NEW YORK, September 1, 2016
Ryan Harrison claimed the biggest win of his career when he knocked out fifth seed Milos Raonic 6-7, 7-5, 7-5, 6-1 at the US Open on Wednesday. The US-American qualifier withstood 18 aces, hitting seven of his own and took advantage of an ailing Raonic, who struggled with his cramps from midway through the second set. Harrison finished the encounter after three hours and 37 minutes.
Asked what led to the cramping, Raonic said: “A little bit of stress. I don’t think hydration was an issue. I think I always take that precaution. Probably just nerves and stress, a mental sort of overexuberance.
“It was the left arm; right forearm there towards the end of the third; both quads; a little bit hip flexor on the left. It was just catching me all over.”
Harrison said: “Once I realised it was just the cramping, and you see a guy who’s kind of labouring out there, it becomes tough initially, especially because when I first started to pick up on it, it was still him up a break in the third.
“… All I was thinking once I got to the third set was I really want to make this feel like a long way back for him. If he’s not already feeling physically good, I want it to be a long way back.
“I hope he recovers. I hope that his body’s all right and I hope he has a great rest of the year. He’s a good guy. I’ve always enjoyed playing him.”
Harrison will next meet Marcos Baghdatis, who defeated Benoit Paire 6-2, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.
John Isner fired 38 aces in a 6-3, 6-4, 6-7, 6-3 victory over Steve Darcis and reaches the third round in New York for the ninth time in 10 years. Next up for the 20th seed from the United States will be Kyle Edmund. The British NextGen member defeated Ernesto Escobedo 7-5, 6-4, 6-4.
“I relied on my serve pretty much but I also needed to play aggressive today. It was a tough match I am very tired right now but I will be ready for the next round,” Isner told right after the encounter.
Isner will be joined by fellow US-American Jack Sock in the third round. The 26th seed notched a 6-1, 6-1, 6-2 win over Mischa Zverev and will next face Marin Cilic. The Croat needed one hour and 39 minutes to turn aside Sergiy Stakhovsky, winning 6-1, 6-2, 6-3.
Cilic and Sock will meet for the second time, with the 23-year-old US-American storming back from two sets down in their Davis Cup quarterfinal last month.
“We played in Portland few weeks ago,” said Cilic of Sock. “Over there was tough match, five-setter. Jack played really well. I was even 3-Love in the fifth and he came back and won.
“Definitely expecting a tough matchup. Jack can be very dangerous on the court. He’s athletic guy. He can run down many balls. In the U.S. I guess that he plays even a bit better. He gets inspired with the crowd.”
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga set a third-round clash with Kevin Anderson after taking exactly three hours to get past James Duckworth 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. The ninth-seeded Frenchman won 10 more points than the Australian wild card, capitalizing on four of his 25 break point chances, to record back-to-back match wins for the first time since reaching the Wimbledon quarterfinals.
“I feel great physically,” said Tsonga. “That’s the most important for me. Last couple of months I had few little things that make me play bad. Today I cross fingers. I hope it’s going to continue in this way, but I’m feeling good. I have expectation. My tennis is there. I hope I will improve and improve match after match.”
Nadal Wins Indoors
In the final match of the night session, Rafael Nadal eased past Andreas Seppi 6-0, 7-5, 6-1. The Spaniard hit 23 winners in two hours and 17 minutes.
The actual highlight of the match took place at 3-3 in the second set, as history was in the making, when it started to rain on Arthur Ashe and the roof had been closed for the first time in match play.
Nadal, who was the first player to practice under the closed roof has also now become the first player to win a point indoors at the US Open.
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) 1. September 2016
“It’s an unbelievable job and a great improvement what the USTA did. It’s a great feeling to play under the roof. It didn’t change much of the feeling,” Nadal told after the match and added:
“I tried to play more aggressive with my forehand. Overall, I played good quality of tennis. The score of 6-0 in first set was not real, as every game was actually pretty tough. I am happy to be through.”
World number one Novak Djokovic did not step into action, as his second round opponent Jiri Vesely was forced to withdraw due to left forearm inflammation.