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Bernard Tomic (hip), Ernests Gulbis (hamstring) game but lose

Gael Monfils returns to Alejandro Gonzalez during a

Gael Monfils returns to Alejandro Gonzalez during a men's singles match at the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament on Friday, Aug. 29, 2014. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

One fellow didn't show up for his second-round U.S. Open match because of a hip injury Friday. Another's dyspepsia prompted him to request a soda from the ball boy during play. Another wound up on his stomach while a trainer worked out a cramp in his upper hamstring, as his two-set lead vanished.

All that before anyone had hunkered down for the tournament's long weekend, as Grand Slam tennis again proved to be potentially debilitating.


Bernard Tomic, a 21-year-old Australian ranked 67th, said a flare-up of hip pain convinced him he would not be able to play No. 4 seed David Ferrer of Spain, known for long, punishing rallies. That handed Ferrer a walk-over into the third round.

Friday night, there were no real worries for five-time Open champ Roger Federer in his 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 victory over big server Sam Groth, the 104th-ranked player from Australia.

France's Gael Monfils, the stylish No. 20 seed, was rewarding the overflow crowd on the Grandstand court with a 7-5, 6-3, 6-2 victory over Colombia's Alejandro Gonzalez, ranked 100th.

Though it didn't appear to affect Monfils' performance, he several times bent at the waist, fighting off an upset stomach. The fizzy drink he acquired from a ball boy had him feeling better after the match.

Then there was No. 11 seed Ernests Gulbis of Latvia, going from a two-sets-to-love lead against his friend and hitting partner, Austria's Dominic Thiem, to calling for a trainer because he feared a hamstring injury.

"I thought it was a pulled muscle but it was cramps," said Gulbis, who was groaning in pain as he lay courtside while his hamstring was tended to. "It was simply a struggle. I couldn't play anymore."

He refused to retire, but lost, 4-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3.

"I hated the situation," Thiem said. "Something really, really special, a great win for me, the first time zero-to-two sets to five sets. I would prefer it would be against someone else, but not him."

Other results were more to form and confined to tennis-only developments, though not necessarily easy. No. 6 seed Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic needed five sets to oust Martin Klizan, 25, a Slovakian ranked 65th. No. 14 seed Marin Cilic of Croatia was pushed to a first-set tiebreaker but won in straight sets over Illya Marchenko, 26, a qualifier from Ukraine ranked 163rd.

Far less stressful was the midday, straight-sets victory for Grigor Dimitrov, the No. 7 seed from Bulgaria, over Dudi Sela, a 29-year-old from Israel who is ranked 83rd, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2.

In other action, the 90th-ranked Tim Smyczek, 26, a Wisconsin native, was beaten in straight sets by No. 17 seed Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain -- leaving the United States with only two men in the singles competition. John Isner and Sam Querrey play Saturday.

Argentina's 23-year-old Federico Delbonis, who knocked Long Island's Noah Rubin out of the tournament in the first round, lost to No. 26 Gilles Simon of France, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5, 6-1.

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