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August 27, 2013

Kei Nishikori loses in 1st big upset of US Open

NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. Open, wrapping up an unpredictable year of Grand Slam tennis, quickly produced a big upset yesterday.

A British man not named Andy Murray — 179th-ranked qualifier Daniel Evans — stunned 11th-seeded Kei Nishikori in straight sets. Evans won 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 in his U.S. Open debut.

Both are 23, but Nishikori was playing in his 17th Grand Slam event, with a 25-16 record coming in. Evans was 0-2, both matches at Wimbledon.

The women’s draw opened with no surprises. Third-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska and fifth-seeded Li Na advanced in straight sets. Radwanska beat Silvia Soler-Espinosa 6-1, 6-2, while Li defeated Olga Govortsova 6-2, 6-2.

Radwanska withdrew from her last tournament at Cincinnati on Aug. 15 before her quarterfinal against Li to fly home for her grandfather’s funeral.

“Sometimes there are some things more important than tennis,” Radwanska said. “It was something like that, and it was really a pretty quick choice. Of course, this is the situation that we have to be home for the family, and I think I owed my granddad to be there.”

American teen Lauren Davis lost by a “double bagel,” falling to 18th-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain 6-0, 6-0 in 57 minutes.

The day started with some big news from a veteran U.S. player: Three-time Grand Slam quarterfinalist James Blake announced he would retire after the tournament at age 33.

Roger Federer is 32, and his struggles this year have him hearing questions about how much longer he’ll play. The five-time U.S. Open champ is seeded seventh, his worst since 2002.

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