The third round disappointed intensely, there was no 5-setter and only four 4-setters – you could expect more from the last 32 as seeded players face each other. Two matches in the same section of the draw weren’t even concluded in a customary way because Tomas Berdych (shoulder, the same injury forced him to retire in Cincinnati two weeks ago) and Marcel Granollers retired in the middle of the 2nd set of their matches. Injuries have become a menace of this year’s US Open, first Robin Soderling withdrew in the last minute, then 8 retirements occurred in the first week of the tournament (last year 7 retirements during two weeks) #.
In the most interesting encounter, on Louis Armstrong Stadium, Gilles Simon overcame a former champion Juan Martin del Potro in front of a very enthusiastic crowd. Simon fought off a double mini-set point in the 2nd set and quickly a triple set point in the 4th set (volley, forehand winner, service winner), and won these sets after tie-breaks – Del Potro has suffered a third loss this year losing two tie-break sets… Simon goes on to face John Isner, whose third win over Alex Bogomolov was questionable only in the 1st set, in which the shorter American had two set points in a tie-break – Isner saved them with a forehand winner (the ball landed on the baseline) and a 2nd serve ace. It’s a good tournament for Americans – better than the last two editions, besides Isner to the fourth round after convincing 3-set wins advanced: Donald Young (for the first time in majors in the last 16), Andy Roddick and Mardy Fish. The latter luckily escaped a 4th set against Kevin Anderson because the South African held two set points on serve in the 3rd set (that match was unusually long for a 3-setter with two big-servers involved – 3 hours 20 minutes). “I thought it went very well,” certified Fish, “It got a little dicey in the second set, he stepped up his game, started playing a lot better and being more and more aggressive.”
“It’s bad luck it happened here and not in the locker room,” said Rafael Nadal after his post-match conference (had defeated David Nalbandian in three sets) at which strange thing happened. Nadal was answering the questions when suddenly began to grimace in pain, covering the face with his left hand, he called a trainer and disappeared under the table! “I just have cramping in my leg, that’s all.”
I guess it’s worth mentioning that Ivo Karlovic was broken more than five times for the first time in his Grand Slam appearances – Alexandr Dolgopolov broke him six times, either of players served 22 aces in that match!
3 hours, 57 minutes: Gilles Simon d. Juan Martin del Potro 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-2, 7-6(3)
23 aces – Gilles Muller, defeated Igor Kunitsyn in three sets
# Number of retirements and walkovers at the US Open year by year: