Berdych downs Goffin at US Open, Raonic survives a scare against Giraldo

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Tomas Berdych ground out a hard fought win over Belgium’s David Goffin, saving 16 of 18 break points and serving  17 aces on his way to a straight sets victory, 7-5 6-3 6-3. In an incredibly frustrating first set for Goffin, he missed eight break point chances in his first three service games before dropping serve at the first possible opportunity to go down 2-4. In the next game, Goffin looked like carrying on the trend of the set as he blew break points nine and ten, but took the eleventh to get it back on serve. After that, both players began to take more control on serve until the all important game twelve where Goffin put a forehand wide at 30-40 to hand the set to Berdych.

The second set was much the same with Goffin spurning more break chances in the first game, as Berdych’s serve came to the rescue to secure the hold. After that break points were at a premium until the eighth game of the set. A weak back hand into the net gave Berdych the opportunity to serve for it, doing so quite comfortably with a hold to 15. When Berdych broke in the third game of the third set, it seemed like Goffin was done but the Belgian broke back immediately and held to take a 3-2* lead. That would be the last game Goffin would win as he was broken twice in succession, the second time to love, to end his US Open at the first hurdle.

Milos Raonic suffered an almighty scare on his way to a five set victory over Colombian Santiago Giraldo. After saving six break points early on in the first set, Raonic broke on his second opportunity of the match to take a 4-2 lead. The serve was beginning to work and it looked like he had the momentum as he took the set 6-3. After a second set with very little between the two players, Raonic hit one his fifteen double faults at *4-5 30-30 to bring up a break point chance for the first time in the set and Giraldo tied the match up with an excellent return.

The third set was much the same, with serve highly dominant and a single break at 2-1 deciding the set after a poor slice approach was netted by Raonic. Giraldo served out the set to 15 to take a 2-1 lead. When he dropped serve in the first game of the fourth set, it looked like the outside tip for the tournament of many would be heading out in the first round and consecutive holds to 15 did little to change that. When a possible double fault was ruled in at 3-1 30-30, Giraldo looked visibly annoyed and this showed in the next service game. Raonic finally took the break point after missing multiple chances to tie the set up. Two more comfortable holds saw Raonic force his opponent to serve to stay in the set and Giraldo was unable to do so, putting a wild backhand wide to make it two sets each.

After saving two break points at 1-1 in the final set, Raonic began to settle down on serve and did not face another break point throughout the rest of the match. Unfortunately, he also failed to take advantage of four opportunities of his own in games six and eight of the set. After being broken for the set in the fourth, Giraldo repeated the trick as some wild forehands gifted the match to Raonic, the final one going long for a 6-3 4-6 3-6 6-4 6-4 victory.

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