NEW YORK, Sept 2 (Reuters) - Top seeds Rafa Nadal and Karolina Pliskova survived early wobbles to reach the fourth round of the U.S. Open on Saturday.
Two-time champion Nadal lost the first set but soon took control to record a 6-7(3) 6-3 6-1 6-4 victory over Argentine Leonardo Mayer on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The 31-year-old Spaniard will meet Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov for a place in the quarter-finals.
Nadal plans to attack Dolgopolov, who has been impressive so far at Flushing Meadows, beating 15th seed Tomas Berdych and Serbia’s Viktor Troicki in the previous rounds.
“I need to play aggressive. I need to feel that when I’m hitting the forehand, he’s not able to take advantage on the point. That’s going to be my goal,” said Nadal.
“You need matches like this. Now I have the opportunity to compete again, to try to do it well.”
Pliskova, a runner-up last year, moved another step closer to a first grand slam title with a 3-6 7-5 6-4 comeback win over China’s Zhang Shuai.
French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko was eliminated by Russian Daria Kasatkina 6-3 6-2, bowing out in a hail of 38 unforced errors at the Louis Armstrong Stadium.
Ostapenko, seeded 12th, later complained of nausea and illness during the match.
After two marathon five-set encounters, Roger Federer’s bid for a sixth U.S. Open title was back on track with an impressive 6-3 6-3 7-5 victory over Spaniard Feliciano Lopez.
Federer will next face German Philipp Kohlschreiber, who has not beaten the Swiss in their previous 11 meetings.
Juan Martin del Potro, the 2009 winner, reached the second week without dropping a set, following a clinical 6-3 6-3 6-4 win over 11th seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut.
Standing between Del Potro and a return to the quarter-finals is sixth seed Dominic Thiem.
Highlights from day six of the U.S. Open tennis championships on Saturday (all times GMT):
- American 15th seed Madison Keys came back from a set down to record a 2-6 6-4 6-1 victory third-round victory over Russian Elena Vesnina.
After two marathons Federer sprints into fourth round
Fifteen grand slams under his belt, Nadal still feels the nerves
Five things to watch out for on Day 7 of the U.S. Open
Elder Zverev volleying his way to the big time
U.S. Open order of play on Sunday
Del Potro rekindling Big Apple love affair
Monfils injured yet again as he loses to Goffin in New York
Pressure is world number one Pliskova’s biggest foe
No relief for Osaka in post-match news conference
Wasteful French Open champion Ostapenko out of U.S. Open
Thiem marches on quietly at U.S. Open
World number one Pliskova survives scare to advance at U.S. Open
New wave led by Shapovalov setting the beat at U.S. Open
- Five-time champion Roger Federer recorded a 6-3 6-3 7-5 third-round victory over Spain’s Feliciano Lopez.
- Third seed Federer’s fourth round opponent is German Philipp Kohlschreiber, who has failed to beat the Swiss in their previous 11 meetings.
- World number one Rafa Nadal overcame a slow start to beat Argentine Leonardo Mayer 6-7(3) 6-3 6-1 6-4 and will meet unseeded Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov in the fourth round.
- Mayer, who was a lucky loser, won the first set via a tiebreak, but Nadal found his forehand in the second and never looked back.
- Russian Andrey Rublev will meet men’s ninth seed David Goffin in round four after beating Bosnia’s Damir Dzumhur 6-4 6-4 5-7 6-4.
- Fourth seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine put in a clinical performance as she beat unseeded American Shelby Rogers 6-4 7-5 in the third round.
- Svitolina, who is in the fourth round of the U.S. Open for the first time, could meet either 17th-seeded Russian Elena Vesnina or 15th seed Madison Keys of the United States next.
2100 VANDEWEGHE DOWNS RADWANSKA IN THREE-SET THRILLER
- American CoCo Vandeweghe, the women’s 20th seed, served-and-volleyed her way into round four in an epic encounter lasting just under three hours against 10th-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, winning 7-5 4-6 6-4.
- Vandeweghe, who won 32 of 49 points at the net and hit 49 winners, faces Czech Lucie Safarova next.
- Belgian ninth-seed David Goffin advanced to the fourth round after his third-round opponent, Frenchman Gael Monfils, the 18th seed, retired with an injury to his right knee.
- Goffin, who reached the fourth round of the U.S. Open for the first time, was leading 7-5 5-1 when Monfils quit.
- American Jennifer Brady fought past Romanian Monica Niculescu 6-3 4-6 7-6(3) and will meet top seed Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic in the fourth round.
- Brady served six aces and hit 46 winners, but will need to improve on her 52 unforced errors if she is to give herself a chance of reaching the quarter-finals at the expense of world number one Pliskova.
- Argentine Juan Martin del Potro, the men’s 24th seed, beat 11th-seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut 6-3 6-3 6-4 to enter the fourth round.
- Del Potro faces sixth-seeded Austrian Dominic Thiem next.
1900 OUT-OF-SORTS OSTAPENKO EXITS IN ROUND THREE
- Unseeded Russian Daria Kasatkina beat French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko 6-3 6-2 in round three.
- Ostapenko complained of nausea and illness during the match and struggled to hit her stride, making 38 unforced errors compared to her opponent’s 13.
- Kaia Kanepi of Estonia beat Japanese youngster Naomi Osaka 6-3 2-6 7-5 to reach the fourth round.
- The 32-year-old, who is making a comeback after a long spell out due to illness and injury, will play Russian Kasatkina next.
- World number one Karolina Pliskova came back from the brink of defeat to beat China’s Zhang Shuai 3-6 7-5 6-4 and progress to the fourth round.
- Zhang served for the match point during the second set but Pliskova held on and mounted a comeback to grab the win.
- Last year’s U.S. Open runner-up Pliskova will face either American Jennifer Brady or Romanian Monica Niculescu in the fourth round.
- German Philipp Kohlschreiber beat Australia John Millman 7-5 6-2 6-4 to move into the fourth round for the fourth time in six years.
- Sixth-seeded Austrian Dominic Thiem beat Adrian Mannarino of France 7-5 6-3 6-4 to seal a fourth-round spot.
- The 23-year-old has progressed to the fourth round in his last five grand slams, starting with the 2016 U.S. Open, but has progressed past that stage only once, reaching the semi-finals of the French Open.
- The world number eight will next face either Roberto Bautista Agut or Juan Martin del Potro.
- Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov beat Serbian Victor Troicki 6-1 6-0 6-4 to advance to the fourth round.
- This will be Dolgopolov’s first appearance in the fourth round of a grand slam since 2011, when he reached the last 32 at the U.S. Open and the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.
- Czech Republic’s Lucie Safarova reached the fourth round of the U.S. Open for the second time in four years with a 6-3 6-2 win over Japan’s Kurumi Nara.
- World number one Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic starts the action against China’s 27th-seeded Zhang Shuai in their third-round match at the Arthur Ashe stadium.
- Top-seeded Spaniard Rafael Nadal faces Argentina’s Leonardo Mayer and Swiss third seed Roger Federer plays Spain’s Feliciano Lopez at the main showcourt later on a cloudy Saturday.
- Sixth-seeded Austrian Dominic Thiem takes on Frenchman Adrian Mannarino at the Louis Armstrong Stadium followed by women’s 12th-seed Jelena Ostapenko’s clash with Russian Daria Kasatkina. (Compiled by Hardik Vyas, Aditi Prakash and Simon Jennings in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond/Gene Cherry)