak Djokovic, No. 3 Stan Wawrinka, No. 5 Milos Raonic, No. 8 Andy Murray, No. 9 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, No. 10 Kei Nishikori, No. 16 Tommy Robredo and Kohlschreiber.
   Men's seeded losers -- Isner and No. 23 Leonardo Mayer.
   Women's seeded winners -- Williams, Bouchard, No. 11 Flavia Pennetta, No. 16 Victoria Azarenka, No. 17 Ekaterina Makarova and No. 20 Casey Dellacqua.
   Women's seeded losers -- No. 3 Petra Kvitova, No. 15 Carla Suarez Navarro and No. 30 Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.
   Northern California connection -- Sam Querrey, a San Francisco native and former Sacramento Capital in World TeamTennis, was outclassed by Djokovic 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.  
   Nicole Gibbs, the 2012 and 2013 NCAA singles champion from Stanford, lost to Pennetta of Italy 6-4, 6-0.
   Top-seeded Bob and Mike Bryan, seeking their fourth U.S. Open men's doubles title and 100th overall, will meet Bradley Klahn and Tim Smyczek (pronounced SMEE-check) in an all-American third-round match. All except Smyczek played at Stanford, but only Klahn, who's 12 years younger than the Bryans, graduated.
   Scott Lipsky, another former Stanford star, lost in the first round of mixed doubles with fellow American Lisa Raymond.
   Fast fact -- Isner, ranked No. 15, is the only U.S. man in the top 45.
   Quote -- Krunic, on beating Kvitova: “It was an honor for me to be in the same court with Petra. Of course, I didn’t expect to win. I was hoping (to) at least to win a set, but I managed to win a match somehow."

