August 30, 2011 in Sports

Fish starts U.S. Open with easy victory

 
Associated Press photo

Mardy Fish returns a shot to Tobias Kamke of Germany during the first round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament.
(Full-size photo)

Tennis: In New York, American Mardy Fish opened his stay at Flushing Meadows with a 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 victory over Tobias Kamke of Germany that included a between-the-legs shot in the final game of a match that took only 1 hour, 43 minutes at the U.S. Open.

But if Fish is ever going to bring out his inner showman, now is the time. He enters as the eighth seed, the top-ranked player, man or woman, in America, supplanting Andy Roddick after his long run as the top American male.

As such, Fish earned prime billing – the opening match in Arthur Ashe Stadium, where play began two hours later than scheduled as workers hurried to prepare the stadium that was battened down for Hurricane Irene over the weekend.

Fish opened the match by losing his serve, but that turned out to be the only hiccup. He is one of 14 American men entered in the U.S. Open, as the host country continues its quest to find the next great champion. No U.S. man has won a major since Roddick won in New York in 2003.

While Fish’s match was moving along in routine fashion, Wimbledon women’s champion Petra Kvitova became the first major upset victim of the tournament, committing 52 unforced errors in a 7-6 (3), 6-3 loss to Alexandra Dulgheru. Kvitova has won a total of two matches since defeating Maria Sharapova in the Wimbledon final.

Sharapova defeated 19-year-old Heather Watson of Britain 3-6, 7-5, 6-3.

At night, 2000-01 U.S. Open champion Venus Williams played her first match in two months and beat 91st-ranked Vesna Dolonts of Russia 6-4, 6-3. Williams hit six aces and 28 total winners against Dolonts.

In the day’s last match, 16-time major winner Roger Federer beat 54th-ranked Santiago Giraldo of Colombia 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 to collect his 224th victory in Grand Slam play, tying Andre Agassi for second-most in the Open era.

Martin takes Vuelta trial, Froome in lead

Cycling: In Salamanca, Spain, Tony Martin of Germany won the individual time trial Monday, while British cyclist Christopher Froome took the overall lead in the Spanish Vuelta.

Bradley Wiggins was favored to take the leader’s jersey after the speed test but was third behind Martin and Team Sky teammate Froome. His lead over Danish Jakob Fuglsang is 12 seconds after 10 stages.

AP sources: NBA, players will talk

NBA: Two people with knowledge of the plans say the lead negotiators for the NBA owners and players will meet Wednesday for just the second time since the lockout began.

Commissioner David Stern, deputy commissioner Adam Silver and San Antonio Spurs owner Peter Holt, who leads the labor relations committee, will take part, as will players’ association executive director Billy Hunter and union president Derek Fisher of the Lakers, two people told the Associated Press on Monday on condition of anonymity because the talks are supposed to be confidential.

Woods to play Fall Series at Frys.com

Miscellany: Tiger Woods will play the Frys.com Open in California the first week of October, his first time competing in the PGA Tour’s Fall Series as he tries to get his game ready for the Presidents Cup.

The Frys.com Open is Oct. 6-9 at CordeValle Golf Club, about 45 minutes south of his alma mater at Stanford.

Woods said a week ago he might add a tournament because of his limited schedule this year brought on by leg injuries. He chose a tournament from the Fall Series that he has never played.

• Kevin Harvick officially in Chase: NASCAR says Kevin Harvick has clinched at least a wild-card berth in the 12-driver Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.

Harvick was not listed among drivers who had clinched after Saturday night’s race at Bristol because there are still scenarios where he could fall outside of the top 10 in points. Further review Monday by NASCAR determined his three victories this season have earned him at minimum one of the two wild cards.

• Vegas sends in 2020 Olympic letter: When the U.S. Olympic Committee said it wouldn’t bid to host the 2020 Games, Las Vegas leaders decided to roll the dice anyway: They have sent a letter to the IOC saying they are still all in.

The letter, dated Aug. 26 and sent to the International and U.S. Olympic committees, says, “this is intended to serve as the Vegas 2020 Bid Committee’s Application Letter to host the 2020 Summer Olympic Games.”

• See You At Peelers sees win streak end at 22: In Washington, Pa., for the first time in her career, 3-year-old filly See You At Peelers was not in the winner’s circle.

The harness racing star’s 22-race winning streak ended with a disappointing sixth-place finish in the Nadia Lobell Stakes at The Meadows.

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