Murray, Halep win under Ashe roof; Venus cruises to U.S. Open third round
NEW YORK – A recap of the action on Day 4 on a rainy Thursday at the 2016 U.S. Open, including results, tweets, hot shots, photos and more.
• Only a handful of matches were able to be completed early in the day on Thursday, as rain delayed play on the outer courts for several hours. The latest update from the tournament is no play before 4 p.m. ET, except for Arthur Ashe Stadium, where the roof is closed and play has been underway since 11 a.m. ET.
In the first match on Ashe, No. 5-seed Simona Halep fought past a strong effort from Lucie Safarova to advance to the third round, winning 6-3, 6-4.
"It was not an easy match. It was difficult. At one point I lost the rhythm a little bit because she's left handed, not easy to play against," Halep said after the match. "I played many times against her, and all the matches were very close. So I expected that. I'm not the happiest with my game today, but I have the good mood that I could win the match in two sets and I could finish in the important moments."
Halep, a semifinalist in New York last year, moves through to face Timea Babos, who beat Richel Hogenkamp 6-2, 6-4 on Thursday.
• No. 2-seed Andy Murray recorded his 52nd match win of the year on Thursday, beating Marcel Granollers 6-4, 6-1, 6-4 in the second match of the day under the roof on Ashe. While the chatter from the crowd was an issue during Rafael Nadal's match on Wednesday night, it was the sound of the rain hitting the new roof structure that was an issue during Murray's match.
"I don't think it was too different to the other night when I played, but when the rain came it was certainly loud," he said after the match. "You can't hear anything, really. I mean, you could hear the line calls, but not so much when the opponents....was hitting the ball or even when you're hitting the ball, really, which is tough purely because we're not used to it. That's what makes it challenging."
Murray said he didn't feel that roof changed the court conditions as much as it does at Wimbledon, but the noise of the rain hitting the covering seemed to be louder than he had experienced with other temporary roofs, which affected his hearing on the court.
"We use our ears when we play. It's not just the eyes," he said. "It helps us pick up the speed of the ball, the spin that's on the ball, how hard someone's hitting it. If we played with our ears covered or with headphones on, it would be a big advantage if your opponent wasn't wearing them. It's tricky...You can still do it, but it's harder, for sure."
• After needing three sets and two hours and 48 minutes to advance on Tuesday, No. 6-seed Venus Williams cruises through her second-round match against Germany’s Julia Goerges, winning 6-2, 6-3 in 78 minutes.
"Definitely today was a lot more measured than my first round. I just felt like I had to dial it back a little bit, maybe play a little bit more percentage tennis, play within myself, keep my errors down," Venus said after the match. "Very happy that it worked out against an opponent who is seasoned, who can play, who can serve, who has a lot of big shots. So it was a nice test to come through."
Playing in her 18th U.S. Open, Venus is looking to defend her 2015 quarterfinal appearance, where she lost to her sister, Serena.
• No 17-seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova defeated 2015 U.S. Open quarterfinal Kristina Mladenovic 6-2, 4-6, 7-6(5) in three hours and three minutes on Thursday, tying Madison Keys and Alison Riske’s opening night match for the longest of the tournament. Pavlyuchenkova advances to the third round where she’ll face Karolina Pliskova, who defeated qualifier Montserrat Gonzalez 6-1, 6-3.
• No. 8-seed Dominic Thiem dispatched of Ricardas Berankis in straight sets, winning 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 on the new Grandstand court. Despite a rain delay, No. 6-seed Kei Nishikori beat 20-year-old Russian Karen Khachanov 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.
• More notable results: Timea Babos beat Richel Hogenkamp 6-2, 6-4; Johanna Larsson beat Denisa Allertova 6-3, 6-1; Nicolas Mahut d. Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-4, 6-4, 6-2; Yaroslava Shvedova d. Qiang Wang 6-0, 6-1; Ana Konjuh d. Kurumi Nara 6-3, 6-3
Tweets of the Day
Snapshots from Day 4
Daily Data Viz
Andy Murray's second serve percentage has been better than his Tour average through his first matches at the U.S. Open.
This post will be updated.