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Thursday’s scores: Men | Women
If you are a tennis fan with a grounds pass to the United States Open on Thursday, it is your lucky day. Because most of Wednesday’s matches were rained out, Thursday’s schedule originally featured an astonishing 75 matches, including 54 in singles.
A meeting with Naomi Osaka is on the line.
Gauff and Babos remain deadlocked in this third set, 4-4, with neither giving an inch nor conceding serve. Gauff had two break points in the eighth game, but Babos saved them in succession with a strong serve and a forehand winner.
Gauff’s last two service games have been straightforward, holding the first one at 15 and the second at love. After the second put her a game from the victory, “Let’s go, Coco!” chants rang out through Armstrong Stadium. The winner will face the top seed and defending champion, Naomi Osaka.
Coco Gauff is battling.
Gauff is doing what she’s done throughout her matches this summer: battling. After a remarkable forehand passing shot early in the game, Gauff saved two break points to hold for 3-2 in the third set, closing it out after 12 points. She saved the first break point with an ace; the second took a 15-shot rally before she came to the net and forced an error off Babos’s backhand.
Timea Babos wins the second set, 6-4.
After making 17 unforced errors in the first set, Timea Babos reduced her errors to seven in the second. She pushed Coco Gauff into longer rallies and waited for Gauff’s shots to break down, winning 8 of 11 rallies of nine shots or more. Gauff had 14 winners in the second set, but also had 14 unforced errors. Her first serve percentage dropped too. In all, Babos was the steadier player, and thus won the set.
Timea Babos takes a second-set lead.
Timea Babos started play more cleanly, and broke Coco Gauff to take a 4-3 lead. She was helped by a Gauff double fault and two unforced errors. Then Babos held to build a 5-3 lead.
Coco Gauff is dominating on serve.
Coco Gauff was broken in her first service game, but has been almost untouchable on her own serve since. Taking a 2-1 lead in the second set, Gauff had lost only three points on her first serve in the match, and 50 percent of her serves were not returned.
Coco Gauff wins the first, 6-2.
In her three-set, first-round victory over Anastasia Potapova, Coco Gauff had to grind. Against Timea Babos in the second round, Gauff is in control.
Against Potapova, she committed 42 unforced errors and only 14 winners throughout the match. But this time, it is Babos who is making mistakes, with 17 unforced errors in the first set. She got only 56 percent of her first serves in.
Gauff won the last three games of the set, breaking Babos’s serve twice.
Coco Gauff leads in the first set, 2-1.
Coco Gauff was broken in her opening service game, but broke back as Timea Babos double-faulted twice. Gauff then held serve at love for a 2-1 lead.
Usually, in her earlier Grand Slam matches, the difference in ranking between Gauff and her opponent was a gulf. But that is not the case Thursday. Babos, 26, is ranked 112th in singles, while Gauff is 140th.
Babos, who is ranked third in doubles, entered the singles event through qualifying. In singles, she is only 3-12 this year and has made the third round of a Grand Slam tournament only once in 27 appearances.
On a busy day, little work for Rafael Nadal.
Second-seeded Rafael Nadal, who was scheduled to play the second night match at Arthur Ashe Stadium, did not have to take the court at all. His second-round opponent, Thanasi Kokkinakis, withdrew with an injury a few hours before the match was to start.
Taylor Townsend finally has her Grand Slam breakthrough.
Playing her throwback serve-and-volley, chip-and-charge game, Taylor Townsend flummoxed the Wimbledon champion Simona Halep and then hung on to close out a tight victory, winning, 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4).
Townsend, 23, has been a highly-touted talent since winning the 2012 Australian Open junior title at 15, but has struggled to consistently play top-flight professional tennis. With her ranking outside the top 100, Townsend needed to win three rounds in qualifying to play this tournament.
“This means a lot,” Townsend said. “It’s been a long journey.”
The crowd applauded when the on-court interviewer Rennae Stubbs said that Townsend had come to the net more than 100 times (the stat sheet showed a total of 106 net approaches for Townsend, compared to 10 for Halep).
“I knew that I’m not going to beat her from the baseline,” said Townsend, who earned her first win over a top-10 player. “I knew that I had to do something to give me an edge.”
Halep, the No. 4 seed this year, has long struggled at the U.S. Open. She lost in the first round the previous two years and has advanced past the fourth round only twice in 10 appearances.
