The luck of U.S. Open draw
In 1999, after winning her first Grand Slam in New York, Serena was asked about this but she dismissed such a thing; saying that “if I believed in luck, I could just as well sit on my …. and not train hard.”
The same question was put to Andre Agasssi and he said: “I do all within my control and train hard and stay focused on the court. I don’t worry about what I cannot control.”
George Vecsey wrote in his New York Times column that Venus and Serena were merely regurgitating what their father Richard had drilled into them about hard work and belief in self. “Leave them to gain experience and years to come, they would acknowledge the times they were lucky in a match.”
The sweltering heat in this US Open has claimed many casualties. In the Women’s Event, Vitalia Diatchenko of Russia dropped out after losing eight straight games to Serena Williams, while Marina Erakovic of New Zealand threw in the towel after losing the first set and down three games in the second to second-seeded Simona Halep of Roumania.
It was a different story with the men, who have to win three sets out of five. Russia’s Alexandr Dolgopolo won the first set but retired when Australian, Sam Groth, was leading two sets to one. Turkey’s Marsel Ilhan was leading by two sets to one when his opponent, Radek Stepanek of Czech Republic threw in the towel.
Frenchman Gael Monfils won the first set, lost the second and was down 0-5 in the third set when injury forced him out for the victory of Ilya Marchenko of Ukraine. Yen-Hsun Lu of Taipei lost first two sets and was trailing 0-3 in the third set before giving up to Mikhil Kukushkin of Kazkasistan.
Germany’s Flrian Mayer retired after winning first set, losing the next two and down in the fourth set. Spain’s Pablo Andular gave up in his match against Teymuraz Gabashvilli of Russia after losing a tough first set, then won the second at love, then won the third, lost the fourth and could not continue in the fifth. Alexandr Nedovyesov of Kazkasistan was down two sets when he retired in his match with Lleyton Hewitt of Australia. Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia won the first and third sets, but at 0-2 down in the fifth, he limped off in agony from cramps in his match with 12th seeded Richard Gasquet of France.