US Open - Men: Berdych stunned by Llodra

Reuters - Wed, 01 Sep 21:07:00 2010

Czech Tomas Berdych became the first big casualty of the US Open after being outclassed 7-6 6-4 6-4 by France's Michael Llodra.

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Playing on his favourite surface, the Wimbledon finalist had been expected to dominate the match against Llodra, who is better known as a doubles specialist.

But Llodra sprung a surprise by winning the tiebreak and increasingly pegged back Berdych with serve-and-volley tactics.

There was a glimmer of hope for Berdych, who had also reached the last four of the French Open earlier this year, when Llodra landed awkwardly during the fourth game of the second set.

The 30-year-old had to call a medical timeout and grimaced as he was treated by the trainer. But when play resumed, he held held serve, broke Berdych the next game and rounded off the set with ease.

A change of shirt for the third set failed to bring a change of fortunes for Berdych, who was once again broken.

Llodra fluffed his opportunity to serve out for the match, allowing nerves to get the better of him as he lost the game to love but broke the next game for a spot in the second round.

He will now play Romania's Victor Hanescu, who was also a straight sets, 6-2 6-4 6-3 winner against Argentina's Carlos Berlocq.

To most tennis fans, American John Isner will be forever remembered as the man who won the longest ever tennis match at Wimbledon this year.

But the 25-year-old, who reached the second round of the US Open on Wednesday with a 6-4 6-3 6-4 win over Frederico Gil of Portugal, wants to make a new name for himself.

Isner's first-round match with Frenchman Nicolas Mahut at Wimbledon spanned three days and went down as the longest ever match at 11 hours and five minutes and 183 gruelling games.

The American did numerous television interviews when he returned to the United States after Wimbledon but said he is now determined to move on.

"That's something I will always remember and it was truly a pleasure to be on the court with Nicolas that day for a historic match," Isner said in an on-court interview.

"But I want to put it behind me. I want to do well in the big tournaments. This is my favourite tournament in the world and this is the one I want to do well in."

Isner almost did not make it to the US Open after turning his right ankle in Cincinnati Masters two weeks ago.

But the 18th seed showed no signs of discomfort as he dispatched world number 87 Gil in straight sets.

Gil was looking for his first victory in a Grand Slam event but though he matched Isner early on, once the American had won the first set, the result never looked in doubt.

"(The ankle) felt great," Isner said. "I took a four-to-six week injury and got ready in two weeks."

Not having to play his first match until Wednesday "was huge" to his hopes, said Isner, who now plays Switzerland's Marco Chiudinelli, who beat American Jack Sock 6-1 6-4 1-6 6-1.

"I turned it two weeks ago so it gave me two weeks," he said. "It was a lucky break."


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