Caroline Wozniacki compared Bianca Andreescu's game to that of Kim Clijsters after losing to the Canadian rising star in the third round of the US Open.

Andreescu has enjoyed a superb year on the WTA Tour, winning titles at Indian Wells and the Canadian Open.

Before the US Open her performances had not translated into grand slam success, as the 19-year-old reached the second round at the Australian Open and French Open and did not play at Wimbledon because of a shoulder injury that forced her to abandon her Roland Garros mission.

However, she was excellent in her 6-4 6-4 defeat of 2018 Australian Open champion Wozniacki, who sees plenty of similarites between the teenager and three-time US Open champion Clijsters.

"I think the one that I can most compare her game to would probably be Kim back in the day, Clijsters," Wozniacki told a media conference. "I think because she moves well and she can stretch out and get to some balls and also play aggressive and using the angles. Obviously she prefers the forehand just like Kim.

"But she can move around the backhand and put the angle on it, so I think if I were to kind of compare to someone I know, everyone has their own style, but for me, playing her, it brings me back a little bit to when I played Kim."

Told of that comparison, Andreescu said at her media conference: "I actually looked up to her [Clijsters] a lot while I was just coming up, when I started playing tennis.

"So that's really nice to hear from other players, because I think my game is pretty similar to hers. Not as good yet."

Wozniacki received treatment on her foot at the end of the first set but it did not appear to hinder her in a competitive second set.

The Dane alleviated any concerns over that injury but lamented a year in which she has consistently battled fitness problems.

On her foot, she said: "I think I just jammed it or did something like that. I'm not sure exactly. I went to the physio just to check it out. But it's okay. It's fine.

"Obviously it wasn't the best year for me, but really, there's nothing you can do when your body sometimes doesn't cooperate.

"At this point you just have to stay positive, and I'm going to go into Asia feeling like I can play some good tennis and pull off some good shots."

Daniil Medvedev has been fined $9,000 for the unruly conduct in his US Open win over Feliciano Lopez that saw him booed by the crowd.

Medvedev was given a code violation in the first set on Friday after snatching a towel from a ball boy's hand. He responded by tossing his racket in the direction of the umpire's chair.

Unseen by the umpire, Medvedev then directed a middle-finger gesture at the crowd, with the fans inside Louis Armstrong Stadium incensed after seeing him do so on the big screen.

Medvedev was jeered throughout the contest and after he wrapped up a four-set victory in the third-round clash.

The 23-year-old Russian seemed to revel in the boos and told the crowd: "The more you do this, the more I will win."

He later told reporters his actions were brought on by the heat of the moment and said: "Hopefully I will do better next time."

Medvedev was fined $5,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct and $4,000 for a "visible obscenity", tournament officials said.

The world number five will look to put the episode behind him when he faces qualifier Dominik Koepfer on Sunday.

The 2019 film 'Diego Maradona', a documentary covering a period of the great Argentina footballer's life, brilliantly depicts the breathless intensity of life as a superstar.

Put together with behind-the-scenes Maradona footage from various sources in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the critically acclaimed picture portrays the fierce adoration of supporters, the media and more that built and broke the ex-Napoli forward.

Quite understandably, it seems everyone wanted a piece of El Diego. Quite understandably, it seems this took its toll.

THE SPOTLIGHT

Watching Coco Gauff in the aftermath of her second-round US Open win was initially adorable and then a little uncomfortable.

The 15-year-old, with five main-draw grand slam triumphs to her name already, was riding the crest of her very own wave, blushing as the crowd chanted her name and then giggling excitedly as she was reminded defending champion Naomi Osaka is up next.

It is customary for victors on the show courts to then stick around for a moment or two after the interviews to sign autographs and take pictures before quickly disappearing back to the dressing room.

Gauff went above and beyond for her fans as the camera lingered for several minutes. Teenage boys tussled over signed merchandise, others tripped over themselves to get involved in the scrum. Coco kept smiling, kept signing. Some supporters were polite and grateful, others appeared blunt and rude. Coco kept going.

Many children her age - Gauff has beaten Venus Williams but is still just a child - might be discouraged from speaking to strangers. With a security guard at her side, Coco had an army of them, like Maradona, wanting a piece of her.

