US OPEN 2013
Ferrer Fights Past Kukushkin; Raonic Advances
New York, U.S.A.
by ATP Staff|
World No. 4 David Ferrer was the first player through to the US Open fourth round on Saturday as he battled past qualifier Mikhail Kukushkin 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.
After dropping the third set to the No. 172-ranked Kukushkin, Ferrer let slip a 4-1 double break lead in the fourth set. The Spaniard broke again for 5-4, and eventually closed out victory, saving one break point before prevailing in just under three hours.
Ferrer will face No. 18 seed Janko Tipsarevic as he bids to reach the quarter-finals at Flushing Meadows for the third time. He was a semi-finalist in 2007 and 2012, losing to Novak Djokovic both times. The 31 year old has reached at least the quarter-finals at the past seven Grand Slam championships, reaching his first major final at Roland Garros this year (l. to Nadal).
Tipsarevic recovered from a slow start to upset home hope Jack Sock 3-6, 7-6(1), 6-1, 6-2 in two hours and 33 minutes. Ferrer has a 4-1 record over Tipsarevic, including a five-set victory over the Serb in the US Open quarter-finals last year.
Milos Raonic reached the fourth round in New York for the second year in a row as he came from a set down to defeat Feliciano Lopez 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 in two hours and 37 minutes. The 10th-seeded Canadian fired 28 aces and broke Lopez in the final game to level their FedEx ATP Head2Head series at 1-1.
"I think after [the tie-break] I sort of started cleaning things up from the baseline," said Raonic. "I thought I was pretty sound and served pretty well, and then the return was getting better and better throughout the match. I feel like I'm playing well. I feel like if I do, if I continue playing the way I am, I will have a lot of opportunities to give myself in each set to win a match."
The 22-year-old Raonic will look to reach a Grand Slam quarter-final for the first time when he faces Richard Gasquet, who advanced after Dmitry Tursunov retired trailing 4-2 in the fourth set due to a groin injury. The right-hander cracked the Emirates ATP Rankings Top 10 for the first time this month after reaching his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final on home soil in Montreal (l. to Nadal).
Paes/Stepanek Reach Third Round
Fourth seeds and 2012 runners-up Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek reached the US Open third round with a hard-fought 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Daniel Brands and Philipp Oswald. The Indian/Czech pairing are bidding to win their second major title together, following victory at the 2012 Australian Open.
Fifth seeds Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Jean-Julien Rojer also advanced, dismissing Roberto Bautista Agut and Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-2, 6-3. Qureshi and Rojer were semi-finalists in New York last year and go on to face Yen-Hsun Lu and Divij Sharan, who edged Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram 6-4, 5-7, 7-6(2).
Third seeds Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares needed just 79 minutes to defeat Christopher Kas and Oliver Marach 6-3, 6-2. The Austrian/Brazilian duo have won four ATP World Tour titles together this year and are bidding to win their first major title.
Second seeds Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez were granted a third-round spot when their Australian opponents, Chris Guccione and Bernard Tomic, retired after just three games with Tomic suffering from a virus.
Americans Brian Baker and Rajeev Ram caused an upset as they knocked out seventh seeds Julien Benneteau and Nenad Zimonjic 6-4, 6-2.