US Open 2018 Results: Serena Is ‘Untouchable’ in Beating Venus

On Thursday, an arbitrator ruled that Kaepernick’s grievance against the N.F.L., which accuses the league of colluding to keep him off the field, can move forward.

Del Potro’s victory ends the day

Around 12:35 a.m., Juan Martin del Potro capped the day’s action with a 7-5, 7-6 (6), 6-3 victory over Fernando Verdasco. Del Potro will play Borna Coric in the fourth round on Sunday.

In the final women’s match of the night, eighth-seeded Karolina Pliskova defeated the American teenager Sofia Kenin, 6-4, 7-6 (2)

Isner and Raonic advance

While the 30th installment of Venus versus Serena drew the spotlight on Friday night, there were many other matches on the grounds at the same time.

In the men’s draw, 25th-seeded Milos Raonic beat Stan Wawrinka, 7-6 (6), 6-4, 6-3. In a rematch of a Wimbledon quarterfinal from last month, Raonic will next face 11th-seeded John Isner, who defeated Dusan Lajovic, 7-6 (8), 6-7 (8), 6-3, 7-5.

Borna Coric, the No. 20 seed, reached the fourth round of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time, beating Daniil Medvedev, 6-3, 7-5, 6-2. He awaits Juan Martín del Potro or Fernando Verdasco, who are playing the last match of the night at Ashe Stadium.

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On the women’s side, 18th-seeded Ash Barty also reached the fourth round of a major for the first time, beating the Czech qualifier Karolina Muchova, 6-3, 6-4. Barty will face Sofia Kenin or Karolina Pliskova, who are playing the last match of the night at Armstrong Stadium.

Venus: Serena played ‘untouchable tennis’

After suffering a lopsided defeat, Venus Williams had ebullient praise for her sister Serena’s performance, calling it “the best match she’s ever played against me.”

“I don’t think I did a lot wrong, but she just did everything right,” Venus said. “Obviously that level is definitely where she’s going to want to stay during this whole tournament.”

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Venus Williams had her serve broke four times Friday night.

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Ben Solomon for The New York Times

Calling Serena’s play “untouchable tennis,” Venus said the match was out of her hands.

“I mean, she played so well, I never got to really even touch any balls,” she said. “When your opponent plays like that, it’s not really anything to be upset about. She just played much better than me. The only thing I maybe could have done was put more first serves in; even then, she returned the first serve really well. Any shot that I hit great, she hit a greater shot. Not a lot I can do.”

Venus disputed a suggestion that Serena, who went 1-2 in the summer hardcourts season before New York, had come into the tournament in “not such great form.”

“She just got to the Wimbledon final; I’m not sure where you’ve been,” Venus said. “She’s been in incredible form coming into the tournament. Obviously I hope she doesn’t play that well against me every time because I don’t think anyone has a chance.”

‘Every time she loses, I feel like I do.’

In an on-court interview with ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi, Serena Williams once again articulated the difficulties of facing her sister Venus on such a stage.

“It’s not easy,” she said. “She’s my best friend. She means the world to me, and she’s so supportive of my career and I’m extremely supportive of her career. Every time she loses, I feel like I do.”

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Addressing her injury scare early in the match, Williams said that she rolls her ankles often, but that she would have to “see how I feel tomorrow” to know how severe the damage done to her right ankle was this time.

Serena, who hit 34 winners to Venus’s 14, called the performance her best of the year as she has been working her way back from maternity leave.

“I played much better today than actually I have since I’ve come back to playing tennis,” she said. “This was my best match since I’ve returned. I’ve worked for it.”

Serena beats Venus, 6-1, 6-2

Serena Williams gave her sister no daylight as the night wore on, holding on for a 6-1, 6-2 victory in 1 hour 12 minutes.

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Serena Williams serving in her third-round match against her sister Venus at the U.S. Open.

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Ben Solomon for The New York Times

The crowd, often neutral in these Williams family intramurals, worked to will Venus into the match as it looked its bleakest, breaking out in a “Let’s go, Venus!” chant with Serena holding a commanding 6-1, 5-1 lead.

With Serena unrelenting, Venus dug out a hold for 2-5 in the second set with a 116 m.p.h. ace, but Serena served out the win in the next game.

It was the most lopsided of the 16 matches the two have played at the Grand Slam level. It equaled the most lopsided of their previous 29 matches, when Serena beat Venus, 6-1, 6-2, in Charleston, S.C., in 2013.

Serena will face Kaia Kanepi in the fourth round on Sunday.

Serena wins first set, 6-1

After getting a medical timeout at 2-1 in the first set, Serena broke Venus’s serve in the next game to take 3-1 lead. Serena broke Venus again two games later, a 16-point game that lasted about 10 minutes, and then served out the set at love, with two aces and another service winner.

