U.S. Open Day 2 After Dark: Serena Williams, Andy Murray cruise to victories
Serena Williams opened her 2016 U.S. Open on Tuesday with a straight–sets victory over Ekaterina Makarova at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
In a rematch of a 2014 semifinal, the world No. 1 prevailed 6-3, 6-3 to open Tuesday's night session. Williams, who won Wimbledon in July, is aiming to win her 23rd Grand Slam title, which would surpass Steffi Graf for the most all-time in the Open Era.
Following Williams's victory, Andy Murray eased by Lukas Rosol, earning a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 win to close Tuesday's action.
See all of Tuesday evening's notable results below, including American Steve Johnson's epic comeback victory.
For complete day session news and results, see SI.com's Day 2 recap.
No. 1 Serena Williams d. Ekaterina Makarova: The overwhelming favorite to win the 2016 U.S. Open wasn't gifted an easy opening matchup in the first round. Makarova is ranked No. 29, and her last three U.S. Opens have seen her reach the quarterfinals, semifinals and fourth round, respectively. But if there was any concern about Serena Williams after she crashed out of the Rio 2016 doubles and singles draws earlier than expected, she largely put that to rest on Tuesday. Williams's serve was impregnable, and Makarova failed to force even a break point opportunity.
There was a little bit of rust—she missed a few shots she'd normally convert, and ultimately racked up 22 unforced errors—but overall, Williams looked quite good, despite a sore shoulder.
"I knew today I needed to be focused because I've played [Makarova]. She's gotten to the semifinals. She goes deep in majors. She knows how to play big matches on big courts. She's not intimidated," Williams said. "I knew I had to really come out today. It was my only option really."
Williams will play Vania King in the second round.
No. 19 Steve Johnson d. Evgeny Donskoy: The summer of Steve Johnson continues! In what was perhaps Tuesday's most thrilling match, Johnson rallied after losing the first two sets 4-6, 1-6, saved six match points and won a third-set tiebreaker to reach the second round. The match, which lasted three hours and 13 minutes—including a 55-minute third set—saw Johnson hit a staggering 61 winners and an even more staggering 74 unforced errors. And for the second straight day, the new Grandstand played host to an exhilarating five-set match involving an American male. In the second round, Johnston will face Juan Martin del Potro.
No. 2 Andy Murray d. Lukas Rosol: After winning Wimbledon and the Rio 2016 men's singles event, Andy Murray is looking to cap his summer with his second U.S. Open title—and he started his tournament in fine fashion. Murray dominated a sloppy Lukas Rosol, who double–faulted eight times and hit 45 unforced errors. Murray advanced with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 victory, and he'll play Marcel Granollers in the second round.
No. 14 Nick Kyrgios d. Aljaz Bedene: After last year's disaster of a first round, you couldn't ask for much more from Nick Kyrgios. He eased by Aljaz Bedene in straight sets, prevailing 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 in just under two hours on the old Grandstand. He managed an impressive 43 winners in those three sets, but less impressive was his 35 unforced errors.
There was also this:
Took Kyrgios less than one completed game to get an unsportsmanlike conduct warning—for firing a forehand near linesman after overruled call— Ed McGrogan (@EdMcGrogan) August 30, 2016
No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska d. Jessica Pegula: Radwanska eased by the 22-year-old American, beating her 6-1, 6-1. Radwanska was 10 of 13 on net points and won 30 of 39 points on serve.
No. 8 Dominic Thiem d. John Millman: Another five-setter, this one lasting more than three hours, saw the Austrian prevail 6-3, 2-6, 5-7, 6-4, 6-3.
No. 2 Andy Murray vs. Lukas Rosol: Murray leads two sets to love.
Tweet of the night
In case you forgot what Johnson is referring to...
POLL: The second ranked American on the ATP Tour is Steve Johnson (22nd in the world). Have you ever heard of him?— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) August 29, 2016
Quote of the night
At his post–match press conference on Tuesday, Nick Kyrgios was asked about how he deals with hecklers.
"I don't really zone it out, to be honest. Some guy was like, 'Change your clothes, that's an awful outfit.' I was trying to come up with a comeback. I didn't want to say anything. He was an old man. He got me this time."
Olympians take Ashe
And not just Andy Murray and Serena Williams! During Williams-Makarova, American swimmer Simone Manuel and American fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad were shown on the Arthur Ashe jumbotron, much to the delight of the crowd. Both Olympians were greeted with a roar.
Andre Agassi also showed up for Tuesday's night session.
Snapshots from Day 2
Day 3 will see Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Angelique Kerber and more return to action in Flushing.