Andy Roddick's fans must be cautiously optimistic.
Ernests Gulbis, while not formidable, was going to give Andy a run for his money. Some said he would show the 2003 US Open winner to the door. The above was not done by Marat Safin (more on him later) but by Andy himself in a fit of pique when the going got tough. Gulbis blazed through the first set and it looked as if the youngster was going to deliver on the hype. But Andy, despite the histrionics, reined himself in and ended up using the experience he's garnered over the years to beat Gulbis in four sets 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, 7-5. Patrick McEnroe seems to have a steadying effect on Andy. I'm sure his fans wish PMac would stay in the players box but that is impossible given his commitments to the USTA. Roddick's next opponent is Andreas Seppi with Fernando Gonzalez looming if he gets past the Italian player. Andy put a lot of pressure on himself coming into Flushing this year. Let's see how he handles it.
Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli has been flying under the radar this tournament. With less than stellar results coming in Marion was thought by some to be a foil for a resurgent Lindsay Davenport whom many thought would make it past the less fit Bartoli. But Marion had other plans and raced to a 6-1 first set that was interrupted by rain. Lindsay fought back in the second set but Marion, who choked serving for the set pulled herself together and won the tiebreak 7-6(3). Lindsay looked the same as she did in the two previous matches I'd seen her play but the talking heads brought up the knee problem when it was clear Lindsay was in trouble.
I have to say it was interesting to see Justin Gimelstob sitting next to Lindsay's husband in the player's box. Apparently he is working with her in an informal coaching capacity.
There was exciting play away from Ashe yesterday. Fernando Verdasco won a tight match against Rui Machado of Portugal 6-7 (5), 7-6 (5), 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-0. The court did have television capabilities and USA showed us some of the match. The talking heads said they'd never heard of Machado but redeemed themselves later by going into the US Challenger swing that takes place in the fall. I guess it would surprise them that some tennis fans already follow the world wide Challenger and Futures circuit's so that players like Machado don't surprise them when the get into a major. I think it's a sorry situation when tennis announcers and analysts, who are supposed to be well versed in the sport, go on the air and say they have never heard of player A. It was bad form for the former number one to say he'd never heard of his opponent while Thiago Alves was still on the court but he got less flak for that than Serena Williams did when she said she did not know that Ana Ivanovic had lost her second round match. I'm just sayin'.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga played his second round match against the veteran Carlos Moya. Again viewers got to see some of this match thanks to the all court television coverage. It looked as if Moya would roll over Jo who is coming off of major knee surgery but in the end Tsonga overcame Moya 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.
The other men's match that drew a lot of attention was Marat Safin vs. Tommy Robredo. When dealing with both of these players you never know who is going to show up. I didn't see much of this match but the scoreline tells a familiar story. Robredo won 4-6 7-6(4) 6-4 6-0.
Of the women players I'm watching Caroline Wozniacki advanced and will face Jelena Jankovic in the next round. Tricky match for Caroline as I'm sure Jelena will bring her entire bag of tricks against the youngster.
I wish I could say it was a surprise that Katarina Srebotnik took out Svetlana Kuznetsova in three sets. She will play Patty Schnyder in the next round. Meanwhile Li Na will play Elena Dementieva in her next match.
I'm rushing this post a little because I have to meet my sister in about thiry minutes. I suspect more of the same commentary today on CBS since most of the same people will be involved. I'm going to be out most of the afternoon so I'll miss the CBS coverage.It's a cloudy day here in New York City and showers are predicted.