Aug 29 (Reuters) - Defending champion Novak Djokovic fought through the pain of a nagging shoulder problem to beat Argentine Juan Ignacio Londero and reach the third round of the U.S. Open on Wednesday.
The world number one had work done on the troublesome left shoulder during his pre-match warmup inside Arthur Ashe Stadium and needed treatment throughout the contest as he struggled with his serve and backhand before prevailing 6-4 7-6(3) 6-1.
Five-times winner Roger Federer began slowly for the second straight match but proved too strong for Bosnian Damir Dzumhur, winning 3-6 6-2 6-3 6-4 to set up a meeting with Lucas Pouille or Dan Evans for a place in the round of 16.
Serena Williams survived a scare against American 17-year-old Catherine McNally before powering past the wildcard 5-7 6-3 6-1 to keep alive hopes of a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam.
On a rain-hit day in which tournament organisers cancelled all matches on the outdoor courts, French Open winner Ash Barty beat American Lauren Davis 6-2 7-6(2) while fifth seed Elina Svitolina knocked out Venus Williams with a 6-4 6-4 win.
Karolina Pliskova, the 2016 finalist who is still chasing her maiden Grand Slam title, put on a serving masterclass to outclass Georgia’s Mariam Bolkvadze 6-1 6-4.
Highlights of the third day at the U.S. Open, the final Grand Slam tournament of the year, on Wednesday (times GMT):
0407 SERENA SURVIVES SECOND-ROUND SCARE
Six-times winner Serena Williams lost a tight first set against fellow American Catherine McNally before blasting past the 17-year-old wildcard 5-7 6-3 6-1 at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Serena fired 10 aces and 31 winners en route to the victory.
Serena survives scare to reach U.S. Open third round
Djokovic overcomes shoulder woes to reach second round
Barty battles past Davis into third round of U.S. Open
Nadal, holder Osaka continue U.S. Open bids on Day Four
Svitolina wears down Venus to reach U.S. Open third round
Keys sails through to U.S. Open third round
Federer finishes strong to see off Dzumhur
Nishikori fends off spirited Klahn to advance
Pliskova overpowers Bolkvadze under the roof
Coric withdraws from U.S. Open with back strain
Kyrgios faces investigation after accusing ATP of being corrupt
Tanks for nothing: Kyrgios should be defaulted on spot, says Wilander
Rain delays start of some Day Three matches
U.S. Open order of play on Thursday
Defending champion Novak Djokovic shook off a left shoulder problem to get past Argentine Juan Ignacio Londero 6-4 7-6(3) 6-1. He takes on fellow Serbian Dusan Lajovic or American Denis Kudla in the next round.
Second seed Ash Barty fought off a late comeback from American Lauren Davis to win her second round match 6-2 7-6(2).
The rain has returned and organisers announced that all matches on the outdoor courts have been cancelled for the day.
American Madison Keys, who lost the 2017 final to Sloane Stephens, beat China’s Zhu Lin 6-4 6-1 in a one-sided second- round clash under the closed roof of the Louis Armstrong Stadium.
Keys, the 10th seed, fired 30 winners and three aces as she dominated Zhu from the back of the court.
Play resumed on some of the outdoor courts with several still being dried after a long rain delay.
Australian Alex de Minaur’s second-round match against Cristian Garin of Chile has started on Court 5, while France’s Kristina Mladenovic is out on Court 10 for her match against compatriot Fiona Ferro.
Elina Svitolina overcame a bout of the jitters to beat Venus Williams 6-4 6-4 at Louis Armstrong Stadium.
Williams, 39, saved five match points against the Ukrainian fifth seed, but was ultimately undone by her tally of 46 unforced errors and seven double faults despite hitting twice as many winners as her opponent.
Third seed Roger Federer made his second slow start in as many matches, losing the opening set before roaring back to beat Bosnia’s Damir Dzumhur 3-6 6-2 6-3 6-4 and advance to the third round.
The Swiss maestro sent down 16 aces and 58 winners but also made an uncharacteristically high 45 unforced errors, 17 of which came in the first set.
Croatian world number 12 Borna Coric was forced to withdraw from the Grand Slam due to a lower back strain, giving Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov a walkover to the third round.
“The last couple of months were really tough because of the injury I had,” Coric said on Twitter. “It is never easy to withdraw... but at this moment, my body is telling me to stop and assess the situation.”
Kei Nishikori survived an onslaught from unseeded American Bradley Klahn to move into the third round with a 6-2 4-6 6-3 7-5 victory.
Klahn broke four times and saved four match points before the Japanese wrapped up the match in the fourth set after two hours and 43 minutes on court.
Third seed Karolina Pliskova brushed aside Mariam Bolkvadze without breaking a sweat in a 6-1 6-4 victory to move into the third round.
Pliskova fired nine aces and broke her Georgian opponent four times, wrapping up the match in 65 minutes.
Rain has delayed the start of play on the outdoor courts at the U.S. Open, with organisers saying there will be no play before 1300 local time (1700).
Play began in rainy conditions with the temperature hovering around 23 degrees Celsius (73.4°F) and a forecast high of 26C. (Compiled by Rohith Nair, Simon Jennings and Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Ed Osmond and Sudipto Ganguly)