US Open: Serena Williams, Andy Murray raise the roof to storm through on rainy day
World No 1 Williams defeated fellow American Vania King 6-3, 6-3, her 306th grand slam singles match win tying her with Martina Navratilova for the most ever for a woman.
“This one’s kind of cool,” she said of her latest milestone, “to win 306.”
There could be more history in store for Williams as she seeks a seventh US Open title and a 23rd grand slam singles crown, both of which would be Open Era records.
She fired 13 aces, with a total of 38 winners against 87th-ranked wild-card King, and said the troublesome right shoulder that has hindered her since Wimbledon wasn’t a problem.
“So far, so good,” said Williams, who was cheered on by rap mogul Jay Z and his pop superstar wife Beyonce as she booked a meeting with 47th-ranked Swede Johanna Larsson for a place in the last 16.
By the time Williams opened the night session the rain that prompted organisers to close the new roof on Arthur Ashe Stadium had tailed off.
Murray had played with it drumming on the roof, adding to the noise the US Open is famous for.
“You can’t hear anything, really,” said Murray, who downed tenacious Spaniard Marcel Granollers 6-4, 6-1, 6-4.
“I mean, you could hear the line calls, but not so much when he was hitting the ball or even when you’re hitting the ball, really, which is tough.”
Nevertheless, after needing seven set points to seal the first frame, Murray broke Granollers twice in the second set and once in the third to move through to a meeting with Italian Paolo Lorenzi, a 3-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-7, 7-6 (7/3) winner over France’s Gilles Simon.
Juan Martin del Potro, who has undergone four wrist surgeries since lifting the US Open trophy in 2009, closed out the action on Ashe with a 7-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory over 19th seeded American Steve Johnson.
Del Potro, who won the 2009 US Open in a thrilling five-setter over Roger Federer, has come through a long battle with a left wrist injury that has dropped him to 142 in the rankings.
The power hitter now appears back to full strength coming off a rousing silver medal performance at the Rio Olympics.
Del Potro, playing the final match of the day at Arthur Ashe Stadium, was competing on centre court in Flushing Meadows for the first time since 2013.
“It’s amazing, the stadium. It’s amazing the atmosphere out there,” Del Potro said on court.
“I’m so happy to be playing tennis again after my third surgery on the wrist and I think I did a really good job to come back at tennis.”
The big Argentine belted 15 aces past 19th seed Johnson and yielded only one break of serve in the two hour, nine-minute match.
“I’m trying to play as I did in 2009 but it’s not easy, I’m getting older,” said Del Potro, 27. “But I’m so happy to be here.”
As the showers lingered, a batch of doubles matches scheduled for outside courts were cancelled.
Among those who didn’t have the luxury of the roof, 2014 finalist Kei Nishikori of Japan waited out a third-set rain delay en route to a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory over 20-year-old Russian qualifier Karen Khachanov.
Third-seeded Swiss Stan Wawrinka, a two-time semi-finalist, was also up against a qualifier, advancing with a 6-1, 7-6, 7-5 victory over 243rd-ranked Italian Alessandro Giannessi.
Eighth-seeded Austrian Dominic Thiem downed Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 to line up a meeting with Spain’s Pablo Carreno-Busta, who rallied from two sets down to beat Serbian Janko Tipsarevic 3-6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-4.
Australian Nick Kyrgios, the 14th seed, put on a serving clinic, firing 27 aces and winning 45 of 48 first-serve points in a 7-5, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Argentina’s Horacio Zeballos.
Women’s fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland survived an early onslaught from US Open debutant Naomi Broady to beat the Briton 7-6, 6-3.
Fired-up fifth seed Simona Halep also advanced, downing Lucie Safarova 6-3, 6-4 in a battle of former French Open finalists.
Venus Williams, the sixth seed whose seven grand slam titles include two US Opens, coasted to the 70th US Open match win of her career 6-2, 6-3 win over Germany’s Julia Goerges.
The elder Williams, bedevilled by 63 unforced errors in a scrappy first-round win over Ukrainian Kateryna Kozlova, cut that to 17 in a crisp performance against the 64th-ranked German.
Men’s second round
• Dominic Thiem (AUT x8) bt Ricardas Berankis (LTU) 6-4, 6-3, 6-2
• Pablo Carreño-Busta (ESP) bt Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) 3-6, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4
• Juan Martín del Potro (ARG) bt Steve Johnson (USA) 7-6 (7/5), 6-3, 6-2
• Nick Kyrgios (AUS x14) bt Horacio Zeballos (ARG) 7-5, 6-4, 6-4
• Illya Marchenko (UKR) bt Damir Dzumhur (BIH) 6-2, 6-4, 6-3
• Daniel Evans (GBR) bt Alexander Zverev (GER x27) 6-4, 6-4, 5-7, 6-2
• Stan Wawrinka (SUI x3) bt Alessandro Giannessi (ITA) 6-1, 7-6 (7/4), 7-5
• Kei Nishikori (JPN x6) bt Karen Khachanov (RUS) 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3
• Nicolas Mahut (FRA) bt Paul-Henri Mathieu (FRA) 6-4, 6-4, 6-2
• Ivo Karlovic (CRO x21) bt Donald Young (USA) 6-4, 7-6 (7/4), 6-4
• Jared Donaldson (USA) bt Viktor Troicki (SRB) 7-5, 6-3, 6-3
• Joao Sousa (POR) bt Feliciano Lopez (ESP x16) 6-2, 6-4, 1-6, 7-5
• Grigor Dimitrov (BUL x22) bt Jérémy Chardy (FRA) 4-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2
• Paolo Lorenzi (ITA) bt Gilles Simon (FRA x30) 3-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-7 (1/7), 7-6 (7/3)
• Andy Murray (GBR x2) bt Marcel Granollers (ESP) 6-4, 6-1, 6-4
Women’s second round
• Serena Williams (USA x1) bt Vania King (USA) 6-3, 6-3
• Johanna Larsson (SWE) bt Denisa Allertova (CZE) 6-3, 6-1
• Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) bt Wang Qiang (CHN) 6-0, 6-1
• Zhang Shuai (CHN) bt Samantha Stosur (AUS x16) 6-3, 6-3
• Carla Suárez (ESP x11) bt Jelena Jankovic (SRB) 6-1, 6-4
• Elena Vesnina (RUS x19) bt Annika Beck (GER) 6-2, 6-1
• Tímea Babos (HUN x31) bt Richel Hogenkamp (NED) 6-2, 6-4
• Simona Halep (ROM x5) bt Lucie Safarova (CZE) 6-3, 6-4
• Agnieszka Radwanska (POL x4) bt Naomi Broady (GBR) 7-6 (11/9), 6-3
• Caroline Garcia (FRA x25) bt Katerina Siniaková (CZE) 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
• Ana Konjuh (CRO) bt Kurumi Nara (JPN) 6-3, 6-3
• Varvara Lepchenko (USA) bt Timea Bacsinszky (SUI x15) 6-4, 4-6, 6-4
• Karolina Pliskova (CZE x10) bt Montserrat Gonzalez (PAR) 6-1, 7-5
• Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS x17) bt Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (7/5)
• Laura Siegemund (GER x26) bt Nicole Gibbs (USA) 6-3, 7-5
• Venus Williams (USA x6) bt Julia Goerges (GER) 6-2, 6-3
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Published: September 2, 2016 04:00 AM