Serena Williams is now only five wins away from making history. The 33-year-old American notched up her thirtieth consecutive win in grand slams by beating Dutch qualifier Kiki Bertens in straight sets. Bertens, though, managed to provide some resistance by taking the first set to the wire. She also broke Williams’ serve in the second. But vintage Serena essayed a double-break to outsmart her 7-6, 6-3 to enter the next round of the competition.
Serena now faces fellow American Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the next round. In a brief post-match press conference, the US Open winner of the last three occasions revealed few words of praise on her third-round opponent. Williams is eyeing a calendar year grand slam after winning all three majors this season.
“Knowing that she’s capable of having big wins kind of relaxes me because I know she’s going to come out and I know what to expect,” she said. “She’s going to give 300%. She’s a huge fighter.”
In another match up, Serena’s sister Venus managed to reach the third round of the US Open after beating Irina Falconi 6-3, 6-7 (2), 6-2 on Wednesday evening in an all-American encounter. 23rd seeded Venus, who clinched the tournament in 2000, last reached US Open semifinals five years ago and lost in the third round last year.
2014 runner-up Eugenie Bouchard registered a 6-3, 6-7 (2), 6-3 victory over Polona Hercog of Slovenia in the U.S. Open’s second round.
Promising youngster Belinda Bencic advanced to the third rounds after completing her comeback from three-match points down to defeat Misaki Doi.
Djokovic, Cilic, Nadal win
Defending champions Marin Čilić cruised to the third round with a win over Russia’s Evgeny Donskoy.
The big-hitting Croatian won 6-2, 6-3, 7-5 in the Arthur Ashe stadium.
“This court is very special for me, brings back special memories,” the ninth-seeded Cilic said in an interview on the court. “It’s sort of unreal. I was working all my life to win a grand slam and now I’m in position to defend one.”
Former World No 1 and nine-time French Open winner Rafael Nadal reached the third round of the US Open on Wednesday. The Spaniard won 7-6, 6-3, 7-5 against Argentine Diego Schwartzman.
2010 and 2013 US Open champion Nadal later said, “I feel lucky to be through. It was very humid and Diego was very aggressive so to take the first set was very important.”
Reigning World No 1 Novak Djokovic defeated Australian Andreas Haider-Maurer 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 in another 2nd round encounter. Djokovic now faces next play with Italy’s Andreas Seppi in the third round.
Mikhail Kukushkin claimed one of the biggest wins at a major in his career by defeating No. 17 seed Grigor Dimitrov, 6-3, 7-6 (2), 2-6, 4-6, 6-4. The 27-year-old Kukushkin lost in the first round of the last three grand slam tournaments this year. He will now face defending champion Marin in the next round.
34-year-old American Fish, set to retire after his 13th US Open, lost 2-6, 6-3, 1-6, 7-5, 6-3 to 18th seeded Spaniard Feliciano Lopez.