US OPEN MEN´S SINGLES: Nadal, Monfils and Cilic safely through, Harrison stuns Raonic- View: 1096 by Jovica Ilic
2-time champion Rafael Nadal had the opportunity to become the first player who won a match under the roof above the Arthur Ashe stadium, as rain threaten his 2nd round match against Andreas Seppi, that Spaniard won 6-0 7-5 6-1 in 2 hours and 17 minutes. It was another solid performance from Nadal, who's groundstrokes worked well, maintaining the aggression throughout the match, also winning the most important points, especially in the 1st and 3rd sets.
He converted 8 out of 12 break points and lost serve just twice in set number 2 that saw the only fight. Seppi's serve was under constant threat, as he lost 57% of the points in his games, and when we add him 35 unforced errors, he had no chances to at least soften the defeat.
Nadal had the best possible launch of the match, winning the first 7 games, including the marathon final game of the opening set when he converted his second break point after 6 deuces. Seppi finally started to play better in the second set, breaking Nadal in game 3, but his lead was short-lived, with Spaniard breaking back immediately.
Nadal made another break in game 8 to go 5-3 up and serve for the set, but Seppi managed to prolong it, saving a set point and breaking back to cut the deficit to 5-4. Still, Nadal played another good return game to make another break in game 12, taking the set by 7-5.
Seppi had nothing more in the tank, as Nadal stormed to win the 3rd set 6-1 with two breaks of serve, booking his place in the 3rd round of the US Open for the 10th straight time.
Unlike Nadal, Milos Raonic was stopped in the 2nd round after heroic effort from qualifier Ryan Harrison, who prevailed over the 5th seed by 6-7 7-5 7-5 6-1, in 3 hours and 37 minutes! Thus, Harrison advances to the 3rd round of Grand Slam for the first time, while Raonic failed to reach it for the first time since Wimbledon 2013. Also, this was the biggest career win for the Austin resident, and only the second against Top 10 players in 28 matches (2-26).
Milos fired 18 aces but also 15 double faults, which is too much even for such a long match, and Harrison surprisingly won more points on both first and the second serve, when Milos started to struggle with injury. There were 37 break points in total, Harrison broke his rival 7 times and got broken on only 3 occasions (Milos was 3-19 on break points), and that made the difference.
Both players had more winners than unforced errors and it really was an interesting encounter in the first 3 sets that lasted over 3 hours. The match was very tight from the beginning, players exchanged breaks in games 5 and 6 and Ryan saved a set point in game 12 to enter the tie break.
Milos won it 7-4 after 3 mini-breaks, but Ryan had no intentions to step down, fighting even harder in the rest of the match, carried by the patriotic crowd. The second set was full of break points on both sides, and it was Ryan who converted two of them to win the set 7-5.
He was 5-2 up after saving 4 break points in game 7, and Milos somehow stayed in the set in the following game, saving 6 set points to stay in contention. This shook Harrison a little bit, as he lost his serve in game 9 whiles serving for the set, but he broke Milos in game 12 to take it by 7-5, leveling the score at 1-1 with possible marathon yet to come.
Milos opened the third set with a break and he was 4-2 up when Ryan started his comeback, taking 5 out of the last 6 games to turn the result around and grab the set by 7-5. Milos was now 2 sets to 1 down, but he had bigger troubles, as he started to suffer physically.
He was cramping, and also with pain in his left arm, right forearm and in both quadriceps. His journey was pretty much over at that point, losing the 4th set 6-1 in just 26 minutes, and he should receive some credits for not retiring but standing on the court until the end, not spoiling Ryan's win.
Marin Cilic came to New York just after winning his first Masters 1000 title in Cincinnati, and he looks very eager to repeat that at the US Open as well, being a 2014 champion here. Marin needed just an hour and 40 minutes to dismiss Sergiy Stakhovsky by 6-1 6-2 6-3, playing yet another rock solid match. Stakhovsky managed to win only 16 points on return, wasting 2 break points, while Cilic broke his rival 6 times from 10 opportunities, taking exactly 50% of the return points.
Marin had 29 winners and 19 unforced errors, as both serve, net play and the groundstrokes worked well for him, while Ukrainian finished with 14 winners and 29 errors, which wasn't enough for a better result. Marin had to save a break point in the opening game of the match but after that, it was a routine job, as he won the last 5 games of the set, including a double break in games 4 and 6.
Stakhovsky stayed on the same level with his rival in the first 4 games of the second set but was unable to continue with that pace, losing the final 4 games of the set to find himself 6-1 6-2 down, having no answer to Croat's powerful game.
A similar scenario occurred in the third set as well, they were tied at 3-3 (Sergiy had a break point in that 6th game) before Marin shifted into a higher gear, winning the last 4 games of the set for an impressive triumph and a place in the last 32.
The 10th seed Gael Monfils is also through to the next round, defeating qualifier Jan Satral 7-5 6-4 6-3 in 2 hours time. Czech player ranked 226th, played in his first Grand Slam main draw here in New York, scoring his first win as well, but despite valiant effort he couldn't take a set out of Monfils, who played better and better as the match progresses. Gael kept his serve very well, both the first and second, being broken only once, and he proved to be stronger at the closing stages of all 3 sets to move on into round 3.
Each player had a solid winners-unforced errors ratio, as Satral tried to be more aggressive and to control the points. He faced 12 break points and did a good job of fending off 8 of them, for a solid display overall. The first set saw an open battle, Satral saved a break point in the opening service game but he stayed toe to toe with Gael almost until the tie break, losing his serve for the first time in game 12, as Monfils won the opener 7-5.
Jan had an early lead in the second set after his only break of the match, but Gael wasted no time before getting back on the scoreboard, leveling the score at 2-2 after Satral wasted 3 game points for a 3-1. The 10th game proved to be crucial, Jan missed 2 game points for 5-5 and eventually Gael broke him on 3rd break point to grab the set by 6-4 and take a commanding 2 sets to love lead.
Nothing could separate the competitors in the first part of the 3rd set, with Satral even having a break point in game 5 but Monfils showed who is a better-ranked player when it mattered the most, breaking his rival on 4th chance in game 8, and finishing the match with a love service game after that.
Second round results: Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs Andreas Seppi (ITA) 6-0 7-5 6-1
Gael Monfils (FRA) vs [Q]Jan Satral (CZE) 7-5 6-4 6-3
Jack Sock (USA) vs [Q]Mischa Zverev (GER) 6-1 6-1 6-2
[Q]Ryan Harrison (USA) vs Milos Raonic (CAN) 6-7(4) 7-5 7-5 6-1
Marin Cilic (CRO) vs Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) 6-1 6-2 6-3
Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) vs Federico Delbonis (ARG) 5-7 6-2 6-3 6-2
Lucas Pouille (FRA) vs Marco Chiudinelli (SUI) 4-6 3-6 7-6(6) 6-2 6-0
Andrey Kuznetsov (RUS) vs Albert Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) 7-5 6-4 7-6(5) ALSO READ: Ivo Karlovic sets US Open record for maximum aces in a match! .