Serena Williams cruises into fourth round, Halep avoids upset on U.S. Open Day 6
NEW YORK – A recap of the action on Day 6 on Saturday at the 2016 U.S. Open, including results, tweets, hot shots, photos and more.
• No. 1 Serena Williams cruised into the fourth round on Saturday, defeating Sweden’s Johanna Larsson 6-2, 6-1 in just under an hour. The win marked Serena's 307th career match win at a major, surpassing Martina Navratilova's women's singles record and tying her with Roger Federer. Serena now has the most major match wins for a woman in the Open era.
"It is actually a really good feeling," Serena said of the accomplishment. "To be up there with both men and women is something that's super rare, and it actually feels good."
"It's something I didn't even know about until Wimbledon. I was like, 'Oh, I have a new goal," she said with a smile.
Serena will next face Yaroslava Shvedova, who beat Shuai Zhang 6-2, 7-5 on Saturday. The World No. 1 has been bothered by shoulder issues, but on Saturday she said that it feels "solid" and will continue to do rehab and therapy on it to keep it in the same condition.
• Someone get the candles and the cake: On her 28th birthday on Saturday, No. 11-seed Carla Suarez Navarro produced the first result of Day 6, defeating Elena Vesnina 6–4, 6–3 to reach the fourth round. Just hours later, celebrating his 23rd birthday, No. 8-seed Dominic Thiem recovered after dropping the first set to beat Pablo Carreno Busta 1-6, 6-4, 6-4, 7-5.
Thiem will next face Juan Martin del Potro after the Argentinean wildcard defeated 7-6(3), 6-2, 6-3 on Louis Armstrong.
"The best player on tour are talking good things about me. That's important to myself, to get confidence with my level, with my play, with my game," del Potro said after the match. "If they see something good in my game, that's important, because I'm showing a good game at the moment. If I see my way to the future will be better, even better than today, and that's important."
Del Potro received a wildcard into this year's tournament after returning to tour following several surgeries on his wrist and following wins over Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal en route to a silver medal at the Rio Olympics.
Suarez Navarro advances to face No. 5-seed Simona Halep, who fought off an aggressive Timea Babos in the day’s opening match on Arthur Ashe. Halep cruised through the opening set vs. the 31st-ranked Babos, an accomplished doubles player, winning in just 24 minutes. But Babos fought back to take the second set and force a decider, where she took an early 3-1 lead before Halep settled in and found her shots. Up a break, Babos had two break points at 4-4 and was up 40-15 at 4-5. On match point, Babos double faulted to give Halep the win, 6-1, 2-6, 6-4.
Simona through fighting and still staying in the moment despite being sometimes a bit negative in between points. Good win and test for her— victoria azarenka (@vika7) September 3, 2016
• No. 4-seed Agnieszka Radwanska cruised past No. 25-seed Caroline Garcia 6-2, 6-3 to advance to the fourth round. She moves on to face 18-year-old Ana Konjuh, the youngest player remaining in the draw who defeated American Varvara Lepchenko 6-3, 3-6, 6-2. The young Croatian is into her first Round of 16 at a Grand Slam after beating No. 20-seed Kiki Bertens, Kurumi Nara and Lepchenko on Saturday.
Radwanska and Konjuh last played at Wimbledon in 2016, where Konjuh had three match point opportunities on the Pole in the third set before she appeared to roll her ankle after stepping on the ball with the third set level at seven games apiece. Their rematch on Monday will definitely be one to watch as Konjuh and Radwanska will both be looking to make their first career quarterfinal round at the U.S. Open.
• No. 11-seed Karolina Pliskova defeated No. 17-seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2, 6-4 to advance to the fourth round at major for the first time in her career. Previously, Pliskova was the highest ranked WTA player never to reach the fourth round at a Slam. Pliskova awaits the winner of the match between Venus Williams and Germany's Laura Siegemund, who will open up Saturday's night session on Arthur Ashe.
• It wasn’t pretty, or easy, for Andy Murray but the No. 2-seed got it done against Italy’s Paolo Lorenzi on Saturday, winning 7-6(4), 5-7, 6-2, 6-3 in three hours and 17 minutes to advance to the fourth round. Murray likely spent more time and more energy on court than he wanted to heading into the second week at at Slam, but he advances to face Grigor Dimitrov on Monday. Dimitrov advanced to with a solid 6-4, 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 win over Joao Sousa.
Tweets of the Day
The benefits of a late Saturday match...hearing Nick Kyrgios made it to the Friday "Hamilton" show— Jon Wertheim (@jon_wertheim) September 3, 2016
Snapshots from Day 6
Daily Data Viz
2014 U.S. Open finalist Kei Nishikori is one of the few players who actually wins more with his backhand than his forehand.