New York, Aug 30: Tomas Berdych set aside memories of two first-round losses in the last three years at the U.S. Open, cruising through his opening round this time with a 6-2, 7-6 (4), 6-1 victory over qualifier Romain Jouan of France.
“It was very disappointing to have some of those first-round exits,” said the ninth-seeded Czech, who also remembers winning matches on the hard courts in his first Grand Slam appearances as a junior. “Things have been kind of up and down for me here. I look forward to getting some higher results this year.”
Berdych, who lost to Rafael Nadal in the Wimbledon finals last year, needed 1 hour, 56 minutes to complete a routine victory over Jouan, who was in his first tour-level match of the season. A fairly pressure-free day after a weekend filled with uncertainty because of Hurricane Irene, which washed out practice days and forced the players to scramble for court time.
“I like routine, knowing what I'm going to do before and after a match,” Berdych said. “But on the other hand, this is good, because things didn't go perfect and I still figured out a way to win.”
Also winning an early match Monday was 27th-seeded Marin Cilic, who defeated 19-year-old American Ryan Harrison 6-2, 7-5, 7-6 (6). Harrison, who made headlines last year with his first-round upset of 15th-seeded Ivan Ljubicic, had chances to serve out the second and third sets, but was broken each time.
He also squandered a 4-1 lead in the third-set tiebreaker—and took nothing away from this match but a few scratched-up rackets, the result of the multiple times he bounced them, kicked them and skidded them along the ground at Louis Armstrong Stadium. He also kicked a ball into the stands.
“I didn't break any rackets; I didn't say swear words on court,” Harrison said. “It could have gotten better and I could have been better. I didn't really go nuts.”
Other early winners included 20th-seeded Janko Tipsarevic, No. 31 Marcel Granollers, No. 22 Alexandr Dolgopolov and, on the women's side, No. 19 Julia Goerges.
America's top-ranked man, eighth-seeded Mardy Fish, had an afternoon match, as did Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova.
Third-seeded Roger Federer and Venus Williams had night matches scheduled for Arthur Ashe Stadium. AP