After rain soaked the Billie Jean King U.S.T.A. National Tennis Center on Thursday afternoon, an already–eventful night session became even busier as a number of day matches were pushed back several hours.
The first match of the Arthur Ashe Stadium night session saw top seed Serena Williams ease by Vania King, beating her American compatriot 6-3, 6-3. But the most surprising story of the night for American tennis is No. 122 in the world Jared Donaldson's improbable straight–sets victory over Viktor Troicki.
Stan Wawrinka, Juan Martin del Potro, Steve Johnson, Agnieszka Radwanska and Donald Young were also in action on Thursday night. Catch up with all of the night session's action below.
For a look at Day 4's earlier action, including victories by Andy Murray and Simona Halep, check out SI.com's recap.
No. 1 Serena Williams d. Vania King: Williams breezed through her second round match, beating Vania King 6-3, 6-3 in just over an hour. Though Williams wasn't particularly troubled with King, she wasn't thrilled with the way she played.
"I just think it should have been a different scoreline for me. I feel like I made a lot of errors," Williams said after the match. "But there's nothing I can do about that now. What really matters is I got the win."
That win, by the way, was her 306th match victory at a Grand Slam, tying Martina Navratilova's record.
Meanwhile, after some rumbling today that Donald Trump would show up for tonight's matches, Jay-Z and Beyonce turned up instead. I'll let you decide whether that's a good tradeoff.
She (Serena Williams, not Beyonce) will play Johanna Larsson in the third round on Saturday.
Jared Donaldson d. Viktor Troicki: It's turning into quite the tournament for underdog Americans. On Wednesday, Ryan Harrison upset No. 5 Milos Raonic, and on Thursday night 19-year-old Jared Donaldson upset Viktor Troicki 7-5, 6-3, 6-3. Donaldson didn't serve particularly well, only putting 48% of his first serves in play, but he was only broken three times en route to a straight–sets win. Prior to this year, Donaldson had never made it past the first round of a Slam. He'll play Ivo Karlovic in the third round.
Juan Martin del Potro d. No. 19 Steve Johnson: So, how about those wildcards? After Johnson pointed out prior to the tournament that giving Del Potro a U.S. Open wildcard might cause an American to be knocked out early, he proved himself correct by losing to Del Potro on Thursday.
For context, here was Johnson's full pre-tournament quote.
“It’s going to be a tricky decision,” Johnson said, according to The New York Times. “It may make a lot of American fans upset that maybe he gets one—maybe he doesn’t—I have no idea. But then you have the question of what if he does get a wild card and he plays me first round? You know what I mean? What if he wins? Or he plays Sam—anybody—and he beats an American?”
So, it wasn't in the first round, but Del Potro did indeed beat Johnson, 7-6(5), 6-3, 6-2. It was a tough draw for Johnson, who has had a really good summer. But not many players would volunteer to play the Rio 2016 silver medalist and 2009 U.S. Open champion right now. His next potential victim will be David Ferrer.
No. 4 Stan Wawrinka d. Alessandro Giannessi: Wawrinka advanced to the third round with a 6-1, 7-6(4), 7-5 victory over Giannessi. Wawrinka wasn't afraid to rush the net, winning 30 of 45 net points, and while he was a bit sloppy at times, Wawrinka never really seemed in danger. He'll play Daniel Evans in the third round.
No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska d. Naomi Broady: This match totally could have gone either way, but Radwanska pulled off an airtight first-set tiebreaker after saving four set points, ultimately winning 7-6(9), 6-3. Radwanska will face Caroline Garcia in the third round.
No. 14 Nick Kyrgios d. Horacio Zeballos: Kyrgios earned his second consecutive straight–sets victory, this time winning 7-5, 6-4, 6-4 at the new Grandstand. Kyrgios didn't take advantage of all his opportunities, winning only three of 12 break points—but he made up for it with his own serve, racking up 27 aces. He also had 48 winners.
Plus, he gave us this slick backhand return.
Kyrgios will face Illya Marchenko in the third round.
No. 22 Grigor Dimitrov d. Jeremy Chardy: It was quite a match on the old Grandstand as Dimitrov and Chardy squared off for more than three hours, with the Bulgarian ultimately prevailing 4-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4. Dimitrov is in the third round of the U.S. Open for the second time of his career; in 2014, he reached the fourth round. He has reached the third round in three of four Slams this season.
Daniel Evans d. No. 27 Alexander Zverev: Only 19, Zverev has been annointed by many as a future Grand Slam champion. After Thursday night, that future will have to wait a bit longer. Evans earned an impressive 6-4, 6-4, 5-7, 6-2 win over the German. Both competitors played relatively mistake–free tennis, combining for just 15 unforced errors all night. Evans, who made the third round of the U.S. Open in 2013, will play Stan Wawrinka in the third round.
Meanwhile, are we sure Sascha is playing the right sport? Check out this nifty soccer-style volley.
No. 21 Ivo Karlovic d. Donald Young: There would be no Donald Young Court 17 magic late on Thursday, as Ivo Karlovic overpowered the American to win in three very competitive sets, 6-4, 7-6(4), 6-4. Karlovic will play in the third round of the U.S. Open for the first time in his career.
No. 11 David Ferrer d. Fabio Fognini: Another five-set marathon on what turned into a crazy Thursday night. Ferrer prevailed 6-0, 4-6, 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 on Court 13, with the match finishing at 12:51 a.m. ET. Ferrer has made at least the third round of the U.S. Open every year since 2009, failing to advance to the fourth round each of the last two years. He'll face Juan Martin del Potro in the third round.
Paolo Lorenzi d. Gilles Simon: 3-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-7(1), 7-6(3).
Varvara Lepchenko d. Timea Bacsinszky: 6-4, 4-6, 6-4
No. 11 Carla Suarez Navarro d. Jelena Jankovic: 6-1, 6-4
No. 25 Caroline Garcia d. Katerina Siniakova: 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
No. 26 Laura Siegemund d. Nicole Gibbs: 6-3, 7-5.
This post will be updated with additional results.
Caption this photo
Very nice of Serena Williams's coach Patrick Mouratoglou to sit so close to two big Serena fans.
GIF of the Night Part I
R.I.P. Sascha Zverev's racket.
GIF of the Night Part II
You can always count on Nick Kyrgios for a good GIF.