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Serena Williams injures right ankle

Serena Williams rolled her right ankle in the second game of the match against her sister Venus. She was up 15-40, with two break points at the time. Venus ended up winning the game.

After holding her serve in the next game, Serena got a medical timeout to tape her ankle, causing a 10-minute break in the match.

Serena vs. Venus is underway

Serena Williams and Venus Williams walked onto the court at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Friday night about 50 minutes later than scheduled for their 30th meeting as professionals.

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Serena Williams before her third-round match against her sister Venus on Friday night.

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Ben Solomon for The New York Times

The match before theirs on Ashe — Rafael Nadal’s four-set win over Karen Khachanov — lasted nearly four and a half hours, delaying the start of the night session at Ashe Stadium.

This third-round match between the Williams sisters is their earliest meeting at a Grand Slam tournament since their first pro match against each other, in the second round of the 1998 Australian Open.

It is their 16th match at a major. Read about what happened in the previous 15 here.

Nadal outlasts Khachanov

Top-seeded Rafael Nadal wore a bright pink tank top for his third-round match against No. 27 Karen Khachanov, along with a generous amount of athletic tape on his balky right knee. Nadal was equal parts flash and dusty determination, a Ferrari equipped with a backhoe — and the crowd relished every second.

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Rafael Nadal defeated Karen Khachanov in the third round of the men’s singles at the U.S. Open.

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Ben Solomon for The New York Times

Nadal, a three-time U.S. Open champion, needed all the tools at his disposal to defeat Khachanov, 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (7), 7-6 (3), in a wildly entertaining match at Arthur Ashe Stadium that lasted 4 hours 23 minutes.

Khachanov, a 22-year-old Russian who has a wicked serve and a solid baseline game, gave Nadal everything he could handle, including a severe test in a third-set tiebreaker. Khachanov double-faulted three times during the tiebreaker, but still managed to stave off four set points. He was not quite as fortunate on the fifth, dumping a backhand into the net on the 39th shot of an extraordinary rally that left fans gasping for air. Nadal pumped his fist as he headed to his courtside chair.

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“I needed that set,” Nadal said in his postmatch on-court interview.

He had a chance to close out the match with a 5-4 lead in the fourth set, but had his serve broken by Khachanov. The set went to another tiebreaker, which Nadal dominated.

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On Sunday, Nadal will face Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia, who is in the fourth round of a Grand Slam event for the first time.

Anderson holds off Shapovalov

Kevin Anderson, the fifth seed and a finalist here last year, outlasted Denis Shapovalov, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, in a third-round match at Louis Armstrong Stadium.

Shapovalov, a 19-year-old Canadian and a crowd favorite, tested Anderson for five sets but could not crack the South African’s booming serve. Anderson put 71 percent of his first serves in play and won 75 percent of those points. He finished with 11 aces and had his serve broken just twice.

Anderson, who has had a terrific summer, highlighted by an appearance in the Wimbledon final, will face No. 9 Dominic Thiem in the fourth round.

Thiem gets by Fritz

Taylor Fritz, a 20-year-old American, pushed No. 9 Dominic Thiem on Friday afternoon in their third-round match — pushed him hard enough, in fact, that Thiem vented his frustration by demolishing one of his rackets early in the third set.

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Dominic Thiem had to overcome several deficits to defeat Taylor Fritz.

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Frank Franklin Ii/Associated Press

Armed with a new racket — one that he had not bashed to smithereens — Thiem bounced back to advance with a 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-4 victory on the Grandstand.

Fritz and Thiem were familiar opponents, having met in the second round here last year. Thiem won that match in four sets, too.

Fritz won the U.S. Open junior championship in 2015, but has been eager for a breakthrough on a bigger stage. He has yet to advance past the second round in the main draw at a Grand Slam event.

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Rain suspends play

The retractable roof at Louis Armstrong Stadium closed for a match for the first time around 4:30 p.m. Friday during the second set of the third-round tilt between Kevin Anderson and Denis Shapovalov.

The roof in Ashe Stadium had been closed briefly earlier in the day when a light rain fell, but play continued uninterrupted on other courts. But a late afternoon shower suspended play throughout the grounds and forced both stadiums to close their roofs.

Stephens dispatches Azarenka

In a meeting between a pair of hard-hitting baseliners with Grand Slam titles, Sloane Stephens defeated Victoria Azarenka, 6-3, 6-4, to advance to the fourth round.

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Sloane Stephens defeated Victoria Azarenka in two sets in the third round on Friday.

