CaribWorldNews, FLUSHING, NY, Fri. Sept. 3, 2010: Caribbean heritage players are now in almost every sports under the sun, so it is no surprise that two are already on a winning streak at the 2010 U.S. Open.
On Wednesday evening, French Gael Monfils, with roots in the French Caribbean, danced his way into the third round of the tourney by beating Russia`s Igor Andreev 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 to claim a victory on his 24th birthday.
The No. 17-seed Monfils took two breaks in the first set to steal the one-set lead, and the level of play only got better from there. Monfils showed off his athleticism, returning everything Andreev threw at him, including a short drop shot at the net that he tracked down with a sprint from way behind the baseline. His return game was just as impressive, and he was able to steal a break late in the set to end it at 6-4.
Andreev then had two break chances at 4-2 to get back on serve, but Monfils managed to hold for a 5-2 edge thanks to Andreev`s costly errors. Match point featured a long baseline rally, but an error on an Andreev shot that sailed long gave the Frenchman the match.
His win came just two days after he got past the big-serving American Robert Kendrick in his opening round match, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-4, to advance to the second round on Monday.
The 5-set match was a dog-fight throughout, but got controversial as the match was coming to a close. The controversy happened at 4-4 in the final set with Monfils serving. The Frenchman appeared to clip the ball before it landed out. The chair umpire gave the point to Monfils, which sent Kendrick into a tirade. The American lost his next service game and the match along with it.
Monfils` parents are both from the French Caribbean though he was born in Paris, France. His father, Rufin, a former football player employed as an agent for France Telecom, comes from the island of Guadeloupe while his mother, Sylvette, comes from the island of Martinique and is a nurse.
Meanwhile, Jamaica`s Dustin Brown also scored a win for his country to move on to his second round match in the U.S. Open.
Brown, 25, became the first ever Jamaican to win his first round men`s singles match at the Open, beating Ruben Hidalgo of Spain Wednesday in three straight sets: 6-4, 7-6, 7-5.
Born in Germany, Brown is ranked 113th in the world while Hidalgo is ranked 91. He reached his highest ATP singles ranking, No. 98, on July 26, 2010 and his highest ATP doubles ranking, No. 120, on June 7, 2010.
Brown will face Andy Murray this morning in the Arthur Ashe Stadium while Monfils will face Janko Tipsarevic in his third round match-up.