Townsend will next face another Romanian, Sorana Cirstea in the third round. This matches Townsend’s best result at a major; she also reached the third round of the 2014 French Open.
Alexander Zverev goes the distance again.
Alexander Zverev needed five sets to get through his first-round match, and he needed five more to get through his second-round match. But he pulled out a 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 victory over Frances Tiafoe on Thursday at Ashe Stadium.
Zverev has made a habit of toiling for five sets in the early rounds of majors. He is only 22, but has played 17 five-set matches at Grand Slam events. Eleven of those have been in the past two years since he entered the top 10; nearly all of them have come in the first three rounds of a tournament.
Now No. 6, Zverev has at least survived the carnage in the bottom half of the draw, where four top-10 seeds have lost.
He will next face Aljaz Bedene, who upset No. 29 Benoît Paire in, yes, five sets, to reach the third round at the Open for the first time.
Second round goes more smoothly for Naomi Osaka.
Playing in front of a star-studded support box that included Kobe Bryant and Colin Kaepernick, Naomi Osaka advanced to the third round with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Magda Linette, who won the Bronx Open last week.
Osaka battled her nerves in a three-set first-round win on Tuesday. Two days later, Osaka, who is wearing a brace on her injured left knee, shook out her leg several times because of apparent discomfort. She also was in a less-than-cozy position on the scoreboard in the second set, down 0-3 after losing 15 of the first 19 points, but rallied to take six of the next seven games.
Osaka awaits either Timea Babos or the teenage phenom Coco Gauff in the third round.
Ons Jabeur nears a milestone.
Ons Jabeur of Tunisia reached the third round of a Grand Slam for the second time on Thursday, beating Aliaksandra Sasnovich, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2. Jabeur, who previously reached the third round of the 2017 French Open, is the only African woman in the top 100. According to Egyptian journalist Reem Abulleil, Jabeur is now one win from becoming the first Arab woman to reach the top 50. To achieve that milestone, she will have to beat third-seeded Karolina Pliskova.
Denis Kudla vs. Serbia
Denis Kudla’s big run in New York is likely not making him popular in Belgrade.
After beating Janko Tipsarevic in the first round — in what the Serbian veteran said would be his final Grand Slam tournament — Kudla ousted another Serbian, the 27th-seeded Dusan Lajovic, in the second round, 7-5, 7-5, 0-6. 6-3.
In the next round, Kudla faces a third Serb: the top-seeded Novak Djokovic, who is struggling with a left shoulder injury. It will be the first appearance in the third round of the U.S. Open for Kudla, a 27-year-old American ranked 111th.
Serena Williams’s next opponent will be Karolina Muchova.
Two of the craftiest players on tour wove together a terrific tussle on Court 4, with Karolina Muchova prevailing, 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (2), over Hsieh Su-wei to earn the right to face Serena Williams in the third round.
Muchova, who was the more assertive player throughout the match, had three match points in the final of the game on Hsieh’s serve but could not convert any. Muchova quickly gained control of the tiebreaker and closed it out, 7-2.
Muchova has experience with big wins before. Last year at the U.S. Open, as a qualifier ranked outside the top 200, she beat Garbiñe Muguruza in a night match at Armstrong Stadium. This year at Wimbledon, she outlasted third-seeded Karolina Pliskova, 13-11, in the third set to reach the quarterfinals.
“Muchova did well in Wimbledon,” Williams recalled early Thursday. “Actually got to see some of her matches, but not enough. It will be a good job for me to watch a little bit.”
Andrea Petkovic upsets Petra Kvitova.
Within the first two hours of a whirlwind Thursday, there was a big upset: Andrea Petkovic, a quarterfinalist in 2011, knocked off sixth-seeded Petra Kvitova, 6-4, 6-4, at Louis Armstrong Stadium to reach the third round.
The two played several marathon games in the second set; Petkovic’s hold in the 18-point ninth game proved decisive.
Petkovic, ranked 88th, brought considerable confidence into the matchup with Kvitova, whom she has now beaten in six of 11 matches. Kvitova has also struggled with an arm injury since the French Open.
The second-round exit is Kvitova’s earliest here since 2011.
Among the other early winners were: No. 20 Sofia Kenin, who has reached the semifinals of her last two hardcourt tournaments; and No. 12 Anastasija Sevastova, who has advanced to at least the quarterfinals in New York the past three years.
Max Gendler contributed reporting.