NEW YORK (AP) – The Latest on the U.S Open tennis tournament (all times local):
Novak Djokovic implied he got fired up by an exchange of words with someone standing outside the practice court where the U.S. Open’s defending champion warmed up before his third-round victory.
Asked what happened with the man, who was on the other side of a wall at the back of the court, Djokovic initially replied, “Just had a little chat.”
Told he had been heard saying he would find the person, Djokovic smiled wryly and said: “To have a drink. I liked the guy. I’m going to buy him a drink.”
Later in his news conference, Djokovic said he didn’t want to reveal what the fan said but added: “I think he did me a favor. Even maybe (if) he didn’t want to do me a favor, he did me a favor. Big favor.”
Defending champion Novak Djokovic’s left shoulder appeared to be just fine as he put together a straightforward, straight-set victory over Denis Kudla to reach the U.S. Open’s fourth round for the 12th appearance in a row.
The top-seeded Djokovic won 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 under the lights in Arthur Ashe Stadium.
He had complained about pain in his shoulder and repeatedly was visited by a trainer during his previous match.
Next will be a match Sunday against three-time major champion Stan Wawrinka.
Djokovic has won 36 of his past 37 Grand Slam matches.
He is pursuing a fourth title at the U.S. Open and 17th major trophy overall.
Daniil Medvedev angrily snatched a towel from a ballperson’s hands. He threw his racket toward the chair umpire. And he was captured on the big screens giving his middle finger.
All that in the first set of Medvedev’s third-round match against Feliciano Lopez has turned the Louis Armstrong Stadium crowd against the fifth-seeded Russian, resulting in a cascade of boos and thunderous cheers every time he loses a point.
The drama midway through the first set began when a frustrated Medvedev snatched the towel from a ballperson and was given a code violation by umpire Damien Dumusois. Medvedev then threw his racket in the direction of Dumusois, barked something at him and later flashed his middle finger next to his forehead as he walked past the umpire’s chair.
Even in the midst of that turmoil, Medvedev went on to win that drama-filled set in a tiebreaker, 7-1, before Lopez won the second set 6-4. At one point in that set, the anti-Medvedev crowd began chanting “Lopez! Lopez!”
Madison Keys, the 2017 U.S. Open runner-up, had her blood pressure and pulse checked during a second-set medical visit but held on to beat Sofia Kenin 6-3, 7-5 in an all-American matchup in the third round.
The 10th-seeded Keys saved all eight break points she faced and put together a 26-9 advantage in winners, including 10 aces.
She said she was “just not feeling 100 percent” against the 20th-seeded Kenin.
Keys made it to the fourth round at Flushing Meadows for the fifth consecutive year.
Her next opponent is No. 5 seed Elina Svitolina, who eliminated No. 32 Dayana Yastremska 6-2, 6-0.
Dominik Koepfer beat No. 17 Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-3, 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-1 to advance to the U.S. Open’s round of 16, becoming only the second qualifier to make it that far in the tournament in the past decade.
Koepfer, a 25-year-old German ranked No. 118, has made the most of his first appearance at Flushing Meadows, downing established tour players Ryan Harrison and Nicolas Mahut in qualifying rounds and Reilly Opelka in the main draw. By beating Basilashvili, Koepfer joins Denis Shapovalov in 2017 as the only qualifier to reach the Open’s fourth round since 2009.
Through three rounds of qualifying and three rounds in the main draw so far, Koepfer has already been on court just shy of 13 hours. But he said after his match that it doesn’t matter – “I like winning, so I’m going to keep going.”
Next up for Koepfer is the winner of the match later tonight between No. 5 Daniil Medvedev and Feliciano Lopez.
American teenagers Coco Gauff and Caty McNally have won their first-round doubles match at the U.S. Open to remain unbeaten as a pair.
Gauff, the 15-year-old from Florida who faces No. 1 Naomi Osaka in singles on Saturday, and McNally, the 17-year-old from Ohio who took a set off Serena Williams earlier in the week, beat Julia Goerges and Katerina Siniakova 7-6 (6), 6-2 in front of a full-to-capacity crowd at Court 5.
Gauff and McNally teamed up to win the junior doubles title at Flushing Meadows last year, then collected the first WTA title for each by taking the doubles trophy at the Citi Open in Washington this month.
They were given wild cards into the U.S. Open for singles and doubles by the U.S. Tennis Association.
Serena Williams used a seven-game run midway through the match to grab control and moved into the U.S. Open’s fourth round for the 18th consecutive appearance with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Karolina Muchova.
Williams had a bit of shakiness with her serve, double-faulting seven times.
Otherwise, she played well, and went from trailing 3-2 at the outset to grabbing the opening set and a 3-0 lead in the second.
Williams is seeking a seventh title at Flushing Meadows and the 24th Grand Slam singles trophy of her career.
