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US OPEN MEN´S SINGLES: Djokovic receives walkover, Isner, Tsonga and Anderson join him in R3

US OPEN MEN´S SINGLES: Djokovic receives walkover, Isner, Tsonga and Anderson join him in R3

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by Jovica Ilic

Only for the second time in his career, Novak Djokovic won the Grand Slam match by a walkover (Roland Garros 2011 against Fognini, as Jiri Vesely failed to recover for the 2nd round match against the world number 1.

Czech player had to withdraw from last week's match at Winston-Salem, and he also played a marathon first round encounter here in New York with Saketh Myneni that lasted almost 4 hours. The official reason for his withdrawal is left forearm inflammation, and he admitted that you have to be at your 100% to have any chance against Novak.

In their only previous meeting, Jiri stunned Novak in the 2nd round of Monte Carlo Masters this spring by 6-4 2-6 6-4, and we potentially missed a very nice match if the both players were healthy and at their best (Novak too had troubles in his first round match against Janowicz).

Thus, Novak will have a few days off before his next match, and he booked his place in the Grand Slam round 3 every single time after his loss to Safin at 2008 Wimbledon, more than 8 years ago!
The 20th seed and home favorite John Isner advances to the 3rd round of the US Open for the 9th time in 10 appearances, after a solid 6-3 6-4 6-7 6-3 victory over qualifier Steve Darcis. The Belgian pushed big American for almost 3 hours, mainly thanks to the 3rd set that lasted 70 minutes, in which he prevailed in the end by 12-10 in the tie break.

Still, John was safe in the other sets, firing 38 aces and saving all 4 break points he faced. Both players had much more winners than unforced errors, but it Hohn's serve that made all the difference, as he lost only 5 points after landing the first serve in (66 from 71).

Isner also played well on his break points, converting 3 of 5 and making one in each set that he won. John found a rhythm on serve instantly, losing just 4 points on serve in the opening set and breaking Darcis in game 4 for a 6-3.

The first scare for the American occurred in the second game of the second set when he had to save 2 break points but the rest of the set was fine for him, scoring another break in game 5 to take it 6-4. With no room for further errors, Darcis raised his game in set 4, he faced no break points and wasted 2 break/set points on return in games 10 and 12.

The tie break produced a real drama, John failed to realize 4 match points to eventually lose it 12-10, being forced to play another set under the hot New York sun. This set lasted 70 minutes and took a lot of energy from both players, but it was the American who served at his best in set 4, breaking Darcis in game 8 to finish the match with a love service game, for his 22nd US Open win.

2-time US Open quarter-finalist, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, reached the 3rd round with a hard-fought 6-4 3-6 6-3 6-4 triumph over James Duckworth. It was a good match between two good servers, with a lot of net rushing from both and it lasted exactly 3 hours, thanks to one amazing fact.

Namely, Tsonga had no less than 25 break points (James' serve was not at its best in this match) but managed to convert only 4 of them to keep Duckworth alive and kickin' as long as it was possible. Jo served well, losing just 9 points on the first serve, but he was also solid on return, stopping Duckworth on only 68% of the first serve points won.

Also, Tsonga had impressive 65 winners and 32 unforced errors, which is a ratio that can keep him very happy. Duckworth had to chase the result from the very first game, losing his serve on 4th break point, and he prevented even worse scenario with 2 break points saved in game 5.

Tsonga served well throughout the set to win it 6-4, except for game 8 when he saved 2 break points. In set number 2 Duckworth had an early break for a 3-1 lead, Jo-Wilfried broke back in game 5, only to lose his serve again in the following game, which gave Duckworth the set by 6-3.

In the crazy 3rd set, the Frenchman had 13 break chances, but he converted only 1 in the second game, with that being enough to take the set 6-3, having no troubles in his games. The 8th game was a true endurance run, with 7 break/set points wasted for Tsonga, who just couldn't find the way to score more breaks after that first one.

The quality of tennis was probably the highest in the early stages of the 4th set, with no break points in the first 8 games. In game 9, Duckworth wasted 2 game points to lose his serve and Tsonga didn't ask for the second invitation, sealing the victory with good service game for a 6-4 and overall triumph.

In one of the most important matches in their career's so far (the biggest for the American for sure), Kyle Edmund ousted Ernesto Escobedo 7-5 6-4 6-4 in 2 hours and 25 minutes, to advance to his first Grand Slam round 3.

Better-ranked player used his serve in a more effective way, and he was impressive at the net and with winners-unforced errors ratio, standing at 54-34. Escobedo had to play against 16 break points after losing 40% of his serve points, but he did a good job there, being broken just 4 times.

Still, that was enough to see Edmund going through in straight sets, as he lost his serve only once from 8 opportunities Ernesto had. The players exchanged breaks in games 3 and 4, and they both have had their chances in the closing stages of the opening set.

Kyle took his, breaking in game 11 for a 6-5 lead and he sealed the set in a best possible way, with a love service game. This made him settling into a nice rhythm on serve, as he had no troubles in his games in set number 2, which we can't say for Escobedo too.

He faced 7 break points in his final 3 service games and Kyle finally converted the last one in game 9 to go 5-4 up, again finishing the set on own serve, taking it 6-4. The result in the third set was locked up at 4-4 (Kyle missed 4 break points, Ernesto 2) before Edmund made another strong move on return in game 9, breaking Escobedo for the 4th and final time to get himself in the position to serve for the match, and he delivered another solid service game to cross the finish line and experience his best Grand Slam result so far.

Second round results: [1]Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs Jiri Vesely (CZE) W/O
Kyle Emdund (GBR) vs [WC]Ernesto Escobedo (USA) 7-5 6-4 6-4
[23]Kevin Anderson (RSA) vs Vasek Pospisil (CAN) 7-6(3) 6-4 6-4
[20]John Isner (USA) vs [Q]Steve Darcis (BEL) 6-3 6-4 6-7(10) 6-3
[9]Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) vs [WC]James Duckworth (AUS) 6-4 3-6 6-3 6-4
Marcos Baghdatis (CYP) vs [32]Benoit Paire (FRA) 6-2 6-4 3-6 6-4
Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) vs Guido Pella (ARG) 6-2 6-1 7-6(3)
Nicolas Almagro (ESP) vs [18]Pablo Cuevas (URU) 7-6(5) 6-4 7-6(9) ALSO READ: US OPEN DAY 3: Can Novak Djokovic Steady the Wobbling Ship? .

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