Past Grand Slam champions Petra Kvitova and Svetlana Kuznetsova were ousted from the US Open in early upsets on Saturday.
Czech seventh seed Kvitova, the 2011 Wimbledon champion who was reportedly hospitalized on Friday, made 27 unforced errors and seven double faults to lose in only 65 minutes, falling to 81st-ranked US wildcard Alison Riske 6-3, 6-0. “It’s so awesome,” said Riske, who lost to Kvitova last week in New Haven in their only prior meeting. “That (result) really helped me to just focus and play my game.”
Sabine Lisicki out
Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki crashed out of the US Open in the third round. The German, who beat Serena Williams at the All England Club before losing to Marion Bartoli in the final, lost 6-4 7-5 to big-hitting Russian Ekaterina Makarova at Flushing Meadows.
Serena Williams in last 16
World number one Serena Williams will have the chance to avenge her ouster from the Australian Open when she faces Sloane Stephens today in an emotional fourth-round showdown at the US Open.
Defending champion Williams, whose relationship with Stephens was strained after the prodigy upset the 16-time Grand Slam champion at Melbourne, advanced early on Saturday by beating 78th-ranked Kazakh Yaroslava Shvedova 6-3, 6-1.
Djokovic cruises into Round 3
Novak Djokovic was the first of the title favourites to be tested at the US Open as he survived a close first set to defeat Benjamin Becker in the second round on Friday. The world number one was well below his best in the early stages and German Becker served for the opening set at 5-4. But he could not take either of two set points and from there Djokovic took control to win 7-6 (7/2) 6-2 6-2.
Defending champion Andy Murray struggled with his serve and spent plenty of time scampering after shots, but responded to the challenge by raising his game on Friday to reach the third round.
British third seed Murray, the reigning Wimbledon and Olympic champion, advanced with a 7-5, 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 victory over Argentina’s 81st-ranked Leonardo Mayer.