Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 31st 2014 Contents A67
August 31, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
champion Petra Kvitova was
stunned in the third round of the
US Open by a scrambling, moon-
balling qualifier ranked No 145.
Aleksandra Krunic, a 21-year-
old Serb who until this week had
not taken even a set from a player
in the top 30, crumpled to the
court in celebration and shock
yesterday when she pulled off the
6-4, 6-4 upset of the third-seed-
"Of course, I didn t expect to
win," said Krunic, the second
qualifier to pull off such a shocker
after 121st-ranked Mirjana Lucic-
Baroni beat No 2-seeded Simona
Halep on Friday.
Even when Krunic took the lead
in the second set and the Louis
Armstrong Stadium crowd was
cheering her on, "I just told to
myself, It s still on her, you still
have nothing to lose."
"I really focused my 100 per-
cent not to think about anything
that is happening---about the
court, about so many people,
about Petra," she said.
After a week of upsets on the
women s side, only three of the
top eight seeds remain, No. 1 Ser-
ena Williams, No 5 Maria Shara-
pova and No 7 Eugenie Bouchard.
Kvitova, who would have
ascended to the No 1 ranking if
she won the US Open and
Williams had lost before the quar-
terfinal, committed 34 unforced
errors against the fast-moving
Krunic, who slid and sometimes
went into a split to chase down
every ball and make her opponent
hit one more shot.
Kvitova too often failed to do
so, including what should have
been an easy putaway of a drop
shot that put Krunic a point away
from winning the first set. Kvitova
sprayed a backhand long on the
next point to lose it.
Those problems continued in
the second set, and in an epic 27-
stroke rally on match point,
Krunic looped several towering
shots before Kvitova sailed yet
another forehand out to end it.
"She played really unbelievable
tennis and she put a lot of balls
back ... almost all of them," said
Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon
champion who has never
advanced past the fourth round
at the US Open. "I was trying to
fight and fighting every point, but
it was so difficult. It wasn t really
Krunic next faces 16th-seeded
Victoria Azarenka, a straight sets
winner over Elena Vesnina.
Azarenka, who has lost to
Williams in the US Open final the
last two years, says she had never
seen Krunic play before.
There was no upset for 11th-
seeded Flavia Pennetta, who
downed American wild-card
Nicole Gibbs, 6-4, 6-0.
The men s side, meanwhile,
remained largely true to form.
None of the top 10 and only two
of the top 20 seeded men had lost
Novak Djokovic continued that
trend with a routine 6-3, 6-2, 6-
2 victory over American Sam
Querrey, earning a spot in the
round of 16 at a 22nd consecutive
Grand Slam tournament. Djokovic
counts the 2011 US Open among
his seven major titles and has
played in the past four finals at
Eighth-seeded Andy Murray
needed four sets to get past
Andrey Kuznetsov in humid, over-
cast conditions, his first day match
since he battled cramps over much
of his body in a first-round victory
over Robin Haase. "I ate properly,
I drank properly, I felt a lot better
today," he said.
Tenth-seeded Kei Nishikori
advanced in straight sets against
No 23 Leonardo Mayer, and fifth-
seeded Milos Raonic took three
straight tiebreakers over Victor
Estrella Burgos, who at 34 was
the oldest man left in the draw.
In other key matches Saturday,
and fellow American John Isner,
seeded 13th, sought to defeat No
22 Philipp Kohlschreiber, the man
who has beaten him in the third
round the last two years.
For the third time in three
matches at this year s US Open,
Williams faced an American,
52nd-ranked Varvara Lepchenko.
Williams has won 16 matches
in a row at Flushing Meadows.
She could become the first woman
with three straight titles at the
tournament since Chris Evert took
four in a row from 1975-78.
Marcelinho Huertas had 16 points
and five assists, and Brazil held on to
edge France 65-63 yesterday in its
opening game at the Basketball World
Boris Diaw of the NBA champion
San Antonio Spurs had 15 points, six
rebounds and five assists for the Euro-
pean champions, but the Cleveland
Cavaliers Anderson Varejao blocked
his 3-point attempt as time expired in
the Group A game.
