It was a tough day at the courts at the US Open on Thursday for former champions Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who struggled before getting their respective second-round wins.
Federer needed five sets to subdue long-time rival Mikhail Youzhny, while Nadal overcame the opening set deficit to clinch the win in four sets.
Upsets continued to dot the day as well, with Andrey Rublev cutting short the seventh seeded Grigor Dimitrov’s outing and Alexandr Dolgopolov upsetting the 15th seed Tomas Berdych. Eighth seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova was also upset, by Kurumi Nara.
- Federer, Nadal and Pliskova stutter
Third seed Federer’s back issues had hampered his preparation for the year’s final major and the results were apparent on court as the sluggish Swiss made an uncharacteristic 68 unforced errors.
After letting the advantage slip midway through the match, Federer pounced on a cramping Youzhny to seal a 6-1 6-7(3) 4-6 6-4 6-2 victory in three hours and seven minutes to reach the third round.
“These five set battles are actually a lot of fun,” Federer, who faces Spaniard Feliciano Lopez next, said in a courtside interview after the match. “I feel quite warmed up now.”
Nadal, meanwhile, started off slowly against the world No 121 Taro Daniel. After losing the first set, the Mallorcan even trailed by a break early on in the second set before finding a firmer footing in the match to win 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2. This was Nadal’s 51st win of the season and take his place in the round-of-32.
World No 1 Pliskova, who has a lot riding at the Major this fortnight, also looked to be in trouble against the 127th ranked Gibbs. However, the Czech gained confidence in her game and was prompt in ensuring her place in the women’s draw with a 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 win.
- Longest match in US Open history
There was this snippet that made its way into the pages of history at the US Open as well. Shelby Rogers and Daria Gavrilova played for three hours and 33 minutes – the longest women’s singles match in the tournament. The duo eclipsed the previous match record of three hours and 23 minutes set by Garbine Muguruza and Johanna Konta in the second round of the 2015 US Open. Rogers eventually won Thursday’s encounter over the 25th seeded Australian 7-6(6), 6-4, 7-6(5).
- GOFFIN BATTLES PAST PELLA IN FIVE SETS
– Ninth-seed David Goffin edged Argentine Guido Pella 3-6 7-6(5) 6-7(2) 7-6(4) 6-3 after four hours and 19 minutes on Court Five.
– The Belgian will meet 18th seed Gael Monfils in the third round.
- THIEM ADVANCES TO ROUND THREE
– Sixth seed Dominic Thiem of Austria recorded 40 winners on his way to a 6-4 6-4 4-6 7-5 victory over American Taylor Fritz in the second round.
- ROGERS OUTLASTS GAVRILOVA
– American Shelby Rogers beat 25th-seeded Australian Daria Gavrilova 7-6(6) 4-6 7-6(5) in the second round after three hours and 31 minutes on Court 10, the longest women’s singles match in U.S. Open history.
- DIMITROV SUFFERS SHOCK EXIT
– World number 53 Andrey Rublev has pulled off one of the upsets of the tournament, beating seventh seed Grigor Dimitrov 7-5 7-6(3) 6-3 in the second round.
– Dimitrov was one of the pre-tournament favourites after lifting the title in Cincinnati earlier this month.
- DEL POTRO INTO ROUND THREE
– Argentine Juan Martin del Potro reached the third round with a 6-2 6-3 7-6(3) win over Spain’s Adrian Menendez-Maceiras.
– Del Potro, seeded 24th, claimed his only grand slam title at Flushing Meadows in 2009.
- DOLGOPOLOV PULLS OFF BERDYCH UPSET
– Unseeded Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov beat 15th-seeded Tomas Berdych 3-6 6-1 7-6(5) 6-2 to seal a third round spot.
– The 28-year-old will face Serbian Viktor Troicki in the next round.
– 13 of the top men’s seeds have exited the competition in the first two rounds so far along with second seed Andy, who pulled out before the start of the tournament due to a hip injury.
- SVITOLINA CRUISES PAST RODINA
– World number four Elina Svitolina has progressed to the third round after beating Russian Evgeniya Rodina 6-4 6-4.
– The 22-year-old has reached the third round of the tournament for the third consecutive year as she targets a first grand slam title.
- OSTAPENKO INTO THIRD ROUND
– 12th-seeded Latvian Jelena Ostapenko defeated Romania’s Sorana Cirstea 6-4 6-4 to book a spot in the third round.
– The 20-year-old French Open winner has progressed past the second round of the competition for the first time and will be targeting her second grand slam title of the year.
- STRYCOVA KNOCKED OUT BY BRADY
– Czech Republic’s 23rd-seed Barbora Strycova is knocked out after a 6-1 6-1 defeat by American Jennifer Brady, who books a spot in the third round during her debut campaign at Flushing Meadows.
– Strycova is the 15th seeded women’s player to exit the competition in the first two rounds.