THE HYPE

Even for a player long tipped for success as a junior, Gauff's introduction to women's tennis has been quite remarkable. Against Timea Babos, she showed her power, her devilish speed and a defensive showing Simona Halep would be proud of. There was nothing in her performance to suggest she cannot one day live up to the hype surrounding her.

That hype is considerable. Daniela Hantuchova, on Amazon's Flushing Meadows coverage, gushed as she assessed Gauff's display. This was a future multiple-major winner, she said. The first serve of Venus, the second serve of Serena. Wow.

Coco has been the name on everyone's lips since Wimbledon, where Serena, Roger Federer and the rest discussed her thrilling breakthrough. She traded messages with Michelle Obama. Kobe Bryant was in New York on Thursday and keen to take in the clash with Babos.

And the world's top tennis prospect has understandably capitalised on this attention as a no-doubt-lucrative New Balance deal has seen the player, her team and her family turn out in shirts and shoes adorning the slogan, "Win or lose, call me Coco". She is being readied to rule the world.

A young Maradona, likewise destined for the top, had a camera crew follow him around in the days before this was normal, recording footage intended to make him a movie star. Ultimately, this would form part of the film that concluded with the tale of his downfall.

THE WARNING

Gauff has dealt with her new status incredibly well and will, you would imagine, continue to do so as long as the coverage remains positive and she keeps performing far above the level ordinarily expected of a teenager. There appears no pressure at this stage as she defeats senior pro after senior pro.

Yet might Osaka, her next opponent, be able to offer a word of warning? The Japanese appeared at ease and content on the WTA Tour a year ago, steadily forging an impressive career but not yet a victim of the expectation that comes with success.

That all changed with victory first at the US Open and then in Melbourne. Osaka became world number one and initially hated it. "Mentally, it was way more stress and pressure than I could have imagined," she said. Sport can chew up and spit out even the most prodigious talent. 

Osaka should beat Gauff and so there will be no outrage if the American is undone. The biggest feel-good story in tennis will roll on and on, the hype growing and then eventually perhaps, too, the scrutiny.

Whether Coco reaches superstardom or falls some way short, her health and happiness must remain intact throughout her career. Others have not always found that to be the case.

Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer remain on a collision course to meet in the US Open semi-finals after they each claimed straight-sets wins to reach the last 16.

Djokovic declared himself "almost pain-free" after coming through a decent test from Denis Kudla and sealing a meeting with Stan Wawrinka, the defending champion having faced questions about his troublesome left shoulder going into his 6-3 6-4 6-2 victory.

Federer has had no such fitness issues and breezed through against Daniel Evans, though the Swiss was forced to respond to suggestions he had influenced the decision to have him play first on Arthur Ashe against the Briton, who had come through a four-set encounter on Thursday.

Next for Federer is David Goffin after the Belgian overcame Pablo Carreno Busta in three sets.

Daniil Medvedev provided late drama in the last match on Louis Armstrong, with his victory over Feliciano Lopez booed by fans after he was seen to aim a middle finger at them.

 

MEDVEDEV WINS DESPITE MELTDOWN

World number five Medvedev needed three hours and 19 minutes to see off Lopez 7-6 (7-1) 4-6 7-6 (9-7) 6-4, the Russian progressing despite a first-set meltdown.

Medvedev lost all support from the crowd after he was seen to direct an insulting gesture at them, this after he had been assessed a code violation for snatching a towel from a ball boy, which he reacted to by tossing a racquet in the direction of the umpire's chair.

The Russian revelled in the boos that came after he clinched victory, seemingly enjoying playing the role of villain, telling the crowd their energy will be "enough for the next five matches".

He later described his actions as "heat of the moment" and expressed hope he will deal with such situations better next time. Whether he will have the crowd on side in his match with qualifier Dominik Koepfer, who is set to break into the top 100 after beating 17th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili in four sets, is debatable at best.

WAWRINKA EXPECTS TO BRING HIS BEST

Wawrinka has beaten Djokovic twice in grand slam finals, at the French Open and in New York, and anticipates producing his best tennis against the world number one in round four.

The Swiss saw off Paolo Lorenzi in three sets, a day after the Italian completed a second-round match that lasted nearly five hours.

