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The Net Post

Long Matches Cap a Weekend at the U.S. Open

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At the U.S. Open here in New York, a lot of the big names have advanced to the next round. Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Kim Clijsters and Venus Williams all made it easily through their matches over the weekend. But there were a few upsets: Great Britain's Andy Murray and American  John Isner both lost yesterday.

WNYC's Amy Eddings was there. She spoke with WNYC's Marc Garber about this weekend’s action in Flushing Meadows.

Good morning, Amy.
Good morning...there were a lot of long matches last night, especially the final match of the evening between Sam Stosur and Elena Dementieva—Stosur taking that in three sets. But that was something like the fifth longest match in U.S. Open history, ending somewhere around 1:30 last night. So, yeah, pretty grueling.

Well, let's talk about Andy Murray now, the fourth seed. He lost yesterday to 25th-ranked Stanislas Wawrinka. What happened there? Did Murray choke, or did Wawrinka just outplay him?
You know, it was a little bit of both. Andy Murray took the first set after Wawrinka was ahead after that first set and took it to a tiebreak. Murray won that tough-fought tiebreak. Then, it was Murray serving in the second set to go up two sets to love against Wawrinka. Murray had five games to two. Wawrinka reels off three in a row. They go to a tiebreak in the second set. Wawrinka's making spectacular shots. He takes the second set, and then for Murray the wheels just came off. He lost the next two sets after that, mumbling to himself. He has a medical time out. Wawrinka has a medical time out. But, for Wawrinka, he came back stronger than ever, and Murray never seems to get it back emotionally or physically.

And now Wawrinka goes on to play American Sam Querrey, who also managed an upset yesterday. Querrey beat Spain's Nicholas Almagro in straight sets, advancing to the fourth round for only the second time in his career. Here’s what Querrey had to say about the Americans’ strength at this year’s Open after the match:  "Four guys in the top 20 is pretty good.  Spain’s probably the only other country that’s got  that.  But at the same time, the average sports fan watches the Grand Slams, and they watch on Saturdays and Sundays, the semis and the finals, and that’s what we need to do. We need to get some guys there." Now, that was before Querrey's pal John Isner lost his match last night. Querrey, Mardy Fish, and Venus Williams are the only Americans remaining in the draw. So, is there really a chance of having an American in the running next weekend?
Well, certainly on the women's side, Venus Williams is looking very good for somebody who hasn't played since Wimbledon and who's been nursing a sore knee since the summer. She's looking really strong. She could possibly face defending champion Kim Clijsters in the semi-finals on her half of the draw. But watch out for Carolina Wozniacki. She has lost just three games in this entire tournament so far. She's coming up this afternoon against Maria Sharapova, three-time slam winner. It's going to be her toughest match yet in this U.S. Open. That'll be a really interesting match to watch to see who comes through there.

On the men's side, I think Mardy Fish...he has to beat Novak Djokovich, the No. 3 seed from Serbia, this afternoon. And then he possibly faces Roger Federer, who's looking great, or Robin Söderling, who's a giant killer, in the semi-finals. He's got a really tough draw. As for Sam Querrey, we could see him in the semi-finals. He's doing really well.

Tennis addict Amy Eddings hosts All Things Considered on WNYC.