Early US Open exit for Gasquet

RICHARD GASQUET’S stay at the US Open was a short one after he lost 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 5-7 7-5 6-2 in the first round to Tommy Haas.

Hoping to make a run at the year’s final major after reaching the last 16 at Wimbledon, 12th seed Gasquet was his own worst enemy as he committed an astounding 64 unforced errors in becoming the highest seeded player to lose. Haas entered as a dangerous opponent, with the German having reached the quarter-finals here in each of the last two years.

Elsewhere in a match which featured some high intensity, Marat Safin outlasted American Vincent Spadea 3-6 6-2 6-3 4-6 6-4.

The 2000 champion, Safin was visibly upset with the referee and threw his racket at one point in the match. At the start of the fifth set, a tournament official also was summoned to calm down the Russian.

Number 13 Fernando Verdasco coasted into the second round with a 6-3 6-4 6-1 triumph over Igor Kunitsyn.

Fourteenth seed Ivo Karlovic of Croatia booked a spot in the second round with a 7-5 6-1 6-4 triumph over Jan Minar.

American Sam Querrey managed to post a mild upset with a 6-3 6-1, 6-2 triumph over number 22 seed Tomas Berdych. Ranked 55th in the world, Querrey has failed to make it past the second round in his first two appearances at this Grand Slam.

Other early winners included number 15 Tommy Robredo, Jarkko Nieminen, Nicolas Devilder and Florent Serra.

Meanwhile Ana Ivanovic believes her first-round test at the US Open will be a positive moving forward.

The top-seeded Serbian narrowly avoided a stunning upset yesterday before emerging with a 6-1 4-6 6-4 victory over Russian Vera Dushevina.

Playing for the first time since pulling out of the Olympics with a thumb injury, Ivanovic looked as though she would cruise through to the next round after racing to a 5-0 lead and needing just 27 minutes to win the first set against the world’s 57th-ranked player.

“When I first went on the court, I was very excited and I started to play really well,” said Ivanovic, who next will face either Julie Coin or Casey Dellacqua.

“Obviously the lack of practice showed a little bit later.”

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