Speaking in a media conference, Wawrinka said of his meeting with Djokovic: "There's something with him that when I get into my best game, I know that it's going to have some big rally, I'm going to play good tennis."

DEMON DE MINAUR SET FOR DIMITROV DUEL

Alex de Minaur claimed his first top-10 win as he shocked seventh seed Kei Nishikori 6-2 6-4 2-6 6-3. 

The Australian was afterwards asked if he had a nickname he likes and replied: "Demon. That's something that's sort of caught on in Australia. And, yeah, I don't mind it.

"I like to think it's got something to do with sort of my fiery attitude on court. Just, you know, I get pretty fired up and pumped up. I'd like to think it's something to do with that."

Grigor Dimitrov will be the next man faced with De Minaur's fire, after the Bulgarian saw off Kamil Majchrzak in three sets.

Daniil Medvedev was booed after his win over Feliciano Lopez at the US Open following a contest marred by controversy.

The world number five was given a code violation in the first set after angrily snatching a towel from a ball boy.

He reacted to that punishment by flipping his racquet in the direction of the umpire's chair, though he was not assessed a further violation.

Medvedev was then seen to aim a middle-finger gesture towards the crowd in an incident missed by the umpire.

The Russian was subsequently jeered by the Louis Armstrong Stadium crowd throughout the match but that did not prevent him from claiming a four-set triumph to reach the last 16.

Further boos rained down on him as he clinched victory with Medvedev more than happy to embrace the role of villain.

"The energy you giving me right now will be enough for the next five matches," he said on court afterwards.

"The more you do this, the more I will win."

He was more reserved afterwards, telling reporters of his actions: "I was in the heat of the moment, started losing the momentum, I paid for it the whole match after, as you saw it wasn't that easy so I'm just happy to win.

"Even as I say I paid for it the whole match but the crowd was electric, even the bad energy I needed to turn into good energy and that's why I won.

"After the match I talked to Feli at the net and to his coach in the locker room to say that 'guys, it's not against you'. They said that they understand me.

"What I can say is that I'm working on myself and hopefully I will be better next time."

Medvedev faces qualifier Dominik Koepfer in round four, when the crowd is unlikely to be on his side if Friday's proceedings are any evidence.

Novak Djokovic indicated a spectator he was seen arguing with during a practice session helped motivate him for his US Open third-round victory over Denis Kudla.

Djokovic brushed off concerns over his left shoulder, on which he required treatment in his second-round match against Juan Ignacio Londero, to claim a 6-3 6-4 6-2 victory in Arthur Ashe Stadium and book a meeting with Stan Wawrinka.

The world number one and defending champion delayed his practice by two hours ahead of the contest, and that session was marked by a confrontation with a fan in which the Serbian appeared to say "I'll come find you".

Noticeably fired up during the match, Djokovic also took issue with members of the crowd who cheered a double fault, firing back at them after he saved a break point.

Speaking in his post-match news conference, Djokovic was reticent to give too much away about the practice incident, which he initially described as "just a little chat".

Asked about the "come find you" remarks, Djokovic replied: "To have a drink. I liked the guy. I'm going to buy him a drink."

Pressed on what was said to him, he added: "We'll keep it between us. But he definitely helped me. He doesn't even know, but he did help me.

"As I said, I'm not going to talk about it. I think he did me a favour. Even maybe he didn't want to do me a favour, he did me a favour, big favour."

Djokovic conceded to being fired up by the behaviour of some of the crowd during the match, saying: "Night sessions, New York, crowd gets into it. A couple guys that had a couple of drinks more than I guess they were supposed to. But it was all good after."

Despite declaring himself "almost pain free", Djokovic was reluctant to give details on what treatments he has had since the Londero match.

"As I said, I would appreciate if you respect me not talking about it in details," he responded when asked if he had been given a pain-killing injection.

"I mean, I understand you guys want to know. I made a decision not to get into details, not to speak about it. Please understand me.

"I'm very glad with the way it went. I am able to play. That for me is a huge blessing today because it was probably the complete opposite two days ago.

"I did not practice yesterday, that's true. I did a lot of things in the last few days to be able to play."

Novak Djokovic produced a performance that should dispel some concerns over his shoulder with a straight-sets third-round win over a spirited Denis Kudla at the US Open.

