First set: Auger-Aliassime 3-0 Murray* (*denotes next server)
Auger-Aliassime backs up the break in emphatic fashion, pounding aces of 130mph, 125mph and 106mph (on the second serve) to consolidate. The 20-year-old Quebecois is one of four Canadians to advance to the second round here (along with Vasek Pospisil, Milos Raonic and Denis Shapovalov), the most at any grand slam tournament in more than six decades. The last time this many Canadian men went past the opening round at a major came at the 1959 US Championships (John Bassett, Robert Bedard, Don Fontana, Francois Godbout and Val Harit).
Auger-Aliassime breaks in second game of first set!
First set: *Auger-Aliassime 2-0 Murray (*denotes next server)
Trouble for Murray, who’s broken in his opening service game after getting it to deuce from love-15 and 15-30 down. He was able to save a first break point when Auger-Aliassime misfired on a forehand, but made an unforced error of his own on the second break chance. It’s absolutely pouring outside and the sound from the rainfall on the closed roof above the court is resounding throughout the empty Arthur Ashe Stadium.
First set: Auger-Aliassime 1-0 Murray* (*denotes next server)
Auger-Aliassime breezes through his opening service game, capping a love hold with a 122mph ace out wide.
Félix Auger-Aliassime and Andy Murray have taken the court for tonight’s nightcap. They’re going through their warm-ups and should be under way shortly. Over on Armstrong, fifth-seeded Aryna Sabalenka has falled behind an early break against Victoria Azarenka in a rematch of their highly entertaining Flushing Meadows encounter a year ago.
Williams wins 6-2, 6-4!
Second set: Gasparyan 2-6, 4-6 Williams
Gut check time for Gasparyan as she quickly goes down love-30, putting Williams two points from the finish line. Williams misfires a forehand but Gasparyan responds with an unforced error of her own for match point. Gasparyan then sends a forehand wide and long and it’s over! Williams is through to a third-round showdown with Sloane Stephens after one hour and 33 minutes!
Second set: *Gasparyan 2-6, 4-5 Williams (*denotes next server)
Williams races out to 40-love on her serve. “Come on, Serena! Come on!” she exhorts between point. But Gasparyan, who’s hanging in the rallies bettter than before and playing with more confidence, is hanging in there. She pushes it back to deuce, aided by a gorgeous drop-shot winner and Serena’s fourth double fault. Suddenly we’re in another marathon. Williams saves a break point with a 107mph ace down the pipe, then finally escapes with the hold when Gasparyan sends a forehand sailing. The Russian will serve to stay in the tournament after the changeover.
Second set: Gasparyan 2-6, 4-4 Williams* (*denotes next server)
Gasparyan hums through her first comfortable hold of serve since 1-5 in the first. Sorely needed.
Gasparyan breaks in seventh game of second set!
Second set: *Gasparyan 2-6, 3-4 Williams (*denotes next server)
Williams’ puzzling issue with consolidating these service breaks surfaces again as she quickly goes love-40 down on her serve, giving Gasparyan three looks at a break point. She saves the first with a forehand winner, but follows with an unforced error on a net approach. Back on level terms in the second.
Williams breaks in sixth game of second set!
Second set: Gasparyan 2-6, 2-4 Williams* (*denotes next server)
Another complicated service game for Gasparyan, who saves one break point with a tidy overhand winner at the net, then a second when Serena mishits a forehand, then a third with a 104mph serve out wide, then a fourth when Willams sends a forehand astray. But she finally blinks on the fifth, sending a backhand wide early in a baseline rally and giving Serena the break after a marathon game spanning 16 points and more than 10 minutes.
Gasparyan breaks in fifth game of second set!
Second set: *Gasparyan 2-6, 2-3 Williams (*denotes next server)
Williams faces a break point for only the third time today at 30-40 … and Gasparyan converts when Williams sends a forehand sailing past the baseline. Meanwhile, it’s coming down in torrents outside and all matches on the outer courts have been canceled and will be completed tomorrow.
Williams breaks in fourth game of second set!
Second set: Gasparyan 2-6, 1-3 Williams* (*denotes next server)
Gasparyan falls behind 15-30, then 30-40, and gets broken after misfiring from the baseline. Williams has converted four of six break-point chances and the match seems all but a handshake away.
Second set: *Gasparyan 2-6, 1-2 Williams (*denotes next server)
Another comfortable hold for Williams, who cracks her fourth and fifth aces of the night along the way.
Second set: Gasparyan 2-6, 1-1 Williams* (*denotes next server)
Gasparyan holds but she’s made to labor for it. Williams is moving as well as we’ve seen since the tour returned from coronavirus hiatus.
Second set: *Gasparyan 2-6, 0-1 Williams (*denotes next server)
Important for Williams to reassert her serve after inexplicably getting broken at love at 5-2 in the first. And that’s exactly what she does, capping a drama-free hold with a 115mph ace down the center.
