U.S. Open Day 1 recap: Andy Murray overcomes curious case of cramps
NEW YORK -- Day 1 of the U.S. Open had its moments of drama -- thanks, Andy Murray -- but finished without any major glitches, with just three seeds losing as the night session began. Simona Halep and Venus Williams were both tested but came through in three sets, while Stan Wawrinka, Murray and Milos Raonic also advanced to the second round.
Andy Murray overcomes mysterious cramping to win: It wasn't pretty, but then again his matches against Robin Haase rarely are. After building a two-set lead on the Dutchman, Murray came down with cramps that took over different parts of his body. He was still able to win 6-3, 7-6 (8), 1-6, 7-5, but his gradual onset of cramps left everyone, including Murray, confused. After a heavy training block in the hot and humid conditions of Miami after Wimbledon, Murray told reporters before the tournament that he was in the best physical shape of the year.
"The fact that it was the whole body would suggest that maybe it was something to do with my eating or drinking, because if it's through fatigue in one part of your body, then, yeah, that would probably be down to conditioning," Murray said. "But cramping in my left forearm? I didn't use my left forearm a whole lot today compared with other parts of my body, so I would expect it would be something to do with what I have eaten or something or not eaten."
Next up for Murray is German qualifier Matthias Bachinger, who beat Radek Stepanek 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.
Venus Williams fights off Kimiko Date-Krumm -- and a bee -- to win: Williams extended her head-to-head record to 4-0 over Date-Krumm, coming back to win 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 to advance to the second round. The match was interrupted multiple times by a bee that took turns accosting both women, and provided a bit of levity from an otherwise intense and well-fought match. She'll play No. 78 Timea Bacsinszky, who advanced after her opponent Kiki Bertens retired due to heat exhaustion. It was one of the warmer days of the last week and though it wasn't incredibly humid, a number of players appeared to struggle in the heat. Bertens actually vomited on the court as she was being tended to by doctors.
But take note of Venus' draw, which got softer with Camila Giorgi's surprising loss to qualifier Anastasia Rodionova.
Simona Halep and Angelique Kerber survive three-set scares: The day began with a number of top WTA players on upset alert. No. 2 Halep lost the first set to unranked American wild card and 2014 NCAA champion Danielle Rose Collins but came back to win 6-7 (2), 6-1, 6-2 in the first match of the day on Arthur Ashe Stadium. Sixth seed Angelique Kerber, who has a great shot at the semifinals given her soft draw, barely survived qualifier Ksenia Kervak, winning 6-2, 3-6, 7-5. Andrea Petkovic, seeded 18th, also avoided what would have been a crushing loss, beating Tunisian qualifier Ons Jabeur 7-6 (7), 1-6, 6-3.
Nick Kyrgios and Benoit Paire score upsets: The women stayed upset-free, but two notable seeds fell in the first round. Nick Kyrgios continues to be dangerous, beating 21st seed Mikhail Youzhny 7-5, 7-6 (4), 2-6, 7-6 (1). Benoit Paire of France, now ranked No. 98, ousted his countryman, 24th seed Julien Benneteau 7-6 (40, 5-7, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 in the tournament's first five-set match. That's a big win for Paire, especially given Benneteau's fine run to the Western & Southern Open semifinals two weeks ago.
Agnieszka Radwanska won in 47 minutes: I stood up to get a cup of coffee as the day began at 11 a.m. and by the time I sat back down the tournament had its first complete match in the books. Radwanska beat Canada's Sharon Fichman 6-1, 6-0 fast. By way of comparison, it took Johanna Larsson 13 more minutes to dish out a 6-0, 6-0 beatdown on Virginie Razzano.
Novak Djokovic and Maria Sharapova advanced in straight sets: The clock was close to midnight when top-seeded Djokovic finally closed out Diego Schwartzman, winning 6-1, 6-2, 6-4. Sharapova preceded him on Arthur Ashe Stadium and fell behind 4-2 to fellow Russian Maria Kirilenko before reeling off 10 straight games to win 6-4, 6-0.
Photo of the day
Photo of the day: Fashion edition
Radek Stepanek's sartorial choices continue to amaze:
Photo of the day: Apiary edition
Quote of the day
Q: How different is Ashe from, for instance, center court at the French Open?
Simona Halep: "It's bigger, and it's more blue."
Video of the day
Tweets of the day
The bee has been wrapped up in a towel and put in the bin. That will not stop this bee. This bee is on a mission. — Hannah Wilks (@newballsplease) August 25, 2014
I tuned in for Sloane Stephens' press conference just in time to see her taking a selfie & pondering which angle showed off her "good side." — Blair Henley (@BlairHenley) August 25, 2014
Glamour sport. Lavatorial admission from Andy Murray. Needed a wee after match & said:"Not to be too graphic, but it wasn't, like, brown." — Barry Flatman (@Barry_FlatmanST) August 25, 2014