Russell Upsets Anderson, Nishikori Survives a Test
Last night’s play was delayed about three hours by rain and it was another late night in Atlanta.
Michael Russell upset a rather shaky Kevin Anderson 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, fighting back against Anderson’s strong serve and winning his own service games to reach the quarterfinals. It is a great result for Russell and disappointing for Anderson, who was never really on top of his game here.
Andy Roddick won the battle of the serves against Nicolas Mahut 7-6, 6-3. Both guys were thumping aces, but Roddick got the breaks when he needed them and was the better player last night.
Go Soeda dispatched Igor Kunitsyn 6-1, 7-5, controlling most of the match. Kei Nishikori faced a test, as I expected, against Ricardas Berankis, a player of similar style. Nishikori was the better road runner though, and in an epic that finished at 1:44 a.m., he outlasted Berankis 6-4, 6-7, 6-4. Berankis had plenty of chances: up 3-0 in the 1st set, saved 3 match points at 5-6 in the 2nd set, took the tiebreak on pins and needles and then had a shot in the 3rd. Nishikori finally closed the door.
Day 6 Preview
Day 6 at the BB&T Open is going to be chock full o’ action. The start time was moved from 4 p.m. to 1 p.m. to accommodate It all. First up on stadium: James Blake will seek to continue his run against Matt Ebden. Both earned tough three set wins in their opening matches.
Mardy Fish will start off his play here in Atlanta against Gilles Muller, who earned a routine 1st round win and Steve Johnson will play fellow American Jack Sock in a battle of the young guns. The last singles match of the day will be local favorite John Isner against qualifier Ruben Bemelmans, who could give Isner a test judging by his recent play.
The doubles action will finally kick in as well, with top seeds Fleming/Hutchins against Dlouhy/Mahut, 2 seed Gonzalez/Lipsky against Raven Klaasen/Donald Young, 3 seed Huey/Inglot against best buds Ebden/Harrison and vets Russell/Malisse against 4 seed Delgado/Skupski. Lorenzi/Ram will also play the South African tandem of Anderson/DeVoest.