• Murray begins on Wednesday, Isner to suit up

    9/1/10 5:37 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Murray begins on Wednesday, Isner to suit up Andy Murray will kick off his U.S. Open campaign on Wednesday against Lukas Lacko. John Isner is also in action as he hopes a significant ankle injury will be good to go.

    (4) Andy Murray vs. Lukas Lacko

    An annual favorite at the U.S. Open since finishing runner-up to Roger Federer in 2008, Murray will be looking to recapture some success in New York following a fourth-round loss to Marin Cilic last year. The fourth-ranked Scot is getting his bid underway on Wednesday against a talented 22-year-old in Lacko. The Slovak owns 16 of his 23 career ATP-level wins this year and is up to No. 71 in the world. Murray, though, won the U.S. Open Series thanks to a runner-up finish in Los Angeles, a title in Toronto, and a quarterfinal showing in Cincinnati. Count on the No. 4 seed exploiting Lacko's inconsistency and cruising in straight sets.

    Frederico Gil vs. (18) John Isner

    Exactly two weeks after suffering torn ankle ligaments in Cincinnati, Isner will take the court on Wednesday at the U.S. Open. While his health is a major question mark, Isner's form has been nothing of the sort. Known, of course, for playing--and winning--the longest match in tennis history at Wimbledon, the 6'9'' American is 29-18 this season and registers at No. 20 in the world. Gil has enjoyed some decent clay-court success in 2010, but the world No. 87 from Portugal has never done anything of note on hard courts throughout his career. This match, of course, all comes down to Isner. At 100 percent, the No. 18 seed would dominate in straight sets; but don't be surprised if this one ends in an Isner retirement.

    (28) Radek Stepanek vs. Julien Benneteau

    Another seeded player could be in danger--also due in part to physical issues--when Stepanek and Benneteau do battle for the fourth time in their careers. Citing fatigue as well as a few minor injuries, Stepanek has missed most of this season and he looked awful in a New Haven loss to Viktor Troicki last week. Benneteau, who trails the head-to-head series 2-1, advanced two rounds in Cincinnati before holding match points against Rafael Nadal. The Frenchman is 25-18 this season while Stepanek is 9-9. Despite what the seedings say, the 31-year-old Czech is a considerable underdog in this one. Look for Benneteau to roll in no more than four sets.

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i'm predicting either:

Isner 6-4, 6-3, 6-2

or Gil 3-1, retired

RickyDimon , 9/1/10 7:11 AM

The scheduling is mad, here's Murray and co up for their first round matches, while Simon etc are playing second round. One day of rain and they'll be playing two rounds on the same day!

deuce , 9/1/10 7:34 AM

Simon is playing first round

only 2 matches are second round, Roddick and Monfils

RickyDimon , 9/1/10 7:42 AM

There could be an upset in the making tomorrow.
Murray and Lacko have never played and tomorrow will not be the best day to try and figure out a opponent. The reason I say this is because tomorrow is meant to be the hottest and most humid day yet at the US Open. If it was 43 degrees on court today, imagine how hot it will be tomorrow and we know Murray struggles in the heat.

The winner in this match is the person who handles the heat best, as both have a tendency to be inconsistent, Murray more so when up against the elements!

isabeau77 , 9/1/10 7:45 AM

And Murray is playing at around 1:30pm. The worst time possible.

isabeau77 , 9/1/10 7:59 AM

isabeau77: Andy doesn't struggle in the heat, he was exhausted at Cincy, that's all. Lacko's game is well known to him, they were juniors together. Are you hoping to put a hex on him as player most likely to upset Rafa? :)
Ricky: my bad re Simon, but my point still holds.

deuce , 9/1/10 8:34 AM

Andy will conquer heat.
Few guys predicting an upset here, it is more like a hope to see Andy away to have an easy SF.

sabs , 9/1/10 8:52 AM

I am not like that, to Hex a player, and besides do you think I am that powerful. No one is...:)
Its Andy's match to win or lose.
All I am saying is that it may not be a straight set win and an upset wouldnt surprise me, thats all.

