US Open: Iga Swiatek stays on course
Iga Swiatek wasted no time to breeze past Sloane Stephens 6-3, 6-2 to enter the third round of the US Open here on Thursday. At the Arthur Ashe Stadium, the world No. 1 struggled for a while on her first serve, but soon came out on top to set up a meeting with American Lauren Davis.
Swiatek, bidding for her first US Open, was too good from the baseline for the 2017 US Open champion and swept past her American opponent in one hour and 14 minutes. Playing for the first time at the Arthur Ashe Stadium, Swiatek said it was a “dream come true”.
Swiatek, who collected her second Roland Garros title this year amid an extraordinary 37-match winning streak, sent 14 winners over the net, twice as many as her opponent, and won more than three-quarters of her first-serve points She said in her postmatch interview: “I remember when I was a junior and I came on the highest stand to watch Serena (Williams).
“I remember these matches were great for me to watch. And just being in the stadium here, downstairs, not up there is awesome.” Russia’s Liudmila Samsonova ousted last year’s finalist Leylah Fernandez 6-3, 7-6 (7-3), while 2019 champion Bianca Andreescu cruised into the third round with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Beatriz Haddad Maia.
Three-time US Open finalist Victoria Azarenka defeated Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk 6-2, 6-3 after an unforced error from Kostyuk’s forehand gave the 26th seeded Belarusian the win on her third match point. American eighth seed Jessica Pegula booked her place in the third round after overcoming Belarusian Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-4, 6-4.
Czech 21st seed Petra Kvitova, who has twice reached the quarter finals here, got a walkover into the third round after her Ukrainian opponent Anhelina Kalinina withdrew due to illness. Coco Gauff beat Romania’s Elena-Gabriela Ruse 6-2, 7-6 (7-4).
World No.1 Daniil Medvedev maintained his strong start to his title defence on Wednesday, dispatching France’s Arthur Rinderknech 6-2, 7-5, 6-3 in the Arthur Ashe Stadium to reach the third round. “In general, I’m happy with my level in the third set,” Medvedev said. “At the end of the match, it was getting better and better. At the same time, a win is the most important. Looking forward to the next round.” The 26-year-old is bidding to become the first men’s player to clinch consecutive US Open crowns since Swiss great Roger Federer swept the tournament each year between 2004 and 2008.
Awaiting Medvedev in the third round will be Wu Yibing, who became the first Chinese man to reach the third round at Flushing Meadows after beating fellow-qualifier Nuno Borges of Portugal 6-7 (3-7), 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 6-4, 6-4. World No. 53 Jack Draper stunned sixth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime, last year’s semi-finalist, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 to reach the third round of a grand slam for the first time.
Australian Nick Kyrgios powered past Benjamin Bonzi to reach the third round with a hard -fought 7-6(3), 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 win. The big-serving Kyrgios struck 30 aces and won the final nine points of the match to end the punishing affair under the lights at Louis Armstrong Stadium. “His level today was incredible, I was not expecting an absolute war,” Kyrgios said in an on-court interview.
Murray survives scare
Former world No.1 Andy Murray survived an early scare to beat American wildcard Emilio Nava 5-7, 6-3, 6-1, 6-0 to move into the third round of a grand slam for only the second time in five years. Murray will next meet 13th seed Matteo Berrettini. The Italian also dropped the opening set before fighting back to beat Hugo Grenier 2-6 6-1 7-6(4) 7-6(7).
India’s Rohan Bopanna and Matwe Middelkoop of the Netherlands, seeded ninth, lost their men’s doubles first round match to the unseeded Italian pair of Lorenzo Sonego and Andrea Vavassori 6-7 (2-7), 2-6.