Sloane Stephens and Angelique Kerber beaten, but Simona Halep survives
Sloane Stephens and Angelique Kerber were among the seeds to lose at the rain-affected Cincinnati Masters on Thursday.
US Open champion and third seed Stephens was stunned 7-6 (10-8), 6-2 by Elise Mertens, who is playing in the main draw of the Western & Southern Open for the first time in her career.
— WTA (@WTA) August 16, 2018
“It’s really awesome to be able to play like this against a player like Sloane, who has a Grand Slam already,” the 15th seeded Mertens said.
“I think I played a great match, not too many mistakes. She doesn’t give you free points, so you have to build them yourself. And I’m pretty happy about the way I played today.”
The Belgian will take on eighth-seeded Petra Kvitova next after the two-time Grand Slam winner secured a comfortable 6-4, 6-2 victory over Kristina Mladenovic from France.
Wimbledon champion Kerber joined Stephens and Garbine Muguruza, who exited on Wednesday, on the sidelines as she was beaten by 2017 US Open runner-up Madison Keys.
The American hit 55 winners as she came from a set down to win 2-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-4 and secure only her second victory in eight outings against Kerber.
“Considering the last – what was it, six times? – it didn’t go so hot, this victory feels good,” Keys said. “More than anything, it was just how I handled being down and not letting the previous results kind of spiral in my head for me. I think that’s what I’m happiest with.”
Sixth seed Caroline Garcia also crashed out as she was beaten by Aryna Sabalenka with the Belarusian winning 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.
Top seed Simona Halep moved into the third round, but she didn’t have it all her own way against Ajla Tomljanovic.
In a match that started on Wednesday evening and had to be pushed to Thursday due to the weather, the Australian qualifier took the opening set, but Halep eventually found her rhythm and won 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Next up is another Australian in Ashleigh Barty.
Dominic Thiem jokes he will ‘call Andy Murray and see how it is with 0-4’ if he loses US Open final
A fourth final for Dominic Thiem.
US Open day 12: Alexander Zverev’s delight, to hug or not to hug, suit guy alert
The story of day 12 at Flushing Meadows.
Dominic Thiem ‘really, really happy’ as he defeats Daniil Medvedev to book US Open final spot
Thiem will face Zverev in the final.
Alexander Zverev reveals internal pep talk helped him to turn around US Open semi-final fortunes
Zverev lost the first two sets but hit back to beat Carreno Busta.
Novak Djokovic was ‘by himself for a while, and then we talked,’ reveals Goran Ivanisevic
Djokovic was defaulted for hitting a line judge with a ball hit in annoyance.
EXCLUSIVE: Former England striker Peter Crouch on the Novak Djokovic controversy at the US Open
Peter Crouch on Novak Djokovic getting thrown out of US Open.
2020 US Open women’s final info, recent form, betting and preview: Naomi Osaka v Victoria Azarenka
We give you the lowdown ahead of the US Open women’s final.
Victoria Azarenka feels absence from finals has given her fresh perspective
Azarenka’s last grand slam title was at the 2013 Australian Open.
Naomi Osaka v Victoria Azarenka for the 2020 US Open crown: A closer look at the stats
Stats preview ahead of Osaka-Azarenka US Open final.
Wheelchair star Alfie Hewett to compete in 2021 after ITF postpones new classification rules
Hewett welcomes decision.