Lightweights throw in the towel at U.S. Open

Fri Sep 3, 2010 10:54am EDT
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By Julian Linden

NEW YORK (Reuters) - There was an old-fashioned fight at the U.S. Open on Thursday but not the one tournament officials wanted to see.

Instead of happening on the court, the scuffle broke out in the upper deck, high above Arthur Ashe Stadium where Novak Djokovic and Philipp Petzschner were locked in their own battle.

Play stopped briefly as New York police handcuffed three rowdy fans and evicted them from Flushing Meadows.

The fracas in the stands came at the end of a day when some of the sport's heavyweights delighted in humbling lesser-known opponents in second round matches.

Each of the five featured matches on center court were decided in straight-sets. At times the quality of tennis was breathtaking and the crowds roared their approval, but it was rarely a fair contest.

Roger Federer's victim was Germany's Andreas Beck. He won the match 6-3 6-4 6-3 in one hour 41 minutes and even the Swiss master himself was impressed.

"It's the perfect start," he said. "I played Monday, had two days off. I had another easy one physically today, and here I am in the third round feeling like I'm completely in the tournament."

Maria Sharapova was also in a hurry, belting Czech Iveta Benesova 6-1 6-2, but neither of the former champions could match the ruthless display from Caroline Wozniacki.   Continued...

<p>Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates after defeating Philipp Petzschner of Germany at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, September 2, 2010. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine</p>