On a day where the women's side featured a major upset, the top men's stars continued to roll along on Day 6 of the U.S. Open.
Saturday saw Novak Djokovic advance to the fourth round after securing a convincing victory in Queens. Andy Murray followed after defeating Andrey Kuznetsov. No. 5-seeded Milos Raonic won his bout in straight sets, but not before getting pushed to a tiebreaker in each one.
Those hungry for an upset got their appetites satisfied by Aleksandra Krunic, who knocked off Petra Kvitova in a third-round stunner. While most of the other action went according to plan, Kvitova's early loss will make things interesting later in the women's bracket.
Let's break down Saturday afternoon's results from Flushing Meadows.
Men's Completed Results
|No. 1 Novak Djokovic||6||6||6|
|No. 5 Milo Raonic||7 (7)||7 (7)||7 (7)|
|Victor Estrella Burgos||6 (5)||6 (5)||6 (3)|
|No. 8 Andy Murray||6||7||4||6|
|No. 10 Kei Nishikori||6||6||6|
|No. 23 Leonardo Mayer||4||2||3|
Djokovic made quick work of Sam Querrey, ousting him in three sets to strut past Round 3.
The top-ranked male in the world cruised past the 26-year-old American during their afternoon clash. ESPN Tennis marveled at his impeccable consistency to avoid any early blemishes against eager opponents:
Tennis.com timed the quick bout at well under two hours:
During an efficient clinic, the 27-year-old Djokovic won 75 percent (38 of 51) of his first-serve points and 48 percent (11 of 23) of his second serves. He has yet to drop a set in three matches, only once losing more than three games.
With Rafael Nadal sitting out the New York festivities, Djokovic is the perennial favorite to obtain his 10th Grand Slam title. For all of his career accolades, he has won the U.S. Open just once, his lowest total of all four majors.
One of Djokovic's biggest potential obstacles, Murray, was on his way to dominating a mismatched third-round foe. After dropping the first two sets, however, Kuznetsov fought back and seized the third set courtesy of a Murray double-fault.
The British star then settled down and extinguished his opponent's run, stamping his ticket down the bracket with a cleaner fourth and final set.
If Murray and Djokovic can each win their next contest, they'll collide in a highly anticipated quarterfinal showdown.
Elsewhere among the men's elite stars, Raonic needed three grueling sets to overcome Victor Estrella Burgos. The Canadian needed to pull out three tiebreakers, with his powerful serve paving the way. Sports Illustrated's Courtney Nguyen highlighted one of his best serves during the tough win:
Though Raonic got the job done in three sets, Estrella Burgos pushed him to the limit, and the 23-year-old now must face No. 10 Kei Nishikori, an up-and-comer who defeated No. 23 Leonardo Mayer (6-4, 6-2, 6-3) in three more conventional sets.
Women's Completed Results
|No. 1 Serena Williams||6||6|
|No. 3 Petra Kvitova||4||4|
|No. 11 Flavia Pennetta||6||6|
|No. 15 Carla Suarez Navarro||5||0|
|No. 16 Victoria Azarenka||6||6|
|No. 29 Casey Dellacqua||6||3||6|
The day's primary stunner was when Krunic knocked off No. 3 Kvitova in straight sets during the biggest win of her young career. With a 17-17 record in singles play this year, the 21-year-old captured her first Grand Slam victory over the reigning Wimbledon champion.
Krunic admitted afterward that she didn't anticipate the surprising outcome, per Bobby Chintapalli:
The unlikely underdog awaits No. 16 Victoria Azarenka, who demolished Elena Vesnina later in the afternoon. Now that she has eliminated one of the tournament's toughest competitors, Krunic must be watched carefully moving forward.
No. 11-seeded Flavia Pennetta had no such struggles in her foray. The 32-year-old Italian dispatched two-time NCAA champion Nicole Gibbs in two uneventful sets, 6-4, 6-0.
Despite reaching the semifinals during last year's Open, Pennetta still has no Grand slam titles on her mantle. Although Kvitova's early elimination slashes one prominent obstacles, the veteran is lined up for a potential quarterfinals draw with Serena Williams should they both make it that far.
The undisputed top-ranked performer held up her end of the bargain, slaying Varvara Lepchenko in two sets, each by a score of 6-3.
Enduring one of her toughest season in years, Williams has yet to advance past the fourth round of a major tournament. That's a streak she looks determined to snap, as she is in top form in Flushing. The 32-year-old, who is in danger of not making a Grand Slam final this year for the first time since 2006, has yet to lose a set in three matches.
Her next opponent is Kaia Kanepi, who upset Carla Suarez Navarro in two sets on Saturday.
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