Djokovic required treatment on his shoulder at several points in his second-round win over Juan Ignacio Londero and doubts over his fitness were not helped by his practice session, which was marked by an apparent argument with a spectator, being delayed by two hours on Friday.

He refused to be drawn on questions about the injury on his walk from the tunnel, instead providing his answer on the court in a 6-3 6-4 6-2 victory.

Kudla had described playing in Arthur Ashe Stadium under the lights as a "dream come true" and his showing lived up to the occasion.

The American had Djokovic at full stretch at various junctures in a highly entertaining affair, but the world number one and defending champion delivered his best on the key points to book a last-16 clash with Stan Wawrinka.

Djokovic had the crowd on their feet in the fourth game as he broke the Kudla serve in stunning fashion, showing off his superb ability to cover the court before winning the point with an exquisite backhand volley.

That proved enough to take the first set as Djokovic brilliantly saved two break-back points in the seventh game, with Kudla then looping a backhand wide on set point.

Kudla continued to test Djokovic's powers of flexibility but could not break through the Serbian's exceptional defences.

A forehand into the net gave Djokovic the break and a 3-2 lead in the second and, though Kudla played arguably the point of the match with a half-volley to bring up a break chance, he could not take that opportunity or the subsequent one after a Djokovic double fault.

The air was let out of the stadium somewhat as Djokovic clinched the second and he quickly took the crowd out of the contest by breaking Kudla in the first game of the third.

It was far from a perfect performance from Djokovic, who racked up 31 unforced errors and served three double faults in holding for a 2-0 third-set lead.

For all Kudla's efforts, however, he was unable to find a route back into the match and the way in which Djokovic gave the scoreline a comfortable look against an opponent clearly playing at his highest level should give the 16-time grand slam champion plenty of satisfaction as he looks to seal a fourth US Open title.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Novak Djokovic [1] bt Denis Kudla 6-3 6-4 6-2

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Djokovic – 34/31
Kudla – 25/26

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Djokovic – 6/8
Kudla – 6/3

BREAK POINTS WON
Djokovic – 4/9
Kudla – 0/7

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Djokovic – 63
Kudla – 52

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Djokovic – 81/59
Kudla – 70/47

TOTAL POINTS
Djokovic – 104
Kudla – 78

Karolina Pliskova survived a scare to keep her US Open hopes alive, while Serena Williams cruised into the fourth round at Flushing Meadows.

Having seen Simona Halep stunningly undone by qualifier Taylor Townsend on Thursday, the fans at Flushing Meadows may have thought another shock was on the cards when Ons Jabeur took Pliskova to a decider.

However, the third seed rallied to reach the last 16, where she will meet Johanna Konta.

Williams enjoyed a more comfortable day at the office in seeing off Karolina Muchova in straight sets and will play Petra Martic after her win over Anastasija Sevastova.

Meanwhile, Madison Keys had her blood pressure taken in her straight-sets win over Sofia Kenin.

 

PLISKOVA NOT SATISFIED

It appeared to be plain sailing for Pliskova when she breezed to the first set 6-1 against world number 62 Jabeur.

However, the Tunisian fought to send the match to a third set, and Pliskova needed over two hours to come through a stern test 6-1 4-6 6-4.

Afterwards, the former world number one made it clear she was not satisfied with her performance.

"You know, just got in trouble maybe more because of me than her," Pliskova said.

"Of course her game is, once you're not feeling great and her game is not super nice to play because she plays kind of everything, I don't even know if she knows what she's playing, and yeah, then was quite difficult.

"In the end, good. It was big fight. Not for sure the best feeling but I won, which is good."

 

KEYS UNLOCKS KENIN

Tenth seed Keys looked set to claim a comfortable win over compatriot Kenin, serving eight aces to take the opening set in 27 minutes.

However, her hopes of returning to the final she reached in 2017 seemed in jeopardy when she had the blood pressure strap on her arm at 3-3 in the second.

Yet she was able to break for a 6-5 lead and withstood pressure from Kenin to serve out a 6-3 7-5 success and set up a fourth-round meeting with Elina Svitolina, who thrashed fellow Ukrainian Dayana Yastremska 6-2 6-0.

