US Open: Easy win for Federer; Tsonga, Venus out
Top seed Roger Federer absolutely dominated German Bjorn Phau to win 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 in the opening match of the night session before paying tribute to Roddick, who he defeated in three Wimbledon finals.
"A great champion and a great guy," Federer told the crowd. "I hope you guys make it hard for Tomic tomorrow night. I'm going to be watching."
Roddick, who will play Australian Tomic on Arthur Ashe Stadium on Friday night, called a news conference to announce he would retire after the Open and said he knew after his Wimbledon defeat to David Ferrer this year that his days were numbered.
Image: Roger Federer plays a return against Bjorn Phau on Thursday
Photographs: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
'I don't really know why it was like this today'
The announcement came shortly after France's fifth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga produced his worst match of the year to be the first big-name casualty of the men's draw.
Tsonga was wildly erratic in his 6-4, 1-6, 6-1, 6-3 loss to 52nd-ranked Martin Klizan of Slovakia in Louis Armstrong Stadium.
"It seemed like I couldn't hit the ball hard enough to put my opponent out of position," said Tsonga.
"I don't really know why it was like this today, but sometimes it happens with me. I don't know.
"It's tennis. I will tell you that. We have to play every week. I'm not a machine. Sometimes I'm tired. Sometimes not. Sometimes in good shape. Sometimes not. That's it."
Image: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga leaves the court after his loss to Martin Klizman of Slovakia on Thursday
Photographs: REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi
'I think I woke up on the wrong side of the bed'
In the women's draw, Serena Williams continued her march toward a fourth Flushing Meadows crown but Wimbledon runner-up Angieszka Radwanska was less convincing.
Williams, though not at her best, was a 6-2, 6-4 winner over Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez but second-seeded Radwanska struggled before peeling off 11 straight games to finish strongly in a 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 defeat of Carla Suarez Navarro.
"It was one of those days," said Williams, who double faulted six times. "I wasn't really happy with the way I was playing. I just wasn't happy out there today in general.
"I think I woke up on the wrong side of the bed."
Image: Serena Williams reacts after missing a point against Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez on Thursday
Photographs: REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
American players raise hopes with good wins
Teenager Sloane Stephens again lived up to the hype with a 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 win over Tatjana Malek and there was more American success when men's wildcard James Blake, 32, wound back the clock to beat 24th seed Marcel Granollers 6-1, 6-4, 6-2.
American Mardy Fish attended Roddick's retirement announcement after defeating Russian Nikolay Davydenko 4-6, 7-6, 6-2, 6-1, 6-2 to reach the third round.
Roddick, who won the 2003 US Open and was a Wimbledon finalist in 2004, 2005 and 2009, will play Tomic in the first match of the prime-time night session on Friday night.
"There's a lot of eyeballs on TV sets from people who don't even normally watch tennis during night matches of the US Open," he said. "I think I've played as many as anyone.
"It's just something I'll look back on with really fond memories. Hopefully won't be my last one."
Image: Mardy Fish celebrates after defeating Nikolay Davydenko on Thursday
Photographs: REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
Ivanovic, Jankovic coast into 3rd round
Serbians Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic, a pair former number one-ranked players hoping to get back to the top of the women's game, coasted into the third round of the US Open under sunny skies at Flushing Meadows on Thursday.
Twelfth seed Ivanovic blew by Sweden's Sofia Arvidsson 6-2, 6-2, in 64 minutes, while Jankovic, seeded 27th, had a little more difficult time in stopping Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino, 6-4, 6-2.
Ivanovic opened the day's program before a sparse crowd on Arthur Ashe Stadium, while Jankovic played on outside court 17, a far cry from when they were both title contenders.
Arvidsson's counter-punching groundstrokes did little to offset the arsenal of Ivanovic, who is looking to advance to the quarter-finals for the first time at Flushing Meadows.
"I'm very happy about today's match because she's a tough opponent," said Ivanovic, who enjoyed a 39-7 advantage in winners. "She does retrieve a lot of balls. She likes to use pace off an opponent... I'm very pleased."
Image: Ana Ivanovic celebrates after a point against Sofia Arvidsson on Thursday
Photographs: Al Bello/Getty Images
Kerber survives battle with Venus
Germany's sixth seed Angelique Kerber survived a tense battle against Venus Williams 6-2, 5-7, 7-5 on Thursday night in the second round of the US Open.
The first five games of the match were all service breaks before Kerber, a semi-finalist at Flushing Meadows a year ago, began to dominate.
The unseeded Williams staged a revival to lead 4-2 in the third set but Kerber prevailed to meet Olga Govortsova from Belarus in the third round.
Williams, a two-times US Open champion, made 60 unforced errors in an erratic performance.
Image: Venus Williams reacts after her loss to Angelique Kerber on Thursday
Photographs: REUTERS/Adam Hunger