Wozniacki upsets No. 9-seed Kuznetsova, Djokovic gets a walkover on U.S. Open Day 3
NEW YORK – A recap of the action on Day 3 on Wednesday at the 2016 U.S. Open, including results, tweets, hot shots, photos and more.
• From 0-4 down in the first set, Caroline Wozniacki pulled off a huge comeback, winning 12 of the next 16 games to knock out No. 9-seed and two-time U.S. Open finalist Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4, 6-4 on Arthur Ashe Stadium. After losing to Kuznetsova in the first round at Wimbledon, the win marks Wozniacki’s first over a top 10 player in 2016. Read more about Wozniacki's uphill battle this season, and her win over familar foe Kuznetsova, here.
• No. 1-seed Novak Djokovic will have some more time to rest any nagging injuries, as the defending champion got a walkover into the third round on Wednesday after his second round opponent Jiri Vesely withdrew before the match, citing left forearm inflammation.
A left-handed player, Vesely was one of only six men to beat Djokovic this season—he won in three sets at the Monte Carlo Masters in April—but had hurt his arm in the Winston-Salem Open last week and was forced to withdraw from his third round match. Vesely won his first round match on Monday in five sets.
Djokovic, who has also dealt with arm and wrist injuries since the Rio Olympics, where he lost to Juan Martin del Potro, will face either will Guido Pella or Mikhail Youzhny in the third round on Friday.
• No. 10-seed Gael Monfils had his match moved to Arthur Ashe after Djokovic’s opponent Vesely withdrew from the match. On the U.S. Open’s grand stage, Monfils took care of business, defeating Jan Satral 7-5, 6-4, 6-3, but not without his usual shot-making.
• Early in the day on Wednesday the women’s seeds rolled through their second round matches. Last year’s runner-up and No. 7-seed Roberta Vinci beat Christina McHale 6-1, 6-3 in just 63 minutes to advance to the third round. Shortly after, No. 24-seed Belinda Bencic defeated Andrea Petkovic 6-3, 6-2, marking the first time since the Ricoh Open in 's-Hertogenbosch in early June that Bencic strung together two straight victories in a tournament. The 19-year-old Swiss retired during her second round match at Wimbledon due to a wrist injury and did not play in the French Open.
No. 14-seed Petra Kvitova also advanced on Wednesday, beating Turkey’s Cagla Buyukakcay 7-6(3), 6-3. After the match, Kvitova said she was happy with the way she handled the first set, especially in the tiebreak. The Czech is coming off two solid performances this month, winning the bronze medal at the Rio Olympics and advancing to the semifinals in New Haven.
“I think I changed in my mind that I'm going more forward and playing more aggressive,” Kvitova said after the match. “I know that otherwise I don't really have a chance, so I really had to change it again and be more confident in that.”
Kvitova also said she has a new tradition in New York: She does not come on site to practice on her off days, only on match days.
“For me it's really exhausting to still be in the car and it's a lot of people here. You just practice like 45 minutes. I didn't need anymore anyway,” she said. “That’s my new tradition. And some coffees, as well. Some shopping. And so that's really enjoying time for me. I'm starting to love New York.”
• Building on her Rio Olympics win over Serena Williams, Elina Svitolina defeated American Lauren Davis 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 to advance to the third round, where she’ll face Kvitova.
After dropping the first set in a tiebreak, Dominika Cibulkova fought through injury—she suffered a left-thigh injury midway through the second set—to move through to the third round with a 6-7, 6-2, 6-2 win over Evgeniya Rodina. The No. 12-seed reeled off six consecutive games in the final set to complete the win and move on, where she'll face Ukraine's Lesia Tsurenko, who beat Yafan Wang 7-5, 6-3 earlier in the day.
• Upset of the day? No. 120 Ryan Harrison advanced to the third round at a Grand Slam for the first time in his career on Wednesday, defeating a cramping Milos Raonic 6-7, 7-5, 7-5, 6-1. The fifth-seeded Canadian and Wimbledon finalist said the cramps started halfway through the second set and continued to hamper his movements on court.
"I don't think hydration was an issue," Raonic said of the reason behind his cramping during the match. "I think I always take that precaution. Probably just nerves and stress, a mental sort of over-exuberance...Sort of the really painful cramps started to pass at some point in the third set, but then I started getting small ones where I couldn't hold the racquet. I couldn't switch grips from one point to the next. There were a few points where I would hold the racquet with my left and trying to stretch out my right hand in between shots, and that's not going to work."
Despite his struggles, Raonic continued to play and Harrison took advantage of the opportunity to close out the win.
• After three early exits at the previous Slams this year, No. 23-seed Kevin Anderson advanced to the third round on Wednesday, beating Canadian Vasek Pospisil 7-6(3), 6-4, 6-4. And after nearly losing in the opening round to fellow American Frances Tiafoe, No. 20-seed John Isner beat Steve Darcis 6-3, 6-4, 6-7, 6-3 to advance to the third round. American and No. 26-seed Jack Sock easily advanced to the third round, beating Mischa Zverev 6-1, 6-1, 6-2 on Wednesday.
• No. 13-seed Johanna Konta looked strong in her opening match but on Wednesday, the British No. 1 had to battle through heat exhuastion to advance to the third round. After winning the first set, Konta collapsed on the court at the end of the second set. The medical staff covered her legs and body in ice bags while play was stopped for several minutes before Konta was able to get up and continue the match. Ultimately Konta advanced beating Tsvetana Pironkova 6-2, 5-7, 6-2.
• More notable results: Elina Svitolina d. Lauren Davis 6-1, 4-6, 6-3; Kyle Edmund d. Ernesto Escobedo 7-5, 6-4, 6-4; Carina Witthoeft d. Yulia Putintseva 6-1, 6-7, 6-1; Monica Niculescu d. Ana Bogdan 6-0, 6-1; Marcos Baghdatis d. Benoit Paire 6-2, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4; Jo-Wilfried Tsonga d. James Duckworth 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4; Mikhail Youzhny d. Guido Pella 6-2, 6-1, 7-6; Marin Cilic d. Sergiy Stakhovsky 6-1, 6-2, 6-3
Tweets of the Day
I'm interested to see how far Milos Raonic will go this tournament. Been progressing really well this year.— victoria azarenka (@vika7) August 31, 2016
Caroline Wozniacki’s win over No.146 Townsend in 1R was her best HC win since February. Now beats Kuznetsova for 1st Top 10 since September.— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) August 31, 2016
Snapshots from Day 3
Daily Data Viz
In his first U.S. Open 2016 match vs. Denis Istomin, Rafael Nadal showed just how good his defensive game is.
This post will be updated.