Serena versus Venus is on its way
Serena Williams and Venus Williams walked to the court in Arthur Ashe Stadium about 50 minutes later than planned for their 30th meeting as a professional.
The match for Ashe's – Rafael Nadal's four-in-hand victory over Karen Khachanov – lasted almost four and a half hours and delayed the start of the night session at Ashe Stadium.
This third round match between the Williams sisters is their first encounter at a Grand Slam tournament since their first pro-game against each other, in the second round of the Australian Open in 1998.
It is their 16th game with a major. Read here what happened in the previous 15.
Nadal survives Khachanov
Top-placed 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 consisted of equal parts of flash and dusty determination, a Ferrari equipped with an excavator – and the crowd enjoyed every second.
Nadal, a triple US Open champion, needed all the means he had at his disposal to defeat Khachanov, 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (7), 7-6 (3), in a hugely entertaining match at Arthur Ashe Stadium that lasted 4 hours and 23 minutes.
Khachanov, a 22-year-old Russian who has a bad server and a solid baseline game, gave Nadal everything he could do, including a tough test in a tiebreak of the third set. Khachanov doubled three times during the tiebreak, but managed to avoid four set points. He was not so happy on the fifth and threw backhand into the net on the 39th photo of an extraordinary rally that caught the fans breathless. Nadal pumped his fist as he walked to his court chair.
"I needed that set," Nadal said in his interview with the judge after the game.
He had a chance to end the game with a 5-4 lead in the fourth set, but his serve was broken by Khachanov. The set went to another tiebreaker, which dominated Nadal.
On Sunday Nadal faces Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia, who participates for the first time in the fourth round of a Grand Slam event.
Anderson stops Shapovalov
Kevin Anderson, the fifth seed and a finalist here last year, surpassed Denis Shapovalov, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, in a third round contest at Louis Armstrong Stadium.
Shapovalov, a 19-year-old Canadian and an audience favorite, tested Anderson for five sets, but could not crack the booming server of the South African. Anderson put 71 percent of his first turn in the game and won 75 percent of those points. He ended with 11 aces and only had his serving broke twice.
Anderson, who has had a great summer, marked by a performance in the final of Wimbledon, will compete in the fourth round in the fourth round. 9 Dominic Thiem standing.
Thiem gets from Fritz
Taylor Fritz, a 20-year-old American, pushed No. 9 Dominic Thiem on Friday afternoon in their third round contest – pushed him hard enough, in fact, that Thiem discouraged his frustration by demolishing one of his rackets early in the third.
Armed with a new racket – one he had not smashed into smithereens – Thiem bounced back forward with a 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-4 victory in the stands.
Fritz and Thiem were familiar opponents, who had met each other in the second round last year. Thiem also won that match in four sets.
Fritz won the US Open junior championship in 2015, but was excited for a breakthrough on a bigger stage. He has to go even further than the second round in the main table during a Grand Slam event.
Rain suspends the game
The retractable roof at the Louis Armstrong Stadium closed for the first time around 16.30 in the morning. Friday during the second set of the third round tilt between Kevin Anderson and Denis Shapovalov.
The roof at Ashe Stadium was closed shortly earlier in the day when there was a light rain, but the game continued uninterrupted on other courses. But a shower suspended in the afternoon on the whole site and both stadiums forced to close their roofs.
Stephens sends Azarenka
In a meeting between a couple of hard-hitting baseliners with Grand Slam titles, Sloane Stephens defeated Victoria Azarenka, 6-3, 6-4, to advance to the fourth round.
With the losses of Simona Halep and Caroline Wozniacki, the No. 3 Stephens the highest remaining seed in the ladies draw – and she earned the third round with a solid victory against Azarenka, who still takes the form after taking away the time of the sport.
Azarenka, a twofold finalist here, was her first appearance at the Open since the birth of her son in 2016.
Stephens, the defending champion, seemed a bit vulnerable to the game. She needed three sets (and almost three hours) to get past Anhelina Kalinina, a qualification match from Ukraine, in the second round. Azarenka thought he could offer a stiffer test.
Sure enough, Azarenka broke the Stephens server to take a 4-3 lead in the second set. He began to sprinkle during the switch, causing a short delay when tournament directors called for closing the retractable roof at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Both players retreated to the locker room. Stephens seemed to use the break to regroup.
