Sep 5, 2015 12:37 AM
Latest on US Open: Nadal headed to 5th set against Fognini
The Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) The latest on the U.S. Open (all times local):
Rafael Nadal is heading to a fifth set against 32nd-seeded Fabio Fognini in the third round of the U.S. Open.
Nadal took the first two sets in Arthur Ashe Stadium on Friday night, but couldn't close out the victory, getting broken in the last game of the third, and the next-to-last game of the fourth.
The eighth-seeded Nadal has won 22 of his last 23 U.S. Open matches, including earning titles in 2010 and 2013, and reaching the final in 2011. He missed the tournament because of health issues in 2012 and last year.
Fognini is trying to become the first man from Italy in the U.S. Open's fourth round since Davide Sanguinetti a decade ago.
A 14-time major champion in one sport was watching a 14-time major champion in another at tennis' U.S. Open.
Tiger Woods sat in Rafael Nadal's box during the Spaniard's third-round match against Fabio Fognini on Friday night.
Perhaps they've been commiserating about facing doubts that either will win another major title.
Young American Madison Keys avenged her Wimbledon loss to Agnieszka Radwanska, and now she gets another shot at Serena Williams.
The 19th-seeded Keys beat the 15th-seeded Radwanska 6-3, 6-2 on Friday in the third round of the U.S. Open. Radwanska had won in three sets in the Wimbledon quarterfinals to improve to 4-0 against the 20-year-old American.
Keys will next face the top-ranked Williams. The two met in the semifinals of the Australian Open, when Williams ended Key's breakthrough run with a straight-set win.
Serena Williams has again rallied from a set down to win during her pursuit of the first Grand Slam since 1988.
Fellow American Bethanie Mattek-Sands gave Williams all she could handle and often more through two sets in the third round at the U.S. Open, before the 21-time major champion took control in the third for a 3-6, 7-5, 6-0 victory Friday night.
It was the eighth time at a major in 2015 that Williams won after dropping the opening set. She's seeking to become the first player since Steffi Graf 27 years ago to take home all four of the titles in the same season.
The 101st-ranked Mattek-Sands was painting the lines for much of the first two sets, saving break point after break point. But Williams rediscovered her own stellar shot-making just in time.
Serena Williams has forced a third set against fellow American Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the third round of the U.S. Open as she seeks the complete the first Grand Slam since 1988.
The 101st-ranked Mattek-Sands won the opening set 6-3 on Friday night but Williams took the second 7-5.
It wasn't easy, though. The 21-time Grand Slam champion failed to serve out the set at 5-3. But she later broke Mattek-Sands' serve to clinch the set.
Serena Williams has lost the first set to fellow American Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the third round of the U.S. Open as she seeks the complete the first Grand Slam since 1988.
The 101st-ranked Mattek-Sands won the opening set 6-3 on Friday night. Williams had 14 unforced errors to just one for Mattek-Sands.
Mattek-Sands converted both her break points while Williams was just 1 for 7 including wasting three in the final game of the set.
Williams has come back from a set down to win seven times in the year's first three majors.
The 30-year-old Mattek-Sands is 0-2 in her career against Williams and would match her best Grand Slam result by reaching the fourth round.
Novak Djokovic used to be known for his quirky habit of bouncing a tennis ball over and over and over and over and over again before his serve toss.
He'd regularly do it 10 times or more.
Sometimes approached 20, especially at a particularly tense moment, such as when facing a break point.
"Yes, well, I got a few warnings, time violations. ... I was aware of the fact that it was annoying, also, (to) opponents," Djokovic said Friday after his third-round victory at the U.S. Open. "I wasn't doing it on purpose, obviously."
Djokovic made a conscious decision to try to cut down on it.
Wasn't easy, because he realized that he couldn't try to fix the bouncing in practice, because he wouldn't do it in practice, only during matches.
"The only place I could work on it," he said, "was matches."
So he did.
And it's not as much of a problem anymore.
"I'm glad," Djokovic said, "I got rid of it."
Eugenie Bouchard has her first three-match winning streak since January.
The 21-year-old Canadian beat Dominika Cibulkova 7-6 (9), 4-6, 6-3 in 2 hours, 48 minutes Friday to advance to the round of 16 at the U.S. Open for the second straight year.
"I can't feel my body," Bouchard said in an on-court interview. "I don't really know what's going on, but I'm happy."
Bouchard reached at least the semifinals at the first three majors of 2014, losing in the title match at Wimbledon. She made the Australian Open quarters this year, then struggled mightily. Her ranking, as high as No. 5 last fall, is down to 25th, and she had lost 14 of 17 matches coming into New York.
She worked with Jimmy Connors before the U.S. Open and has looked like a different player at Flushing Meadows.
"I'm just really proud of myself of the way I fought," she said.
Bouchard saved five set points in the first set Friday. She then was broken to open the third but immediately broke back.
When she sees video of the match, Bouchard said, "I'll have a heart attack just watching those set points."
