Halep and Wawrinka beat the heat while Sock drops
By Steve Keating
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Simona Halep and Stan Wawrinka beat the heat with straight-sets wins to reach the third round of a sweltering U.S. Open on Thursday while American hope Jack Sock wilted under the punishing conditions, collapsing on court.
As courtside temperatures pushed past 100 Fahrenheit (38 Celsius) at Arthur Ashe Stadium, second seeded Halep of Romania wasted little time finishing off Ukraine qualifier Kateryna Bondarenko 6-3 6-4 in just 76 minutes before escaping to the air-conditioned comfort of the players' lounge.
Fifth-seeded Swiss Wawrinka outslugged gutsy South Korean teenager Chung Hyeon, but still sweated out a 7-6(2) 7-6(4) 7-6(6) second round decision.
Next up for the French Open champion is Ruben Bemelmans of Belgium, who advanced when Sock retired due to cramping while leading 6-4 6-4 3-6 1-2.
Sock had looked in control of the match but began to show signs of distress in the third set, then sent a shock through the crowd when he began to cramp and dropped to the court as medical staff rushed to his aid.
The American grimaced in pain as he was wrapped in ice towels with bags of ice also placed around his body.
A wheelchair was brought out but after several minutes Sock was helped to his feet and, assisted by a trainer under each arm, he limped off the court.
The week-long heat wave has taken a heavy toll at the year's final grand slam with 12 players retiring due to the conditions or because of injuries in the opening round before Sock added his name to the casualty list in the second. Continued...