Archive for Saturday, August 30, 2008

Open upsets keep coming

Ex-champion Kuznetsova stumbles

August 30, 2008

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— Former champion Svetlana Kuznetsova became the last upset victim at the U.S. Open, beaten by 28th-ranked Katarina Srebotnik, 6-3, 6-7 (1), 6-3, in the third round Friday.

A day after No. 1 Ana Ivanovic lost to 188th-ranked Julie Coin, the third-seeded Kutznetsova was eliminated. The Russian won the tournament in 2004 and finished second last year.

Srebotnik fell to her knees a split-second before Kuznetsova's last shot sailed over the baseline. After beating Serena Williams in the French Open this year, Srebotnik had another reason to celebrate, having gone farther than ever before at Flushing Meadows.

Second-seeded Jelena Jankovic won another squeaker, playing 28 points in the last game to finish off Zheng Jie, 7-5, 7-5.

Roger Federer, trying for his fifth straight U.S. Open title, defeated Thiago Alves, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4.

Federer swept a guy ranked 137th, someone who spent this year in the minors and was playing his first tour-level event of the season. Still, it was hardly a breeze.

"The depth in men's tennis is immense," Federer said.

In night matches delayed more than an hour by rain, No. 12 Marion Bartoli defeated No. 23 Lindsay Davenport, 6-1, 7-6 (3), and No. 15 Patty Schnyder beat Magdalena Rybarikova, 7-6 (4), 6-4. Also, former Open champion Marat Safin lost to No. 15 Tommy Robredo, 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4, 6-0.

Federer is down to his last chance to win a Grand Slam this year, part of a tough season that saw him lose his No. 1 ranking to Rafael Nadal.

Though they well could meet in this final, Federer has not tracked his nemesis through the tournament and didn't watch Nadal wrap up his match Thursday night in straight sets.

"I schedule my life around my life, not his," Federer said, smiling. "I was expecting five sets. I was there for four and five, but he wasn't there anymore."

To Alves, Federer remains on top.

"He is the biggest player for sure. Nadal is playing good tennis this year, but for me Federer is the best one," he said.

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