The Olympic gold medalist in both singles and doubles, Serena Williams represents the U.S.'s best chance to win the title at Flushing.
At last the final Grand Slam of the tennis season has arrived. After a short delay because of the incorporation of the Olympic Games into the 2012 schedule, it is finally time for the stars of the tennis world to converge upon Flushing, NY for the US Open.
Once more all of the best of the best will line up to hopefully get a chance to play under the lights of the famed Arthur Ashe stadium. For some, this tournament could be a sending off. For others, it could mark a career resurgence, and yet for more it will be their first ever professional level tournament.
Whatever the situation, every player that has earned the right whether it be through direct ranking, a wildcard entry or winning a qualifying tournament is certainly prepared to play in front of the rousing New York crowd.
As is typically the case, the United States is once again fielding a large team for this tournament. Because of wildcard entries given directly to Americans, there are names in this slam that most have probably never heard of. There are also of course those familiar faces that all Americans are cheering on for success.
No matter who you cheer for that wears the red, white and blue, check back here every day to see how your favorite American hopefuls performed and to see who is advancing further toward the US Open crown.
Roger Federer def Donald Young (6-3, 6-2, 6-4): Things have not gone smoothly for the former junior world No. 1 in Young. Mired in a slump lasting almost all of 2012, Young has slowly been dropping rank. Although he was not expected to win this match by a long shot, Young did show some signs of the game that had him atop the junior rankings. For him, he has a long way to improve if he hopes to compete with the best in the world.
James Blake def Lukas Lacko (7-5, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3): With questions about a possible impending retirement, the 33-year-old Blake, who was forced to take a wild card to get into this tournament, showed some of the form he had before a debilitating knee injury initiated his career's decline. Needing four sets, Blake was able to upset the younger Lacko.
Lucie Safarova def Melanie Oudin (6-4, 6-0): Ever since reaching the quarterfinals at just 16 years old at the 2009 US Open, Oudin has been on a dramatic decline. Ultimately the up-and-coming star was just overmatched by Safarova who easily ousted Oudin in straight sets.
Mardy Fish def Go Soeda (7-6, 7-6, 6-3): It has been a tumultuous season for Fish, who prior to 2011 was experiencing a bit of a career resurgence. Having worked himself all the way up to the Top 10 in the world, Fish was forced to relinquish that when it was discovered that he had a heart arrhythmia. He pulled out of the French Open and the Olympic Games to focus on this US Open. Finally healthy, Fish pulled out a pretty routine victory over Soeda.
Kim Clijsters def Victoria Duval (6-3, 6-1): In her first ever professional tour event, the just 16-year-old Duval has every reason to be proud. Although she ultimately lost, Duval played her game and showed solid shot-making ability. Still needing to work on her serve and overall strength, Duval was gracious in defeat as she lost her first ever match against one of the top players in the world.
Jack Sock def Florian Mayer (6-3, 6-2, 3-2 ret): At just 19 years old, Sock is one of the young American hopefuls. Having only qualified to play in the US Open in terms of Grand Slams, Sock has now done that three times. At his first major since turning pro, he advanced to the second round. At this year's US Open, after defeating the 22nd seed in Mayer, Sock equaled his career's best result.
Marion Bartoli def Jamie Hampton (6-3, 7-6): Despite it being Hampton's best season on tour, as this is the first year she has played in all four slams, it wasn't enough to beat the veteran Bartoli. While she has yet to turn pro, Hampton played her best tennis in the second set, ultimately not having enough however to beat her opponent in the tie-break.
Varvara Lepchenko def Mathilde Johansson (6-3, 3-6, 7-5): Playing in just her second US Open since becoming an American citizen in 2011, Lepchenko is in the midst of the best year of her career. She is coming off of a fourth-round appearance at Roland Garros, a third-round appearance at Wimbledon and a chance to represent the US at the Olympic Games. Now ranked No. 31 in the world, Lepchenko beat Johansson to reach the second round.
Albert Ramos def Robby Ginepri (6-7, 7-5, 6-4, 6-0): Ginepri, the former No. 15 player in the world, has had most of his career success at the US Open. His best finish was as a semifinalist in 2005. This year, however, he won't be making the semis as he was unexpectedly ousted by Ramos. Ginepri started strong with a first set victory but then seemed to run out of gas as the match closed, ultimately folding to his opponent.
