World No. 1 and tournament favorite Novak Djokovic showed he is rounding into tournament form on Saturday in third-round play at the US Open, needing only 15 minutes to jump out to a 5-0 lead en route to a quick 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 win over unseeded American Sam Querrey.
“Peaking at the right time, at the right tournament,” Djokovic said afterwards. “This is where I want to play my best tennis. I haven’t done as well as I wanted in lead-up tournaments, Toronto and Cincinnati. I didn’t know how emotionally drained I was in a way until I played Tsonga in Canada.”
In the fourth round Djokovic will meet Philipp Kohlschreiber, who won an amazing three tiebreaks against John Isner in a 7-6(4), 4-6, 7-6(2), 7-6(4) win.
Other Top 10-seeded players into the fourth round were No. 3 Stan Wawrinka receiving a walkover against an injured Blaz Kavcic; No. 5 Milos Raonic in a tight one over Dominican Victor Estrella 7-6(5), 7-6(5), 7-6(3); No. 8 Andy Murray in four over Russian Andrey Kuznetsov 6-1, 7-5, 4-6, 6-2; No. 9 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga straight-setting Spain’s Pablo Carreno 6-4, 6-4, 6-4; and No. 10 Kei Nishikori likewise topping No. 23 Leonardo Mayer 6-4, 6-2, 6-3.
“The other day on Monday was not a great experience,” Murray said. “That’s hard to put out of your mind. But I’ve also had matches like that on Ashe and on the Grandstand court as well since I’ve been here. Today I wouldn’t say was tricky, but maybe for you watching maybe it was. It didn’t feel that way to me.”
In the final night match, No. 16 seed Tommy Robredo brought the rumors of Nick Kyrgios’ fitness doubts into the light, wearing out the 19-year-old Aussie 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-3.
“Obviously the last two Grand Slams have been really, really good for me,” said Kyrgios. “I’m going to remember every moment. Gives me so much confidence, so many things that I can work on. It’s more excitement for me, knowing I’m only going to get better, especially if I just keep working hard.
“I think I just got to get better physically. I thought from a tennis standpoint I was playing really well. I think the main thing is just getting stronger, having the ability to keep that level up that I was playing in the first set. Having that opportunity to play someone like Tommy on Arthur Ashe is an awesome experience and I enjoyed every moment of it.”
On the women’s side, thought to have regained her form entering the US Open, former Wimbledon champ and No. 3 seed Petra Kvitova was shocked on Saturday in third round play 6-4, 6-4 by Serbian qualifier Aleksandra Krunic.
“It was an honor for me to be on the same court with Petra,” said the qualifier who had never beaten a Top 70 player, and ended Kvitova’s chance to surpass Serena Williams at No. 1. “She’s a great champion and I watched both of her finals at Wimbledon. To play against such a champion meant I had to give my all on the court and be here as long as possible.”
Another upset maker was Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi who manhandled No. 15 seed Carla Suarez Navarro 7-5, 6-0.
World No. 1 Serena Williams led the seeded winners, not looking entirely comfortable, frequently breaking into her about-to-cry face in a 6-3, 6-3 in over American countrywoman Varvara Lepchenko.
Williams will next meet Kanepi in the fourth round.
In the final night match, Eugenie Bouchard defeated Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 6-2, 6-7(2), 6-4.
Other seeded winners into the fourth round were No. 11 Flavia Pennetta rolling American wildcard Nicole Gibbs 6-4, 6-0; No. 16 Victoria Azarenka pounding Russian Elena Vesnina 6-1, 6-1; No. 17 Ekaterina Makarova over Zarina Diyas 6-2, 6-4; and No. 29 Casey Dellacqua outlasting Czech Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.
Highlights to look for on Sunday include (5) Maria Sharapova vs. (10) Caroline Wozniacki, (13) Sara Errani vs. comeback player Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, (2) Roger Federer vs. Marcel Granollers, Swiss teen Belinda Bencic vs. (9) Jelena Jankovic, (7) Grigor Dimitrov vs. the crafty David Goffin, (26) Gilles Simon vs. (4) David Ferrer, and (20) Gael Monfils vs. (12) Richard Gasquet in an all-French match-up.
SUNDAY US OPEN SCHEDULE
Arthur Ashe Stadium 11:00am Start Time
Sara Errani (ITA) vs. Mirjana Lucic-Baroni (CRO)
Maria Sharapova (RUS) vs. Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)
Marcel Granollers (ESP) vs. Roger Federer (SUI)
Arthur Ashe Stadium 7:00pm Start Time
Belinda Bencic (SUI) vs. Jelena Jankovic (SRB)
Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) vs. David Goffin (BEL)
Louis Armstrong Stadium 11:00am Start Time
Gilles Simon (FRA) vs. David Ferrer (ESP)
Not Before: 12:00pm
Venus Williams (USA) vs. Garbine Muguruza (ESP)
Serena Williams (USA) Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP)
Tomas Berdych (CZE) vs. Teymuraz Gabashvili (RUS)
Not Before: 5:00pm
Gael Monfils (FRA) vs. Richard Gasquet (FRA)
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