Serena Williams easily into US Open 4th Rd




NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the U.S Open tennis tournament (all times local):

3:45 p.m.

Serena Williams used a seven-game run midway through the match to grab control and moved into the U.S. Open’s fourth round for the 18th consecutive appearance with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Karolina Muchova.

Williams had a bit of shakiness with her serve, double-faulting seven times.

Otherwise, she played well, and went from trailing 3-2 at the outset to grabbing the opening set and a 3-0 lead in the second.

Williams is seeking a seventh title at Flushing Meadows and the 24th Grand Slam singles trophy of her career.

On Sunday, she will face 22nd-seeded Petra Martic of Croatia for a quarterfinal berth.

3:25 p.m.

Second-seeded Ash Barty advanced to the round of 16 at the U.S. Open with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Maria Sakkari.

Barty, the reigning French Open champ who faced tough tests in her first two rounds, employed a steady baseline game and took advantage of 39 unforced errors from the 29th-ranked Sakkari.

This is the second year in a row Barty has advanced to the final 16. She next faces the winner of the match later Friday between 18th-seeded Qiang Wang and Fiona Ferro.

2:30 p.m.

Add Kei Nishikori to the list of men’s seeds to fall at the U.S. Open.

Nishikori, the No. 7 seed and 2014 finalist at Flushing Meadows, lost to 38th-ranked Alex de Minaur 6-2, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 in the third round, leaving less than half of the top 12 men still in action. Other seeds to lose earlier in the tournament included No. 4 Dominic Thiem, No. 8 Stefanos Tsitsipas, No. 9 Karen Khachanov and No. 10 Roberto Bautista Agut.

De Minaur, a 20-year-old Australian who has won two tour events this year, including last month’s hard court tuneup in Atlanta, outlasted Nishikori from the baseline and took advantage of his opponent’s 60 unforced errors.

Next up in the round of 16, De Minaur faces the winner of the match later Friday between Grigor Dimitrov and Kamil Majchrzak.

2 p.m.

Coco Gauff isn’t the only teenager making big news at the U.S. Open.

Martin Damm, 15, and 16-year-old Toby Kodat teamed up for a victory that made them the youngest team to win a men’s doubles match at the U.S. Open in the professional era.

Damm and Kodat, the USTA Boys’ 18s national champions who received a wild card into the men’s doubles draw, beat fellow Americans Mitchell Krueger and Tim Smyczek 7-6 (6), 7-5 on Thursday.

The U.S. Tennis Association says the only men’s doubles team with a combined younger age to play at the U.S. Open in the Open era, which dates to 1968, is when 16-year-old John McEnroe teamed with 15-year-old Larry Gottfried in 1975. They got a walkover in the first round and lost in the second round.

Damm and Kodat face Germans Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies, the No. 12 seed, in the second round.

1:50 p.m.

Roger Federer won in straight sets for the first time in this year’s U.S. Open, downing Daniel Evans 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 to advance to the round of 16.

Federer, the No. 3 seed and five-time champion at Flushing Meadows, dropped the first set in his previous two rounds but that was not an issue against the 58th-ranked Evans. Federer blasted 48 winners and served up 10 aces en route to the victory, his 18th straight third-round win at the Open.

Next up for Federer is the winner of the match later Friday between 15th-seeded David Goffin and Pablo Carreno Busta.

1:25 p.m.

Third-seeded Karolina Pliskova overcame her emotions and an inspired opponent to advance to the U.S. Open round of 16, downing Ons Jabeur 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.

Pliskova, a former No. 1 who reached the final at Flushing Meadows in 2016, won despite looking out of synch for much of the match. After Jabeur took treatment on her right knee at the end of the first set and began winning in the second, Pliskova smashed her racket in frustration, earning a warning from the chair umpire.

But Pliskova relied on a strong serve game to get it back on track. And Jabeur, a Tunisian who had been seeking to become the first Arab woman to reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam tournament, faltered down the stretch. Though she cracked 49 winners, she also had 43 unforced errors, 17 of them in the final set.

Next up for Pliskova is the winner of the match later Friday between No. 16 Johanna Konta and No. 33 Zhang Shuai.

11:30 a.m.

Play has begun at the U.S. Open, with third-seeded Karolina Pliskova and seventh-seeded Kei Nishikori taking the courts under sunny skies and no rain in the forecast.

Pliskova’s third-round match against Ons Jabeur and Nishikori’s against Alex de Minaur kick off a dayside slate. Other day matches include third-seeded Roger Federer in Arthur Ashe Stadium against Daniel Evans, followed by No. 8 Serena Williams against Karolina Muchova.

At night, top-seeded Novak Djokovic continues his title defense against American Denis Kudla.

Because rain postponements this week forced a packed makeup schedule, 11 men and 11 women are playing back-to-back matches Thursday and Friday.

10 a.m.

Roger Federer is looking for a fast start. Novak Djokovic wants a quick heal.

The former champions will be in action Friday for their third-round matches at the U.S. Open.

Federer has dropped the opening set in his first two matches for the first time in his 19 appearances in Flushing Meadows. No man has done that and gone on to win the tournament, so the five-time champion has history against him as he seeks a 21st Grand Slam title, which would extend his men’s record.

The No. 3 seed plays Daniel Evans in the opening match on Arthur Ashe Stadium, and Serena Williams follows. Djokovic faces Denis Kudla at night, hoping the sore left shoulder that required treatment in the second round is better as he continues his title defense.

More AP tennis: https://apnews.com/apf-Tennis and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

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