Mallory Burdette def Timea Bacsinszky (6-4, 6-3): Entering the US Open as a wildcard from the qualifying tournament marked the Grand Slam singles debut of Burdette. Not only did her victory over Bacsinszky give her the first Grand Slam singles victory of her career, but the win was also her first professional victory on the tour.
Laura Robson def Samantha Crawford (6-3, 7-6): Another wildcard entrant, the 16-year-old Crawford lost in her first ever Grand Slam singles match to Robson. Although she mounted a fight in the second set, ultimately it wasn't enough. Still, it was a solid debut for the young American.
Tim Smyczek def Bobby Reynolds (1-6, 6-4, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4): In a matchup between two American qualifiers, Smyczek just beat out Reynolds in a tough five setter. Smyczek is in his third slam since turning pro in 2006 and with his victory will make it to the second round for the first time. Reynolds has had a little more success including a career best third-round appearance at both Wimbledon and the Australian Open. The US Open is the only slam that both of these men qualified to play in for the 2012 season.
Alize Cornet def Nicole Gibbs (7-5, 6-3): Gibbs is another young American that received a chance to play in her first Grand Slam singles draw. Despite losing to Cornet, Gibbs played good tennis and did not give up many easy points especially in the first set. At just 17, she could be on her way to a decent career when she decides to turn pro.
Marcel Granollers def Denis Kudla (6-3, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6): In a valiant effort, the 20-year-old Kudla battled in his first Grand Slam singles match. Although he ultimately did not walk away with the victory, he did take a set off of the veteran Granollers and came close to evening the match in the fourth set.
Gilles Simon def Michael Russell (7-6, 3-6, 5-7, 6-4, 6-1): In one of the more highly contested matches of the day, Simon just edged out the the 35-year-old Russell who, in seven US Open appearances, has never made it out of the first round.
Anastasia Rodionova def Julia Cohen (6-3, 6-0): The 23-year-old Cohen was a rookie in every sense of the word. Not only did this match mark her first US Open appearance, but it was also her first Grand Slam appearance of any kind. Unfortunately it ended in an early first-round loss.
Serena Williams def Coco Vandeweghe (6-1, 6-1): Not expected to be much of a challenge, Serena easily breezed through her first round match. In her best form, Serena is showing that she is one of the favorites to win this title. Vandeweghe on the other hand was really no match for Williams in both her game and her experience. The former US Open champion, Williams is coming off of back-to-back titles at both Wimbledon and the Summer Olympic Games.
Alexandr Dolgopolov def Jesse Levine (3-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1, 6-2): In what would have been an upset victory, Levine started the match on top. He broke Dolgopolov once in both the first and second set and took a two sets to love lead going into the third. Dolgopolov won this set however and then went on to take a dominant 6-1 victory in the fourth set. At this point it was obvious that he was the fitter of the two. Ultimately Levine was unable to keep pace and forfeited the final set and the match.
Andy Roddick def Rhyne Williams (6-3, 6-4, 6-4): In the first of three all American match-ups of the day, veteran and former US Open champion Roddick faced off against a young 21-year-old Williams. Although Williams kept it close up until 3-3 in the first set, Roddick pulled away winning the next five games and displaying some solid tennis in the process. For the soon-to-be 30-year-old Roddick this victory is just the first step in a long journey that he hopes leads him back to the top of the tennis pinnacle, ultimately staving off thoughts of a retirement for at least one more year.
Kiki Bertens def Christina McHale (6-4, 4-6, 6-3): The 2012 US Open did not yield the outcome that the 20-year-old McHale had hoped for. A native of nearby New Jersey, McHale came into this slam coming off of the best year of her short career. Still yet to turn pro, McHale, having risen to No. 24 in the ranks, made it to the third round in all three of the year's previous slams. She was expected to go at least as far in this US Open. Her opponent played a great match and even though McHale took the second set she was unable to win the third and the match.
