(August 28, 2018) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – The big news of the day at the US Open was not who was beating who but beating the heat on the court. Temperatures soared into the mid-nineties with a heat index of over 104 degrees Fahrenheit. The ATP World Tour instituted a heat rule for their players – a 10-minute break between the third and the fourth sets. The WTA has had a heat rule.
No. 6 seed Novak Djokovic survived a test from his opponent and the heat in his 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-0 win over Marton Fucsovics.
Asked on court about what he did during his 10-minute heat break, the Serb said jokingly: “We were naked in the ice baths and it was a quite wonderful feeling.”
No. 2 seed Caroline Wozniacki beat the extreme heat and 2011 US Open champion Sam Stosur 6-3, 6-2.
“Hot conditions, for sure, the Dane said. “I just tried to stay cool. We got a little lucky. Normally I’m like, Oh, the shade, I’m not sure. But today the shade was really helpful to be able to just cool down a little bit, was definitely much cooler on the side with the shade, so that helped.
“Other than that, it was just about trying to think cool thoughts and drink a lot of water and be well prepared.”
No. 5 seed Petra Kvitova advanced to the second round with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Yanina Wickmayer.
“Well, I think the score just looks easier than the match, probably,” said the Czech. We both played great. We were, like, pretty aggressive from both sides. It was really about the kind of missing one easy shot.
“I just felt good from the beginning when I played really good game. I took her serve, and I think that’s help me a lot to win the first set.
“But in the second, she came back. She took my serve. I didn’t really play that great probably, and the chance from her serve came, which I was very pleased, obviously. And I took it, and that was really important for me to stay mentally in that match.
“I really tried hard not to play the third one in this kind of heat (smiling).
“Definitely was a great first match. She played semis here one year, so for sure she loves to play here.”
No. 6 seed Caroline Garcia had an east time with former Top Ten player Johanna Konta 6-2, 6-2.
Tenth seed Jelena Ostapenko had to battle past Andrea Petkovic 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 to reach the 2nd round.
“I mean, of course winning is always good. The way I finished the match, I’m glad. But I had more opportunities, especially I won first set and 3-0 up. Then my game level dropped a little bit.
“But my opponent, she was playing very well today. I had really to win, like, every point. She was fighting till the end. And I’m happy when, in the third set, I was 5-4, 30-15 and serving. Then I lost until 5-All.
“But I’m happy that I was fighting till the end and I managed to win the match.”
On the heat: “I mean, of course conditions were difficult today. It was very humid and also very hot, but it was the same for both of us. I mean, we had to deal with it.”
2016 champion and the 4th seed Angelique Kerber fought past Margarita Gasparyan 7-6(5), 6-3.
Twentieth seed Naomi Osaka is into the second round. The Indian Wells winner stopped Laura Siegemund 6-3, 6-2. Kirsten Flipkens knocked out 24th seed CoCo Vandeweghe 6-3, 7-6.
In the evening session, Roger Federer made easy work of Yoshihito 6-2, 6-2, while 14th seed Madison Keys won 6-4, 6-4. On Armstrong at night NIck Kyrgios beat Radu Albot 7-5, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2.
Maria Sharapova had all she could handle from Patty Schnyder beating the 39-year-old 6-2, 7-6(6).
“I started making a lot of mistakes,” Sharapova said in regard to the second set 5-1 lead that she gave up. “She became really consistent. I think I just really wanted to finish it off, was just giving her a lot of free looks.”
Five men’s matches ended in retirements on Tuesday due to the heat.