Alexa

Djokovic, Henin move on at U.S. Open, former champ Safin, Henman out

Djokovic, Henin move on at U.S. Open, former champ Safin, Henman out

Third-seeded Novak Djokovic outlasted Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic 6-7 (4), 7-6 (5), 7-5, 5-7, 7-6 (2) Friday, prevailing in the most entertaining match of the week to reach the third round at the U.S. Open.
"I am totally exhausted. No energy," Djokovic said. "I smell my shoes _ they are so stinky."
They played 63 games, tying the most in a singles match at the U.S. Open since tiebreakers were introduced in 1970. They contested 356 points and played 4 hours, 44 minutes, drawing several standing ovations along the way.
"I'm doing fine," Stepanek said, "but I lost."
For top-seeded Justine Henin, it was a lot quicker. She moved into the fourth round, along with No. 3 Jelena Jankovic, No. 5 Ana Ivanovic, No. 8 Serena Williams and No. 10 Marion Bartoli.
Williams took a while to find her rhythm before turning back No. 27 Vera Zvonareva of Russia 6-4, 7-6 (4). The two-time Open champion clinched it on her fourth match point in the tiebreaker.
Britain's Tim Henman saw his Grand Slam career end Friday night, the six-time major semifinalist who is retiring next month, lost 7-6 (2), 2-6, 7-5, 6-4 to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Henin needed only 50 minutes to clock another qualifier, Ekaterina Makarova of Russia 6-0, 6-2. Chances are the 2003 U.S. Open champ knew exactly how long it took.
The Belgian righty wears a wristwatch during matches.
"I cannot live without my watch," she said. "I never saw another player playing with a watch. But I always keep my watch. I sleep with that. I take my shower. Everything."
Henin shook off recent shoulder trouble, won the first 10 games and approached the net more often than usual to breeze into a fourth-round matchup with No. 15 Dinara Safina.
Henin beat her third straight opponent from outside the top 100. Not that she worried about getting a vigorous warmup.
"A big part of my success is that I've always been very focused on myself in the last few years," Henin said. "Don't look too much on the other side of the net."
Safina never permitted a break chance and chased American Ahsha Rolle 6-4, 6-3.
"Obviously, she has more experience than me," Rolle said. "I feel like I had a couple of bad shot selections that kind of cost me big games."
Safina's brother, 2000 Open champion Marat Safin, was eliminated. He's never rallied from a two-set deficit and the No. 25 Russian didn't do it this time, smacking his last shot right into the net in a 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 loss to Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland.
"Everything I tried didn't work out. It was kind of a weird match," Safin said.
At least he made it through intact. Djokovic and many other players have needed help from trainers for cramps and other ailments as the humidity and hard courts take their toll at the final Grand Slam of the season.
Venus Williams and Rafael Nadal were scheduled to play later.
Advancing on the men's side were two Spaniards, No. 8 Tommy Robredo and No. 17 Carlos Moya of Spain, and No. 20 Juan Ignacio Chela of Argentina.
On the women's side, No. 19 Sybille Bammer of Austria beat No. 14 Elena Dementieva of Russia 6-1, 6-2.


Updated : 2021-04-14 06:02 GMT+08:00