First set: *Gasparyan 1-4 Williams (*denotes next server)
Serena crushes her second ace of the night, a 109mph missile down the center, for 30-love. She’s won 10 of the 12 points on her racket so far. But Gasparyan gets her teeth into a couple rallies over the next few points and suddenly Williams is facing a break point. The American saves it with a forehand volley winner, then holds after hittitng a 97mph second-serve service winner and forced error by Gasparyan from the baseline.
First set: Gasparyan 1-3 Williams* (*denotes next server)
Gasparyan having trouble with her serve toss, but crowds Williams with a 103mph serve to the body that she can’t return in play. Williams wins two quick points to make things uncomfortable at 15-30, but Gasparyan holds from there to get on the board.
First set: *Gasparyan 0-3 Williams (*denotes next server)
Another stress-free service game for Williams, who caps the hold with a crisp backhand winner down the line. Gasparyan will need to show something and quickly or this one could be over in a hurry.
Williams breaks in second game of first set!
First set: Gasparyan 0-2 Williams* (*denotes next server)
Gasparyan appears bound for a comfortable hold of her own after quickly winning the first three points of her opening service game from the baseline. But she’s broken from 40-love after following a double fault with a flurry of unforced errors.
First set: *Gasparyan 0-1 Williams (*denotes next server)
Williams opens the match with a commanding service game, punctuating the love hold with a 104mph ace down the pipe. Promising start.
A steady rainfall has started right as the players finish their warm-ups. The decision to close the roof, which typically takes about seven minutes, is an easy one. All play on the outer courts, including four singles matches, has been suspended. The break comes moments after Britain’s Dan Evans saved two set points against France’s Corentin Moutet. The No 23 seed will serve at 6-4, 3-6, 5-6, Ad In when play resumes.
Good evening and welcome to Arthur Ashe Stadium for tonight’s prime-time twinbill. A pair of second-round matches are on the menu with Serena Williams facing Russia’s Margarita Gasparyan, followed by Andy Murray’s first career meeting with Félix Auger-Aliassime.
Some quick items from the day session to get you caught up:
- Britain’s Johanna Konta became the latest top seed to bow, coming from ahead in a 2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4 loss to Sorana Cirstea
- Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova, who is playing her first tournament since Wimbledon 2017 after taking a three-year break to have a son, reached the third round with a 7-5, 6-3 win over No 10 seed Garbiñe Muguruza
- Sloane Stephens, the 2017 US Open champion who entered this year’s tournament with a 1-7 record for the year, was dominant 6-2, 6-2 win over Olga Govortsova – and could face Serena in the third round
- No 25 seed Milos Raonic is out after a 6-7 (1), 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-3 loss to Canadian compatriot Vasek Pospisil
- Second-seeded Dominic Thiem earned a spot in the third round with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 win over India’s Sumit Nagal
Bryan will be here shortly. In the meantime, it’s safe to say that Kristina Mladenovic was not happy with conditions in Queens this week:
France’s Kristina Mladenovic complained of living a “nightmare” due to the Covid-19 health protocols at the US Open after suffering a spectacular meltdown to lose to Russian Varvava Gracheva in her second-round match.
Against an opponent ranked outside the top 100 and playing her first grand slam, Mladenovic looked set for a breezy win while serving at 6-1, 5-1 but things went downhill for her abruptly and she ended up losing 1-6, 7-6(2), 6-0.
Mladenovic was one of several athletes placed under an “enhanced protocol plan” for being in contact with compatriot Benoît Paire, who tested positive for the coronavirus and was withdrawn ahead of the grand slam.
“We’re living a nightmare here. I have only one desire and that is to regain my freedom,” the 44th-ranked Mladenovic said. “We have to fight to have our freedom and even that we don’t have yet.”
The United States Tennis Association’s protocols have meant that players in contact with Paire are being tested for Covid-19 every day rather than once in four days and are confined to hotel rooms.
Mladenovic, who along with partner Timea Babos are the top seeds for women’s doubles, earlier said she felt like being stuck inside a “bubble within a bubble”.
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