"Just not feeling 100 per cent tonight but really glad I was able to get through in two. It would have been a lot trickier if I had to play another set," Keys told ESPN on court afterwards.

KONTA RELISHING PLISKOVA REUNION

When Konta played Pliskova in Rome this year she was on the end of a 6-3 6-4 defeat. However, after thrashing Zhang Shuai 6-2 6-3, the Briton expressed excitement at the chance to avenge that loss.

"I am actually looking forward to seeing how I can do a bit better, how I can just maybe ask some better questions this time around," said Konta.

World number two Ashleigh Barty remains on course for an enticing quarter-final with Williams following her 7-5 6-3 win over Maria Sakkari.

She will next face Wang Qiang, who came back from 3-0 down in the first set to beat Fiona Ferro 7-6 (7-1) 6-3.

When Naomi Osaka takes on teenage sensation Coco Gauff in the tie of the third round at the US Open on Saturday, it will be impossible not to see the parallels between the two.

Following her victory in a brutal battle with Timea Babos on Thursday, John McEnroe was quick to warn how a Gauff triumph in the match everyone hoped to see may be too much, too soon for the 15-year-old sensation.

The rise of Osaka, and her subsequent struggles to deal with the spotlight that has arrived with becoming the world number one and winning two grand slams by the age of 21, may well be a reason why McEnroe made that claim.

Osaka has rarely looked comfortable in the media glare and, prior to the final major of the year at Flushing Meadows, conceded she has not had fun playing tennis since her success at the Australian Open.

The Japanese can see herself in Gauff, who is again the story of the first week of a grand slam having become the youngest woman to reach the third round of the US Open since 1996.

However, speaking after her routine win over Magda Linette on Thursday, Osaka pointed out a key difference between her and Gauff.

"Yeah, I mean, off the court she seems like me. Well, she seems a little bit more, like, she knows what she's doing," Osaka said. "I just mean, like, I'm very quiet. I've gotten actually a bit talkative recently, though.

"But, yeah, I saw her in the locker room. She wasn't really talking to anyone. I was like, 'Oh, looks familiar'. I'm just going to talk to her. I know she's super young, and I know it's sort of hard to transition.

"I wasn't even a junior, but I can only imagine as a junior you play these tournaments with your friends, and then you come to the pros and you don't know anyone.

"She's a really talented girl. I would love for her to come out of her shell a little bit. I just realise that's probably what people say about me, too."

Though based on her post-match demeanour, Osaka may be doing herself a disservice.

A comfortable win understandably changes the tone of a media conference for the better, but Osaka's light-hearted approach to proceedings - in which she cracked jokes about helping famous fans Kobe Bryant and Colin Kaepernick stay out of the sun - made for a striking contrast to how she has often dealt with the media.

Still, Osaka's praise of Gauff's composure is well-founded. On and off the court, the teenager never seems fazed by anything thrown in her direction, though she partially credits Osaka for giving her the belief she can beat the best on the biggest stage.

Asked what she can take from how Osaka has navigated early success, Gauff told a media conference: "I think she just made it, I guess, possible. 

"Last year, at the US Open, she wasn't really like a big contender. Obviously now this year she is. She had that amazing run, then the final. Honestly, I think she's a big inspiration for everyone. She's 21. She has two slams. She's still thriving for more.

"I think she's just a super-sweet person on and off the court. She competes great out there. I think she shows us how to compete and the way to, like, be off the court, too."

Competing with Osaka on the court will be the biggest challenge Gauff has faced so far. She fought extremely hard in her Wimbledon defeat to Simona Halep and will likely have to improve on that effort if she is to progress further in New York.

In terms of her overall poise, however, Gauff may actually be ahead of a world number one who is still finding her feet in dealing with the rigours that come with being at the top of the sport.

Too much, too soon? It remains to be seen. However, there can be no doubt Gauff has the temperament to handle the occasion in what will be the first of hopefully many enticing contests between two players set to dominate women's tennis.

Serena Williams is excited to "be a fan girl" over the future of women's tennis when Naomi Osaka faces Coco Gauff in the third round of the US Open.

Williams booked her spot in the fourth round on Friday with a 6-3 6-2 victory over Karolina Muchova.

