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A little past midnight, 33-year-old American James Blake’s career came to an end with a 6-7 (2), 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (2) loss to 6-foot-10 Ivo Karlovic of Croatia. Blake, once ranked as high as No. 4 and a three-time major quarterfinalist, announced Monday that the U.S. Open would be his last professional tournament.

“I don’t know when it’s going to hit me,” he said. “I don’t think I’ll be sleeping much tonight.”

No. 17 Kevin Anderson of South Africa, No. 20 Andreas Seppi of Italy, No. 21 Mikhail Youzhny of Russia, 2001 U.S. Open champ Lleyton Hewitt and 109th-ranked American wild-card entry Tim Smyczek were among the day’s winners. But No. 16 Fabio Fognini, No. 24 Benoit Paire and No. 29 Jurgen Melzer lost, meaning 10 of the 32 seeded men bowed out in the first round.

The last match of the long day began in Ashe shortly before midnight, and it was over before 1 a.m., because 15th-seeded American Sloane Stephens needed only 58 minutes to beat 38th-ranked Urszula Radwanska of Poland 6-1, 6-1.

“Before the match, I was like, ‘Man, normally I would be sleeping at this time,” said Stephens, who will play No. 23 Jamie Hampton in an all-American matchup in the third round.

Radwanska’s older sister, 2012 Wimbledon runner-up Agnieszka, was among the women who won earlier, along with 2011 French Open champion Li Na, and No. 30 Laura Robson of Britain. Robson beat Li last year in New York, and now they’ll have a rematch.

Venus Williams and Zheng played all of two points before being interrupted by showers. When they resumed two hours later, Williams kept making mistakes.

“I couldn’t pray a ball in,” she said.

But in the second set, Williams looked more like someone who won the U.S. Open in 2000 and 2001, and five Wimbledon titles.

Zheng led 4-1 in the tiebreaker, before Williams made one last stand. But at 5-all, Williams missed that volley.

“I should have made the shot,” Williams said. “I was just rushing.”

Zheng then converted the match point.

As Williams pointed out more than once during her news conference, there’s still doubles to play with her sister.

The older Williams hasn’t been ranked in the top 10 in 2½ years. The last time she made it beyond the third round at a major tournament was a fourth-round appearance at Wimbledon in 2011.

At the 2011 U.S. Open, Williams withdrew before her second-round match, announcing she had Sjogren’s syndrome, an illness that causes joint pain and fatigue.

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