An 8-match losing streak in Grand Slam tournaments has finally broken the unpredictable Ernests Gulbis  with a comprehensive 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 win over last year semifinalist Mikhail Youzhny . Gulbis was regularly serving more than 200 kph 1st serve, 170 kph 2nd serve and saved all 10 break points, he fired 14 aces. The Latvian is playing 100th tournament at the main level… Rafael Nadal  has been in slump since the Wimbledon final – the defending champion began his title quest with a 3-set agony. He was break down in each set against “the weakest player of the season” Andrey Golubev  to notch a 6-3, 7-6, 7-5 win in 2 hours 49 minutes. The Kazakh couldn’t convert any of 7 set points in the 2nd set, including a 40-0 lead on serve! Nadal in similar circumstances won the 3rd set against Andujar a few months ago in Paris. “I was nervous today, it’s normal to start a tournament like this,” said the Spaniard, “He didn’t help because he played very fast all the time. He was trying to hit a winner on almost every shot. So it was difficult for me to find some rhythm“. In contrary to Nadal, the main contender for the title, Novak Djokovic  hadn’t even a solid training on Arthur Ashe Stadium because Conor Niland  of Ireland, retired after 44 minutes of play (illness). For the 30-year-old Niland it was just second major event after the Wimbledon ’11. It’s third consecutive match for D’Joke finished with a retirement of him or his opponents.
In the first match concluded in the 5th set tie-break, Steve Darcis  for the second time in two weeks ousted Dmitry Tursunov  in a topsy-turvy meeting. The Russian won the first two sets being a break down and led 3:1* in the 3rd set. Darcis came back to win 15 out of the next 20 games, but Tursunov managed to get three games in a row from *3:5 down in the decider, only to lose the last 11 points and the match 7-6(4), 6-4, 5-7, 1-6, 6-7(0). There have been 138 (according to ATP, 7 less according to me) fifth-set tie-breaks at the US Open since its inception in 1970 # two of them involved Tursunov (the previous one in 2003 against Guga Kuerten).
One of the most experienced players in New York, James Blake  finished his four-setter with an extremely fast forehand return on ad-court. Astonished qualifier Jesse Huta Galung  didn’t even react despite the ball landed in the middle of the court! 24 matches were played on Tuesday…
4 hours, 2 minutes: Nikolay Davydenko d. Ivan Dodig 6-7(6), 6-3, 6-0, 2-6, 6-2
23 – Gilles Muller, defeated Edouard Roger-Vasselin in three sets
13-8 Nikolay Davydenko
11-7 Dmitry Tursunov
2-4 Nicolas Mahut
2-2 Ivan Dodig, Igor Kunitsyn
1-2 Steve Darcis
0-1 Matthias Bachinger, Robert Farah
# Number of 5th-set-tie-breaks at the US Open year by year: