Robin Soderling withdrew from the U.S. Open because of illness. The Swede was scheduled to face qualifier Louk Sorensen in the first round Wednesday. “Lucky loser” Rogerio Dutra da Silva of Brazil took his spot. His agent said in a statement that Soderling started feeling “really bad” Tuesday night with stomach pain and a headache. A doctor recommended he not play. Soderling had not played since withdrawing from Montreal with a wrist injury in early August.
“Wrist is feeling better. Travelling to NY tomorrow,” he tweeted Aug. 21. Soderling missed Cincinnati because of a throat problem that agent Nina Wennerstrom said might be related to the virus that sidelined him in New York. He won at Bastad in his last tournament in mid-July. The two-time French Open runner-up reached the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows last year to equal his best result.
Julien Benneteau powered his way through to the second round, eliminating No. 10 seed Nicolas Almagro in his bid for the 2011 US Open. Armed with a rocket for a serve, the Frenchman bested the Spanish clay-court specialist in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4, 6-3. The match was evenly contested from the baseline, but the deciding factor proved to be service games and break-point chances. Benneteau fared better in both categories, capitalizing on a 62 percent first-serve percentage and converting on 6-of-10 break-point chances. Almagro, on the other hand, faltered, as his first serve let him down throughout the match (49 percent) and he failed convert on break point opportunities. The 10th seed went 1-of-13 in those critical moments.