On Sunday, she will face 22nd-seeded Petra Martic of Croatia for a quarterfinal berth.
Second-seeded Ash Barty advanced to the round of 16 at the U.S. Open with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Maria Sakkari.
Barty, the reigning French Open champ who faced tough tests in her first two rounds, employed a steady baseline game and took advantage of 39 unforced errors from the 29th-ranked Sakkari.
This is the second year in a row Barty has advanced to the final 16. She next faces the winner of the match later Friday between 18th-seeded Qiang Wang and Fiona Ferro.
Add Kei Nishikori to the list of men’s seeds to fall at the U.S. Open.
Nishikori, the No. 7 seed and 2014 finalist at Flushing Meadows, lost to 38th-ranked Alex de Minaur 6-2, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 in the third round, leaving less than half of the top 12 men still in action. Other seeds to lose earlier in the tournament included No. 4 Dominic Thiem, No. 8 Stefanos Tsitsipas, No. 9 Karen Khachanov and No. 10 Roberto Bautista Agut.
De Minaur, a 20-year-old Australian who has won two tour events this year, including last month’s hard court tuneup in Atlanta, outlasted Nishikori from the baseline and took advantage of his opponent’s 60 unforced errors.
Next up in the round of 16, De Minaur faces the winner of the match later Friday between Grigor Dimitrov and Kamil Majchrzak.
Coco Gauff isn’t the only teenager making big news at the U.S. Open.
Martin Damm, 15, and 16-year-old Toby Kodat teamed up for a victory that made them the youngest team to win a men’s doubles match at the U.S. Open in the professional era.
Damm and Kodat, the USTA Boys’ 18s national champions who received a wild card into the men’s doubles draw, beat fellow Americans Mitchell Krueger and Tim Smyczek 7-6 (6), 7-5 on Thursday.
The U.S. Tennis Association says the only men’s doubles team with a combined younger age to play at the U.S. Open in the Open era, which dates to 1968, is when 16-year-old John McEnroe teamed with 15-year-old Larry Gottfried in 1975. They got a walkover in the first round and lost in the second round.
Damm and Kodat face Germans Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies, the No. 12 seed, in the second round.
Roger Federer won in straight sets for the first time in this year’s U.S. Open, downing Daniel Evans 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 to advance to the round of 16.
Federer, the No. 3 seed and five-time champion at Flushing Meadows, dropped the first set in his previous two rounds but that was not an issue against the 58th-ranked Evans. Federer blasted 48 winners and served up 10 aces en route to the victory, his 18th straight third-round win at the Open.
Next up for Federer is the winner of the match later Friday between 15th-seeded David Goffin and Pablo Carreno Busta.
Third-seeded Karolina Pliskova overcame her emotions and an inspired opponent to advance to the U.S. Open round of 16, downing Ons Jabeur 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.
Pliskova, a former No. 1 who reached the final at Flushing Meadows in 2016, won despite looking out of synch for much of the match. After Jabeur took treatment on her right knee at the end of the first set and began winning in the second, Pliskova smashed her racket in frustration, earning a warning from the chair umpire.
But Pliskova relied on a strong serve game to get it back on track. And Jabeur, a Tunisian who had been seeking to become the first Arab woman to reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam tournament, faltered down the stretch. Though she cracked 49 winners, she also had 43 unforced errors, 17 of them in the final set.
Next up for Pliskova is the winner of the match later Friday between No. 16 Johanna Konta and No. 33 Zhang Shuai.
Play has begun at the U.S. Open, with third-seeded Karolina Pliskova and seventh-seeded Kei Nishikori taking the courts under sunny skies and no rain in the forecast.
Pliskova’s third-round match against Ons Jabeur and Nishikori’s against Alex de Minaur kick off a dayside slate. Other day matches include third-seeded Roger Federer in Arthur Ashe Stadium against Daniel Evans, followed by No. 8 Serena Williams against Karolina Muchova.
At night, top-seeded Novak Djokovic continues his title defense against American Denis Kudla.
Because rain postponements this week forced a packed makeup schedule, 11 men and 11 women are playing back-to-back matches Thursday and Friday.
Roger Federer is looking for a fast start. Novak Djokovic wants a quick heal.
The former champions will be in action Friday for their third-round matches at the U.S. Open.
Federer has dropped the opening set in his first two matches for the first time in his 19 appearances in Flushing Meadows. No man has done that and gone on to win the tournament, so the five-time champion has history against him as he seeks a 21st Grand Slam title, which would extend his men’s record.
The No. 3 seed plays Daniel Evans in the opening match on Arthur Ashe Stadium, and Serena Williams follows. Djokovic faces Denis Kudla at night, hoping the sore left shoulder that required treatment in the second round is better as he continues his title defense.
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