Nadal gets walkover into US Open third round

Friday, 2019-08-30 06:41:20
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Aug 27, 2019; Flushing, NY, USA; Rafael Nadal of Spain after beating John Millman of Australia in the first round on day two of the 2019 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre. (Photo: USA TODAY Sports)
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Three-times champion Rafa Nadal got a walkover into the third round of the US Open after Australian wildcard Thanasi Kokkinakis withdrew from their evening match on Thursday.

Kokkinakis, whose clash with the Spanish second seed was scheduled to close out the Thursday night session at Arthur Ashe Stadium, withdrew with a right shoulder injury, tournament organisers said in a statement.

The 23-year-old Australian, who has struggled badly with injury in recent years, beat Bulgarian qualifier Ilya Ivashka in his opening match this week and was seeking his first appearance in the US Open third round.

Nadal will now face the winner of Thursday’s clash between fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco, the 32nd seed, or Korea Republic’s Chung Hyeon.

Daniil Medvedev fought off cramps under the piercing sun to beat Hugo Dellien 6-3 7-5 5-7 6-3 and clinch a third-round berth to continue his hot run of form.

The 23-year-old Russian, fresh off winning at Cincinnati, fired down 17 aces and 55 winners, dominating the shorter rallies, but struggled late in the third set, handing Dellien a break and 6-5 lead with a double fault.

After returning Dellien's serve at set point, Medvedev wandered off the side of the court, raising his arms and flicking his hands in resignation as the 84th ranked Bolivian fired off a forehand winner.

He next faces unseeded Spaniard Feliciano Lopez.

Sixth seed Alexander Zverev outlasted Frances Tiafoe 6-3 3-6 6-2 2-6 6-3 in the second round as he continued to put his disappointing Wimbledon behind him and enhance his reputation as one of the sport's best young players.

Zverev, who suffered a shock first-round defeat at the All-England Tennis Club last month, showed off his trademark endurance under the blistering sun on Arthur Ashe Stadium, saving eight of the 11 break points Tiafoe created on the German's serve.

Osaka stays calm to see off Linette

In the women’s side, Naomi Osaka continued her bid for a second straight US Open title with a business-like 6-3 6-4 win over Magda Linette to book her place in the third round.

Aug 29, 2019; Flushing, NY, USA; Naomi Osaka of Japan hits to Magda Linette of Poland in the second round on day four of the 2019 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre. (Photo: USA TODAY Sports)

After struggling with nerves in her gruelling first-round match, Osaka was calm and collected on Louis Armstrong Stadium court, smacking 13 winners and playing stout defence to dispatch Poland's Linette.

After a one-sided first set, trouble brewed for the world number one when Linette raced out to a 3-0 lead in the second on a sun-soaked court.

But the 21-year-old Japanese kept her composure and battled back, hitting a deft volley on match point to seal the win before an adoring crowd including former San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick and former Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant.

Next up for Osaka is either qualifier Timea Babos or 15-year-old American wildcard Coco Gauff.

Andrea Petkovic upset sixth seed Petra Kvitova 6-4 6-4 to set up a third-round clash with Elise Mertens.

World number 88 Petkovic was the better player in the biggest points, breaking the twice Grand Slam champion three times and committing 15 fewer unforced errors on a sun-soaked Louis Armstrong Stadium court.

The 31-year-old German, who celebrated the win by lifting her shirt and pointing to her abs, said she is in a great state of mind despite winning only eight main-draw matches this year.

Petkovic will be the underdog again when she takes on 25th seeded Mertens, who trounced Kristyna Pliskova 6-2 6-2.

Reuters