Tuesday, Nov 29, 2022

US Open 2016, Day 5: Novak Djokovic gets another walkover

Novak Djokovic, defending champion and world number one, moved into the fourth round of US Open for 10th consecutive year.

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Novak Djokovic got another free pass at the U.S. Open, advancing when his third-round opponent, Mikhail Youzhny, stopped because of injury after only six games. This came Friday, two days after the man defending champion Djokovic was supposed to play in the second round, Jiri Vesely, withdrew a couple of hours before that match because of inflammation in his left forearm.

Youzhny quit after only 31 minutes while trailing Djokovic 4-2. Earlier, Youzhny received treatment from a trainer for what appeared to be a back problem. The No. 1-seeded Djokovic moved into the fourth round at Flushing Meadows for the 10th consecutive year.

American Jack Sock eliminated 2014 U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic to reach the fourth round at Flushing Meadows for the first time. The 26th-seeded Sock won 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 on Friday, taking all 14 of his service games and never facing so much as one break point. And he handled the Croatian’s big serve just fine, breaking the No. 7-seeded Cilic on four occasions. The 23-year-old Sock’s only previous trip to the second week of a Grand Slam tournament came when he got to the fourth round of the 2015 French Open. Sock is now 2-0 against Cilic, having come back from two sets down to win their Davis Cup match this year.

Eighth-seeded American Madison Keys rallied from down two breaks in the third set for another great escape at the U.S. Open. Japanese teenager Naomi Osaka twice served for the match Friday, but Keys got the break both times and went on to win in a third-set tiebreaker 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (3). The 18-year-old Osaka was wiping away tears on court after she lost her fourth straight game to allow Keys to even the third set at 5-5.

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In the first round against 60th-ranked Alison Riske, Keys came back from down a set and a break to win in 2 hours, 26 minutes. Riske had two points on her serve at 5-4 in a second-set tiebreaker to try to close out the match. The 81st-ranked Osaka was playing in just her third Grand Slam tournament and first U.S. Open, but she made it to the third round at both the Australian and French Opens this year.

Asked on court if this was the best comeback of her career, Keys said: “For sure. Hands down.”

(AP)

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