Murray return run ends
Germany’s Angelique Kerber advanced to the last 16 of the US Open with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over 20-year-old American Ann Li at the Louis Armstrong Stadium on Friday. Kerber, a three-time Grand Slam champion who won the title at Flushing Meadows in 2016, converted four break points while Li — who is ranked 128 in the world — was let down by 28 unforced errors.
In another match, Croatian eighth seed Petra Martic survived another sloppy display to see off Grand Slam newcomer Varvara Gracheva 6-3, 6-3 and reach the US Open round of 16 for the second consecutive year.
On Thursday, Serena Williams battled her way through to a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Russia’s Margarita Gasparyan in the second round, as she continued her bid for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title.
She next faces fellow American Sloane Stephens in the third round. Serena said Stephens, who won the tournament in 2017, is “a great competitor.”
Stephens beat Olga Govortsova 6-2, 6-2. Victoria Azarenka put fellow Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka firmly in her place with an 6-1, 6-3 victory in the second round further cementing her status as a dangerous floater.American Madison Keys once again wasted no time on court at Flushing Meadows, defeating Spain’s Aliona Bolsova 6-2, 6-1 in less than an hour.
Sorana Cirstea rallied from a set down to upset ninth-seeded Briton Johanna Konta 2-6, 7-6(5), 6-4.
Among men, Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime proved too strong for former champion Andy Murray, cutting short the Briton’s Grand Slam comeback at the US Open with a breezy 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 victory in the second round on Thursday. Before the start of the match, the 20-year-old Auger-Aliassime had said he would look to be aggressive against his three-time Grand Slam winning opponent.
The Canadian lived up to his promise and went on the offensive from the start, dominating rallies from the baseline and making the 2012 US Open champion, who has twice had hip surgery, move all around the Arthur Ashe Stadium court.
Auger-Aliassime did not face a single breakpoint on his serve, hit 24 aces and an incredible 52 winners compared to the nine managed by the Scot, who was playing his first Grand Slam since the 2019 Australian Open.
India’s Sumit Nagal’s trademark fighting spirit was on display throughout but it was not enough to get past world No. 3 Dominic Thiem in the second round. Nagal lost 3-6, 3-6, 2-6 to the second-seeded Austrian, who celebrated his 27th birthday with a commanding performance at the Arthur Ashe stadium on Thursday.
Thiem had said that he has seen videos of Nagal’s game and knew that he has a ripping forehand. Well prepared, he came out with a clear strategy of not giving many balls on the forehand side of the Indian.
“Thank you 2020 US Open. Lots to learn. Going to keep working hard! Thanks for all the support everyone,” Nagal later tweeted. Third seed Daniil Medvedev motored into the third round with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 win over Australia’s Christopher O’Connell.