Federer has to work for second win

Qualifier Baghdatis, 19, pushes match to four sets

U.S. Open

September 02, 2004|By Arthur Staple | Arthur Staple,NEWSDAY

NEW YORK - It did not look like No. 1 vs. No. 240 at Arthur Ashe Stadium last night.

Roger Federer may have expected to cruise in his first night match of this year's U.S. Open, but he got all he could handle from a most-unexpected opponent.

Marcos Baghdatis, a 19-year-old qualifier from Cyprus, got the crowd going and had Federer on his heels before the world's top-ranked player took charge and won, 6-2, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 6-1, to advance to the third round.

Federer spoke often before the tournament about his relative lack of success here, having been knocked out in the fourth round three consecutive years. But he felt confident, perhaps too much so with a complete unknown across the net.

Baghdatis is accustomed to big crowds, having won a match at the Olympics two weeks ago before a partisan Athens crowd - matches on neighboring courts had to be stopped because the home crowd was going crazy for the closest thing they had to a Greek in the tournament.

After an easy first set for Federer, Baghdatis countered with some outstanding play in the second set, rallying from a break down twice by confounding Federer with a mix of pinpoint serves and slow-paced ground strokes.

The young qualifier, who had never played in a Grand Slam event, took the set on a double fault by Federer - who had a miserable service night - and looked hopeful for the next set. But Federer turned up the heat and the teenager was finished at 2-1 in the fourth when he needed the trainer to massage his legs.

Federer became the first man through to the third round, where he will face the winner of the Fabrice Santoro-Dmitry Tursunov match.

"It was pretty easy for me in the first set. He was making a lot of mistakes," Federer said. "But I definitely let him back in the match and he took advantage of it and went for it in the second set."

Gustavo Kuerten, the former French Open champion who was seeded No. 20, was a first-round loser, beaten by Kristian Pless, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (4).

Earlier, fourth-seeded Lleyton Hewitt began his tournament with an efficient, 6-1, 7-5, 6-4 victory over Wayne Ferreira in the 57th and final Grand Slam tournament for the veteran South African.

On the women's side, Jennifer Capriati had stumbled out of the gate, losing her first set Monday afternoon. But she's dropped only five games since, carrying over the momentum from her three-set, first-round win into last night's 52-minute, 6-0, 6-2 steamrolling of Magui Serna.

Third-seeded Serena Williams advanced to the third round with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Lindsay Lee-Waters.

And as for her outfit yesterday - a black, studded tank top that revealed her midriff and matching tight shorts - she simply smiled when asked about it.

"I have another surprise for the next match," she said.

Second-seeded Amelie Mauresmo was almost surprised in her match with Julia Vakulenko, dropping the first set. But Mauresmo recovered to win the match, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2.

In an upset, Angela Haynes, 19 and ranked 185th, defeated 22nd-seeded Magdalena Maleeva, 6-2, 6-3.

Newsday is a Tribune Publishing newspaper. The Associated Press contributed to this article.

Results

Men's singles

First round Lleyton Hewitt (4) def. Wayne Ferreira, 6-1, 7-5, 6-4. David Nalbandian (8) def. Dennis van Scheppingen, 6-4, 7-6 (5), 6-3. Sebastien Grosjean (12) def. Olivier Patience, 7-5, 6-7 (6), 6-2, 6-1. Robin Soderling def. Fernando Gonzalez (14), 6-4, 7-6 (3), 6-7 (4), 6-1. Ricardo Mello def. Juan Ignacio Chela (17), 6-2, 7-6 (1), 2-6, 2-6, 6-2. Kristian Pless def. Gustavo Kuerten (20), 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (4). Vince Spadea (23) def. Luis Horna, 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-4, 6-4. Feliciano Lopez (30) def. Arnaud Di Pasquale, 7-6 (4), 6-3, 6-2. Tomas Berdych def. Jonas Bjorkman (32), 6-3, 2-6, 6-2, 1-6, 6-3. Jurgen Melzer def. Gregory Carraz, 7-5, 6-0, 4-6, 6-3. Nikolay Davydenko def. Mark Philippoussis, 1-6, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (5), 4-1, retired. Karol Beck def. Thierry Ascione, 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-4. Mikhail Youzhny def. Albert Montanes, 6-1, 6-3, 6-2. Tuomas Ketola def. Jeff Morrison, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (8). Philipp Kohlschreiber def. Julien Benneteau, 6-1, 6-1, 6-4. Hicham Arazi def. Kenneth Carlsen, 6-4, 7-6 (5), 6-7 (0), 3-6, 6-3. David Sanchez def. Wayne Odesnik, 4-6, 7-6 (7), 6-2, 6-3. Tommy Haas def. Davide Sanguinetti, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2.

Second round

Roger Federer (1) def. Marcos Baghdatis, 6-2, 6-7 (4-7), 6-3, 6-1.

Women's singles

Second round Amelie Mauresmo (2) def. Julia Vakulenko, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2. Serena Williams (3) def. Lindsay Lee-Waters, 6-4, 6-3. Elena Dementieva (6) def. Severine Beltrame, 6-3, 6-2. Jennifer Capriati (8) def. Magui Serna, 6-0, 6-2. Vera Zvonareva (10) def. Els Callens, 6-3, 6-3. Ai Sugiyama (12) def. Gisela Dulko, 6-2, 6-4. Patty Schnyder (15) def. Iveta Benesova, 6-4, 6-1. Francesca Schiavone (16) def. Stephanie Foretz, 6-2, 6-3. Daniela Hantuchova def. Alicia Molik (17), 6-4, 6-3. Angela Haynes def. Magdalena Maleeva (22), 6-2, 6-3. Fabiola Zuluaga (23) def. Tathiana Garbin, 6-3, 6-7 (7), 6-2. Nathalie Dechy (28) def. Cara Black, 6-2, 7-5. Tatiana Golovin (30) def. Akiko Morigami, 6-4, 6-4. Maria Vento-Kabchi (31) def. Julia Schruff, 6-1, 2-6, 6-2. Jelena Kostanic def. Eugenia Linetskaya, 6-4, 6-3. Vera Douchevina def. Marion Bartoli, 5-7, 6-2, 6-2.

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