However, most of the talk in her post-match media conference was not about her routine win, but rather the blockbuster clash between world number one Osaka and 15-year-old Gauff.

Gauff, who reached the fourth round of Wimbledon as a qualifier, has seen her incredible rise continue at Flushing Meadows with three-set wins over Anastasia Potapova and Timea Babos.

A potential third-round meeting with defending champion Osaka was circled by many when the draw came out, and 23-time grand slam champion Williams is also relishing a contest between two players set to take on the mantle when she eventually ends her incredible career.

"I think it will be a really interesting match. I definitely am interested to watch," Williams said. "I think it's super exciting tennis. Coco is obviously much, much younger than Naomi, if you could say that, because Naomi is incredibly young. But it's shocking to say that Coco is about six years younger.

"I definitely think it's the future of women's tennis. And I'm really excited to just be a fan girl and kind of watch."

On the excitement Gauff has stirred, Williams added: "I think she's really pretty cool. I love her excitement on the court. I don't know what everyone else thinks. I can only tell you what I think.

"I'm a big fan of hers. I have said that since day one. I love her parents. I think she has a good family, and I think it starts there. It makes for a great athlete and a great person."

It has been an impressive tournament for young American players. In addition to Gauff's success, Taylor Townsend stunned Simona Halep on Thursday while Sofia Kenin is into the third round.

The 37-year-old, who lost a set to Gauff's doubles partner Caty McNally in the second round, played down talk of her compatriots' emergence being a result of the "Williams effect".

"I can't be presumptuous and say that's because of me. I think it's because of these young women and their parents and coaches want them to do something amazing," said Williams. 

"I think tennis is a great sport for females and it's a great way to showcase your personality, be yourself, make a great living and still do something that you absolutely love."

Williams will play Petra Martic in the fourth round.

Dan Evans claimed US Open schedulers gave Roger Federer a helping hand after the weary Briton bowed out of Flushing Meadows on Friday.

Midweek rain delays meant Evans played his second-round match against Lucas Pouille a day later than planned, eventually beating the French 25th seed on Thursday. 

Federer, in contrast, got his match out of the way on Wednesday, meaning he had ample preparation time. The 20-time grand slam winner duly swept past Evans, inflicting a 6-2 6-2 6-1 whipping on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The 29-year-old British player had hoped for longer to recover, rather than being handed a slot at 12:00 local time (16:00 GMT) for his clash with the five-time US Open winner.

But Federer angrily rejected any suggestion he demanded a midday start, saying it was nonsense to think he calls the shots. He was so riled that, unusually for the Swiss, he used an expletive in his post-match news conference.

"These guys, the tournament obviously want Roger... would rather Roger be going through that match than me, so it's understandable," Evans told the media.

Evans scoffed when asked whether he or Leon Smith, the Great Britain Davis Cup captain who has been working closely with him, had requested a more suitable start time.

"You think a guy who has my ranking has any say in that?" said the world number 58. "There is probably about four people in this tournament who has a say when they play. Maybe three."

Evans - who admitted Federer played "no-error tennis" - found some sympathy from his opponent.

Federer said: "You could definitely argue that the scheduling was not in his favour. I understand if Danny is a little bit frustrated."

But the 38-year-old stressed he had not attempted to gain any pre-match advantage with the schedule, saying: "I don't remember that I asked for something. I definitely didn't do it intentionally. I don't even know if the team asked for day [rather than night session]. I know there was questions to have a preference.

"But that doesn't mean like, 'Roger asks, Roger gets'.

"Just remember that, because I have heard this s*** too often now. I'm sick and tired of it, that apparently I call the shots. The tournament and the TV stations do.

"We can give our opinion. That's what we do. But I'm still going to walk out even if they schedule me at 04:00 in the morning."

Serena Williams avoided any issues against the dangerous Karolina Muchova on Friday to ease through to the US Open fourth round.

Muchova beat Garbine Muguruza en route to the third round at Flushing Meadows last year and added to the scalp of Karolina Pliskova to her resume in reaching the Wimbledon quarter-finals this year.

However, Williams never looked in danger of suffering a similar shock at Arthur Ashe Stadium, requiring only 75 minutes to wrap up a 6-3 6-2 victory.

The 37-year-old dropped a set against Caty McNally in the second round, but an ominous run of seven successive games helped her seal a win that sets up a clash with Petra Martic next.