Williams wins first set, 6-2!
Williams breaks in eighth game of first set!
First set: Gasparyan 2-6 Williams
Gasparyan makes her second double fault of the match to go 15-30 down. She rallies for 40-30 but goes break and set point down after a couple of unforced errors from the baseline. She saves one, but sprays a backhand on a second moments later. First set to Serena after 35 straightforward minutes.
Gasparyan breaks in seventh game of first set!
First set: *Gasparyan 2-5 Williams (*denotes next server)
A bit of a wrinkle as Williams is broken at love – four straight points on her serve after losing only five in the entire set. Still, Williams holds a break advantage. Gasparyan will serve to stay in the first set after the change of ends.
First set: *Gasparyan 1-4 Williams (*denotes next server)
Serena crushes her second ace of the night, a 109mph missile down the center, for 30-love. She’s won 10 of the 12 points on her racket so far. But Gasparyan gets her teeth into a couple rallies over the next few points and suddenly Williams is facing a break point. The American saves it with a forehand volley winner, then holds after hitting a 97mph second-serve service winner and forced error by Gasparyan from the baseline.
First set: Gasparyan 1-3 Williams* (*denotes next server)
Gasparyan having trouble with her serve toss, but crowds Williams with a 103mph serve to the body that she can’t return in play. Williams wins two quick points to make things uncomfortable at 15-30, but Gasparyan holds from there to get on the board.
First set: *Gasparyan 0-3 Williams (*denotes next server)
Another stress-free service game for Williams, who caps the hold with a crisp backhand winner down the line. Gasparyan will need to show something and quickly or this one could be over in a hurry.
Williams breaks in second game of first set!
First set: Gasparyan 0-2 Williams* (*denotes next server)
Gasparyan appears bound for a comfortable hold of her own after quickly winning the first three points of her opening service game from the baseline. But she’s broken from 40-love after following a double fault with a flurry of unforced errors.
First set: *Gasparyan 0-1 Williams (*denotes next server)
Williams opens the match with a commanding service game, punctuating the love hold with a 104mph ace down the pipe. Promising start.
A steady rainfall has started right as the players finish their warm-ups. The decision to close the roof, which typically takes about seven minutes, is an easy one. All play on the outer courts, including four singles matches, has been suspended. The break comes moments after Britain’s Dan Evans saved two set points against France’s Corentin Moutet. The No 23 seed will serve at 6-4, 3-6, 5-6, Ad In when play resumes.
Good evening and welcome to Arthur Ashe Stadium for tonight’s prime-time twinbill. A pair of second-round matches are on the menu with Serena Williams facing Russia’s Margarita Gasparyan, followed by Andy Murray’s first career meeting with Félix Auger-Aliassime.
Some quick items from the day session to get you caught up:
- Britain’s Johanna Konta became the latest top seed to bow, coming from ahead in a 2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4 loss to Sorana Cirstea
- Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova, who is playing her first tournament since Wimbledon 2017 after taking a three-year break to have a son, reached the third round with a 7-5, 6-3 win over No 10 seed Garbiñe Muguruza
- Sloane Stephens, the 2017 US Open champion who entered this year’s tournament with a 1-7 record for the year, was dominant 6-2, 6-2 win over Olga Govortsova – and could face Serena in the third round
- No 25 seed Milos Raonic is out after a 6-7 (1), 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-3 loss to Canadian compatriot Vasek Pospisil
- Second-seeded Dominic Thiem earned a spot in the third round with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 win over India’s Sumit Nagal
Bryan will be here shortly. In the meantime, it’s safe to say that Kristina Mladenovic was not happy with conditions in Queens this week:
France’s Kristina Mladenovic complained of living a “nightmare” due to the Covid-19 health protocols at the US Open after suffering a spectacular meltdown to lose to Russian Varvava Gracheva in her second-round match.
Against an opponent ranked outside the top 100 and playing her first grand slam, Mladenovic looked set for a breezy win while serving at 6-1, 5-1 but things went downhill for her abruptly and she ended up losing 1-6, 7-6(2), 6-0.
Mladenovic was one of several athletes placed under an “enhanced protocol plan” for being in contact with compatriot Benoît Paire, who tested positive for the coronavirus and was withdrawn ahead of the grand slam.
“We’re living a nightmare here. I have only one desire and that is to regain my freedom,” the 44th-ranked Mladenovic said. “We have to fight to have our freedom and even that we don’t have yet.”
The United States Tennis Association’s protocols have meant that players in contact with Paire are being tested for Covid-19 every day rather than once in four days and are confined to hotel rooms.
Mladenovic, who along with partner Timea Babos are the top seeds for women’s doubles, earlier said she felt like being stuck inside a “bubble within a bubble”.
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