Arthur Ashe Stadium abuzz as U.S. Open beginsSome busy bees made life difficult for two grizzled veterans, and a pair of favorites were forced to work extra hard Monday on a steamy opening day at the U.S. Open.
Eighth-seeded 2012 champion Andy Murray fought off cramps to beat Dutchman Robin Haase in four painful sets, while women’s second seed Simona Halep lost a first-set tiebreak to U.S. debutante Danielle Collins before claiming victory.
And in a fascinating matchup between 19th seed Venus Williams and Kimiko Date-Krumm of Japan, the oldest players in the women’s draw, some pesky bees joined in and refused to leave them alone.
Murray looked on his way to an easy victory before he fell victim to cramps that left him stretching and straining to get comfortable before clinching a 6-3 7-6 (6) 1-6 7-5 victory over Haase.
“I felt extremely good before the match, and I did train very, very hard to get ready for the tournament,” said Murray.
Murray said he might consult with a nutritionist before meeting his second-round opponent, Germany’s Matthias Bachinger.
A less serious intrusion bugged the irresistible women’s match between seven-time Grand Slam singles winner Williams and Japan’s remarkable Date-Krumm, who were beset by bees.
First the 43-year-old Japanese player and later 34-year-old Williams dipped, ducked and danced away before ballgirls helped usher the determined bees off the baseline.
When finally left to play tennis on the sun-bathed Arthur Ashe Stadium court, Williams stung Date-Krumm 2-6 6-3 6-3 to advance.
In an upset on the men’s side, two-time U.S. Open semifinalist Mikhail Youzhny of Russia, the 21st seed, fell to big-serving Australian teenager Nick Kyrgios 7-5 7-6 (4) 2-6 7-6 (1).
The 19-year-old Kyrgios, who made a Wimbledon splash by ousting Rafa Nadal in the fourth round to reach the quarterfinals, blasted in 26 aces.
Advancing with relative ease in straight sets were Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland and fifth-seeded Canadian Milos Raonic.
The Swiss third seed beat Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic to set up a second-round test against Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci, while big-serving Raonic defeated Japan’s Taro Daniel to get to the next round against Peter Gojowczyk of Germany.
Halep survived a scare in the tournament’s opening match on stadium court before overtaking Collins 6-7 (2) 6-1 6-2.