Saturday, August 30, 2014

U.S. Open Day 5 highlights: No. 2 Halep stunned

Second-seeded Simona Halep lost to Mirjana Lucic-
Baroni, a 32-year-old qualifier, 7-6 (6), 6-2 in the
third round. 2014 photo by Paul Bauman
   Upset of the day -- Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, a 32-year-old qualifier from Croatia and former prodigy, shocked second-seeded Simona Halep of Romania 7-6 (6), 6-2 to reach the round of 16.
   The 5-foot-11 (1.81-meter) Lucic-Baroni saved three set points at 2-5 in the first set against the 2014 French Open runner-up and Wimbledon semifinalist.
   Entering the U.S. Open, Lucic-Baroni was winless in six tournaments since May. One of the losses came against San Jose resident Raquel Kops-Jones, a doubles specialist then ranked No. 1,055 in singles, in the first round of qualifying for the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford last month.
   Lucic-Baroni once appeared destined for stardom. She became the youngest player to win an Australian Open title when she took the 1998 women's doubles crown at 15 years, 10 months with Martina Hingis.
   At 17, Lucic-Baroni upset world No. 4 Monica Seles to reach the Wimbledon singles semifinals in 1999. She was the lowest-ranked player (No. 134) at the time to reach a Grand Slam semifinal but has been surpassed.
   Lucic-Baroni's career was derailed by problems with her father, who she has said physically abused her and tampered with her prize money.
   "There have been more beatings than anyone can imagine," Lucic-Baroni once said.
   Marinko Lucic countered: “I never used excessive force, and if I did give her the occasional slap, it was because of her behavior. I did what I believed what was best for the child.”   
No. 19 seed Venus Williams fell to No. 13 Sara Errani
6-0, 0-6, 7-6 (5). 2014 photo by Paul Bauman
   Match of the day -- No. 13 seed Sara Errani of Italy edged No. 19 Venus Williams, the 2000 and 2001 U.S. Open champion, 6-0, 0-6, 7-6 (5). Williams, 34, served for the match at 5-3 in the third set and came within two points of victory four times.
   Errani, only 5-foot-4 1/2 (1.64 meters), had never won more than three games in a set in three matches against the 6-foot-1 (1.85-meter) Williams.
   Notable -- Belinda Bencic, 17, of Switzerland knocked off No. 6 Angelique Kerber of Germany 6-1, 7-5. Bencic, formerly ranked No. 1 in the juniors, is playing in the U.S. Open for the first time. Kerber, a 26-year-old left-hander, reached the semifinals at the U.S. Open in 2011 and Wimbledon in 2012.
   Men's seeded winners -- No. 2 Roger Federer, No. 4 David Ferrer, No. 6 Tomas Berdych, No. 7 Grigor Dimitrov, No. 12 Richard Gasquet, No. 14 Marin Cilic, No. 17 Roberto Bautista Agut, No. 18 Kevin Anderson, No. 19 Feliciano Lopez, No. 20 Gael Monfils and No. 26 Gilles Simon.
   Men's seeded losers -- No. 11 Ernests Gulbis, No. 15 Fabio Fognini, No. 25 Ivo Karlovic and No. 32 Joao Sousa.
   Women's seeded winners -- No. 5 Maria Sharapova, No. 9 Jelena Jankovic, No. 10 Caroline Wozniacki, Errani and No. 14 Lucie Safarova.
   Women's seeded losers -- Halep, Kerber, No. 18 Andrea Petkovic, Williams, No. 22 Alize Cornet, No. 26 Sabine Lisicki and No. 28 Roberta Vinci.
   U.S. report -- Remaining are three American women (No. 1 Serena Williams, Uzbekistan native Varvara Lepchenko and wild card Nicole Gibbs) and two U.S. men (No. 13 John Isner and Sam Querrey).
   All play in the third round today. Williams meets Lepchenko, Gibbs faces No. 11 Flavia Pennetta of Italy, Querrey takes on No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia, and Isner goes against No. 22 Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany.
   Northern California connection -- Eighth-seeded Kops-Jones and Juan Sebastian Cabal of Colombia lost to Anastasia Rodionova of Australia and Robert Farah of Colombia 4-6, 6-3 [10-5] in the first round of mixed doubles. Cabal and Farah, seeded 16th in men's doubles, lost to Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski of Poland in the second round.
   In an all-American encounter, ex-Stanford star Scott Lipsky, 33, and Rajeev Ram, 30, topped 16-year-old wild cards Michael Mmoh and Francis Tiafoe 6-1, 6-4 in the second round of men's doubles.
   Sam Riffice, a 15-year-old product of Roseville in the Sacramento area, lost to 15th-seeded Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia 7-6 (4), 6-4 in the first round of boys qualifying. Here's a link to my recent profile of Riffice and fellow Roseville juniors Keenan and Aidan Mayo: http://norcaltennisczar.blogspot.com/2014/08/neighborly-advice-keep-eye-on-roseville.html
   Fast fact -- Three record holders for the world's fastest serve played, and all lost. Sam Groth (163.7 mph, or 263.4 kph, in the 2012 Busan, South Korea, Challenger for the unofficial men's record) succumbed to Federer 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. Karlovic (156 mph, or 251 kph, in the 2011 Davis Cup for the official men's record) lost to Marcel Granollers 7-6 (6), 6-7 (3), 7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-4. And Sabine Lisicki (131 mph, or 210.8 kph, in last month's Bank of the West Classic for the women's mark) fell to Sharapova 6-2, 6-4.
   Quote -- A tearful Lucic-Baroni on her triumph: "This is incredible. I believed the whole time. After so many years, my God, this is just incredible. Every painful moment was worth it.”