"The man above looked at me because I got on and changed my shirt and yes, I think it helped me a lot," Stephens said in an interview on the track after the game.
In the fourth round on Sunday, Stephens is faced with the 15th placed Elise Mertens from Belgium, who had not reached the first round of the American Open until the end of this year. Mertens, 22, was a semi-final at the Australian Open in January and won three titles in 2018. She defeated Stephens in the third round in Cincinnati two weeks ago.
Rain replaces heat
Friday is about 15 degrees colder than the last days at the American Open and for the first time in the tournament there is a light rain shower. The game was briefly suspended in the match between Sloane Stephens and Victoria Azarenka to close the roof at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The new Louis Armstrong Stadium also has a retractable roof, but it is not closed yet.
Stat to view: average rally length
A new statistic offered at the American Open – average rally – peels a new layer of understanding about matches at Flushing Meadows.
Naomi Osaka, for example, won her second round match at Court 17 on Thursday 6-2, 6-0, against Julia Glushko, with an average rally length of just 2.86 shots.
So that meant that the ministry entered on average, that the proceeds came in, but a third withdrawal in the court was no guarantee.
Only three rallies of the 84 points in the game reached double digits, with the longest rally in the race being 11 shots.
In a second women's competition in the second round, Ekaterina Makarova No. 9, Julie Görges, defeated 7-6 (10), 6-3. This was a very competitive match, but the average rally length was only 2.55 shots in court. There were 143 points in the game and only three rallies reached double digits, with the longest 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.
There is a romantic picture that long rallies are the norm in tennis, but this new line item on statistics is blowing away that theory from the water.
We usually associate short rallies with power-servers like John Isner, whose average rally length was only 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 competitions. It is within only one shot in court. The state magazine seems to be shouting that players should serve and give back more and consistency of the basis less. CRAIG O & # 39; SHANNESSY
Umpire in game Kyrgios went & # 39; beyond protocol & # 39;
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 referee, Mohamed Lahyani, came to court to meet Kyrgios talk about his effort in the second set.
Lahyani seemed to tell Kyrgios, who seemed uninterested and left 0-3 in the second set at that moment: "I want to help you" and "I've seen your matches, you're great for the sport," among other things. Kyrgios won 19 of the next 25 games to win the game.
American Open officials, including tournament director David Brewer and tournament leader Brian Earley, announced Friday that Lahyani's behavior "went beyond the protocol." But Lahyani continues to keep the tournament at work. He was advised to "keep to the correct protocols" ahead.
The storylines of Friday
• Venus versus Serena.
• Venus versus Serena.
• Venus versus Serena.
Other matches to watch
Karolina Muchova against Ashleigh Barty
Tribune, fourth game
One of the six Czech women in the third round, Muchova, 22, has her big break with a major. This is the first Grand Slam tournament for which she qualified and on Wednesday night she defeated the No. 12-seed, Garbiñe Muguruza, for her first win on a player in the top 100. Barty is a crafty player, who has spent her teen years touring doubles, and reaching all four big finals. If Muchova can keep the control over the net as she did in her first two matches, her story of the underdog could extend into the second week of play.
Juan Martín del Potro against Fernando Verdasco
Arthur Ashe Stadium, contest second night
Del Potro had an easy pair of early rounds, breezing past two American players, Donald Young and Denis Kudla, but Verdasco would have to offer much stiffer opposition. Verdasco's fast-paced baseline approach to the game can be difficult to solve on hard lanes, although his heavy topspin recordings can be perfect for the 6-foot-6 Del Potro. Both players have a famous powerful forehoek. Here is a taste of how that can look like:
Milos Raonic against Stan Wawrinka
Armstrong Stadium, 19:00
Raonic never went past the fourth round of the Open despite a game made to measure for hard court and heat. However, the weather will be cooler on Friday, which can slow down the balls a bit and give Wawrinka the time to finish in his powerful earthquakes. DAN GENDLER AND MAX GENDLER
The highlights of Thursday
• Caroline Wozniacki, the number 2 seed in the ladies draw, was upset in the second round by Lesia Tsurenko.
• A strange conversation between Nick Kyrgios and a chair referee was the conversation of the tournament.
• Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Angelique Kerber and Maria Sharapova moved to the third round.
Read the main story further