Canada’s Denis Shapovalov will be moving on to the third round of the U.S. Open after a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 win over Roberto Carballes Baena on Thursday.
Shapovalov fired 11 aces, won 86 per cent of first-serve points and broke the Spaniard on five of 13 opportunities.
After splitting the first two sets, the Richmond Hill, Ont., native powered his way through the third set by winning four of the final five games after being tied at 2-2, capped by a backhand forced error from Carballes Baena.
Down 2-1 in the final set, the 23-year-old Shapovalov turned the tables once more by winning the final five games and earning match point with his final ace.
The 19th-seeded Shapovalov will next face ninth seed Andrey Rublev on Saturday.
Fernandez advances in doubles
In women’s doubles action, fellow Canadian Leylah Fernandez and partner Daria Saville of Australia advanced to the second round with a 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (5) win over second-seeded Jessica Pegula and Coco Gauff.
Saville, alongside Fernandez who was ousted from singles competition on Wednesday, will take on Dalma Galfi and Bernarda Pera in the second round.
Nadal bloodied in comeback win over Fognini
Rafael Nadal cut himself on the bridge of his nose with his own racket when it ricocheted off the court on the follow-through from a shot, leaving himself bloodied and dizzy during his second-round victory.
Play was delayed for about five minutes during a medical timeout in the fourth set of what would become a 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-1 win against Fabio Fognini at Arthur Ashe Stadium in a match that began Thursday night and finished after midnight on Friday.
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It made for a bizarre, and briefly scary, scene, as Nadal immediately grimaced, dropped his racket, put a palm to his face and then put both hands on his head. At least Nadal could joke about it afterward during his on-court interview.
Asked whether he’d ever had that happen before, he mustered a chuckle and replied: “With a golf club but not with a tennis racket.”
How was he feeling?
“Well, just a little bit dizzy at the beginning,” said Nadal, who has won four of his 22 Grand Slam titles at the U.S. Open, most recently in 2019, the last time he entered the hard-court tournament. “A little bit painful.”
Ukraine’s Kostyuk refuses to shake hands with Azarenka
A Ukrainian player declined to shake hands with Victoria Azarenka after the three-time U.S. Open runner-up from Belarus beat her at Flushing Meadows on Thursday.
Marta Kostyuk waited at the net with her racket held up, which Azarenka tapped with her racket following her 6-2, 6-3 victory.
WATCH | Kostyuk refuses to shake hands with Azarenka:
Belarus helped Russia launch its invasion of Ukraine in February, and Kostyuk said it had been on her mind since she saw the U.S. Open draw that she may have to play Azarenka in the second round.
“It’s pretty personal,” Kostyuk said. “It wasn’t a personal match for me because it was Vika specifically, but overall it was not just a casual match that I play in a tournament.”
Asked about the traditional handshake that follows a match, Kostyuk said: “I just don’t think it’s the right thing to do in the circumstances I’m in right now.”
Azarenka said she had already faced that situation with a Ukrainian player when she played Dayana Yastremska last month in Washington.
Kostyuk said she texted Azarenka a day before the match to inform her there would be no handshake. Azarenka returned the text, telling Kostyuk she was no longer onsite, so Kostyuk dropped the subject because she wanted to deliver the message in person.
Azarenka said she reached out to all the Ukrainian players she has a relationship with in March after the invasion. Kostyuk isn’t one of them, but Azarenka said she tried nevertheless.
“Well, I’ve offered many times through the WTA, because I believe that there is a sort of sensitivity. I’ve been told that that’s not a good time,” Azarenka said.
“If Marta wants to speak with me, like she texted me yesterday, I replied. I’m open any time to listen, to try to understand, to sympathize. I believe that empathy in the moment like this is really important, which has, again, been my clear message in the beginning.”
Kostyuk questions Azarenka being part of ‘Tennis Plays for Peace Exhibition’
Kostyuk questioned Azarenka being part of the “Tennis Plays for Peace Exhibition” that the U.S. Tennis Association held the week before the tournament to raise money for Ukraine. Azarenka was dropped from the lineup the day of the event, which helped generate more than $1 million US for humanitarian assistance.
Azarenka, a member of the WTA Tour players council, said the important thing was that the event was held, not whether she was part of it.
“I feel like I’ve had a very clear message from the beginning, is that I’m here to try to help, which I have done a lot,” Azarenka said. “Maybe not something that people see and that’s not what I do it for. I do it for people who in need, juniors who need clothes, other people who need money or other people who needed transportation or whatever. That’s what is important to me, to help people are in need.”
Russian and Belarusian players were banned from Wimbledon in response to the war. They are allowed to play at the U.S. Open, without their nations or their flags being listed.
No. 1 Swiatek cruises past Stephens
Top-ranked Iga Swiatek had no trouble with Sloane Stephens, beating the 2017 U.S. Open champion 6-3, 6-2 to move into the third round.
In her WTA Tour-leading 50th win of the season, Swiatek easily handled her first match on Arthur Ashe Stadium, breaking Stephens’ serve four times.
Stephens fell to 0-10 against No. 1-ranked players.
Fourth-seeded Paula Badosa was knocked out with a 6-7 (5), 6-1, 6-2 loss to Croatian Petra Martic.
Other winners on the women’s side included No. 8 seed Pegula, No. 9 Garbine Muguruza, No. 13 Belinda Bencic and No. 19 Danielle Collins.
Alcaraz to face Brooksby
No. 3 seed Carlos Alcaraz beat Federico Coria of Argentina 6-2, 6-1, 7-5 to reach the third round.
Alcaraz earned his 46th win of the season, tying Stefanos Tsitsipas for the ATP Tour lead. Tsitsipas was eliminated in the first round of the U.S. Open.
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Coria ended Alcaraz’s first professional tournament by eliminating him in the second round in Rio de Janeiro in 2020. Since then, the 19-year-old from Spain has rapidly climbed the world rankings while winning four titles this year.
Alcaraz will next face American Jenson Brooksby, who earned a spot in the third round by upsetting No. 25 seed Borna Coric 6-4, 7-6 (10), 6-1.
Coric just won the hard-court tune-up in Cincinnati, but Brooksby pulled away after winning the 77-minute second set in the tiebreaker.
No. 7 Cam Norrie, No. 11 Jannik Sinner and No. 15 Marin Cilic also advanced on the men’s side.
Nick Kyrgios has been fined $7,500 for unsportsmanlike conduct during his second-round victory Wednesday.
Kyrgios was warned after using profanity toward someone in the stands. It appeared the Wimbledon runner-up was yelling at someone in his own box, telling the person to be more supportive or leave.
The temperamental Australian also complained to the chair umpire about the smell of marijuana during the second set.
The fine was the highest given to a player at the tournament thus far.
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