US Open Tennis: The 4 Biggest Takeaways from Friday at Flushing
Day 5 of the US Open is nearing its end, and Flushing Meadows was filled with drama on the first Friday of the tournament.
A top-three player on the women's side was knocked out in the third round, and a top-five player in the men's singles draw was on the verge of an exit but managed to fight back. Seeded players are starting to play each other, but there are still quite a few unseeded athletes looking to make their mark on the tournament.
Many women have already made their way into the round of 16, but there are still some spots left in the final 16. The men were still hashing out some second-round battles on Friday. Andy Roddick is currently facing off with Jack Sock in Arthur Ashe Stadium as I type.
Here are some memorable moments from the action on Day 5.
1. Donald Young into the Third Round
Coming out of the juniors, Donald Young was expected to immediately make a mark on the ATP Tour. However, Young's game didn't instantly click in the big leagues.
On Friday, the 22-year-old won his first five-set match on tour, defeating No. 14 Stanislas Wawrinka in the final two sets of their second-round match. This is Young's second appearance in the third round but the first time he's had to actually play both matches to get there.
Young will face No. 24 Juan Ignacio Chela in the fourth round, whom he's 0-1 against. Young is 10 years younger than Chela, so if he's able to push the Argentinian to four or five sets, I'd give him the advantage.
No matter what happens, Young should still see the positives of his US Open performance.
2. Andy Murray Will Not Quit Yet
Andy Murray was down two sets to love and looked to be on his way to another disappointing exit from a Grand Slam.
That's when Murray picked up his game, only dropping six games in the final three sets of his comeback win against Robin Haase. Murray's no stranger to coming back from two sets down, and he's now 12-4 in five-set matches.
The Scot committed 46 unforced errors on Friday, but only 12 were in the final three sets, with Murray finding his range on his shots after falling way behind.
Murray moves on to face Feliciano Lopez in the third round, who he's only dropped one set to in five meetings.
3. John Isner Wins with Aces
John Isner's serve has won him two matches at the US Open, and I mean that literally.
Isner has finished off both Marcos Baghdatis and most recently Robby Ginepri with a booming ace. The lanky American is playing some powerful tennis and is currently on a seven-match winning streak.
Each time Isner steps up to the service line, you can expect a booming serve, whether it be a first or second. Isner has experienced some conditioning issues in the past but won't need to worry if he keeps serving this well. Isner also won without playing a tiebreak, a rarity for the big man.
Isner's next opponent is another American, Alex Bogomolov Jr., with the winner earning a place in the round of 16.
4. Maria Sharapova Proved to Be Too Error Prone
Earlier today, I asked which version of Maria Sharapova would show up to play the third round at Flushing Meadows.
However, I picked the wrong one, as it was the unforced-error machine that took the court on Friday. Maria committed 60 no-nos on Day 5, double as many winners as she finished with. Flavia Pennetta, the No. 26 seed, didn't need to do much to send the Russian home early.
Sharapova has experienced issues trying to string well-played matches together, which is something she'll have to work on in the offseason.
For now, Sharapova needs to hold it together and try her best to prepare for the year-end championships in Istanbul. A title at that tournament would be the second of her career, having won the whole thing in 2004.