Third-seeded Andy Murray won three tiebreakers and needed almost four hours to defeat Feliciano Lopez and join men’s top seed Roger Federer in the fourth round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament.
While Murray won in the 84-degree (29-degree Celsius) heat despite winning fewer points than his opponent, Federer breezed to a straight-set win against Fernando Verdasco.
“It was tough -- very hot, very humid,” Murray said at a news conference. “It was physically challenging.”
American men Jack Sock, James Blake and Sam Querrey all lost third-round matches yesterday at the National Tennis Center in New York, leaving Mardy Fish, Andy Roddick, John Isner and Steve Johnson as the only men from the U.S. left in the year’s final Grand Slam tournament.
Fish, seeded 23rd, won a four-set match against 16th-seeded Gilles Simon of France that lasted until 1:09 a.m. today.
Roddick, Isner and Johnson all play third-round matches today. Roddick, the 20th seed who has announced he will retire at the end of the tournament, will face Fabio Fognini of Italy.
Serena Williams, the women’s fourth seed, beat Ekaterina Makarova 6-4, 6-0 to avenge a defeat to the Russian at the Australian Open in January. Williams became the last U.S. woman left in singles when 19-year-old Sloane Stephens lost at night to No. 12 Ana Ivanovic of Serbia.
Williams, who turns 31 on Sept. 26, would become the oldest U.S. Open winner since Australian Margaret Court -- who was 31 when she won in 1973 -- if she claims her fourth U.S. Open title. Williams said she has no plans to follow Roddick and three-time U.S. Open champion Kim Clijsters into retirement after the tournament.
“I definitely don’t want to end it,” the three-time U.S. Open champion told reporters. “I feel like, if anything, I want to be here even more and play even more.”
Williams will face Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic for a spot in the quarterfinals. Hlavackova beat Maria Kirilenko, the No. 14 seed from Russia, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4.
Federer, 31, of Switzerland, who is looking to extend his record of 17 major championships and win a sixth U.S. Open, beat Verdasco, the No. 25 seed from Spain, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.
While Federer’s win took just over two hours, Murray of Britain needed three hours, 53 minutes to beat Lopez, the 30th seed from Spain, winning 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 7-6 (7-4).
Lopez won 162 total points in the match, eight more than Murray.
Women’s No. 2 seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland defeated Jelena Jankovic of Serbia 6-3, 7-5. Also advancing in straight sets to the women’s fourth round were No. 6 Angelique Kerber of Germany and No. 10 Sara Errani of Italy.
Ivanovic won 6-7 (4-7), 6-4, 6-2 against unseeded Stephens, who also lost in the third round of the U.S. Open last year to Ivanovic.
Men’s sixth seed Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic won in four sets against No. 27 Querrey. Nicolas Almagro, the No. 11 seed from Spain, beat 19-year-old wild-card invitee Sock. No. 15 Milos Raonic of Canada had 29 aces in a straight-set defeat of Blake.
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