Clijsters wins before 25-minute rain delay at Open |

Clijsters wins before 25-minute rain delay at Open

Rachel Cohen, The Associated Press

NEW YORK – Kim Clijsters beat Petra Kvitova and Hurricane Earl with a quick victory before rain briefly suspended play at the U.S. Open.

The forecast from the tournament’s meteorologist Friday called for intermittent showers, and officials planned to try to get in the full schedule of matches. The rain delay lasted 25 minutes.

Clijsters, the defending champion, won the final 12 games in her 6-3, 6-0 third-round victory over the 27th-seeded Kvitova. The second-seeded Belgian dropped two service games to fall behind 3-0 early.

“A match like this today probably gives me more satisfaction, because I beat a good player without even playing my best tennis,” Clijsters said.

American teenager Ryan Harrison played some of the best tennis of his young life, but he’s still learning how to beat a good player. Harrison wasted three match points in a fifth-set tiebreaker to lose to Ukraine’s Sergiy Stakhovsky in the men’s second round.

The 18-year-old qualifier led 6-3 in the tiebreaker but dropped the next five points. The 36th-ranked Stakhovsky escaped with a 6-3, 5-7, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (6) victory in 4 hours, 13 minutes.

“Obviously I’m not the happiest person in the world right now,” Harrison said. “But looking back on it, it was a great experience. My ranking is 220 in the world right now, and I’m trying to hopefully get to the top 10. So I feel like one match doesn’t make or break that. It’s the experience of playing these type of matches that is really going to help me to get there.”

Harrison, who is based in Bradenton, Fla., had upset 15th-seeded Ivan Ljubicic in the first round. Fans packed the grandstand and peered in from neighboring Louis Armstrong Stadium to roar for Harrison, the youngest and lowest-ranked player left in the draw.

“That was incredible,” Harrison said. “They were great. There were some balls that I ran down and was able to scoop up and get back in the point, win some points, just because of the energy and the electricity that I’m feeling because of everything. I can’t remember the last time I was, late in a match like that, jogging off every changeover.”

Fourth-seeded Andy Murray defeated Jamaica’s Dustin Brown 7-5, 6-3, 6-0 to move into the third round. John Isner is still the highest-ranked American man left in the tournament after defeating Switzerland’s Marco Chiudinelli 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7), 6-4. The 18th-seeded Isner had 24 aces and his serves reached 144 mph

Fifth-seeded Samantha Stosur and 12th-seeded Elena Dementieva also advanced before the rain hit. Venus Williams and Rafael Nadal were to play at night.

Stosur, the French Open runner-up, extended her longest run at the Open, beating Sara Errani 6-2, 6-3. The Australian had never gotten past the second round at Flushing Meadows in six previous tries. But the 26-year-old is in the midst of a career year and has reached the quarterfinals or better in nine of her last 10 events.

Stosur defeated the 37th-ranked Errani for the second time in just more than a week. She needed a third-set tiebreaker to defeat the Italian in New Haven, Conn.

Stosur nearly lost in the first round at the U.S. Open, dropping the opening set then going to a tiebreaker in the second against 64th-ranked Elena Vesnina. But she has cruised since and had seven aces and 37 winners Friday.

Stosur moves on to face Dementieva, who ousted 24th-seeded Daniela Hantuchova 7-5, 6-2. Dementieva, the 2004 runner-up at Flushing Meadows, has reached the semifinals three times but lost in the second round last year. The Russian missed Wimbledon with a left calf injury and has fallen out of the top 10 for the first time in more than three years.

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