Venus Williams def Bethanie Mattek-Sands (6-3, 6-1): Finally healthy again, the elder of the Williams sisters had no trouble disposing of her American teammate, the younger Mattek-Sands. Like Roddick, Williams is a former US Open champion. Also like Roddick, Williams is in the midst of a sub par season, one which has had people talking about the possibility of her retirement. Making it to the second round is the beginning of what Venus hopes is an inspired run back to the finals.
Olga Puchkova def Irina Falconi (7-6, 6-7, 6-3): Falconi looked strong at the start of the match and just fell short of getting the first set victory. In the second set she continued to play well and managed to beat Puchkova in the tiebreak. Unfortunately however Falconi ran out of gas midway toward the third. It took just one break but it was enough for her to lose the set and the match.
Sam Querrey def Yen-Hsun Lu (6-7,6-4,6-4,7-5): The biggest thing for Querrey coming into this US Open is that he is back and recovered from elbow surgery that forced him to miss the end of the 2011 year. The former No. 17 in the world, Querrey has a solid game and a lot of upside as he displayed in his four set victory over Lu. He has the potential to go far in this tournament now that he is back and playing up to the level fans were accustomed to seeing early in his career.
Yaroslava Shvedova def Vania King (6-4, 6-2): This match was pretty much all in favor of Shvedova. The American King did have a few chances to break and to even out the first set but she was unable to convert. Eventually she lost the first set and was broken early in the second to lose the match in straight sets.
Sloane Stephens def Francesca Schiavone (6-3, 6-4): The young Stephens has slowly been rising in the tennis ranks as she has emerged onto the scene. After qualifying to represent the U.S. in the Olympic Games, Stephens saw her rank reach No. 44 in the world, making her the only teenager currently in the top 50. Against the veteran Schiavone, Stephens was poised and played a great match. With her round one victory, Stephens will have advanced to the second round or better in all four of the grand slams this year.
Dennis Novikov def Jerzy Janowicz (6-2, 7-6, 3-6, 6-3): In one of the more shocking matches of the day, the young Novikov, winner of one of the qualifying tournaments, managed to win his first round match in his professional debut. Novikov looked strong throughout and after a tough third set loss, rebounded to win the match in four sets.
MEN'S DOUBLES: All six American teams advanced to the second round
1. Steve Johnson/Jack Sock def Max Mirnyi/ Daniel Nestor (1-6, 7-6, 6-2): Many people may not follow doubles as closely as they do singles and as a result probably wouldn't know that this victory by the young American pair was as big an upset as there has been so far. Johnson and Sock were easily taken care of in the first set and against the best doubles team currently on tour it looked that they would lose in straight sets. The exact opposite happened. Sock and Johnson played great to win the second set in a tiebreak and then came back to dominate the third and final set vanquishing the 2012 French Open champs in the first round.
2. Nicholas Monroe/Donald Young def Michael Llodra/Nenad Zimonjic (5-7, 6-3, 6-4): Just like their American teammates, Monroe and Young found themselves matched against a seeded team. The pair of Llodra and Zimonjic were the seventh seed and took the first set with a late break. Young and Monroe rebounded however, won the next two sets and booked a trip to the second round.
3. Brian Baker/Rajeev Ram def Martin Emmrich/Igor Sijsling (2-6, 6-1, 7-6): Baker and Ram followed the pattern of the American doubles teams in that they lost the first set. Just like the other American teams though they also managed to come back and win the match. For two players who are matched for the first time for doubles, they showed very good teamwork and solid tennis play making skills.
4. Christian Harrison/Ryan Harrison def Mariusz Fyrstenberg/ Marcin Matkowski (7-6, 2-6, 7-6): For the American males, the Bryan Brothers are not the only brother team competing in doubles. For the first time at a grand slam, Ryan, a rising star on the male side and his younger brother Christian, teamed up to play doubles at the 2012 US Open. Together the Harrison brothers won their first match in three sets.
5. Scott Lipsky/Santiago Gonzalez def Robin Haase/Andreas Seppi (6-2, 6-3): Lipsky and his Mexican teammate having played together in the past earned a seed for the US Open. They easily won their first match over the unranked duo of Hasse and Seppi.
