We're just five days into the 2014 U.S. Open, but telling trends are starting to show across the men's and women's singles draws.
High-seeded players on the men's side have practically been unbeatable early on, and that continued for the most part on Day 5. Although, not every favorite was fortunate enough to escape with a victory Friday.
As for the ladies, notable names are dropping like flies, and the upsets just kept on coming throughout Friday's third round of action.
Here's a look at all of the scores from Flushing Meadows for Friday, along with a recap of the action.
|Men's Draw: Second Round|
|No. 4 David Ferrer def. Bernard Tomic||Walkover|
|No. 6 Tomas Berdych def. Martin Klizan||6-3, 4-6, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3|
|No. 7 Grigor Dimitrov def. Dudi Sela||6-1, 6-2, 6-2|
|No. 20 Gael Monfils def. Alejandro Gonzalez||7-5, 6-3, 6-2|
|No. 18 Kevin Anderson def. Jerzy Janowicz||6-7(6), 6-2, 6-1, 6-3|
|No. 17 Roberto Bautista Agut def. Tim Smyczek||6-3, 6-2, 6-1|
|No. 19 Feliciano Lopez def. Tatsuma Ito||6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(4)|
|No. 12 Richard Gasquet def. Paolo Lorenzi||7-6(4), 6-3, 6-3|
|No. 14 Marin Cilic def. Illya Marchenko||7-6(2), 6-2, 6-4|
|Dominic Thiem def. No. 11 Ernests Gulbis||4-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3|
|No. 26 Gilles Simon def. Federico Delbonis||6-4, 3-6, 7-5, 6-1|
|Adrian Mannarino def. No. 15 Fabio Fognini||6-3, 6-4, 6-1|
|Teymuraz Gabashvili def. Alexander Kudryavtsev||6-1, 6-4, 7-6(4)|
|David Goffin def. No. 32 Joao Sousa||6-4, 6-2, 6-0|
|No. 2 Roger Federer def. Sam Groth||6-4, 6-4, 6-4|
|Women's Draw: Third Round|
|Mirjana Lucic-Baroni def. No. 2 Simona Halep||7-6(6), 6-2|
|No. 9 Jelena Jankovic def. Johanna Larsson||6-1, 6-0|
|No. 13 Sara Errani def. No. 19 Venus Williams||6-0, 0-6, 7-6(5)|
|Shuai Peng def. No. 28 Roberta Vinci||6-4, 6-3|
|No. 14 Lucie Safarova def. No. 22 Alize Cornet||6-3, 6-7(3), 6-4|
|No. 10 Caroline Wozniacki def. No. 18 Andrea Petkovic||6-3, 6-2|
|Belinda Bencic def. No. 6 Angelique Kerber||6-1, 7-5|
|No. 5 Maria Sharapova def. No. 26 Sabine Lisicki||6-2, 6-4|
No. 6 Tomas Berdych Survives Test
Top seeds in the men's draw have been tough to deal with so far at Flushing Meadows, but Tomas Berdych nearly tested that on Friday.
The sixth seed went back and forth with Martin Klizan, and he had his hands full up until the fifth and final set before Berdych pulled away with the final score of 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.
The 25-year-old underdog from Slovakia just wouldn't go away despite Berdych coming out hot. Klizan rallied for a resounding second-set victory, and after dropping the third, he wrapped up the fourth set rather quickly.
Although Berdych was on upset alert late, Friday's late-afternoon match didn't have the makings of a surprise result. Klizan had to battle from behind from the get-go, and whenever he mounted a run, Berdych would be ready to respond with his own.
The favorite's resolve was tested in long points like this one, but he overcame as the tournament's Twitter account shows:
The longevity of Friday night's match wasn't ideal—it pushed back Roger Federer's night match even further. But after surviving a tough test and moving on to the third round, Berdych won't be complaining.
No. 13 Sara Errani Defeats Venus Williams
Venus Williams struggled out of the gates Friday just as she did in the first round, but she couldn't pull it out against 13th-seeded Sara Errani after yet again digging herself out of a deep hole.
The 34-year-old was dominated from the start. She lost the first set a whopping 6-0, but that only woke her up, and she responded in the only way she knew—winning the very next set 6-0 to tie things up.
ESPN Stats and Information noted the historical context:
Venus Williams loses 1st set vs Sara Errani, 6-0. It's the 2nd time Venus has lost a set 6-0 at the US Open (also in 2009)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 29, 2014
That set the stage for a third set to decide the match, and instead of one player dominating the other again, they went down to the wire. Both Williams and Errani won six games, leading to a tiebreak that Errani was able to pull out, 7-5.
Errani was quite excited after notching the win, per U.S. Open:
Seven years her junior, Errani had never beaten Williams in a match prior to Friday's victory. But she was convincing in her play against Williams, using her mix of quickness and power to outlast a former great playing at an awfully high level.
I think she’s playing unbelievable. I really don’t know how I won today. I think Venus was playing very good today. Maybe she could make me feel a bit worse if she put in a lot of first serve. Today, she didn’t put too much.
And also in the second set, I was very aggressive, and it was good for me, so maybe sometimes it is difficult to play against her because her serve is unbelievable.
Errani received some good fortune in her side of the draw as second-seeded Simona Halep was beaten by unseeded Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, who she will face next. But as they say, the upset happened for a reason.
Should the 19th overall seed win there, she'll be on to the quarterfinals.
No. 2 Simona Halep Falls
It hasn't been a good U.S. Open so far for seeded women's singles players, but no upset at Flushing Meadows sent bigger shockwaves through the draw than Simona Halep's loss on Friday.
The second overall seed fell in straight sets to Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, 7-6 (8-6), 6-2 in a match that featured a shocking change of momentum.
Up 5-2 in the opening set, Halep looked to be in a familiar position and very much in control of the match. She served for the set, but Lucic-Baroni broke her serve and rallied to win the opening set in a tiebreak. Halep double-faulted to lose the tiebreaker.
Lucic-Baroni kept her momentum going into the second set, cruising to an early lead and winning it 6-2 to wrap up the huge upset.
Emotions were high for the underdog after one of the biggest wins of her career, as Tennis Magazine's Steve Tignor noted from her press conference:
"I'm sorry, I'm goofy," says tearful 32-year-old Mirjana Lucic-Baroni after beating No. 2 seed Simona Halep. #USOpen— Steve Tignor (@SteveTignor) August 29, 2014
The New York Times' Ben Rothenberg noted that the 32-year-old and former teen tennis prodigy has been through plenty of ups and downs to make Friday's victory especially important:
Absolutely unbelievable result for Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, who has gone through unimaginable highs and lows in her career since 1999. #usopen— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) August 29, 2014
Lucic-Baroni will have to bounce back quickly after the emotional win. She faces a peaking Sara Errani, who just overcame a furious test from Venus Williams and enters as the No. 13 seed.
But after beating one of the top seeds in such convincing fashion, it's safe to say she won't be lacking in confidence.