Friday, August 29, 2014

U.S. Open Day 4 highlights: No. 8 Ivanovic, Bellis fall

Karolina Pliskova, shown in last month's Bank of
the West Classic at Stanford, upset eighth-seeded
Ana Ivanovic in the second round of the U.S. Open.
Photo by Paul Bauman
   Upset of the day -- Karolina Pliskova, a 22-year-old Czech who stands 6-foot-1 (1.86 meters), knocked off eighth-seeded Ana Ivanovic of Serbia 7-5, 6-4 in the second round.
   Ivanovic ascended to No. 1 in the world after winning the 2008 French Open for her only Grand Slam title. After dropping out of the top 20, she has rebounded this year. Ivanovic upset Serena Williams to reach the quarterfinals of the Australian Open in January and returned to the top 10 for the first time since 2009 on Aug. 4.
   Pliskova, ranked 42nd, advanced to the third round of a major for the first time. She lost to Williams 7-5, 6-2 in the second round of the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford last month.
   Northern California connection --  CiCi Bellis, a 15-year-old wild card from Atherton in the San Francisco Bay Area, lost to Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan 6-3, 0-6, 6-2. Diyas, 20, reached the fourth round of Wimbledon this summer.
   Bellis had stunned 12th-seeded Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia in the first round to become the youngest player to win a match in the U.S. Open since Anna Kournikova, also 15, in 1996.
   Wild card Nicole Gibbs, a two-time NCAA singles champion from Stanford, surprised 23rd-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-3.
Ana Ivanovic returned to the top 10 for the first
time since 2009 on Aug. 4. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Sam Querrey, a San Francisco native and former Sacramento Capital in World TeamTennis, outclassed 28th-seeded Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 to set up a third-round matchup with top-ranked Novak Djokovic.  
   In the first round of men's doubles, former Stanford stars Scott Lipsky and Bradley Klahn won separately, but Querrey and Steve Johnson lost to fourth-seeded Ivan Dodig of Croatia and Marcelo Melo of Brazil 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (5).
   Lipsky and fellow American Rajeev Ram edged 16th-seeded Jamie Murray of Great Britain and John Peers of Australia 4-6, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (4). Murray is Andy's older brother. 
   Klahn and Smyzcek outlasted Austin Krajicek of Bradenton, Fla., and John-Patrick Smith of Australia 2-6, 7-5, 6-4.
   Match of the day -- Estonia's Kaia Kanepi, a five-time Grand Slam quarterfinalist, saved two match points in a 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (8) victory over 24th-seeded Sam Stosur, the 2011 U.S. Open champion. 
   Men's seeded winners -- Djokovic, No. 5 Milos Raonic, No. 8 Andy Murray, No. 9 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, No. 10 Kei Nishikori, No. 13 John Isner, No. 16 Tommy Robredo, No. 22 Philipp Kohlschreiber and No. 23 Leonardo Mayer.
   Men's seeded losers -- Garcia-Lopez and No. 31 Fernando Verdasco.
   Women's seeded winners -- No. 1 Williams, No. 3 Petra Kvitova, No. 7 Eugenie Bouchard, No. 11 Flavia Pennetta, No. 15 Carla Suarez Navarro, No. 16 Victoria Azarenka, No. 17 Ekaterina Makarova, No. 29 Casey Dellacqua and No. 30 Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.
   Women's seeded losers -- Ivanovic, Pavyluchenkova, Stosur and No. 27 Madison Keys.
   Notable -- Victor Estrella Burgos, a Dominican playing in the U.S. Open for the first time at 34, defated Borna Coric, 17, of Croatia 7-6 (2), 4-6, 6-4, 6-2. Estrella Burgos, only 5-foot-8 (1.73 meters), won a $15,000 Futures tournament in the Sacramento suburb of Loomis in 2008.
   U.S. report -- The men went 2-0 in singles, but the women went 3-6 (including one all-American match). Four U.S. women lost to seeds.
   Through two rounds, four U.S. ladies remain: Williams, No. 19 Venus Williams, Uzbekistan native Varvara Lepchenko and Gibbs. With half of the men's second round to be played, the only Americans left are Isner, Querrey and wild card Tim Smyczek (pronounced SMEE-check).
   Fast facts -- Isner will face Kohlschreiber in the third round of the U.S. Open for the third straight year. Kohlschreiber won in five sets in 2012 and in four sets last year.
   Vania King, who lost to Serena Williams 6-1, 6-0, sang "America the Beautiful" in Arthur Ashe Stadium before a U.S. Open night session in 2006.
   King and Pavlyuchenkova also are former Capitals.
   Quote -- Bellis, after her loss: “This whole experience has been unbelievable, like mind-blowing. It's been crazy. It's been the best couple days of my life.”

