18 tear old Ryan Harrison knocks out Ivan Ljubicic.

Ivan Ljubicic followed fellow seed Tomas Berdych out of the opening round of the US Open.

Croatian Ljubicic was beaten in four sets by 18-year-old American qualifier Ryan Harrison in searing heat.

“The weather was my biggest enemy today,” admitted 31-year-old Ljubicic.

“Throughout my career I struggled with the heat. I’m not really coping really well with that, and I tried all kind of different tactics to deal with it. I never find the right one.

“Today was no different. Then everything else just comes together. I was not returning well, serving well, and Ryan was on top of his game. When everything gets together, it was a pretty comfortable win for him.

“We saw some players struggling big time. There are comments saying it’s the same thing for everybody, but really it’s not. Somebody is struggling more than others, and I think it’s just not fun.

“I think people out there are coming to see good tennis, and on days like this it’s all about everything except tennis. It’s just trying to hang in there and hit some balls more on the court than the other guy or other girl, whoever plays.

“A break doesn’t really help. In Australia they have a pretty good rule. When it’s too hot, you just don’t play. Hard courts definitely make it worse. The concrete, it’s just brutal. You get heat not only from the sky, but also from the bottom.”

A delighted Harrison said: “It’s definitely the biggest one of my career so far. To win on this stage here and to take out a top 20 player in the world is the biggest win of my career.

“I’ve always believed in myself. I have always had confidence in myself, so obviously I’m extremely excited and really pleased with what happened.

“But by the same token, I’m really going to look forward to trying to get back into my routines on the day off and looking forward to trying to get ready for the second round.”


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