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Sport

Highlights: U.S. Open day four

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Canadian young gun Felix Auger-Aliassime blasted past former champion Andy Murray 6-2 6-3 6-4 at the U.S. Open on Thursday, ending the Briton’s Grand Slam comeback in the second round at New York.

FILE PHOTO: Aug 31, 2020; Flushing Meadows, New York, USA; Arthur Ashe Stadium is empty due to fans not attending this year's tournament out of concern during the COVID-19 pandemic. Day one of the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

Murray, who has had two hip surgeries and was playing in his first major since the 2019 Australian Open, had endured a tough five-setter against Yoshihito Nishioka in the first round and was made to move all around the court by Auger-Aliassime.

With fatigue building towards the end of the match, Murray was unable to launch another comeback, as the 15th-seeded Auger-Aliassime closed out the contest in style.

Austria’s Dominic Thiem, who is targeting his maiden Grand Slam title, came up with a dominating performance on his 27th birthday to beat India’s Sumit Nagal 6-3 6-3 6-2 and set up a meeting with 2014 champion Marin Cilic.

Russian third seed Daniil Medvedev also had an easy outing on a rain-hit day, as he powered past 116th-ranked Australian Christopher O’Connell 6-3 6-2 6-4. He faces young American J.J. Wolf for a place in the last 16.

Serena Williams battled to a 6-2 6-4 victory over Russia’s Margarita Gasparyan as she continued her quest for a record-equaling 24th Grand Slam title.

Up next for Williams is fellow American and 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens, who cruised past Olga Govortsova of Belarus 6-2 6-2.

Former world number one Victoria Azarenka, beaten by Aryna Sabalenka in the opening round at Flushing Meadows last year, downed her Belarusian compatriot 6-1 6-3.

She was joined in the next round by Madison Keys, a runner-up in 2017 and semi-finalist in 2018, as the American wasted no time on court defeating Spain’s Aliona Bolsova 6-2 6-1.

Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin rolled over Canadian Leylah Fernandez 6-4 6-3 while Sorana Cirstea rallied from a set down to upset ninth-seeded Briton Johanna Konta 2-6 7-6(5) 6-4.

Highlights of the fourth day at the U.S. Open in New York on Thursday. The Grand Slam is being played without spectators due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Times ET; GMT-4):

2332 AUGER-ALIASSIME SENDS MURRAY PACKING

Canadian 20-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime, seeded 15th, came up with an impressive performance to defeat 2012 champion Andy Murray 6-2 6-3 6-4 in their first career meeting.

2213 AZARENKA EASES PAST SABALENKA

Former world number one Victoria Azarenka, who was beaten in three sets by Aryna Sabalenka in the opening round at Flushing Meadows last year, swatted aside her Belarusian compatriot 6-1 6-3 in their second-round clash.

2115 SERENA SAILS THROUGH

Six-times champion Serena Williams moved into the third round, battling past Russian Margarita Gasparyan 6-2 6-4 under the roof at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Williams will next face Sloane Stephens in a battle of former champions.

Slideshow ( 2 images )

2050 MEDVEDEV EASES INTO ROUND THREE

Russian Daniil Medvedev, who finished runner-up to Rafa Nadal last year, cruised into the third round with a 6-3 6-2 6-4 victory over Australia’s Christopher O’Connell in a match that was played under the roof at Louis Armstrong Stadium.

2030 OUTER COURT MATCHES POSTPONED DUE TO RAIN

The tournament organisers confirmed matches on the outside courts have been postponed and rescheduled for Friday after play was suspended due to heavy rain at Flushing Meadows.

1905 FUCSOVICS OUTLASTS DIMITROV IN FIVE-SET MARATHON

Hungarian Marton Fucsovics claimed nine of the last 10 games to beat Bulgaria’s 14th seeded Grigor Dimitrov 6-7(5) 7-6(4) 3-6 6-4 6-1 in a match that lasted four hours and 50 minutes on Court 12.

1810 STEPHENS ADVANCES TO THIRD ROUND

American Sloane Stephens cruised into the third round with a 6-2 6-2 victory over Olga Govortsova. The 2017 champion struck 22 winners and four aces past her Belarusian opponent in the 65-minute match.

Stephens will face compatriot Serena Williams in the next round if the third seed beats Russia’s Margarita Gasparyan later on Thursday.

1712 BERRETTINI THROUGH TO THIRD ROUND, RAONIC OUT

Sixth seed Matteo Berrettini of Italy moved into the third round after beating Ugo Humbert 6-4 6-4 7-6(6), firing 17 aces and 48 winners past the Frenchman.

In an all-Canadian clash, unseeded Vasek Pospisil came back from a set down to eliminate 25th seed Milos Raonic 6-7(1) 6-3 7-6(4) 6-3, dominating at the net where he racked up 27 points in a match lasting over three hours.

1555 THIEM RACES PAST NAGAL TO SET UP CILIC CLASH

Second seed Dominic Thiem served up a masterclass of ball striking and placement as he defeated Indian Sumit Nagal 6-3 6-3 6-2. The Austrian will next face 2014 champion Marin Cilic, who overcame Slovakia’s Norbert Gombos 6-3 1-6 7-6(2) 7-5.

1510 DE MINAUR PASSES GASQUET TEST

Australian Alex de Minaur produced a gutsy display to dispatch 2013 semi-finalist Richard Gasquet 6-4 6-3 6-7(6) 7-5.

1450 RUBLEV RACES INTO ROUND THREE

Russian Andrey Rublev, seeded 10th, hit 36 winners on the way to beating Frenchman Gregoire Barrere 6-2 6-4 7-6(4).

1336 KENIN, KHACHANOV CRUISE INTO THIRD ROUND

Second seed Sofia Kenin moved into the third round with a 6-4 6-3 victory over Leylah Fernandez, smashing 19 winners past her Canadian opponent and breaking her three times without dropping serve.

Karen Khachanov also advanced with a straight sets victory over fellow Russian Andrey Kuznetsov, winning 6-3 6-4 6-1 with an 83% success rate on his first serve.

1307 ANISIMOVA WINS BATTLE OF AMERICAN TEENS

Amanda Anisimova, 19, fought back from a set down against 16-year-old Katrina Scott to advance to the third round with a 4-6 6-4 6-1 victory over her fellow American.

Scott, making her Grand Slam debut, raced into a one-set lead on the back of her booming serve before Anisimova took control at 4-4 in the second set. The 22nd seed will next face Greek 15th seed Maria Sakkari.

1235 MUGURUZA UPSET BY UNSEEDED PIRONKOVA IN STRAIGHT SETS

Spain’s 10th seed Garbine Muguruza was knocked out 7-5 6-3 by unranked Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova in the second round.

Playing in her first tournament in over three years following a maternity break, Pironkova won an overwhelming 93% of her first serve points, breaking the twice Grand Slam champion three times.

Ons Jabeur of Tunisia, seeded 27th, beat Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi 7-6(8) 6-0 to move into the third round.

1109 PLAY UNDERWAY AT FLUSHING MEADOWS

Play began in bright sunshine in New York with the temperature hovering around 26 degrees Celsius (78.8°F), with an expected high of 31 degrees.

Compiled by Rohith Nair, Hardik Vyas and Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman, Tom Hogue & Shri Navaratnam

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