6. Eric Butorac/Paul Hanley def Jan Hajek/Lukas Lacko (7-5, 6-3): Butorac and his Australian teammate Hanley were kind of a bit of a surprise pairing in this US Open. Still, the team played well together and pretty easily won their first round match.
John Isner def Xavier Malisse (6-3, 7-6, 5-7, 7-6): For the power serving Isner who is currently ranked among the top 10 in the world, this match was a bit touch and go at times. He started strong with an early break against Malisse but as the match progressed Malisse gained steam and took the third set from Isner. Big John kept his cool though and America's best hope on the men's side to win, came through in the fourth set with a tiebreak victory. Knowing that he needs to play economically in the early rounds, Isner getting through without the need of a fifth set should benefit him going forward.
Ryan Harrison def Benjamin Becker (7-5, 6-4, 6-2): The young Harrison has seemed to improve each year he has been on the professional tour. Having won this match against Becker, the 20-year-old will finish the best year of his career including two second round appearances at Wimbledon and the US Open. He is currently ranked outside of the top 50 as he has had a rough month but in early July he sat as the No. 42 player in the world. He has a good game and many expect he could be a future star for the U.S.
Bradley Klahn def Jurgen Melzer (4-6, 6-3, 7-5, 5-7, 6-4): In just his second grand slam appearance, Klahn played incredibly well and upset Melzer. The 22-year-old American managed to best his opponent and win his first round match. For Klahn, who is ranked just barely within the top 500 in the world, this was just his first win on the professional tour.
Brian Baker def Jan Hajek (6-3, 6-4, 6-2): Baker's story is one of inspiration and determination. Formerly a top junior in the world, Baker's career was derailed by injuries and surgeries. Just a few years ago he was entirely out of the sport. When he made his comeback this year it was certainly one to follow especially since he was playing back to the level he was during his best days. In just his first US Open since 2005, Baker is hoping to have a great showing in front of the New York crowd.
Steve Johnson def Rajeev Ram (6-3, 7-6, 6-3): Johnson already began his 2012 US Open on a great note as he and partner Jack Sock defeated the No. 1 doubles team in the world. Entering the singles competition, the No. 245 player in the world was still looking for his first singles win at a grand slam. Having lost in the first round last year, Johnson improved upon that and beat fellow American Ram to reach the second round. As part of a great day for the Americans, the veteran Ram was the only American to lose in singles.
Mallory Burdette def Lucie Hradecka (6-3, 4-6, 6-2): Making her grand slam singles debut, Burdette already worked hard to win qualifying tournaments to make the main draw. She upset her opponent to win her first round match and as it seems to happen every year for an American at Flushing, so far continued her inspired run with a second round victory against Hradecka. Having only made it as far as the second round in doubles at the 2011 US Open, Burdette assured herself a career best performance with the victory.
Varvara Lepchenko def Anastasia Rodionova (6-2, 6-2): Lepchenko has seen such a career upswing since moving to America to train and recently even becoming an American citizen. She is currently having the best season of her career and that was aided by another victory at the second round of the 2012 US Open.
WOMEN'S DOUBLES - Eight American teams began play, five advance to the second round
1. Serena Williams/Venus Williams def Lindsay Lee-Waters/Megan Moulton-Levy (6-4, 6-0): After winning Wimbledon and the Olympic Games, there was really no doubt that the Williams sisters would come back to try to claim another US Open title. Both are healthy and Serena is coming back to have a great 2012 season. Both also won their singles first round matches and once again one of them could win the doubles and singles titles.
2. Raquel Kops-Jones/Abigail Spears def Dominika Cibulkova/Daniela Hantuchova (4-6, 6-1, 6-2): Needing three sets, the young pair of Kops-Jones and Spears beat their opponents after falling behind after the first set. The No. 9 seeded doubles team, the American pair is taking a run at their first doubles title in a grand slam.
3. Irina Falconi/Maria Sanchez def Alexandra Cadantu/Mathilde Johansson (6-2, 6-3): It was a pretty easy match for Cadantu and Johansson as they beat the American pair. Falconi and Sanchez were out of the match early and could not recover from two early breaks in both sets.
