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Berdych Beats Hewitt; Anderson Back From The Brink

New York, U.S.A.

Anderson© Getty ImagesKevin Anderson trailed 3-5 in the fifth set, but fought back to prevail.

World No. 7 Tomas Berdych had too much firepower for 2001 US Open champion Lleyton Hewitt on Wednesday, beating the 33-year-old Australian 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 in the first round. Victory marked Berdych’s 100th Grand Slam win; he is the ninth active player to accomplish the feat.

From 1-4 down in the second set, Berdych won 11 of the following 14 games to end Hewitt’s campaign in two hours and 18 minutes. The Czech improved to a 3-0 lead over Hewitt in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series. 

"I feel pretty good," said Berdych. "It's a tough opponent, a big challenge. The conditions were extremely tough today. The heat, the wind, and facing Lleyton for the first round, it's not what you really want to have. But otherwise, when you are prepared and feel good, that's a perfect start."

The 28-year-old Berdych was a semi-finalist at Flushing Meadows in 2012 (l. to Murray) and has a 25-11 tournament record. He goes on to challenge Martin Klizan, who rallied from a two-set deficit to beat Steve Darcis 3-6, 2-6, 7-6(5), 7-5, 6-4.

World No. 20 Kevin Anderson fought from a break down in the final set to earn his place in the second round with a 6-3, 6-7(3), 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(1) victory over Pablo Cuevas. Cuevas had served for the match in the decider, but was unable to close it out as Anderson battled back for victory in just over four hours.

The 28-year-old Anderson claimed his 32nd win of the season, highlighted by runner-up showings in Delray Beach (l. to Cilic) and Acapulco (l. to Dimitrov) and a recent quarter-final showing in Toronto (l. to Dimitrov), where he upset Stan Wawrinka.

Anderson has reached the fourth round at five of the past seven majors. The South African goes on to face Jerzy Janowicz, the 2013 Wimbledon semi-finalist, who defeated Dusan Lajovic 6-3, 7-5, 5-7, 7-5.

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Marin Cilic was leading 6-3, 3-1 when Marcos Baghdatis was forced to retire from their first-round contest with a right ankle injury. Cilic, a two-time quarter-finalist at Flushing Meadows, next will face qualifier Illya Marchenko, who defeated Marco Chiudinelli 7-6(3), 4-6, 7-6(13), 7-6(4).

World No. 62 Teymuraz Gabashvili upset No. 27 seed Santiago Giraldo 6-3, 1-6, 7-6(6), 6-3 to claim his first US Open main draw victory since 2007. He goes on to face countryman Alexander Kudryavtsev, a 2-6, 7-6(6), 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 winner over fellow Russian Evgeny Donskoy.

Feliciano Lopez was granted a second-round spot when Ivan Dodig retired due to cramping in the early stages of their fifth set, with the score balanced at 1-6, 7-5, 2-6, 6-4, 1-1. The Spaniard will next meet Japanese qualifier Tatsuma Ito, who also advanced when his opponent, Steve Johnson, retired after being floored by leg cramps. Ito had won the first set, but trailed the American 6-2, 3-6, 5-7, 4-1.

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