Djokovic, Murray overcome challenges
By Rachel Cohen, APNEW YORK--Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray both had their moments of concern before winning in the second round of the U.S. Open on Friday, taking strides toward a seemingly destined semifinal clash.
September 1, 2013, 12:02 am TWN
The top-seeded Djokovic faced two early set points against him and needed a tiebreaker to win the first set before overwhelming Benjamin Becker of Germany 7-6 (2), 6-2, 6-2.
Leonardo Mayer, ranked 81st, ran Murray all over the court and temporarily threatened an upset when he took the third set but the defending champion won the last five games for a 7-5, 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 victory.
It was another former champion, though, who pulled off the most impressive result of the day, as Lleyton Hewitt turned back the clock in a stirring 6-4, 5-7, 3-6, 7-6 (2), 6-1 victory over 2009 winner Juan Martin del Potro.
It was the ninth time in the past 10 years that two previous title winners faced each other in New York; Hewitt was a participant in three of those in the past, going 0-3.
The 32-year-old Australian, a former No. 1 now ranked 66th after a series of injuries, repeatedly scrambled along the baseline to come up with passing winners against the sixth-seeded del Potro.
“I don't know how many years I've got left in me. I keep getting asked the question,” said Hewitt, who won Wimbledon in 2002. “I'm just pumped to get out on this court and try to put on a great show.”
Murray too looked like he might fall victim to a persistent opponent when Mayer snatched the third set, but the Scot was able to steady and quickly get through the fourth for victory.
“He's a big hitter of the ball. I had to defend a lot,” Murray said in an on-court interview. “He played some really, really good tennis. It made for an entertaining match.”
Becker had a chance to serve for the first set against Djokovic at 5-4. But he wasted the first set point with a forehand into the net and the second when a backhand sailed wide.