4. Madison Keys/Jessica Pegula def Akgul Amanmuradova/Monica Niculescu (6-2, 6-2): At just 16 years old, Keys, who had never been out of the first round of a major paired with the 18-year-old Pegula who reached the third round of last year's US Open. This year, the two played very well together and easily won their first round match.
5. Vania King/Yaroslava Shvedova def Polona Hercog/Andreja Klepac (6-0, 6-1): Paired with Shvedova of Kazakhstan, American Vania King is part of the fifth seeded doubles team in this US Open. In a very decisive first set followed by another near perfect second set, the team disposed of their Slovakian opponents in a dominant straight sets victory.
Silvia Soler-Espinosa/Carla Suarez Navarro def Grace Min/Melanie Oudin (6-1, 6-4): Despite a strong effort in the second set, the young American team of Min and Oudin were unable to overcome their weak performance in the first set. With just one additional break needed in the second, the Americans were ousted by the Spanish team quickly.
Sara Errani/Roberta Vinci def Varvara Lepchenko/Saisai Zheng (6-4, 7-5): Although Lepchenko is having a great season with singles, her doubles performance has not exactly been as good. In the 2012 US Open, paired with Zheng of China, the team lost in a close first round match against the No. 2 seeded team of Errani and Vinci.
MEN'S DOUBLES - Three American teams began play, two advance to the second round
1. Mike Bryan/Bob Bryan def Steve Darcis/David Goffin (6-1, 6-4): Looking to reclaim their title as the best doubles team in the world, the Bryan Brothers have been having a great season. They finished twice as runner up at the Australian and French Open and then went on to a semifinal finish at Wimbledon. After that, they finally completed their career golden slam with the gold in doubles at the Olympic Games. Now, they are looking for their first slam of the year and their fourth US Open.
2. Dennis Novikov/Michael Redlicki def Bobby Reynolds/Michael Russell (6-4, 2-6, 7-6): In another all-American match, the team of grand slam rookies in Novikov and Redlicki bested their opponents in three sets.
3. Treat Conrad Huey/Dominic Inglot def James Blake/Sam Querrey (6-1, 7-6): In one of the few matches that saw an American pair lose, the team of Blake and Querrey lost in straight sets. Having paired together for the first time, Blake and Querrey never really found chemistry on the court. They played well in the second set but could not pull out the victory.
MIXED DOUBLES - Three American teams began play, one advances to second round
1. Sania Mirza/Colin Fleming def Andrea Petkovic/Eric Butorac (6-2, 7-6): Playing in mixed doubles at the US Open for the first time, the veteran Eric Butorac was looking to make it out of the first round. With his partner in Petkovic, the two battled especially in the second set but ultimately were unable to beat Mirza and Fleming.
2. Sloane Stephens/Rajeev Ram def Bethanie Mattek-Sands/Horia Tecau (6-2, 5-7, 1-0): In another match that saw two at least partially American teams, the young Stephens paired with the veteran Ram came back from a set all to win. The American Mattek-Sands and her Romanian teammate played well but ultimately were forced to retire in the third set giving the victory to the team of Stephens and Ram.
Mardy Fish def Nikolay Davydenko (4-6, 6-7, 6-2, 6-1, 6-2): In one of the first really competitive matches so far on Arthur Ashe, Fish was pushed to the brink by his Russian opponent. Having gone down two sets to love, it didn't look good for the American. In the third set however the tide changed. Fish began to play better while it seemed that Davydenko really went dead. The results showed as Fish easily took the last three sets booking his trip to the third round.
Serena Williams def Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez (6-2, 6-4): Continuing to show the same great form that she did when winning Wimbledon and the Olympic Games, Serena easily breezed past Sanchez and into the third round. With the way she is playing there is no reason to suspect that she won't win her second slam of the year.
Venus Williams vs Angelique Kerber
Sloane Stephens def Tatjana Malek (5-7, 6-4, 6-2): The young Stephens continues to impress as in a hard fought three set match, the American battled and ultimately came out victorious. She has shown the ability to play great tennis on all surfaces all season long and now into the third round, could be a story to follow as the US Open continues.
