Martic beats Badosa as upsets continue at U.S. Open
Martic has advanced past the second round for the third time in the past four U.S. Opens
NEW YORK — Petra Martic recorded 10 aces and dominated the final two sets while notching a 6-7 (5), 6-1, 6-2 upset of fourth-seeded Paula Badosa on Thursday in the second round of the U.S. Open in New York.
Martic, from Croatia, saved all six of her break points and had a 35-30 edge in winners against Badosa. She also committed 19 unforced errors while the Spaniard had 31.
Martic has advanced past the second round for the third time in the past four U.S. Opens.
Badosa's loss means that three of the tournament's top four seeds — No. 2 Anett Kontaveit of Estonia, No. 3 Maria Sakkari of Greece and Badosa — were eliminated from the tournament in the second round. Also, defending champion Emma Raducanu of Great Britain and 2021 finalist Leylah Fernandez of Canada have been sent packing.
Martic will face 26th-seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus in the third round. Azarenka beat Ukraine's Marta Kostyuk 6-2, 6-3 on Thursday.
Kostyuk refused to shake hands after the match, just quickly tapping the racket of Azarenka. Belarus, a neighboring country of Ukraine, is supporting Russia's invasion and Kostyuk recently criticized Azarenka when the latter was preparing to participate in a Tennis Play for Peace Exhibition to benefit Ukraine.
Azarenka was dropped from the pre-U.S. Open event on Aug. 24 — the day of the benefit — but the tension between the two players remains heavy, particularly on Kostyuk's side.
Top-ranked Iga Swiatek of Poland wasn't in any danger of being upset as she posted a 6-3, 6-2 win over 2017 champion Sloane Stephens. Swiatek had a 14-7 edge in winners.
Swiatek will next face American Lauren Davis, who rallied for a 0-6, 6-4, 7-6 (5) triumph over 28th-seeded Ekaterina Alexandrova of Russia.
No. 6 seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus staved off two match points during a second-set tiebreaker before rallying for a 2-6, 7-6 (8), 6-4 win over Kaia Kanepi of Estonia. Sabalenka trailed 7-6 and 8-7 before winning the final three points of the tiebreaker. She also overcame 11 double faults and 41 unforced errors.
No. 8 seed Jessica Pegula knocked off Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus 6-4, 6-4. Pegula has reached the third round for the third consecutive year.
She will next face Chinese qualifier Yuan Yue, who beat Romania's Irina-Camelia Begu 6-3, 7-6 (6).
No. 9 seed Garbine Muguruza of Spain rolled to a 6-0, 6-4 victory over Czech qualifier Linda Fruhvirtova. She will next face Czech No. 21 Petra Kvitova, who advanced in a walkover when Anhelina Kalinina of Ukraine withdrew due to illness.
Switzerland's Belinda Bencic, seeded 13th, recovered from a deficit to post a 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 victory over Romania's Sorana Cirstea.
No. 19 seed Danielle Collins of the U.S. and No. 22 Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic won in straight sets. Jule Niemeier of Germany, Qinwen Zheng of China and France's Alize Cornet and Clara Burel also advanced.
Alcaraz stays hot, cruises to third round
Spanish teen Carlos Alcaraz had a 46-15 edge in winners on his way to handling Federico Coria of Argentina 6-2, 6-1, 7-5 on Thursday in second-round action at the U.S. Open in New York.
Alcaraz, the third seed, also hit four aces to Coria's none and saved 13 of 14 break points to cruise into a third-round match against American Jenson Brooksby.
The 19-year-old won his 46th match of the ATP season, tying Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece for the lead. He also could rise to No. 1 in the world rankings if he reaches the championship match, depending on other results.
Brooksby won a lengthy second-set tiebreaker to knock out No. 25 seed Borna Coric of Croatia 6-4, 7-6 (10), 6-1. Coric had come to New York off a title run at the Western & Southern Open last month.
Most other seeded players fared as well as Alcaraz. No. 7 seed Cameron Norrie of Great Britain eliminated Joao Sousa of Portugal 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (4). Russian ninth seed Andrey Rublev was a 6-3, 6-0, 6-4 winner over South Korea's Soonwoo Kwon.
No. 11 Jannik Sinner of Italy, No. 14 Diego Schwartzman of Argentina and No. 15 Marin Cilic of Croatia all won in straight sets as well.
Brandon Nakashima won two close sets en route to a 7-6 (5), 7-5, 6-3 upset of Bulgarian 17th seed Grigor Dimitrov. The 21-year-old American reached the third round of the U.S. Open for the first time by winning 56 of 70 first-service points and saving all of the five break points he faced.
Nakashima's third-round opponent will be Sinner, who beat American qualifier Christopher Eubanks 6-4, 7-6 (8), 6-2 thanks to Eubanks' 51 unforced errors.
Other winners Thursday included No. 19 Denis Shapovalov of Canada, No. 20 Daniel Evans of Great Britain and No. 26 Lorenzo Musetti of Italy. France's Richard Gasquet upset No. 32 Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.
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