Images from Day 4 of the US Open in New York on Thursday
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.
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.”
Djokovic overcomes blip to beat Sandgren
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
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 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 the third round
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 minimize 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.
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.
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.
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.