James Blake def Marcel Granollers (6-1, 6-4, 6-2): As part of a day that was very productive for the Americans, especially the American males, Blake needed the minimum of just three sets to beat the seeded Granollers. In fact, he made the match look easy as he received early breaks in the first and third set and was never really in trouble on his serve. He too is in the third round and for the first time since 2010.
Sam Querrey def Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo (6-3, 6-4, 6-3): Another story of a player returning from injury, Querrey has played really solid tennis throughout this US Open. He has worked hard and gotten his rank back within the top 30, something that will go up even higher with his performance at the final slam of the year so far. Easily beating Hidalgo, Querrey was one of four American males that booked a trip to the third round on day four.
Jack Sock def Flavio Cipolla (6-2, 6-2, 6-4): The most surprising of the advancing Americans was the young Sock, who has reached the third round of a grand slam for the first time in his career. Currently holding his highest career rank at No. 243, Sock made it look easy as he really dominated Cipolla early and often.
Kei Nishikori def Tim Smyczek (6-2, 6-2, 6-4): Unfortunately the run for the wildcard winning American came to an end in the second round as Smyczek was beaten pretty easily by the top ranked Japanese player on tour in the 17th seeded Nishikori.
WOMEN'S DOUBLES - 5 American teams began play, (3 or 4) advance to the second round
Liezel Huber/Lisa Raymond def Eleni Daniilidou/Casey Dellacqua (6-4, 6-7, 6-4): The best women's team currently on tour played a close match to earn their trip to the second round. Having taken the first set Huber and Raymond lost in the tiebreak in the second. They came back to get a break in the third and win the set and the match.
Timea Babos/Sloane Stephens vs Janette Husarova/Magdalena Rybarikova
Bethanie Mattek-Sands/Sania Mirza def Alberta Brianti/Sorana Cirstea (6-1, 6-1): Teamed with Mirza of India, Mattek-Sands and her partner easily and quickly defeated their opponents. Together team is the 13th seed in the women's doubles competition of the US Open.
Jill Craybas/Chanelle Scheepers def Mandy Minella/Andrea Petkovic (6-3, 3-6, 6-3): The American Craybas in her 15th US Open is looking for a better result than she has had in the past. Having never made it out of the second round, Craybas now paired with Scheepers of South Africa, has already tied her best US Open result.
Liga Dekmeijere/Mervana Jugic-Salkic def Samantha Crawford/Alexandra Klick (3-6, 7-6, 6-4): Crawford and Klick looked to have the advantage early in this match. They took the first set and then had several chances to win in the second before they eventually lost in a tiebreak. Having lost the momentum, the Americans were broken in the third set and ultimately lost the match.
MEN'S DOUBLES - Three teams began play, one advances to second round
Jamie Delgado/Ken Skupski def Johan Brunstrom/James Cerretani (4-6, 6-4, 6-3): Paired with Brunstrom of Sweden, Cerretani was hoping to match his career best result of reaching the quarterfinals at a grand slam, something he did at this year's WImbledon. While he and his partner won the first set, they were broken in both the second and third and did not advance to the next round.
Jesse Levine/Marinko Matosevic def Chase Buchanan/Bradley Klahn (6-2, 6-4): In a partial all American match, Levine and his teammate bested the pair of Buchanan and Klahn in a match that really wasn't that close.
MIXED DOUBLES - Three American teams began play, two advance to second round
Andrea Hlavackova/Mahesh Bhupathi def Samantha Crawford/Mitchell Krueger (6-2, 6-4): Although Crawford and Krueger played well it wasn't enough to beat the pair of Hlavackova and Bhupathi.
Varvara Lepchenko/Donald Young def Vladimira Uhlirova/Jonathan Marray (6-1, 6-3): An unlikely American pair in Lepchenko and Young proved to work out to the benefit of the Americans as they easily bested Uhlirova and Marray. They were strong from start to finish and showed good chemistry together that could make them contenders for the title.
Melanie Oudin/Jack Sock def Katarina Srebotnik/Nenad Zimonjic (4-6, 6-3, 1-0): The teenage tandem of Oudin and Sock began their journey of defending their 2011 US Open mixed doubles title with a win over Srebotnik and Zimonjic. They are favorites to win the title again.