Ivanovic exits; Safina wins

Paes-Dlouhy duo enters second round with a hard-fought victory

Ivanovic exits; Safina wins

Giant Killer: Kateryna Bondarenko celebrates after defeating Ana Ivanovic on Tuesday. AFP

Safina, the world's top-ranked player, uncorked 48 unforced errors and 11 double faults before conquering Australian Olivia Rogowska 6-7, 6-2, 6-4 in two hours and 35 agonizing minutes.

"I didn't break any racket and I didn't get a warning so that's already a positive," said Safina, a triple grand slam finalist whose volatile temperament is well documented.
While Safina escaped and set up a second-round encounter with Germany's Kristina Barrois, compatriots Maria Sharapova Svetlana Kuznetsova and Elena Dementieva advanced easily.

Sania ousted
India’s Sania Mirza crashed out of US Open when Italy’s Flavia Pennetta blasted her off the court 6-0, 6-0 on Wednesday. On the men's side, 2008 runner-up and second seed Andy Murray advanced, along with 2007 finalist Novak Djokovic, the fourth seed, and hard-hitting number seven Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Safina's near-flameout allowed her to avoid the dubious distinction of becoming the only top-seeded woman to lose in the first round of the US Open. The explosive Muscovite was down 0-3, 15-40 in the final set before making a Houdini-like escape on the sun-drenched hardcourt at Arthur Ashe Stadium. She certainly never gave up but she was certainly helped by the 65 unforced errors and 13 double-faults from her little-known opponent across the net.

The match was a festival of errors, each player begging the other to take command. When Rogowska assumed control in the final set, her nerves got the best of her.
Sixth seed and 2004 winner Kuznetsova stomped Germany's Julia Goerges 6-3, 6-2, while Sharapova, the 2006 champion, blitzed Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova 6-3, 6-0. Another Russian contender, 2004 finalist Dementieva, routed Frenchwoman Camille Pin 6-1, 6-2 in 59 minutes.

Murray used a patient game to defeat big-hitting Ernests Gulbis of Latvia 7-5, 6-3, 7-5, while Djokovic never lost his serve and cruised past Croat Ivan Ljubicic 6-3, 6-1, 6-3.
"When I needed to, I upped my game," said Murray. "My concentration could have been a bit better. But for a first match, it was very good because he played very well."

The fans at Flushing Meadows were gracious to Djokovic, who was booed loudly a year ago after he made some sarcastic comments toward Andy Roddick during a courtside interview.  "What happened last year was like a fight with a girlfriend," he said.
"These things happen. It was something that everybody can learn from it.

"I always felt at home here. I played so well last three years. I see no reason for me thinking about something that happened already.” Tsonga beat American Chase Buchanan 6-0, 6-2, 6-1 to set up a second-round match against Finland's Jarkko Nieminen, who beat Italy's Fabio Fognini 7-5, 7-6, 6-4.

The 24-year-old Tsonga is hoping for a breakthrough result in New York and a chance to enter the conversation as a legitimate grand slam title contender.  "I'm here to win and to go to the next step," the Frenchman said. "The next step for me is to be in the five best players in the world.

Paes, Dlouhy advance
Indian ace Leander Paes and his Czech partner Lukas Dlouhy pulled off a hard-fought win against Romanian pair of Victor Hanescu and Gabriel Trifu to enter second round of the US Open men’s doubles event here. The fourth seeds handed a 7-6 (13/11), 7-6 (7/4) defeat to Hanescu and Trifu in the gruelling match on Tuesday night.

It was a see-saw battle from the very beginning but Paes and Dlouhy held their nerves to bag the first set through a tie-breaker. In the second set, the Romanians tried hard to claw their way back into the proceedings but the Paes and Dlouhy foiled their opponents’ bid and rounded off the tally in their favour.

The Indo-Czech duo will now take on winner of another first round match, in which Spainsh pair of Nicolas Almagro and Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo will lock horns with Teimuraz Gabashvili and Dmitry Tursunov of Russia.

