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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Djokovic shows no mercy to sick qualifier Niland


World number one Novak Djokovic had the easiest of passages to the second round of the U.S. Open as his Irish opponent Conor Niland was forced to retire through illness.

Djokovic was detained on court for just 44 minutes against the qualifier, who was apparently suffering from a stomach upset.

The Serbian was leading 6-0 5-1 when world number 197 Niland finally called it a day to sympathetic applause on the Arthur Ashe Stadium Court.

The 29-year-old had been sick as he made his way to the showpiece court and could not summon the strength to offer much resistance.

The opening set took just 21 minutes and Niland salvaged just a little pride by claiming a single game in the shortened second before quitting.

Djokovic had come into the match as a slight injury doubt after retiring in the Cincinnati final against Andy Murray with a shoulder problem.

But he showed no sign of it against Niland as he began his bid for a third grand slam title of the season.

The top seed next faces either Pere Riba of Spain or Argentina's Carlos Berlocq for a place in the last 32.

Meanwhile, defending champion Rafael Nadal opened his U.S. Open account with a straight-sets win over Andrey Golubev.

But the world number two was made to work by the Russian, even saving seven set points in the second, before he eventually won 6-3 7-6 (7-1) 7-5.

Nadal's fellow Spaniard, Fifth seed David Ferrer, dropped the opening set to Russia's Igor Andreev but recovered to win 2-6 6-3 6-0 6-4.

Another winner Tuesday was 11th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France, who scored an impressive 6-4 6-4 6-4 victory over Lu Yen-hsun.

Elsewhere, 14th seed Stanislas Wawrinka beat Maximo Gonzalez 3-6 6-4 6-1 6-3, while Latvia's Ernests Gulbis sent 16th seed Mikhail Youzhny crashing out after an impressive 6-2 6-4 6-4 win.


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