Thursday, August 28, 2014

U.S. Open Day 3 highlights: No. 4 Radwanska ousted

Agnieszka Radwanska became the first top-10 seed, male or
female, to lose in the U.S. Open. 2013 photo by Paul Bauman
   Upset of the day -- No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland became the first top-10 seed, male or female, to fall in the tournament. The 2012 Wimbledon runner-up succumbed to 39th-ranked Peng Shuai, a Chinese veteran who uses two hands on both sides, 6-3, 6-4 in the second round.
   Radwanska has failed to advance past the fourth round in nine trips to the U.S. Open. Seeded second in the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford last month, the 2013 runner-up lost in the second round to Varvara Lepchenko of the United States after receiving a bye.
   Radwanska rebounded, though, to win the Montreal title the following week.
   Matches of the day -- No. 18 Kevin Anderson of South Africa and No. 32 Joao Sousa of Portugal pulled out fifth-set tiebreakers, and No. 18 Andrea Petkovic of Germany reeled off four straight points to win a third-set tiebreaker against Monica Puig of Puerto Rico.
   Notable -- No. 7 Grigor Dimitrov earned his first U.S. Open victory after three losses, beating U.S. wild card Ryan Harrison 6-2, 7-6 (4), 6-2. No. 6 Tomas Berdych eliminated 33-year-old Lleyton Hewitt, the 2001 champion, 6-3, 6-4, 6-3.
   U.S. report -- American men and women went 1-4 combined in singles. No. 19 Venus Williams, 34, downed Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland 6-1, 6-4 in the first match of the night session in Arthur Ashe Stadium. Losing were No. 21 Sloane Stephens, wild card Madison Brengle, Steve Johnson and Harrison.
   The 21-year-old Stephens, who has dropped from a career-high No. 11 in the world last October to No. 24, lost to Johanna Larsson of Sweden 5-7, 6-4, 6-2. Johnson, a 24-year-old former USC star, retired with severe leg and arm cramps while leading Tatsuma Ito of Japan 2-6, 6-3, 7-5, 1-4.
   Northern California connection -- After the first round of men's singles, only three Americans remain: No. 13 John Isner (6-foot-10/2.08 meters), Sam Querrey (6-foot-6/1.98 meters) and Tim Smyczek (5-foot-9/1.75 meters). With half of the second round in women's singles completed, 10 U.S. players are left. Nine are scheduled to play today in the top half. Only Williams remains in the bottom half.
   Marcos Baghdatis, the Australian Open runner-up in 2006 and Aptos Challenger champion three weeks ago, retired with an ankle injury with No. 14 Marin Cilic of Croatia leading 6-3, 3-1, 0-15.
   Top-seeded Bob and Mike Bryan, former Stanford All-Americans seeking their fourth U.S. Open men's doubles title and 100th overall, coasted in the first round.
   In women's doubles, sixth-seeded Raquel Kops-Jones of San Jose and Abigail Spears of San Diego were upset by Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan and Yi-Fan Xu of China 6-4, 2-6, 6-1. Also, ex-Stanford star Nicole Gibbs, from Marina del Rey in the Los Angeles area, and Maria Sanchez, originally from Modesto, lost to Lauren Davis of Boca Raton, Fla., and Renata Voracova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 4-6, 6-1.
   Bradley Klahn, who graduated from Stanford in 2012, lost in the first round of mixed doubles with Shelby Rogers of Charleston, S.C.
   Fast fact -- No. 5 Maria Sharapova improved to 17-6 (.739) in three-set matches this year after beating Alexandra Dulgheru of Romania 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
   Quote -- No. 10 Caroline Wozniacki, after her hair got caught in her racket during her victory over qualifier Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus: “Actually, it used to happen when I didn't braid my hair. That's why I started braiding it. Once it gets to a certain length, sometimes it can get stuck in the arm of the racket. It's a first, when it's braided that it's been stuck that good in my racket. I still tried to hit the ball. Almost took my head off.”