Andy was exhausted at Cincy because of the heat and for no other reason (as he had to play day matches and I actually verbally expressed the unfairness in this).

In the AUstralian Open 09 when they had a heatwave, every day had as on court temperatures of 46+ degrees Celsius and Murray visibly struggled.

I wouldnt be saying if I hadnt observed it more than one time. Same thing applies with Djokovic. He would have lost today if his opponent didnt choke. He doesnt deal well with the heat either.

isabeau77 , 9/1/10 8:55 AM

Because few people are predicting an upset doesnt mean it cant happen.
You have seen the number of 5 set matches that have occurred because of the heat.

Oh and as for me hoping for an easy semi final for Rafa, that isnt true as its either going to be Berdych or Murray and neither are easy and besides I predicted Berdych beating Murray in the quarters and you dont see me plotting Berdych's downfall.

isabeau77 , 9/1/10 8:59 AM

isabeau77: since AO 2009, Andy has a flat in Miami and trains there, heat no longer a prob., also thought yesterday meant to be hottest day, storm Saturday,cooler next week? If they make Andy play 3 days on the trot at noon I'll be shouting conspiracy!

deuce , 9/1/10 10:28 AM

deuce- I beg to disagree, but we will wait and see how he handles tomorrow if indeed it is as hot as they say it will be.
Either way no one wants to see a top 10 player lose in the first round.

isabeau77 , 9/1/10 11:29 AM

You're right he does handle the heat better now. I remember he blamed the heat and humidity for his poor showing at the Bejiing Olympics and admitted he had not prepared well enough. I guess his training schedule takes this into account now. Nole could take a leaf out of his book

At least if his matches are scheduled early we get to watch at a civiilised time :) :)
I for one am already suffering from sleep deprivation and it's only day 3!!

ed251137 , 9/1/10 11:45 AM

deuce - yep, crazy scheduling again by the same tourny that sent an unnecessarily dead-on-his-feet muzz into his first slam final against fed in 2008.

ricky - although I'm tipping muzz to win the whole thing this year, I would not srite off Lacko so easily. The guy has barrowloads of talent and, on the top of his game, looks almost federer-like. This could be a tricky one for muzz - I just hope, given the scheduling, it's not too long.

alex , 9/1/10 1:00 PM

ed: I think an afternoon's forty winks is called for ;)
alex: oh please no, not a 5 setter....aahhh...Got forecast wrong too, storms for Friday, yikes!

deuce , 9/1/10 1:13 PM

yep deuce, muzz is the only one of the top seeds for whom it's not impossible to reach the final without having to play at least once on consecutive days ... and that's without any RAIN!

Not that I'm back-tracking on my 'tennis forecast'. I just can't see how, with all these courts and potentially seven matches to play, the organisers can justify muzz hanging around idle until Wednesday. Who runs that place?!

alex , 9/1/10 5:24 PM

please delete the 'not' from before 'impossible'.

alex , 9/1/10 5:25 PM

Andy Murray will not have a problem with Lukas Lacko !

smr , 9/1/10 5:34 PM

smr - hope ur right.

alex , 9/1/10 5:42 PM

alex, 9/1/10 5:24 PM: to add insult to injury Roddick is playing his 2R match on Arthur Ashe court in the cool of the evening around 21.00 EST - i.e. peak viewing time in the States !!!!

ed251137 , 9/1/10 5:59 PM

Murray will crush Lacko

RickyDimon , 9/1/10 6:19 PM

Ricky: hope u r right :) do not want Andy hanging around in this heat if he's got all these matches to play!

deuce , 9/1/10 7:11 PM

@ed. they always put roddick during night sessions at us open. it is nice and cool for him and opponents struggle to read his fast serve under the eletric light

croc , 9/1/10 7:24 PM

murray looking very solid so far...

