September 2, 2015

vNEW YORK – For the second straight day, a professional tennis player was serving at the US Open by just casually swinging the racket overhead. After Vitalia Diatchenko was forced to eschew the jump serve against Serena Williams because of a foot injury, Australian teen Thanasi Kokkinakis found himself in the same position because of cramping on a steamy Tuesday afternoon (Wednesday in Manila). vIn his US Open debut, the 19-year-old Kokkinakis was in position to pull off an upset, leading 12th-seeded Richard Gasquet two sets to one, when his legs started to cramp in the fourth. vWith Kokkinakis barely able to move and serving underhand at times, Gasquet clinched the fourth set then won the first two games in the fifth before the 71st-ranked Australian had to retire, with just enough energy left to smash his racket. vMore players have stopped playing during matches because of injuries or illness during the first round of the US Open than in any round at any Grand Slam tournament in the professional era. vWith the temperature topping 90 degrees, a total of 12 men and women have retired during matches the first two play dates – with the first round still yet to be finished. vThe previous mark for most retirements during any round at any major was nine at the 2011 US Open. vAmong the 10 men and two women pulling out so far were five retirements Tuesday: Marcos Baghdatis, Ernests Gulbis, Aleksandr Nedovyesov and Marina Erakovic. vKokkinakis is set to suit up for the Singapore Slammers in the International Premier Tennis League this December. Gasquet, on the other hand will see action for the Philippine Mavericks alongside Williams. g-With a report from v(Sources from and