Alexan­der Zverev fi­nally reaches 3rd round at US Open

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Alexan­der Zverev is fi­nally hang­ing around for the third round of the U.S. Open.

The No. 4 seed beat Ni­co­las Mahut 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 on Thursday, win­ning a sec­ond-round match for the first time in his four trips to Flush­ing Mead­ows.

The Ger­man leads the ATP Tour in wins this year, has al­ready won three ATP Masters 1000 ti­tles and at 21 is the pop­u­lar pick as the young star most likely to have a Grand Slam break­through and the end the stran­gle­hold veter­ans such as Rafael Nadal, Roger Fed­erer and No­vak Djokovic have had on the ma­jors.

Maybe it will come dur­ing these two weeks. Zverev — per­haps ben­e­fit­ing from a tame early draw that started with two lucky losers — hasn't dropped more than four games in a set thus far.

Fed­erer and Djokovic were also in ac­tion on an­other hot day, the third in a row with an ex­treme heat pol­icy in ef­fect. Men were per­mit­ted a 10-minute break be­tween the third and fourth sets of their sin­gles matches, while the break came af­ter the sec­ond set for the women.

Fed­erer had an af­ter­noon match against French­man Benoit Paire, look­ing to im­prove to 18-0 in sec­ond-round matches at the U.S. Open.

The No. 2 seed has won all six meet­ings, though Paire had two match points in their last matchup in June in Ger­many be­fore the five-time U.S. Open cham­pion won 9-7 in a third-set tiebreaker.

He would next face No. 30 seed Nick Kyr­gios, who beat France's Pierre-Hughes Her­bert 4-6, 7-6 (6), 6-3, 6-0 in a match that fea­tured con­tro­versy, when um­pire Mo­hamed Lahyani climbed down from his chair to urge the Aus­tralian to give a bet­ter ef­fort while trail­ing 0-3 in the sec­ond set.

Djokovic was sched­uled to face Amer­i­can Ten­nys Sand­gren at night. Marin Cilic, the No. 7 seed and the 2014 U.S. Open cham­pion, was to face qualifier Hu­bert Hurkacz.

An­gelique Ker­ber, the 2016 cham­pion and No. 4 seed, and sixth-seeded Caro­line Gar­cia both were pushed to third sets, with Ker­ber beat­ing Jo­hanna Lars­son 6-2, 5-7, 6-4, and Gar­cia out­last­ing Mon­ica Puig 6-2, 1-6, 6-4. No. 5 Pe­tra Kvi­tova had an eas­ier time, beat­ing Yafan Wang in straight sets.

Make it 18 for 18 for Roger Fed­erer in the sec­ond round of the U.S. Open.

The No. 2 seed beat Benoit Paire 7-5, 6-4, 6-4 to con­tinue his streak of reach­ing the third round in the tour­na­ment he has won five times.

Fed­erer will next face No. 30 seed Nick Kyr­gios.

Fed­erer is 7-0 against Paire, win­ning 16 of 17 sets against the French­man.

Madi­son Keys cruised into the third round of the U.S. Open, beat­ing fel­low Amer­i­can Bernarda Pera 6-4, 6-1.

The U.S. Open run­ner-up last year served eight aces and never lost her serve in the match that lasted 1 hour, 12 min­utes.

The No. 14 seed will play ei­ther Aleksandra Krunic or Kirsten Flip­kens in the next round.

No. 14 seed Fabio Fognini of Italy was up­set in the U.S. Open's sec­ond round by 55th-ranked John Mill­man of Aus­tralia 6-1, 46, 6-4, 6-1.

By reach­ing the third round, Mill­man equaled his best show­ing at any Grand Slam tour­na­ment.

Fognini, the hus­band of 2015 U.S. Open cham­pion Flavia Pen­netta, was kicked out of the U.S. Open dou­bles tour­na­ment last year af­ter vul­garly in­sult­ing a fe­male chair um­pire dur­ing a firstround loss in sin­gles.

Af­ter an un­usual visit from the chair um­pire, Nick Kyr­gios turned around his match and won it to reach the U.S. Open's third round.

Kyr­gios was down a set and 3-0 in the sec­ond when of­fi­cial Mo­hamed Lahyani climbed down from his seat and went over to speak to the player — some­thing rarely, if ever, seen dur­ing a pro­fes­sional ten­nis match. At one point, Lahyani said, "I want to help you."

The No. 30-seeded Kyr­gios, who once was sus­pended by the ATP men's tour af­ter not try­ing dur­ing a match, started play­ing bet­ter and even­tu­ally beat Pier­reHugues Her­bert of France 4-6, 76 (6), 6-3, 6-0.

Mur­ray wor­ries about rules dur­ing break dur­ing US Open loss

Andy Mur­ray com­plained at the U.S. Open that his op­po­nent might have flouted the rules dur­ing their 10-minute heat break Wednesday in what be­came a sec­ond-round loss for the 2012 cham­pion.

Mur­ray also said af­ter he was beaten by No. 31 seed Fer­nando Ver­dasco 7-5, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 that the tour­na­ment did not do a good enough job of mak­ing clear ex­actly what is al­lowed and what isn't dur­ing the time away from the court. The U.S. Ten­nis As­so­ci­a­tion de­cided on the fly to al­low rest pe­ri­ods in men's matches for the first time in U.S. Open his­tory as the tem­per­a­ture soared past 95 de­grees (33 Cel­sius) this week.

While the women's rules al­ready call for a break if the con­di­tions are too ex­treme, there is no such pro­vi­sion for the men. But on Tuesday, the USTA of­fered men a chance to rest af­ter the third set if they want, then ap­plied that rule on Wednesday, too.

"I went for a shower. He was hav­ing an ice bath," Mur­ray said about Ver­dasco. "When I came out of the shower ... one of the Span­ish dou­bles play­ers was in there chat­ting to him, and you're not al­lowed to speak to your coach. I went and told the su­per­vi­sor. I said, 'What are you guys do­ing? I mean, there's clear rules here and you're al­low­ing this to take place. I don't get it.'"

The USTA said play­ers were not al­lowed to con­sult coaches dur­ing the heat breaks.

Ver­dasco said that's not what he was do­ing. He said he was chat­ting with an­other player and that player's coach.

"I didn't talk one word with my coach or any one mem­ber of my team," said Ver­dasco, who had been 1-13 against Mur­ray headto-head en­ter­ing this match. "I know ex­actly the rule, and I don't want to be the one break­ing it."

But Mur­ray was up­set that there wasn't bet­ter polic­ing of play­ers while they were off the court.

"This is one of the big­gest events in the world. If you have rules like that, you need to stick with them, be­cause one player get­ting to speak to the coach and the other not is not fair," said the three-time ma­jor cham­pion and for­mer No. 1. I shouldn't be in that po­si­tion, in the mid­dle of a match at a Slam, hav­ing to make sure they're do­ing their job," he said.

Mur­ray also said he was never given a com­plete writ­ten list of the rel­e­vant rules.

This was Mur­ray's first ma­jor tour­na­ment in more than a year. Af­ter Wim­ble­don in 2017, he shut him­self down for the rest of the sea­son be­cause of an in­jured hip, then even­tu­ally had an oper­a­tion in Jan­uary.

He re­turned to the tour this June, shortly be­fore Wim­ble­don, but de­cided his body wasn't ready for best-of-five-set matches. So his Grand Slam re­turn came at Flush­ing Mead­ows, in­stead, and lasted just two matches.

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