Faced with an opponent she had not played before, Williams was visibly and audibly engaged in the contest from the start but needed until the seventh game to break when Muchova fired long.

She then held after going down 40-15 in the subsequent game, before winning her fourth game in a row – a run that secured the set - with a vicious forehand return.

Her punishment of the Muchova serve continued in the second to seemingly put the contest in little doubt, but Muchova rallied and cut a 3-0 deficit to 3-2 as Williams sliced an attempted backhand volley into the net.

Williams' response was immediate and her celebration emphatic as the Muchova serve was broken again after the Czech could only meet a running backhand with a volley into the net.

The 23-time major champion subsequently held and a fast-fading Muchova duly surrendered as an overhit forehand wrapped up a routine triumph for the eighth seed.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Serena Williams [8] bt Karolina Muchova 6-3, 6-2

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Williams – 20/15
Muchova – 17/22

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Williams – 5/7
Muchova – 1/4

BREAK POINTS WON
Williams – 5/8
Muchova – 1/3

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Williams – 57
Muchova –53

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Williams – 67/61
Muchova – 55/35

TOTAL POINTS
Williams – 64
Muchova – 44

Roger Federer brushed aside Dan Evans in straight sets to march into the fourth round of the US Open.

The 20-time grand slam champion has struggled to find his best tennis in the early rounds at Flushing Meadows, dropping sets against qualifier Sumit Nagal and Damir Dzumhur.

Federer was in complete control from start to finish on Friday, however, with Evans providing little resistance as the Swiss eased to a 6-2 6-2 6-1 win in one hour and 20 minutes.

The lack of a real challenge from Evans meant Federer never had to hit top form, and he will hope for a similarly routine affair in the last 16 against either David Goffin or Pablo Carreno Busta.

Evans was under pressure as early as the fourth game but saved three break points to come from 0-40 down and hold.

He could not produce similar heroics two games later, however, a whipped cross-court forehand giving Federer the break, with a second arriving when Evans fired long to concede the opening set.

Federer needed only 27 minutes to take the second by the same scoreline, hitting 20 winners in the process.

Evans' frustration got the better of him at the end of the second, as he was given a code violation for smashing his racquet on his bench.

He was at least able to channel that emotion into a break back after going 2-0 down in third, but a double fault saw him immediately surrender the initiative once more.

Another double fault made it 5-1 to Federer and a one-sided contest was brought to an end when a tame backhand landed wide.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Roger Federer [3] bt Dan Evans 6-2 6-2 6-1

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Federer – 48/19
Evans – 7/14

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Federer – 10/1
Evans – 0/4

BREAK POINTS WON
Federer – 7/14
Evans – 1/2

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Federer – 66
Evans – 51

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Federer – 80/71
Evans – 41/39

TOTAL POINTS
Federer – 87
Evans – 41

Coco Gauff defeating defending US Open champion Naomi Osaka would be bad for tennis, according to John McEnroe.

Fifteen-year-old Gauff set up a mouth-watering clash with world number one Osaka by winning a thriller with Timea Babos on Thursday.

Having made it to the fourth round of Wimbledon as a qualifier, beating Venus Williams in the process, Gauff has become the story of the first week of a grand slam for the second successive major.

She will face Osaka, a player who has also experienced great success at a young age, with the Japanese winning two slams by the age of 21, on Saturday.

But McEnroe, a three-time Wimbledon champion and four-time US Open winner, believes a victory over the top player on the planet would do more harm than good.

He told ESPN: "I hope she doesn't beat Osaka, I think it would be a little too much, too soon.

"Osaka is someone who's teetering with her confidence, she's injured. However, she's the defending champion. I don't think it would be great for women's sports.

"I think it would be too much for Coco, right here at this age, it wouldn't be a good sign for the sport if a 15-year-old is beating the defending US Open champion."

Drawing parallels between Gauff's rapid progress and his own run to the Wimbledon semi-finals as an 18-year-old, McEnroe added: "I played [Jimmy] Connors in the semis and I was happy I lost.

"I felt like things happened so fast, it allowed me a year to reflect. That was big for me."

However, McEnroe continues to be blown away by Gauff's powers of resilience, with both her matches at Flushing Meadows this week having gone the distance.

