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Williams retirement on hold after win over Kontaveit

Next up for Williams is a third-round matchup with Australian Ajla Tomljanovic

Tennis: US OPEN
Serena Williams (right) shakes hands with Anett Kontaveit after their match on day three of the 2022 U.S. Open tennis tournament Aug. 31 at USTA Billie Jean King Tennis Center.
Geoff Burke / USA Today Sports
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NEW YORK — Playing more like a world number one than a player ranked outside the top 600, Serena Williams turned back the clock on Wednesday to stun world No. 2 Anett Kontaveit 7-6(4) 2-6 6-2 and move into the third round of the U.S. Open, putting her retirement plans on pause. Defeat has always been hard to swallow for the fiercely competitive Williams and the 40-year-old American's relentless will to win was on full display during an absorbing two-hour, 27-minute contest of unexpected high-quality, breathless intensity and drama.

Williams had signaled her intention to retire earlier this month, saying she was "evolving away from tennis" but never confirming the U.S. Open as her final event.

But any farewell has now been put on hold with Williams back on center court on Thursday for a doubles match with older sister Venus, followed by a third round clash with Australian Ajla Tomljanovic who was a 1-6 6-2 7-5 winner over Russia's Evgeniya Rodina.

Murray bounces back

Tennis: US OPEN
Andy Murray of Great Britain hits to Emelio Nava of the USA on day three of the 2022 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
Robert Deutsch / USA Today Sports

Andy Murray stormed back from a first-set loss to defeat American wild card Emilio Nava 5-7, 6-3, 6-1, 6-0 on Wednesday in the second round of the U.S. Open in New York.

Murray finished with just 22 winners compared to Nava's 33, but made good on 46 of 58 first service points (79.3 percent) to mount the comeback. The Briton won 14 of the last 15 games, sending him to the third round of the event for the first time since 2016.

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With the win, Murray will face No. 13 seed Matteo Berretini of Italy, who toppled French lucky loser Hugo Grenier 2-6, 6-1, 7-6(4), 7-6 (7) in his second-round matchup.

Another lucky loser hailing from France, Corentin Moutet, provided the only upset of the first slate of Wednesday's matches with a 6-4, 1-6, 6-2, 6-4 win over 21st-seeded Botic van de Zandschulp of the Netherlands.

No. 5 seed Casper Ruud of Norway and No. 12 seed Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain both dug themselves out of early holes to prevent upsets. Ruud bested Tim van Rijthoven of the Netherlands 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-4, 6-4, and Carreno Busta edged Kazakhstan's Alexander Bublik 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (5).

American wild card J.J. Wolf also overcame a deficit, recovering from an early setback to beat Chilean Alejandro Tabilo 4-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-3.

In other action, Australian No. 18 seed Alex de Minaur got past Cristian Garin of Chile with a 6-3, 6-0, 4-6, 6-2 win. Fellow Australian 23rd seed Nick Kyrgios also won, picking up a 7-6 (3), 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 victory against Frenchman Benjamin Bonzi.

An all-American matchup saw No. 29 seed Tommy Paul prevail in five sets over Sebastian Korda, and Colombian qualifier Daniel Elahi Galan did the same against Jordan Thompson of Australia.

Wang eliminates Sakkari in upset

Tennis: US OPEN
Xiyu Wang of China celebrates after match point against Maria Sakkari on day three of the 2022 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King Tennis Center.
Geoff Burke / USA Today Sports

China's Wang Xiyu delivered a big upset on Wednesday by dispatching third-seeded Maria Sakkari 3-6, 7-5, 7-5 in the second round of the U.S. Open in New York.

Sakkari was a U.S. Open semifinalist last year but struggled to find her groove against Wang while experiencing a dreadful setback.

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The Greek also said she has struggled mentally since rising up the rankings and didn't want to leave her bed some days.

The victory was the 75th-ranked Wang's first over a top-10 player. The 21-year-old will face 29th-seeded Alison Riske-Amritraj in the third round after the American produced a 6-4, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (5) over Colombia's Camila Osorio.

Wang overcame 12 double faults to dispose of Sakkari. Both players hit 35 winners and were close in unforced errors -- Sakkari had 36, Wang 35.

Americans Madison Keys and Coco Gauff will be squaring off in a third-round tussle after their respective wins on Wednesday.

The 20th-seeded Keys had to rally in the final set to post a 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (6) win over Italy's Camili Giorgi, while the 12th-seeded Gauff beat Romania's Elena-Gabriela Ruse 6-2, 7-6 (4).

Keys trailed 5-2 in the third set before winning four of the next five games to force the tiebreak.

Keys had an 8-0 edge in aces. She had 30 winners and 38 unforced errors, while Giorgi had a whopping 47 unforced errors against 18 winners.

Gauff had six aces while knocking off Ruse. She had 19 winners and 25 unforced errors, while Ruse had 16 winners and 33 unforced errors.

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Fifth-seeded Ons Jabeur of Tunisia cruised to a 7-5, 6-2 win over American Elizabeth Mandlik. Mandlik is the daughter of 1985 U.S. Open champion Hana Mandlikova.

Jabeur will next face 31st-seeded Shelby Rogers, who beat Slovakia's Viktoria Kuzmova 7-5, 6-1.

Russia's Veronika Kudermetova, seeded 18th, was a 6-2, 6-3 winner over Belgium's Maryna Zanevska, while 28th-seeded Ekaternia Alexandrova of Russia outlasted Peyton Stearns of the United States 6-4, 4-6, 7-5.

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