croc , 9/1/10 7:44 PM

Oh dearie, dearie me, Andy just wilted in the heat, couldn't cope with Lazlo, never played him b4 obviously the reason, and was on court for hours and hours..NOT!
Come on! Cometh the hour...

deuce , 9/1/10 9:13 PM

Congrats to Murray for the win. Actually it is easy day at the office for Murray despite the heat, as Lacko didn't offer much resistance, probably busy dealing with the heat too.

luckystar , 9/1/10 9:16 PM

And on paper it is that little bit easier with the news that Berdych is out.

gorafago , 9/1/10 9:38 PM

next up for murray is rasta dreads!

croc , 9/1/10 10:04 PM

gorafago: agree, but I thought Andy would've handled Berdych too as it happens.
csoc: he wants to play in GB Davis cup team:)

deuce , 9/1/10 10:12 PM

waste of time for murray to play in davis cup more than occasionally... until they have be'er players in scotland!

croc , 9/1/10 10:18 PM

Hi 5s, deuce! One down, only six to go :)

Ed - that would really have got me going about a-rod, except I'm really happy about his win. But it's definitely profits over sport at FM.

ricky - well predicted. i thought that would have been tougher for muzz.

alex , 9/1/10 10:32 PM

Llodra win helps too.

alex , 9/1/10 10:36 PM

Good win by Murray. I give him props. Thought Lacko may have shown a bit more resistance. But good on Murray for getting the job done when others have failed....Berdych...

isabeau77 , 9/2/10 1:52 AM

gorafago - not necessarily. a 100 percent Isner is more dangerous than Berdych on U.S. hard courts, especially at the US Open

and Isner appears to be 100 percent

RickyDimon , 9/2/10 2:00 AM

Ricky: Isner still has that ankle problem, but it appears that he's moving a little better. Now that roddick is out, all of my good vibes are being sent to Big John. Hopefully, he won't disappoint.

Von , 9/2/10 8:02 AM

Ricky: Remember AO? Isner beats Murray? ROL
alex: thunderstorms Friday? :( BTW American commentator said best thing about Andy's game was his obvious desire to keep the points short! :) He was in Lazlo's serve at every possible moment. Also his own serve was 65% in one set. Way to go Andy!

deuce , 9/2/10 8:02 AM

Weather-wise Friday is looking like a write-off! ur=15&begDay=246

ed251137 , 9/2/10 9:30 AM

Delete the space in begHo ur

ed251137 , 9/2/10 9:32 AM

Interesting comments on muzz by bolletieri in interview. He said the thinks muzz needs one killer weapon to win a slam. I think muzz has several to choose from, is improving all the time, and this year has been hit forehand winners that last year everyone was saying he lacked. To me, muzz's biggest need is to make sure he serves consistently well. That said, I think someone like bolletieri would be great for muzz. 4db9-9166-122fe5f0ad18

alex , 9/2/10 10:27 AM

Ricky, we'll have to see. A few days ago I predicted that the American men were due a feel-good run by at least one of their number at this year's Open. With Andy R already out, we must focus elsewhere for sure.

gorafago , 9/2/10 1:09 PM

Harrison is looking good and has a great draw

Isner looking better than expected and has an amazing draw

Blake looking OK - for now - and has a decent draw, which means nothing since he could just as easily lose to Polansky as he could beat Djokovic

Querrey might reach fourth round, but thats about it

not counting out Dent vs. Sod

RickyDimon , 9/2/10 1:37 PM

Cor, do you really think that could be a possibility Ricky?

ed251137 , 9/2/10 2:47 PM

Andy Murray's next opponent is Justin Brown from Jamaica, and being from the Caribbean I am so hoping that Justin gives a good account of himself!!!

GO Justin!! GO!! GO!! GO!!!

Monalysa , 9/2/10 5:40 PM

Sorry folks...................its Dustin!!!!

GO Dustin!! GO!! GO!! GO!!!

Monalysa , 9/2/10 5:49 PM

Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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