"At 15, the way she keeps battling and is able to utlilise whatever resources are necessary, including the crowd, is very impressive," he said. 

"Babos tried to break her down physically, she's 15, she should break down physically in a two-and-a-half-hour match.

"The fact that she's as fit as she is and can cover the court but mentally to be just as strong is an amazing quality, that's why I said the other day I think she's going to be the best player in the world in three or four years."

Rafael Nadal had the easiest progress into round three of the US Open, but a host of his rivals in the men's singles had to come through marathons on Thursday.

Nadal was awarded a walkover as Thanasi Kokkinakis withdrew from their second-round encounter at Flushing Meadows in New York.

As 18-time grand slam champion Nadal was able to get some valuable rest, Alexander Zverev needed five sets to see off a spirited effort from Frances Tiafoe.

Daniil Medvedev required four sets against Hugo Dellien to keep his title hopes alive as a host of other matches went the distance, including Hyeon Chung's battle with Fernando Verdasco.

Chung came from two sets down and 5-2 down in the fifth to defeat Verdasco, saving a match point to book a meeting with a refreshed Nadal.

Marin Cilic – the 2014 champion – moved on to Arthur Ashe Stadium because of Kokkinakis' withdrawal and defeated Cedrik-Marcel Stebe 4-6 6-3 7-5 6-3.

 

TOUGH LUCK FOR TIAFOE

Tiafoe has developed an unfortunate habit for losing five-setters, and he was on the wrong end of a topsy-turvy affair with sixth seed Zverev.

German Zverev came through 6-3 3-6 6-2 2-6 6-3, leaving Tiafoe to bemoan another marathon effort in vain, having also lost to Fabio Fognini in five sets at Wimbledon.

Asked to summarise his grand slam year, Australian Open quarter-finalist Tiafoe said: "Paris, unfortunately got sick there. Then I lose to Fabio in five. I lose to Zverev in five. You tell me how that feels. It's tough."

Zverev next faces Aljaz Bedene – a five-set victor over Benoit Paire. Alexander Bublik, Kamil Majchrzak and Paolo Lorenzi all won after going the distance.

Lorenzi latter's clash with Miomir Kecmanovic lasted four hours, 48 minutes and the Italian now has to gather what energy he has left ahead of Friday's meeting with 2016 champion Stan Wawrinka, who defeated Jeremy Chardy 6-4 6-3 6-7 (3-7) 6-3.

Wawrinka and Lorenzi's match precedes Medvedev facing Feliciano Lopez, who came from a set down to beat Yoshihito Nishioka 6-7 (7-9) 6-0 6-4 6-4.


DUBIOUS REWARDS FOR EVANS & KUDLA 

Dan Evans and Denis Kudla each knocked out seeds in Lucas Pouille and Dusan Lajovic, and both received dubious rewards for their performances.

Evans will have a tight turnaround to face third seed Roger Federer on Friday, while home hope Kudla will take on defending champion and world number one Novak Djokovic.

John Isner enjoyed a straightforward win over Jan-Lennard Struff, Gael Monfils also enjoyed serene progress against Marius Copil as he set up a match with Denis Shapovalov, while David Goffin eased past Gregoire Barrere 6-2 6-2 6-2.

Next up for Goffin is Pablo Carreno Busta after the 2017 semi-finalist beat Ricardas Berankis 6-4 6-7 (3-7) 6-2 6-0.


AUSSIES ON SONG

Nick Kyrgios had no problems against Antoine Hoang, winning 6-4 6-2 6-4 to secure a third-round clash with Andrey Rublev, the beneficiary of a walkover after one set with Gilles Simon.

Fellow Australians Alex de Minaur and Alexei Popyrin were also triumphant, though Jordan Thompson lost to Matteo Berrettini.

Kyrgios expressed no surprise at the success of his compatriots. He told a media conference: "De Min, I never expect anything less from him, he's an absolute warrior. He can beat a lot of good players.

"When I see him progressing through a draw, I know it's a nightmare for anyone who comes across him.

"Obviously Popyrin had a pretty good win today. Kukushkin is a savvy veteran. I'm not surprised when those guys win matches at all. They're capable of doing some big things."

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