U.S. Open Day 3: Serena advances; Fish's career comes to an end
NEW YORK – Catch up on the news and results from Day 3 at the U.S. Open in New York.
Serena Williams is tested by Kiki Bertens: After a short-lived and bizarre opening round match against Vitalia Diatchenko that lasted only 30 minutes on Monday, Serena returned to Arthur Ashe during the day session on Wednesday and was tested early by big-hitting Bertens. Serena was down twice in the first and Bertens served for the set at 5-4. She came back to force a tiebreaker and dropped the first four points before winning five straight to take a 5-4 lead. After 57 minutes, Serena finally took the first set, 7–6(5). The No. 1 struggled with her serve throughout the match—she finished with 10 double faults—but eventually pulled away and won the second set 6–3 to seal the straight-sets win.
Mardy Fish plays the final match of his career: How could you not root for Fish at this year's U.S. Open? Three years after he had to withdraw from a fourth round match vs. Roger Federer because of anxiety attacks, Fish returned to Flushing this year with a new attitude and outlook on his career. After winning his opening round match vs. Italy's Marco Cecchinato on Monday, the 33-year-old lost in a tough five setter to No. 18 Feliciano Lopez, 6–2, 3–6, 6–1, 5–7, 6–3 on Wednesday. Cheers of "Let's go, Mardy!" filled Louis Armstrong Stadium throughout the match and the American thrived on the crowd's energy. Fish served for the match in the fourth set at 5-4, but Lopez won three straight games to force a fifth set. In 88 degree weather with 50% humidity, Fish started cramping late in the fifth set, grabbing the back of his right hamstring. In the end, Fish couldn't hold on and Lopez closed out the match to advance to the third round. As the six-time ATP title winner and former No. 7's career comes to a close, Fish's fellow players, friends and fans applauded his achievements.
"You know, I wanted this to be—this one specifically to be the last one," said Fish after then match when asked about his comeback at the U.S. Open. "I probably would have chosen this one as my last one regardless if I didn't have any issues with my health in the past couple of years just because this is the biggest one and the most fun and the one that you want to go out on. But this one was extra special or extra special meaning for me because of how it happened in 2012."
'Merican Madisons make moves: No. 19 seed Madison Keys and Madison Brengle advanced to the third round on Wednesday, making quick work of their opponents in the day's opening matches. Keys took down Tereza Smitkova 6–1, 6–2 in just 54 minutes, while Brengle cruised against Anna Tatishvili, winning 6–3, 6–2. Both American women are into the third round at the U.S. Open for the first time. Keys has now advanced to at least the third round at each major this year, while Brengle made it to the fourth round at the Australian Open but lost in the first round at both Wimbledon and the French Open earlier this year.
Keys will face No. 15 seed Agnieszka Radwanska, who beat compatriot Magda Linette 6–3, 6–2 on Wednesday. Radwanska beat Keys in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon in July, 7–6(3), 3–6, 6–3, and the Pole says she's hoping for the same kind of game in New York. "For sure different conditions, different surface, so different story," she said after the match. "So we will see how it's going to be on hard court. It will be a really tough third round. She's playing home. Well, I just hope it's going to be a great match."
Bethanie Mattek-Sands earns a date with Serena in the third round: After being forced to pull out of the doubles tournament because of partner Lucie Safarova's abdominal injury, Mattek-Sands has shifted her focus to her singles game, and it showed in her second round match vs. CoCo Vandeweghe on Wednesday. Ranked No. 101 in singles, Mattek-Sands—who got into the main draw with a wildcard—beat Vandeweghe 6–2, 6–1, to reach the third round at the U.S. Open for the first time. Previously, she was 0-5 in U.S. Open second round matches. She'll play Serena on Friday.
Marin Cilic and Milos Raonic advance: The No. 9 and No. 10 seed on the men's side both advanced on Wednesday, as Cilic kept his title defense alive with a 6–2, 6–3, 7–5 win over Evgeny Donskoy and Raonic pushed through some back issues to beat Fernando Verdasco 6–2, 6–4, 6–7(5), 7–6(1).
More notable results: Eugenie Bouchard d. Polona Hercog, 6–3, 6–7(2), 6–3; Dominika Cibulkova d. Jessica Pegula, 5–7, 7–5, 6–3; David Ferrer d. Filip Krajinovic 7–5, 7–5, 7–6(4); Jeremy Chardy d. Martin Klizan 7–5, 6–4, 7–6(1); Anett Kontaveit d. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 7–5, 6–4; Kristina Mladenovic d. Bojana Jovanovski, 7–5, 6–1; Roberta Vinci d. Denisa Allertova, 2–6, 6–3, 6–1; Fabio Fognini d. Pablo Cuevas, 6–3, 6–4, 6–4.
Photo of the Day
Quote of the Day
Q. Have you had any moments of fans recognizing you on the streets of New York or anywhere you have traveled this summer in the U.S.?
MADISON KEYS: I have had a couple. I think the funniest one was in LA. A woman recognized me as she was driving and hit her brakes and rolled the window down and screamed out of her window. I think that was probably the funniest encounter I have had. (Laughter.)
Q. What did she say to you?
MADISON KEYS: She was freaking out and rolling down her window, and I was like freaking out and screaming my name and was like, I love you. I'm like, Okay. Don't crash. Bye. (Laughter.)
Q. How did that make you feel?
MADISON KEYS: I mean, I think it made me feel good in the sense that I have obviously been doing pretty well for someone to recognize me, but I also thought it was really funny.
Q. Who would you stop on the streets of LA to say, Hi, I admire you, or, Hi, I love you?
MADISON KEYS: Maybe Jennifer Lawrence. I saw Nicole Richie one day and she was with her kids. I have this bizarre love for Nicole Richie.
I was so nervous I didn't even say anything. I just kind of like awkwardly stared at her for a while.
SNAPSHOTS FROM DAY 3
This post will be updated.