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Christian Hansen for The New York Times

With the losses of Simona Halep and Caroline Wozniacki, the No. 3 Stephens is the highest remaining seed in the women’s draw — and she earned her way through the third round with a solid win against Azarenka, who is still rounding into form after taking time away from the sport.

Azarenka, a two-time finalist here, was making her first appearance at the Open since the birth of her son in 2016.

Stephens, the defending champion, looked slightly vulnerable ahead of the match. She had needed three sets (and nearly three hours) to get past Anhelina Kalinina, a qualifier from Ukraine, in the second round. Azarenka figured to offer a stiffer test.

Sure enough, Azarenka broke Stephens’s serve to take a 4-3 lead in the second set. It began to sprinkle during the changeover, prompting a brief delay as tournament officials called for the retractable roof at Arthur Ashe Stadium to be closed. Both players retreated to the locker room. Stephens seemed to use the break to regroup.

“The man upstairs was looking out for me because I got in and changed my shirt and, yeah, I think it helped me out a lot,” Stephens said in an on-court interview after the match.

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In the fourth round on Sunday, Stephens will face 15th-seeded Elise Mertens of Belgium, who had not made it past the first round of the U.S. Open until this year. Mertens, 22, was a semifinalist at the Australian Open in January and has won three titles in 2018. She beat Stephens in the third round in Cincinnati two weeks ago.

Rain replaces heat

It is about 15 degrees cooler on Friday than it has been in recent days at the U.S. Open, and for the first time in the tournament, a light rain is falling. Play was briefly suspended in the match between Sloane Stephens and Victoria Azarenka in order to close the roof at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The new Louis Armstrong Stadium also has a retractable roof, but it has not yet been closed.

Stat to watch: average rally length

A new statistic being offered at the U.S. Open — average rally length — is peeling back a new layer of understanding about matches at Flushing Meadows.

For example, the No. 20 seed Naomi Osaka won her second-round match on Court 17 on Thursday, 6-2, 6-0, against Julia Glushko, with an average rally length of only 2.86 shots.

So that means, on average, the serve went in, the return went in, but a third shot in the court was not a guarantee.

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The rallies in Ashleigh Barty’s win over Lucie Safarova on Wednesday averaged fewer than three shots.

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Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Only three rallies out of 84 points in the match reached double digits, with the longest rally in the match being 11 shots.

In another second-round women’s match, Ekaterina Makarova defeated No. 9 seed, Julie Görges, 7-6 (10), 6-3. This was a highly competitive match, but the average rally length was just 2.55 shots in the court. There were 143 points in the match, and only three rallies reached double digits, with the longest being 10 shots.

No. 18 seed Ashleigh Barty defeated Lucie Safarova, 7-5, 6-3, in the second round, with the average rally length of 2.95 shots.

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There is romantic image that long rallies are the norm in tennis, but this new line item on the statistics sheet is clearing blowing that theory out of the water.

We typically associate short rallies much more with power servers like John Isner, whose average rally length was just 2.38 shots in his five-set, second-round victory over Nicolas Jarry on Wednesday.

But look how close the average is between Isner and the three women’s matches. It is within just one shot in the court. The stat sheet seems to be screaming that players should be practicing serves and returns more and groundstroke consistency less. CRAIG O’SHANNESSY

Umpire in Kyrgios match went ‘beyond protocol’

The U.S.T.A. reviewed Nick Kyrgios’s 4-6, 7-6 (6), 6-3, 6-0 victory over Pierre-Hugues Herbert on Thursday during which the chair umpire, Mohamed Lahyani, came down onto the court to talk to Kyrgios about his effort in the second set.

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Nick Kyrgios won his match against Pierre-Hugues Herbert on Thursday despite a a lackluster in the early sets.

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Rick Loomis for The New York Times

Lahyani appeared to tell Kyrgios, who seemed disinterested and was down, 0-3, in the second set at the time, “I want to help you” and “I’ve seen your matches; you’re great for the sport,” among other things. Kyrgios went on to win 19 of the next 25 games to take the match.

U.S. Open officials, including the tournament director, David Brewer, and the tournament referee, Brian Earley, announced Friday that Lahyani’s conduct “went beyond protocol.” But Lahyani will continue to work the tournament. He was advised to “adhere to proper protocols” moving forward.

Thursday’s highlights

• Caroline Wozniacki, the No. 2 seed in the women’s draw, was upset in the second round by Lesia Tsurenko.

• An odd conversation between Nick Kyrgios and a chair umpire was the talk of the tournament.

• Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Angelique Kerber and Maria Sharapova advanced to the third round.

Ben Rothenberg, Dan Gendler and Max Gendler contributed reporting.


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