davydenko quietly through to the quarters



Russian Nikolay Davydenko is on course to defend his semifinal appearance at last year’s U.S. Open. The fourth seed, who’s current claim to fame is being tied to a gambling scandal, yesterday beat Korean Hyung-Taik Lee 6-1, 6-3, 6-4 in the fourth round.

(He’ll face Tommy Haas in the quarters, and potentially R-Fed in the semis.)

Fashion focus: For this fornight, Kolya’s wearing a white kit from Airness. Nice and simple. No big cougars printed on his shirt. We love it.

fashion focus: tommy haas + limited



James Blake‘s U.S. Open hopes has been dashed yet another year. (I’m beginning to think of him as our Tim Henman.) German Tommy Haas beat Blake 4-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-0, 7-6 (4). Yep, a fifth set tiebreak.

FYI: Tommy, in Limited Sports, wore a monogrammed cap. Blake, of course, was in Nike.

Two things:

1) Early in the match, the tempermental German ran down a drop shot (one of many effective ones) from Blake and almost ran into the players’ chairs while doing so. He proceeded to gripe to the chair ump about how close the chairs were to the court. He’s getting beat up by Blake and all he can think about is interior decorating. Hilarious.

2) At the end of the match, both players had to wait as Blake challenged Haas’ service ace. I don’t like how these challenges interrupt (or subdue) post-match celebrations. Having the ump reverse a match point is one thing, but using up your challenges “just because you can” is another story.

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JNP's eighth day: juniors and the bondarenkos



Photo: The Bondarenko sisters on the practice court. That’s Alyona giving me a look. (She smiled at me later so we were cool for sure.) Kateryna‘s digging for water.

Pretty slow day today, but I happened to get a good look at some young talent (the U.S. Open Juniors tournament started yesterday):

Polona Hercog — this Slovenian is a big and powerful all-court player; hits the ball deep.

CoCo Vandeweghe — a highly-regarded young junior out of Southern California.

Jessica Moore — the Australian has a small build but a big game. (She took out third seed Madison Brengle in the first round of the juniors tourney; she lost to Lucie Safarova in the first round of the main draw.)

Ksenia Pervak — the fifth seed is great, but needs to learn how to finish matches (she gave up three games in the second set to a much less developed girl).

TSF contributor JNP is in New York reporting from the U.S. Open trenches. He’s been checking in with us everyday. Read his previous posts here. And our U.S. Open coverage here.