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Kuznetsova, Hingis move up at U.S. Open

Ben Walker
Associated Press
Vail, CO Colorado
Julie Jacobson/APPauline Parmentier of France signs autographs after losing her match to Martina Hingis of Switzerland at the US Open, Thursday.
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NEW YORK ” Svetlana Kuznetsova pounded her way into the third round while Donald Young took a more leisurely path Thursday at the U.S. Open.

The fourth-seeded Kuznetsova didn’t dally in beating Camille Pin of France 6-3, 4-6, 6-0. The former Open champion seemed especially determined after missing an easy forehand that lost the second set.

Trying to finish off each rally in a hurry, Kuznetsova took every opportunity to rush the net. She smacked 46 winners in all, enough to overcome her 34 unforced errors.

Young also made it to the third round, and he didn’t have to pick up his racket. The 18-year-old Wimbledon junior champ won in a walkover when No. 13 Richard Gasquet of France withdrew because of a fever and a sore throat.

“Prefer to win it,” Young said after hearing of Gasquet’s withdrawal, “but I’ll take this.”

Young said he saw Gasquet practicing the previous two days, and noticed him in the locker room before their scheduled match.

“With my illness, I’m sure I can’t win this match,” Gasquet said. “I am really, really disappointed because it’s an important tournament for me.”

Also out of the tournament, at least on the singles side, was Bethanie Mattek. Known for her outlandish outfits, she didn’t disappoint.

Wearing a low-cut silver top and headdress that semi-resembled her gold Wonder Woman-inspired ensemble in the first round, Mattek lost to No. 18 Shahar Peer of Israel 6-2, 6-1.

In other morning matches, No. 6 Anna Chakvetadze of Russia beat Nicole Pratt 6-3, 6-4 and No. 26 Sania Mirza of India defeated Laura Granville 6-3, 7-5.

Maria Sharapova, birthday boy Andy Roddick and James Blake were among the top players scheduled to play later.

On Wednesday night, John Isner enhanced his reputation as perhaps the next big thing in tennis.

He’s a Georgia Bulldog all the way, backed by barks each time he plays. But to beat the biggest dog of them all at the Open, he freely admits he needs to play way, way over his head.

And this is a guy who’s 6-foot-9.

Next up for him is Roger Federer. He was always Isner’s favorite, the only player he enjoyed watching on television.

“I don’t know if it’s going to help me out. I don’t know if anything’s going to help me out,” Isner said. “I’m going to believe. I’m not saying I’m going to win, but I’m going to believe.”

While the Williams sisters, Rafael Nadal and Justine Henin advanced as expected, Isner gave himself a chance to play the world’s No. 1 player at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Following his first-round upset of No. 26 Jarkko Nieminen, Isner beat Rik de Voest of South Africa 6-3, 6-3, 7-6 (4).

“Look, he’s new,” Federer said. “New kid on the block.”

A few months ago, Isner finished his senior year by leading Georgia to the NCAA team title. He proudly wears his school hat, the one with the giant G, every chance he gets.

Isner got his fans woofing with rocket serves. The father of one of his best friends tried something else.

“He came up today and did this Bulldog bark. He growls and barks. He did that a couple times tonight, got the crowd going,” Isner said. “Pretty neat.”

Now, Isner gets to face the player he called “the most dominant athlete in the world, any sport.”

“I guess going into the U.S. Open, I’m thinking I might draw him first round. I never would have imagined playing him in the third round of the U.S. Open,” he said.

Federer, as usual, made it look easy. Trying for his fourth straight U.S. Open title, he dismantled Paul Capdeville 6-1, 6-4, 6-4.

Rather than his lucky blue, Federer came dressed out in all-black ” bandanna, shirt, socks and shiny shoes. Even his shorts had satin stripes down the sides, tuxedo-style.

“We had the idea of maybe doing something blue at the day, black at the night. I really liked the idea. I thought it really looks cool,” he said. “In New York, you can do such a thing. Nowhere else in the world.”

For the third straight day, the favorites kept winning. Easily, for the most part.

The main exception was Nadal.

His knee was taped up, the pain was so bad he nearly pulled out of the tournament. He lost the first six points of the match, then the three-time French Open winner hit his stride and beat Australian wild-card entry Alun Jones 7-5, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 in the first round.

“I didn’t run too much, no? I can’t move too much,” the No. 2-seeded Nadal said. “Difficult to play like this, especially here.”

Nadal felt a “sharp pain” in his left knee Sunday during a practice session. He had an MRI exam and got treatment the next two days from a doctor with the Italian tennis federation known for laser treatments.


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