Defending Champ Stephens Survives, Venus Williams Advances While 15th Seed Tsitsipas Loses
(August 29, 2018) FLUSHING MEADOWS –Defending US Open champion Sloane Stephens rebounded from a first set loss to defeat world No. 134 Anhelina Kalinina of the Ukraine 4-6, 7-5, 6-2.
“A tough day, obviously,” Stephens said. “She was playing really well, playing four matches already, quallies here. Used to the conditions. She was obviously playing well.
“I just kind of had to weather the storm and wait for my opportunities. Obviously I wish I could have been playing a little bit better. That would have helped the situation.
“But I just found a way today, and sometimes it’s not going to be the best, but you’ve just got to battle through.”
Two-time finalist Victoria Azarenka demolished 25th seed Daria Gavrilova 6-1, 6-2. She’ll have a blockbuster third round match against Sloane Stephens.
“Well, she’s a very good player,” noted the Belarusian. “I feel like she improved so much to be on the consistent level. I think she’s always been a very talented player. And now she’s taking it one tournament at a time and really performing at a high level at every event. But I always thought she was very talented.
“So for Miami, you know, it was a good match. I think we played well. But I had my chances there. For me, it’s going to be a great challenge, if she wins, to play against her and try to do my best.”
On facing Azarenka, Stephens said: “I think it will be a good match. She’s playing with a bit of confidence and so am I. Third round of a Grand Slam is always tough. Just got to go out there and compete and play your hardest and see what happens.”
Two-time champion Venus Williams defeated Camila Giorgi 6-5, 7-5 to reach the third round. The 2000 and 2001 champion could play her sister Serena next. Serena Williams takes on Carina Witthoeft in the night session.
Asked about her memories of playing Serena, Venus said to media: “I don’t know. I’m the kind of person that looks forward, so I try to learn from the past and try to enjoy the moment in the future.”
Also advancing on the women’s side were seventh seed Elina Svitolina, 15th seed Elise Mertens, 19th seed Anastasija Sevastova and 23rd seed Barbora Strycova.
In men’s action, 15th seed Stefanos Tsitsipas lost to Daniil Medvedev 7-6, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5.
“For sure I’m disappointed,” said Tsitsipas.
“I had good matches in the past, like few weeks ago. I kind of felt tired from the beginning of the tournament. I didn’t feel the same fire inside of me.
“I did win the first-round match, but I did feel a bit empty, like — I don’t know. I mean, I shouldn’t think anyways like this, but it’s something to do with my mind, like, it’s very annoying, because you really want to do well, but at the same time your body refuses to give 100%.”
“The conditions today were, I mean, even in my first-round match, were very tough to deal with,” said the Greek. “I managed to win that first-round match. I mean, I felt very relieved, because I knew if that match would go to four sets, I’m talking about my first round, then I don’t know if I could make it. As you can see from my reaction, I was super exhausted that day.
“Yeah, I had no energy. But I managed somehow, you know, rehabilitate and get ready for the second-round match. But it didn’t feel the same.
“But definitely I’m excited. I like US Open. I like the city. The courts are okay. It’s just hopefully one day it will click and I can play good tennis here.”
2016 US Open champion Stan Wawrinka is on a 9-match winning streak at the US Open. The Swiss who did not play last year due to injury, took out qualifier Ugo Humbert 7-6, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 to reach the third round.
“A battle to play a player that never played before, young player,” noted the three-time major champion. He’s been playing really well this summer, recently: qualifier, won a match, lefty, doesn’t give you a lot of rhythm. Playing great game.
“I think was also not only hot and humid, but also windy on the court. Was fine more than Monday and was tough to play best match, best game. But I’m happy. I think it was a great battle. Was for sure tough fitness-wise, but I think I handled it pretty well.
“Happy to have won the match in four sets, three hours or so. Feeling okay after the match. So I’m happy with that.”
Wawrinka will take on No. 25 seed, Canadian Milos Raonic. Raonic beat Gilles Simon 6-3. 6-4, 6-4.
“It’s going to be good,” Roanic said of the match-up in the third round. “I watched him play two matches last week. I watched him play a little bit of his match against Grigor on Monday. He’s playing well again. He’s moving well. He’s doing his things, you know. He’s stepping up. He’s playing well in those big points. He’s hitting the ball hard, as he knows. He’s effective with his backhand. It’s going to be tough. I’m going to have to play well.”
More to follow……..