Cibulkova is a former top-10 player and the 2014 Australian Open runner-up whose ranking had fallen to 50th because of injury. She upset seventh-seeded Ana Ivanovic in the first round but wasted plenty of chances Friday.
Top-seeded Novak Djokovic is through to the fourth round of the U.S. Open with another straight-set victory.
The nine-time major champion beat 25th-seeded Andreas Seppi 6-3, 7-5, 7-5 on Friday. Djokovic had his serve broken for the first time this tournament Seppi did it twice but otherwise had little trouble improving to 11-0 against the 31-year-old Italian.
Seppi had upset Roger Federer in the third round of the Australian Open for his first win in 13 tries against the Swiss great, but history didn't repeat against Djokovic.
Defending champ Marin Cilic, who had won five consecutive matches in straight sets at the U.S. Open, was pushed to five sets before escaping with a third-round victory Friday.
Cilic beat 56th-ranked Mikhail Kukushkin 6-7 (5), 7-6 (1), 6-3, 6-7 (3), 6-1 in 4 hours, 11 minutes.
He was twice a point from going down two sets but saved both with big serves. Up a set and a break earlier in the second, Kukushkin had a chance to serve out the set and was broken.
But the ninth-seeded Cilic couldn't close out the match in the fourth after going up a break. He then dominated the final set.
The players combined for 117 winners and 119 unforced errors.
Cilic said in an on-court interview he knew in the second set that if he could stick around in the match, he'd have the advantage at the end. Kukushkin, trying to reach the fourth round at the U.S. Open for the first time, was coming off a five-set upset of 17th-seeded Grigor Dimitrov.
Reminded that it's been 18 years since her first U.S. Open, a victorious Venus Williams joked: "Why do you have to bring all that stuff up? It makes me feel old."
Williams looked like a player in her prime in a 6-3, 6-4 third-round win Friday over 12th-seeded Belinda Bencic, who just happens to be 18 years old, born a few months before the American's stunning run to her first U.S. Open final.
Williams, now 35 and dealing with auto-immune condition Sjogren's syndrome, rallied from down a break in the second set Friday.
"I love how everyone got behind me, even when I was down," she said in an on-court interview about the crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium. "It's a wonderful feeling."
Bencic was coming off a breakthrough title at Toronto, where she upset Serena Williams along the way. Venus got some sisterly revenge and could meet Serena in the quarterfinals. Little sister faces another American, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, in the third round later Friday.
"I'm really pleased to have won a match against someone who's had a great summer," Venus said.
Venus Williams is back in the U.S. Open round of 16 for the first time since 2010.
The 35-year-old American won in straight sets Friday against Belinda Bencic, who was an infant when Williams reached her first final at Flushing Meadows in 1997. Williams had struggled to close out her second-round match, but there were few signs of tightness in this 6-3, 6-4 victory as she jumped all over the 18-year-old's serve.
There was no doubt in this one which player was the seasoned veteran and which the nervous teen, though this technically was an upset with Williams seeded 23rd and Bencic 12th. Williams had 31 winners to just 15 unforced errors.
Mentor Martina Hingis, a former rival of Williams', looked on as Bencic tried to make a deep run at the U.S. Open for the second straight year. She was a quarterfinalist in 2014 and was coming off a breakthrough title at Toronto, where she beat Serena Williams along the way.
Ekaterina Makarova, a U.S. Open semifinalist last year, was trying to serve out her third-round match Friday when her leg suddenly started cramping.
With double match point at 6-5 in the second set, the 13th-seeded Russian double-faulted then hit a forehand well long. She headed toward her chair and called for a trainer, who came out of the stands to remind Makarova that players can receive treatment for cramping only during changeovers.
She then badly mis-hit another forehand to give 17th-seeded Elina Svitolina break point. But Makarova settled down to win the next three points and pull out the 6-3, 7-5 victory.
Makarova, who had her right thigh re-wrapped after the seventh game of the second set, later said in an on-court interview that she had never cramped up like that before.
"I was so scared," she said.
Makarova next faces 40th-ranked Kristina Mladenovic in a quarter of the draw that is wide open after third-seeded Maria Sharapova's withdrawal and several upsets. On Friday, Mladenovic ended the run of "lucky loser" Daria Kasatkina, who took Sharapova's place in the draw, with a 6-2, 6-3 victory. It's the first time Mladenovic has reached a Grand Slam round of 16.
Marin Cilic has finally dropped a set at the U.S. Open after winning 16 in a row.
The defending champion lost the first set against 56th-ranked Mikhail Kukushkin in the third round Friday. He hadn't dropped one since the fourth set of the fourth round last year against Gilles Simon.
Cilic won his final three matches of 2014 in straight sets on the way to his first major title then posted two more three-set victories to start the 2015 tournament.
Cilic, seeded ninth this year, netted an ill-advised drop shot on set point in a tiebreaker Friday, then smashed his racket on the court in disgust.