The Latest: 2016 champ Kerber into US Open’s 3rd round
NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the U.S. Open tennis tournament (all times local):
Three-time major champion Angelique Kerber got through a second-round test at the U.S. Open, edging 82nd-ranked Johanna Larsson of Sweden 6-2, 5-7, 6-4.
Kerber moved ahead in a third set filled with lengthy baseline exchanges by breaking in the next-to-last game when Larsson double-faulted.
The No. 4-seeded Kerber won the U.S. Open in 2016. Her other Grand Slam trophies came at that year’s Australian Open and this year’s Wimbledon.
The Williams sisters will lead off the night session at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Friday with their third-round showdown at the U.S. Open.
It will be the 30th tour-level meeting between Venus and Serena, but the earliest at a Grand Slam since Venus won a second-round matchup at the 1998 Australian Open. That was the first time they played each other as pros.
Venus is the No. 16 seed, one spot above her younger sister. They have twice met in the U.S. Open final, trading victories in 2001 and 2002.
They will be followed on Ashe by 2009 champion Juan Martin del Potro against Spain’s Fernando Verdasco.
The Belarussians are coming.
Aliaksandra Sasnovich and Aryna Sabalenka have won second-round matches at the U.S. Open, continuing Belarus’ top performance in a major.
With former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka and Vera Lapko also winning their first matches at Flushing Meadows, Belarus had four players reach the second round of a Grand Slam for the first time.
Azarenka had already reached the third round and was joined by the 33rd-ranked Sasnovich, who upset No. 11 seed Daria Kasatkina 6-2, 7-6 (3), and No. 26 seed Sabalenka, who ousted Vera Zvonareva 6-3, 7-6 (7).
Azarenka faces defending champion Sloane Stephens in the third round Friday. Lapko was eliminated by 15th-seeded Elise Mertens on Wednesday.
The extreme heat policy is in effect for the third straight day at the U.S. Open.
A 10-minute break will be allowed between the second and third sets of women’s singles matches if either player requests one. For men’s singles matches, the break would come between the third and fourth sets.
U.S. Open officials began the policy, which is a rule on the women’s tour but not the men’s, on Tuesday, when temperatures first soared into the mid-90s. It was 86 degrees (30 Celsius) just before Thursday’s day session on Arthur Ashe Stadium was to begin.
The Open says the policy will remain until further notice.
The first two rounds of the U.S. Open have always been a breeze for Roger Federer.
Alexander Zverev is still trying to master them.
Federer tries to remain unbeaten in the first two rounds at Flushing Meadows, and Zverev finally tries to make the third round for the first time when both are in action Thursday.
Former champions Novak Djokovic and Maric Cilic also have second-round matches on the men’s side, and 2016 champ Angelique Kerber is among the women in action.
Federer, 17-0 in second-round matches, faces Frenchman Benoit Paire. The No. 2 Federer has won all six meetings, though Paire had two match points in their last matchup in June in Germany before the five-time U.S. Open champion won 9-7 in a third-set tiebreaker.
Zverev, the No. 4 seed, is in the U.S. Open for the fourth time. He faces another Frenchman, Nicolas Mahut.
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