Important Results

Results (first round, prefix denotes seeding):
Men: 2-Andy Murray (Bri) bt Ernests Gulbis (Lat) 7-5, 6-3, 7-5; Ivan Navarro (Esp) bt 27-Ivo Karlovic (Cro) 6-4, 7-6 (10-8), 7-6(7-5); Nicolas Lapentti (Ecu) bt 19-Stanislas Wawrinka (Sui) 4-6, 3-6, 7-6(8-6), 7-6(7-3), 6-3; Taylor Dent (US) bt Feliciano Lopez (Esp) 4-6, 7-6(8-6), 6-3, 7-5; 22-Sam Querrey (US) bt Michael Yani (US) 6-3, 7-5, 6-4; Carsten Ball (Aus) bt Juan Pablo Brzezicki (Arg) 7-6(7-5), 6-3, 6-4; Kevin Kim (US) bt Dudi Sela (Isr) 6-3, 0-6, 6-2, 6-2; Florent Serra (Fra) bt Janko Tipsarevic (Ser) 7-6(10-8), 7-6(7-5), 7-6(7-5); 11-Fernando Gonzalez (Chi) bt Nicolas Massu (Chi) 6-3, 6-3, 6-3; 4-Novak Djokovic (Ser) bt Ivan Ljubicic (Cro) 6-3, 6-1, 6-3; 16-Marin Cilic (Cro) bt Ryan Sweeting (US) 7-6(7-2), 6-4, 7-6(7-4); 30-Viktor Troicki (Ser) bt Peter Luczak (Aus) 6-3, 6-3, 1-6, 2-6, 6-1; Horacio Zeballos (Arg) bt Michael Berrer (Ger) 6-3, 7-6(9-7), 3-6, 6-0;  17-Tomas Berdych (Cze) bt Wayne Odesnik (US) 7-5, 6-4, 6-4; 10-Fernando Verdasco (Esp) bt Benjamin Becker (Ger) 7-5, 6-4, 7-5; Jesse Witten (US) bt 29-Igor Andreev (Rus) 6-4, 6-0, 6-2; 7-Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (Fra) bt Chase Buchanan (US) 6-0, 6-2, 6-1.

Women: Kateryna Bondarenko (Ukr) bt 11-Ana Ivanovic (Ser) 2-6, 6-3, 7-6(9-7), Alize Cornet (Fra) bt Monique Adamczak (Aus) 4-6, 6-4, 7-5; 29-Maria Sharapova (Rus) bt Tsvetana Pironkova (Bul) 6-3, 6-0; 21-Zheng Jie (Chn) bt Anna-Lena Groenefeld (Ger) 6-3, 6-2; 4-Elena Dementieva (Rus) bt Camille Pin (Fra) 6-1, 6-2; 5-Jelena Jankovic (Ser) bt Roberta Vinci (Ita) 6-2, 6-3; Shahar Peer (Isr) bt 32-Agnes Szavay (Hun) 6-2, 6-2; Petra Kvitova (Cze) bt 27-Alisa Kleybanova (Rus) 6-7(7-4), 6-3, 6-2; 13-Nadia Petrova (Rus) bt Katarina Srebotnik (Slo) 6-3, 6-3; 1-Dinara Safina (Rus) bt Olivia Rogowska (Aus) 6-7(7-5), 6-2, 6-4;  23-Sabine Lisicki (Ger) bt Aravane Rezai (Fra) 7-6(7-4), 6-7(7-4), 6-1; 19-Patty Schnyder (Sui) bt Lucie Safarova (Cze) 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(8-6); 30-Alona Bondarenko (Ukr) bt Alla Kudryavtseva (Rus) 3-6, 6-3, 6-2; 9-Caroline Wozniacki (Den) bt Galina Voskoboeva (Kaz) 6-4, 6-0; 6-Svetlana Kuznetsova (Rus) bt Julia Goerges (Ger) 6-3, 6-2; Petra Martic (Cro) bt Severine Bremond Beltrame (Fra) 6-4, 6-2; Peng Shuai (Chn) bt Jarmila Groth (Slo) 6-2, 6-3; Stephanie Dubois (Can) bt Kristina Mladenovic (Fra) 6-0, 6-4.

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