Alexander Zverev finally reaches 3rd round at US Open
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.