The Day 2 story of the US Open: Dinara Safina’s fugly win against the #167 ranked Olivia Rogowska of Australia. The No. 1 Russian was a point away from going down 0-4 in the third set before finally finding a way to win. Dinara won despite 11 double faults and 48 unforced errors. The grand total for both players over three sets included: 24 double-faults, 113 unforced errors and 15 service breaks over 2½ hours. Yikes!
This quote from Rogowska sums it up: “I’m disappointed I lost, and I didn’t expect to say that after playing the No. 1 player in the world. It’s a bit weird.” (via CBS Sports)
Dinara says this scare could lead her to ultimate victory in NYC, remembering Marat’s past to US Open glory in 2000:
My brother, when he won US Open, he almost lost to Grosjean in the first round. He won 7-6 in the fifth set, and they finished, I think it was 5-4. He was up and the rain started, so they finished another day. So and then he had another like difficult match against Pozzi. So I remember he said he was struggling from the first round, but he made it. So maybe I’m following his steps this time.
Safina struggled, but in the end, all that matters is that she’s onto the second round. The same can’t be said for former No. 1 Ana Ivanovic, who capped off her dismal summer on Tuesday with a 2-6 6-3 7-6 loss to Kateryna Bondarenko. Ana had 50 unforced errors in the match. Ouch. She wasted a match point in the third set tiebreak. Double Ouch. And before Tuesday Ivanovic has never lost in the first round of a Major. Someone call 911!
Ana diagnosed herself as being “a little disbalanced” in terms of her fitness, mind and game. I think it’s a bad sign that she was talking about how badly she needs a vacation – before her match even started:
Q. You haven’t had a substantial break in a long time, right? You’ve been either rehabbing or practicing.
ANA IVANOVIC: Exactly.
Q. Or playing.
ANA IVANOVIC: Exactly. That’s something that I spoke actually today. Today actually before my match I spoke to my coach, because I just said, you know, I feel like I constantly kept going and going. It’s really hard, because even though I had some time off, I was still doing like a little bit of fitness or rehab or something. So my mind was still in tennis.
I feel like I want to have ‑‑ I feel happy that, you know, this season, it’s going to be a longer off season so I have longer time off and completely switch off and, you know, I haven’t had proper holidays in years. So I’m looking forward to that.
Kateryna seems happy right where she is:
Maria Sharapova’s dress will make more news than her routine victory over Tsvetana Pironkova: 6-3 6-0 in 73 minutes. How do you like her “skyline” inspired evening dress?
Yes, the headband is silver. . .
Love the earrings, but I hate the dress. Leave it to Rafael Nadal to prove that clothing is overrated:
Rafa, you don’t need the lanyard – your pecs are credentials enough!
Nadal plays Richard Gasquet on Wednesday afternoon in a highly anticipated first round.
Novak Djokovic beat Ivan Ljubicic easily: 6-3, 6-1, 6-3. Nole confirmed that he is working with Todd Martin on a trial basis, to help him with his serve and volley game and to “look for positives.” Novak was also asked how he and the New York crowd were going to get along this year (click here for the story). He says that he and NYC have kissed and made up:
What happened last year, the way I get it, to be honest, was like, I don’t know, a fight with a girlfriend. Just a little fight with a girlfriend. These things happen. It was something that everybody can learn from it. I always felt like at home here. I played so well last three years. I see no reason for me thinking about something that happened already. So today was great. I just hope that the fans will behave nice, you know, in the next rounds.
Speaking of girlfriends, Djokovic’s girlfriend, Jelena Ristic, was behaving nice from the stands:
And in the “oh, to be a fly on the wall” department, here’s an intriguing snippet from Nole on advice he’s received from Marat Safin:
Q. Has he ever given you a great piece of advice or anything on how to handle the stress?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, yes, but not regarding tennis.
Q. What was it regarding?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: That’s all I’m gonna say (smiling).
Q. This would be the most interesting part of the interview.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I know. If these cameras are off, you guys aren’t writing, then maybe (smiling).
Come on Nole! All this discretion won’t get you back in the good graces of us fans. SPILL!
Marat Safin plays Jurgen Melzer on Wednesday.
In other men’s action – Andy Murray beat Ernests Gulbis in three and Querry, Verdasco, Tsonga, Berdych, and Cilic all won in straights. 119 ranked Spaniard, Ivan Navarro, is being toasted in the lockerroom for upsetting Ivo Karlovic. Stan Wawrinka lost a five-setter to Nicolas Lapentti. Click here for more results.
More on the ladies’ side – Dementieva, Jankovic, Kuznetsova,Wozniacki, and Petrova all got through in straights. Lisicki and Suarez Navarro prevailed in three. American Melanie Oudin scored a nice win over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Click here for more.