Bedene through, Ward out at the US Open

By Niall Clarke

  • Aljaz Bedene advances to the second round after Ernests Gulbis retires
  • He will face Donald Young in the next round
  • James Ward loses in straight sets to Thomaz Bellucci

NEW YORK, USA- Aljaz Bedene is through to the second round of the US Open after his opponent Ernests Gulbis retires in the third set. James Ward on the other hand is out after a straight sets loss to Thomaz Bellucci.

Bedene may consider himself lucky that his opponent retired midway through the third set despite holding a 3-0 lead. The pair had split the opening two sets 6-3, 4-6 before the Latvian withdrew from the match.

The Slovenian born Brit failed to convert two break points in the opening game then had to save a pair of his own at 3-2. Despite creating an opportunity to go a break up in the following game, Bedene would go on to be broken at 4-3 and lose the first set as Gulbis was able to serve it out.

The world number 67 carried his momentum into the second set where he would break again to establish a solid lead. However, Gulbis could not keep his level and Bedene was able to break back a few games later. Sensing that he is now back in the match, Bedene applied the pressure at 4-3 by earning 0-40. He could not convert his break points on that occasion.

The British number two held serve to pile some scoreboard pressure on Gulbis. The former world number 10 cracked and Bedene was able to break to take the second set 6-4.

A clearly diminished Gulbis went a break down early in the third set and was forced to retire due to heat cramps at 0-3 in the third.

Bedene will go on to face Donald Young, who came from two sets down to upset Gilles Simon 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.

Ward would not replicate the success of his new compatriot as he slumped to a straight sets loss to 30th seed Bellucci. The Brazilian was in firm control of the first set, breaking the Brit three times to romp to take it 6-1 in just 25 minutes.

Ward would improve in the second set and earned his first break point opportunity in the first game but was unable to convert. The set stayed with serve until 6-5 where the scoreboard pressure got to the Brit who was broken for 7-5.

Bellucci would break again in the third before going on to serve out a relatively comfortable match to love to claim a 6-1, 7-5, 6-3 victory.

This is the ninth straight loss for Ward who has struggled hugely since his greatest ever Grand Slam performance at Wimbledon. He will be looking to build up some confidence on the challenger tour as we reach the final swing of the season.

The women also had mixed success on day two. You can read about how Johanna Konta and Laura Robson got on Here

Don’t forget that Andy Murray is in action against Nick Kyrgios later on tonight, so the British interest for the day is not over.

You can follow Andy’s progress from 00:00 BST via the Britwatch Live Scores 

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