Serbia beat Egypt 85-64 in the open-
ing game in Granada, while host Spain
played Iran at night.
Bojan Bogdanovic of the Brooklyn
Nets scored 26 points to help Croatia
pull out an 81-78 victory over the
Philippines, which got 28 points and
12 rebounds from American Andray
Blatche, their naturalized player. Blatche
played last season with the Nets but
doesn t have an NBA contract for next
Also in Group B in Seville, Luis Scola
of the Indiana Pacers had 20 points
and nine rebounds to power Argentina
past Puerto Rico, 98-75. Andres
Nocioni added 18 points and 11
rebounds, while New York Knicks guard
and fellow longtime Argentine star
Pablo Prigioni chipped in nine points
and 10 assists.
Greece met Senegal
in the late game.
The defending champion US played
Saturday night against Finland in Group
C Earlier at Bilbao, Turkey rallied with
a big fourth quarter to beat New
Zealand 76-73; and Ukraine got 16
points from Pooh Jeter to beat Domini-
can Republic 72-62.
Goran Dragic of the Phoenix Suns
had 21 points and seven rebounds to
lead Slovenia to a 90-80 victory over
Australia in Group D Angola started
the action in the Canary Islands by
downing South Korea 80-69, while
Lithuania and Mexico met in the late
Lee Chong Wei reaches
3rd straight world final
Chong Wei advanced yesterday to the
world championship badminton final
for the third straight time.
The 31-year-old Malaysian needed
only 33 minutes to crush Denmark s
Viktor Axelsen 21-9, 21-7.
Lee, who has never won the title,
covered the court with brilliantly bal-
anced movement but also struck a
higher ratio of winners than usual.
He faces Chen Long, the second-
seeded Chinese player, in the final. The
two have competed in the last two All-
England finals with each winning once.
Chen beat Tommy Sugiarto 21-16,
22-20. His Indonesian opponent was
trying to emulate his father Icuk Sug-
iarto, who won the world title in this
city 31 years ago.
It was the top-ranked Lee s best per-
formance so far as he seeks to give
Malaysia its first ever world champi-
"I will try to be better again because
I know my country needs a world
champion," Lee said. "There is a lot of
pressure on me but I will do my best
and try to enjoy it."
Axelson briefly looked like getting
into the match at the start of the second
game when he completely wrong-foot-
ed Lee with a disguised flick lift to
Lee responded immediately with a
flick serve winner and then allowed his
opponent just two more points.
"I had to play super well, but my
mind and my body would not co-oper-
ate," Axelsen said.
The 25-year-old Chen showed great
patience in wearing down Sugiarto and
had to rally from 17-19 in the second
Sugiarto twice had long pauses due
to an ankle injury incurred while
attempting a spectacular retrieve.
In the women s event, top-seeded
Li Xuerui reached the women s final in
just 31 minutes. The gifted Chinese
strokemaker overcame 16th-seeded
Minatsu Mitani 21-8, 21-14. Mitani s
earlier victories over Ratchanok Intanon
of Thailand and Sun Ji-Hyun of Korea
earned her a bronze.
In the final Li will play ninth-seeded
Carolina Marin, the first Spaniard to
reach a world final in any discipline
and the first European in the women s
singles final for 15 years.
The 21-year-old Marin beat Pusarla
Sindhu 21-17, 21-15, with the 11th-seed-
ed Indian unable to match the consis-
tent pressure of her left-handed oppo-
Kvitova out US Open
Aleksandra Krunic, of Serbia, drops to the court after defeating Petra Kvitova, of the Czech Republic, during
the third round of the 2014 US Open tennis tournament, yesterday, in New York. AP PHOTO
Brazil holds off France in
world basketball opener
Lee Chong Wei
Orange is the new budget
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