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Tsonga makes early exit

New York, August 31, 2012, Rueters:

Frenchman bows to Slovakian Klizan; Venus falls to Kerber

 Andy Roddick stunned the tennis world by announcing that the US Open would be his last tournament on Thursday but there was no sign of the end of the road for his contemporaries Roger Federer and Serena Williams on day four at Flushing Meadows.

Federer led the tributes for Roddick after defeating Bjorn Phau with an evening exhibition to reach the third round of the men's draw, while Serena added her own plaudits after remaining on course for a fourth US Open crown with a victory over Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez.

Roddick's announcement of his impending retirement came shortly after France's fifth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga produced his worst match of the year to be the first big-name casualty of the men's draw.


The former world number one and US Open champion said he realised during his first-round victory over Rhyne Williams that he had lost the desire to remain on tour. "I just feel like it's time," Roddick, who celebrated his 30th birthday on Thursday, said. Roddick will play Australian Bernard Tomic on Arthur Ashe Stadium on Friday night in what is now sure to be a highly-charged atmosphere.

Top seed Federer absolutely dominated German Phau to win 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 in the opening match of Thursday's night session before paying tribute to Roddick, who he defeated in three Wimbledon finals.

"A great champion and a great guy," Federer told the crowd.

In the women's draw, Serena, though not at her best, was an easy 6-2, 6-4 winner over Martinez Sanchez but second-seeded Angieszka Radwanska struggled before peeling off 11 straight games in a 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 defeat of Carla Suarez Navarro.  While Serena advanced, her sister Venus lost 6-2, 5-7, 7-5 to Germany's sixth seed Angelique Kerber in a tense battle under the lights following Federer's dominant triumph.

Venus, twice a champion at Flushing Meadows, blasted 43 winners but committed un uncharacteristic 60 errors in the two-hour, 45-minute loss to the southpaw Kerber, a semifinalist here a year ago.

Teenager Sloane Stephens again lived up to the hype with a 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 win over Tatjana Malek and there was more American success when 32-year-old men's wildcard James Blake wound back the clock to beat 24th seed Marcel Granollers 6-1, 6-4, 6-2.

Wildly erratic

Tsonga was wildly erratic in his 6-4, 1-6, 6-1, 6-3 loss to 52nd-ranked Martin Klizan of Slovakia in Louis Armstrong Stadium. "It seemed like I couldn't hit the ball hard enough to put my opponent out of position," said Tsonga.

American Mardy Fish attended Roddick's retirement announcement after defeating Russian Nikolay Davydenko 4-6, 6-7, 6-2, 6-1, 6-2 to reach the third round. Roddick, who won the 2003 US Open and was a Wimbledon finalist in 2004, 2005 and 2009, will play Tomic in the first match of the prime-time night session on Friday night. "There's a lot of eyeballs on TV sets from people who don't even normally watch tennis during night matches of the US Open," he said.

Bhupathi-Hlavackova win

Mahesh Bhupathi and Andrea Hlavackova reached the mixed doubles second round. Sixth seeded Indo-Czech pair scored a comfortable 6-2, 6-4 win over unseeded American combo of Mitchell Krueger and Samantha Crawford on Thursday night.

Sania Mirza and her women’s doubles partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands also cleared the first hurdle trouncing Sorana Cirstea of Romania and Italy’s Alberta Brianti 6-1, 6-1.

Second round results

Men’s singles: 1-Roger Federer (Sui) bt Bjoern Phau (Ger) 6-2, 6-3, 6-2; 16-Gilles Simon (Fra) bt Jimmy Wang (Tai) 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4; James Blake (US) bt 24-Marcel Granollers (Esp) 6-1, 6-4, 6-2; 25-Fernando Verdasco (Esp) bt Albert Ramos (Esp) 7-6 (7-4), 5-7, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4; 27-Sam Querrey (US) bt Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo (Esp) 6-3, 6-4, 6-3; 6-Tomas Berdych (Cze) bt Juergen Zopp (Est) 6-1, 6-4, 6-2; 15-Milos Raonic (Can) bt Paul-Henri Mathieu (Fra) 7-5, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4); 32-Jeremy Chardy (Fra) bt Matthew Ebden (Aus) 6-4, 6-2, 6-2; 12-Marin Cilic (Cro) bt Daniel Brands (Ger) 6-3, 6-2, 5-7, 4-6, 7-5; 23-Mardy Fish (US) bt Nikolay Davydenko (Rus) 4-6, 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 6-1, 6-2; Jack Sock (US) bt Flavio Cipolla (Ita) 6-2, 6-2, 6-4; 30-Feliciano Lopez (Esp) bt Pablo Andujar (Esp) 6-4, 6-1, 6-7 (5-7), 3-6, 7-5; Martin Klizan (Slk) bt 5-Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (Fra) 6-4, 1-6, 6-1, 6-3; 11-Nicolas Almagro (Esp) bt Philipp Petzschner (Ger) 6-3, 5-7, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4;  17-Kei Nishikori (Jpn) bt Tim Smyczek (US) 6-2, 6-2, 6-4.

Women’s singles: 6-Angelique Kerber (Ger) bt Venus Williams (US) 6-2, 5-7, 7-5; Olga Govortsova (Blr) bt Johanna Konta (Gbr) 2-6, 6-2, 7-5; Olga Puchkova (Rus) bt Kiki Bertens (Net) 5-7, 6-2, 7-5; 10-Sara Errani (Ita) bt Vera Dushevina (Rus) 6-0, 6-1; 4-Serena Williams (US) bt Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez (Esp) 6-2, 6-4; Sloane Stephens (US) bt Tatjana Malek (Ger) 5-7, 6-4, 6-2; 20-Roberta Vinci (Ita) bt Yaroslava Shvedova (Kaz) 3-6, 7-5, 7-5; 2-Agnieszka Radwanska (Pol) bt Carla Suarez Navarro (Esp) 4-6, 6-3, 6-0; Silvia Soler Espinosa (Esp) bt Irina Begu (Rom) 6-4, 7-6 (7-5); Ekaterina Makarova (Rus) bt Elena Vesnina (Rus) 6-3, 6-4; Tsvetana Pironkova (Bul) bt Ayumi Morita (Jpn) 7-5, 6-2; Andrea Hlavackova (Cze) bt Galina Voskoboeva (Kaz) 6-2, 6-7 (3-7), 6-3; 13-Dominika Cibulkova (Slk) bt Bojana Jovanovski (Srb) 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-3); 30-Jelena Jankovic (Srb) bt Lara Arruabarrena Vecino (Esp) 6-4, 6-2; 14-Maria Kirilenko (Rus) bt Greta Arn (Hun) 6-3, 6-2; 12-Ana Ivanovic (Srb) bt Sofia Arvidsson (Swe) 6-2, 6-2.

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