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

U.S. Open Day 2 highlights: Bellis, 15, stuns 12th seed

CiCi Bellis earned a wild card in the U.S. Open by winning
the USTA Girls 18 National Championships in San Diego
three weeks ago. Photo courtesy of JFS Communications
   Match and upset of the day -- Catherine (CiCi) Bellis, a 15-year-old wild card from Atherton in the San Francisco Bay Area, shocked 12th-seeded Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 in the first round.
   Bellis, the second-ranked junior in the world, overcame a 3-1 deficit in the third set to become the youngest player to win a main-draw match in the U.S. Open since Anna Kournikova, also 15, in 1996.
   Cibulkova, only 5-foot-3 (1.61 meters), was the runner-up to Li Na in the Australian Open in January and won last year's Bank of the West Classic at Stanford. Atherton is adjacent to Stanford, and Bellis grew up attending the tournament.
   Cibulkova, however, has won one match in four tournaments since Wimbledon, including a first-round loss to Garbine Muguruza at Stanford. Cibulkova's victory was over 17-year-old wild card Francoise Abanda in Montreal three weeks ago.
   Bellis will face Zarina Diyas, a 20-year-old Kazakh who reached the fourth round at Wimbledon this year. She is ranked 48th.
   Here's a link to my 2012 profile of Bellis: http://norcaltennisczar.blogspot.com/2012/06/little-bellis-gets-big-results.html
   Notable -- Marina Erakovic, a veteran from New Zealand, upset 20th-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 (3). Kuznetsova, 29, won the U.S. Open 10 years ago for her first Grand Slam title. She also captured the French Open in 2009.
   Borna Coric, a 17-year-old qualifier from Croatia, ousted 29th-seeded Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-1, 6-2. Rosol, 29, won his second career ATP title last week in Winston-Salem and stunned Rafael Nadal in the second round at Wimbledon in 2012.
   U.S. report -- The women went 9-4 in singles and the men 3-5. Those figures include two all-American encounters. With the women's first round complete, 12 U.S. players remain. With some of the men's opening round still to be played, only five Americans are left.
   Northern California connection -- Sam Querrey, a San Francisco native and former Sacramento Capital in World TeamTennis, subdued Maximo Gonzalez of Argentina 6-2, 4-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. The 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) Querrey could meet top-seeded Novak Djokovic in the third round.
   Dmitry Tursunov, a Russian veteran based in the Sacramento suburb of Granite Bay, lost to Alejandro Gonzalez of Colombia 6-4, 6-4, 7-5. Tursunov, 31, had been sidelined since Wimbledon with a left ankle injury.
   Former Stanford star Nicole Gibbs, 21, outlasted 41st-ranked Caroline Garcia of France 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 for her first Grand Slam main-draw victory. 
   Fast fact -- Roger Federer and Serena Williams each have captured 17 Grand Slam singles titles, including five in the U.S. Open. They headlined the night session and won in straight sets.
   Quote -- Bellis on her victory: “Believing was the number one thing that I had to do today. Just go out there and believe that you can win. If you do believe, there's two options. You can either believe and lose or believe and win, but if you don't believe you're going to lose anyway.”

U.S. Open Day 1 highlights: Venus wins match for ages

Venus Williams, 34, shown in last month's Bank of the
West Classic at Stanford, beat 43-year-old Kimiko
Date-Krumm in the first round of the U.S. Open.
Photo by Paul Bauman
   Match of the day --No. 19 seed Venus Williams, 34, defeated 43-year-old Kimiko-Date Krumm 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 in Arthur Ashe Stadium. The combined age of 77 is believed to be a women's Grand Slam record.
   Biggest upset -- Nick Kyrgios is at it again. The 19-year-old Australian, who upended top-ranked Rafael Nadal to reach the Wimbledon quarterfinals last month, ousted No. 21 seed Mikhail Youzhny of Russia 7-5, 7-6 (4), 2-6, 7-6 (1). Kyrgios (pronounced KEER-ee-ose) incurred three code violations, one short of being defaulted. Youzhny, 32, reached the U.S. Open semifinals in 2006 and 2010 and quarterfinals last year.  
   Notable -- Andy Murray, the eighth seed and 2012 champion, overcame head-to-toe cramps to beat Robin Haase of the Netherlands 6-3, 7-6 (6), 1-6, 7-5. Haase also cramped, but less severely. ... Past U.S. Open champions Novak Djokovic, seeded first, and Maria Sharapova, seeded fifth, won in straight sets.
   U.S. report -- The women went 3-1 and the men 0-2. Advancing were Williams, No. 21 Sloane Stephens and wild card Madison Brengle. Losing were wild card Danielle Collins, Donald Young and Bradley Klahn.
   Northern California connection -- Klahn, a 24-year-old Stanford graduate coming back from a foot injury, fell to Andrey Kuznetsov of Russia 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5.
   Fast fact -- Sharapova won the final 10 games in her 6-4, 6-0 victory over Maria Kirilenko in a matchup of 27-year-old Russians and close friends.
   Quote -- The volatile Kyrgios, on the vocal support he received during his match: "I was really, really happy with that. It was awesome. I'm going to get scorched in Melbourne for saying it, but this is my favorite Grand Slam. Suits my personality a bit."