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Rediff.com  » Sports » US Open PIX: Federer, Djokovic advance; Wozniacki crashes out

US Open PIX: Federer, Djokovic advance; Wozniacki crashes out

Last updated on: August 31, 2018 14:24 IST

Images from Day 4 of the US Open in New York on Thursday

Switzerland's Roger Federer returns the ball against France's Benoit Paire during his US Open men's singles second round match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City on Thursday 

IMAGE: Switzerland's Roger Federer returns the ball against France's Benoit Paire during his US Open men's singles second round match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City on Thursday. Photograph: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for USTA

Second seed Roger Federer defeated a frustrated Benoit Paire 7-5, 6-4, 6-4 at the US Open on Thursday to set up a third-round match against Nick Kyrgios.

Despite the win Federer was far from flawless, especially in the third set when he saw a 4-1 lead evaporate and fell 5-4 behind due to some uncharacteristically poor serving.

But he bounced back to see off the bearded Frenchman, who acted erratically throughout the match - screaming wildly, tossing his racquet and kicking the ball after sending it into the net.

 

"It's different," Federer said of playing the unpredictable Paire, who was at times brilliant but still managed 47 unforced errors and 11 double faults in the two-hour affair.

Federer, who double faulted three times and committed 13 unforced errors in the third set, admitted he was not at his best but was happy to advance.

"It was a bit sort of up and down," he said.

"I think it's always tricky against Benoit. There's a lot of tactics going on. Never quite the same point."

"Sometimes he plays very deep in the court, then he plays up in the court. That's maybe why you draw errors out of each other rather than winners at the end," he said.

"The match maybe doesn't look so good."

Next up for the 37-year-old is a hotly-anticipated clash with Australia's Kyrgios, who recovered to beat Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert earlier on Thursday.

"We've had some brutal matches over the years. We enjoy playing against each other," said Federer.

"He has one of the best serves in the game and he's super talented."

Sharapova battles past Cirstea to set up Ostapenko clash

Russia's Maria Sharapova returns a shot against Romania's in a second round match on Thursday

IMAGE: Russia's Maria Sharapova returns a shot against Romania's in a second round match on Thursday. Photograph: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Maria Sharapova battled past unseeded Romanian Sorana Cirstea 6-2, 7-5 at the U.S. Open on Thursday to set up a third round clash with Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko.

Sharapova, who is seeded 22nd on her first appearance at Flushing Meadows since 2016, carved out a 3-0 first set lead despite making several mistakes early on and finished strongly with a dominant performance from the baseline.

Cirstea fought back with some hard hitting of her own, breaking the Sharapova serve in the first game of the second set and opening up a 4-2 lead before cracking under relentless pressure from the 2006 champion.

The Romanian sent a forehand into the net to offer Sharapova a break point, and allowed the Russian to level at 4-4 with a double fault.

Both players exchanged further breaks of serve until Sharapova finally held to go 6-5 up, before piling pressure on her opponent as she served to stay in the match.

Cirstea committed her fourth double fault to give the Russian two match points and conceded the contest with her 32nd unforced error, which Sharapova greeted with a fist-pumping celebration.

The former world number one, who beat Swiss veteran Patty Schnyder in the first round, has never lost a night session match at Flushing Meadows in 22 attempts.

"Well, numbers are all relative, it's really a nice accomplishment but it doesn't win me any more Grand Slams," Sharapova said courtside as the clock ticked past 1:00 a.m.

"There's something about this court, something about New York, there's something about this crowd. You have to be a little crazy to be here past midnight, so thank you."

Sharapova will resume her quest for a sixth Grand Slam crown against 10th seed Ostapenko, who beat American Taylor Townsend 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 earlier in the day.

"It only gets tougher from here," the Russian added.

"Being seeded in the 20s means you're going to get grand slam winners in the third round, as I have. But I'm looking forward to it."

Djokovic overcomes blip to beat Sandgren

Serbia's Novak Djokovic hits a return against USA's Tennys Sandgren in a second round match

IMAGE: Serbia's Novak Djokovic hits a return against USA's Tennys Sandgren in their second round match. Photograph: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Two-time former champion Novak Djokovic overcame a lapse in concentration to beat unseeded American Tennys Sandgren 6-1, 6-3, 6-7(2), 6-2 and reach the third round of the US Open on Thursday.

The Serb, who was also pushed to four sets in punishing daytime temperatures above 90 Fahrenheit (32C) in the first round, was far more comfortable in the evening at the Arthur Ashe Stadium, breaking early and running away with the opening set in 31 minutes.

The 31-year-old was two sets up and leading by a break in the third when he spurned a match point, allowing Sandgren to force a tiebreak that the American won easily.

Djokovic, however, recovered well, achieved an early break in the fourth set and closed out the match in two hours, 45 minutes.

"I thought I played really well in the first two sets and then I lost it mentally," Djokovic said courtside.

"I lost my composure and concentration but I got it back in the fourth."

Djokovic also spoke about the noise from the crowd both between and during points but said it had not been a factor in him losing concentration.

"I was just referring to the atmosphere that the night session at the US Open has," the sixth seed told reporters.

"I've played many times here. It has no connection to my loss of concentration. It was just me, being me sometimes, the other me that my first me doesn't like.

"You just have to accept it. You can't expect that 23,000 people are quiet... Wimbledon is all white, it's tradition. You can't hear a sound when you play a point. Here it's different. That's why these majors are unique in their own way."

