Williams, Querrey, Stephens
advance at US Open
Arthur Kapetanakis | September 1, 2017
It was another strong showing from the Americans on Day 5, with Venus Williams, Sam Querrey, and Sloane Stephens all moving on in front of vocal support from the hometown crowds in New York.
On the day her sister gave birth to a baby girl in West Palm Beach, Venus Williams was hard at work in Flushing Meadows. The American legend closed out the day session in Arthur Ashe Stadium with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Maria Sakkari of Greece.
She showed her championship pedigree by securing a comfortable victory despite performing below her usual standards. The new aunt overcame 24 unforced errors (to just 10 winners) and eight double faults to advance to the fourth round, where she will face Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain.
Williams was satisfied with the victory, and she will look to peak as the second week of the tournament starts. ADVERTISEMENT
"A win is a win," she said. "Whatever happens in the win, it gives you the opportunity to play again the next day."
Sam Querrey found himself in some early trouble in Louis Armstrong Stadium, as he was a set down just 29 minutes into his third round match with Moldovan qualifier Radu Albot. It was the first set the 6-foot-6 American dropped in the tournament, but the No. 17 seed responded brilliantly, racing through an easy second set to wrestle back control.
He fired 19 aces to go with 49 winners in the match, and faced only one break point after the first set to confidently close out the victory, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-4.
In the wide open bottom half of the men's draw, Querrey is the only remaining player who has reached a Grand Slam semifinal. Refusing to take comfort in that fact, Querrey would only say that "it's just a good opportunity for everyone."
Next up for Querrey is Mischa Zverev in the round of 16. Zverev took out John Isner in the night session opener in Arthur Ashe Stadium to prevent an all-American matchup. Isner, who required a medical timeout late in the second set for an apparent neck injury, was not able to produce his best tennis as he went down, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6.
Sloane Stephens made it two American women in the last 16, breaking serve six times to take out Australian Ashleigh Barty, 6-2, 6-4, in Louis Armstrong Stadium. By advancing to the fourth round, the 24-year-old matches her career-best US Open result from 2014 and gets beyond the third round at a major for the first time since 2015.
"Really excited to be here," she beamed. "Especially at a home Slam. I mean, nothing's really better."
Stephens will need to keep returning at a high level to beat a strong-serving and in-form Julia Goerges in the last 16 and reach her first US Open quarterfinal.
For the nightcap in Arthur AsheStadium, 18-year-old Sofia Kenin competed fiercely as a heavy underdog against Maria Sharapova, putting a scare into the 2016 champion before falling, 7-5, 6-2.
In doubles action, the American duo of Taylor Fritz and Reilly Opelka battled past Max Mirnyi and Marcin Matkowski, 7-6, 6-4, on Court 11. The pair served 18 combined aces and were never broken in the match, saving all five break points they faced in the straight-sets triumph.
Day 6 will see four more American women in third-round singles action: No. 15 Madison Keys, No. 20 CoCo Vandewehe, Jennifer Brady and Shelby Rogers. The Bryan brothers will also be on court in an action-packed middle Saturday, as the American contingent looks to continue their success at the 2017 US Open.