The Serb, who won Wimbledon this year, will face 26th seed Richard Gasquet of France in the third round.

Tsurenko sends Wozniacki to another US Open second-round exit

Ukraine's Lesia Tsurenko celebrates match point against Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki in their second round match

IMAGE: Ukraine's Lesia Tsurenko celebrates match point against Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki in their second round match. Photograph: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Second seed Caroline Wozniacki was dumped out of the US Open after a shock 6-4, 6-2 loss to Ukraine's Lesia Tsurenko on Thursday as the Dane's second round woes continued at Flushing Meadows.

It marked the second consecutive year that Wozniacki, twice a US Open finalist, has failed to advance past this stage.

The second round has been a sore point for Wozniacki of late with the former world number one winning just once since Eastbourne in June, falling in the second round at Wimbledon and U.S. Open tuneup events in Montreal and Cincinnati.

Following World No 1 Simona Halep's first round exit, defending champion Sloane Stephens becomes the highest remaining seed in the women's draw at number three.

Zverev sails into third round

Germany's Alexander Zverev plays a return against France's Nicolas Mahut in their 2nd round match

IMAGE: Germany's Alexander Zverev plays a return against France's Nicolas Mahut in their 2nd round match. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Fourth seed Alexander Zverev beat a second lucky loser at the US Open on Thursday, overcoming Nicolas Mahut 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 to reach the third round as he bids for his first Grand Slam title.

The 21-year-old German won all of his five break points and thumped 10 aces and 18 winners to dispatch his French opponent in one hour and 49 minutes.

Zverev told reporters he was pleased with his performance, having never reached the third round at Flushing Meadows.

"This was always the Grand Slam where I didn't play my best ever," Zverev said.

"Game-wise, I never felt comfortable here. Finally I do."

He added that he was working to minimise distractions to help him focus more on the matches ahead.

"I don't go out at all... I spend the least possible time here on site because that takes energy away," Zverev said. "(I)may be enjoying New York a little less, but that gives me, you know, the credibility to play better."

The up-and-coming Zverev has had a relatively easy road at Flushing Meadows after beating another lucky loser, Peter Polansky, in straight sets in the first round.

He will expect his good fortune to continue when he meets unseeded countryman Philipp Kohlschreiber in the third round on Saturday, having won their last two meetings.

Kvitova advances

Petra Kvitova

IMAGE: Petra Kvitova returns the ball during her second round match against Yafan Wang. Photograph: Al Bello/Getty Images

Hard-hitting Czech Petra Kvitova advanced to the third round of the US Open on Thursday, defeating China's Yafan Wang 7-5, 6-3 to keep her dream of winning a third Grand Slam title alive.

 

The fifth seed converted five of seven break points and fired down four aces to send 24-year-old Wang packing in a match that lasted just under two hours on a hot and humid day at Flushing Meadows.

The match looked like it would be a one-sided affair when the twice Wimbledon champion raced to a 4-1 lead in the first set but Wang came roaring back to level the set at 5-5.

Kvitova would not be denied, however, unleashing her powerful forehand and elevating her play to capture the final two games of the set before cruising to victory.

Next up for the Czech is a third-round meeting with 20-year-old number 26 seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus.

Kvitova won their only previous meeting in three sets on the hardcourts at the Miami Open this year.

Angelique Kerber

IMAGE: Angelique Kerber celebrates winning her women's singles second round match. Photograph: Elsa/Getty Images

Fourth seed German Angelique Kerber was made to work hard for her 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 victory against Sweden's Johanna Larsson in the second round.

Nick Kyrgios

IMAGE: Nick Kyrgios celebrates winning his second round match. Photograph: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Australian Nick Kyrgios made a strong comeback after losing the first set to beat France's Pierre-Hugues Herbert 4-6, 7-6(6), 6-3, 6-0 and advance to the third round.

Maria Sharapova battled past unseeded Romanian Sorana Cirstea 6-2, 7-5 at the U.S. Open on Thursday to set up a third round clash with Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko.

Sharapova, who is seeded 22nd on her first appearance at Flushing Meadows since 2016, carved out a 3-0 first set lead despite making several mistakes early on and finished strongly with a dominant performance from the baseline.

Cirstea fought back with some hard hitting of her own, breaking the Sharapova serve in the first game of the second set and opening up a 4-2 lead before cracking under relentless pressure from the 2006 champion.

The Romanian sent a forehand into the net to offer Sharapova a break point, and allowed the Russian to level at 4-4 with a double fault.

Both players exchanged further breaks of serve until Sharapova finally held to go 6-5 up, before piling pressure on her opponent as she served to stay in the match.

Cirstea committed her fourth double fault to give the Russian two match points and conceded the contest with her 32nd unforced error, which Sharapova greeted with a fist-pumping celebration.

The former world number one, who beat Swiss veteran Patty Schnyder in the first round, has never lost a night session match at Flushing Meadows in 22 attempts.

"Well, numbers are all relative, it's really a nice accomplishment but it doesn't win me any more Grand Slams," Sharapova said courtside as the clock ticked past 1:00 a.m.

"There's something about this court, something about New York, there's something about this crowd. You have to be a little crazy to be here past midnight, so thank you."

Sharapova will resume her quest for a sixth Grand Slam crown against 10th seed Ostapenko, who beat American Taylor Townsend 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 earlier in the day.

"It only gets tougher from here," the Russian added.

"Being seeded in the 20s means you're going to get grand slam winners in the third round, as I have. But I'm looking forward to it."

 

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