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US Open: Nadal Gets a Walkover in Round 2, Osaka and Kyrgios Enter Round 3 in Straight Sets

US Open 2019: Rafael Nadal, Naomi Osaka and Nick Kyrgios eased into the third round on the fourth day.

AFP

Updated:August 30, 2019, 8:22 AM IST
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US Open: Nadal Gets a Walkover in Round 2, Osaka and Kyrgios Enter Round 3 in Straight Sets
Rafael Nadal, Naomi Osaka and Nick Kyrgios entered Round 3 of US Open. (Photo Credit: Reuters)
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New York: Australian 28th seed Nick Kyrgios rolled into the third round of the US Open on Thursday by beating 104th-ranked French wildcard Antoine Hoang 6-4, 6-2, 6-4.

Kyrgios, whose draw quarter has opened greatly after losses by three top-10 players in the first round, will next face Russia's 43rd-ranked Andrey Rublev for a spot in the last 16.

Rafael Nadal's US Open title path eased further as he received a walkover into the third round.

The Spanish 18-time Grand Slam winner advanced without striking a ball when injury-plagued Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis pulled out of their scheduled evening clash at Arthur Ashe Stadium with a right shoulder problem.

Nadal, the US Open champion in 2010, 2013 and 2017, will meet South Korean qualifier Chung Hyeon or Spanish 32nd seed Fernando Verdasco for a spot in the last 16.

His path to a fourth title, already helped with "Big Three" rivals Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer on the opposite side of the draw, cleared further having already seen four top-10 rivals dumped out in the first round.

Alexander Zverev, the sixth seed, is the highest-ranked player remaining on his side of the draw, as the German survived a second successive five-set marathon by outlasting American Frances Tiafoe 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 to equal his best US Open run.

"I've been here before. It's usually what I do in the first few rounds of majors, to play five sets," said Zverev, who has featured in 11 five-set matches at Grand Slams since the start of 2018 -- more than any other player.

"This means a lot. It has been a long journey," said a tearful Townsend, who also reached the French Open third round on her Grand Slam debut in 2014.

Top seed Osaka proved too strong for 53rd-ranked Magda Linette of Poland, sweeping to a 6-2, 6-4 victory and setting up a potential showdown with 15-year-old American sensation Coco Gauff for a spot in the last 16.

"I feel like I had my moments where I played really well," Osaka said. "I think the main thing for me was that I was able to adjust whenever I figured out something was going wrong, so I think I'm heading in the right direction."

KOBE, KAEPERNICK IN THE CROWD

Bryant-Kaepernick-Reuters

Kobe Bryant and Colin Kaepernick made an appearance in Naomi Osaka's box. (Photo Credit: Reuters)

Among the celebrities watching her match at Louis Armstrong Stadium were basketball legend Kobe Bryant and former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, whose kneeling protest became a national symbol for champions of social justice and racial equality.

"I'm really grateful they came out," Osaka said. "It's really cool. I honestly just wanted to finish as fast as possible because I didn't want them to be out in the sun too long."

Men's fifth seed Daniil Medvedev, coming off a maiden Masters title in Cincinnati and runner-up finishes in Montreal and Washington, was struck down by cramp during a 6-3, 7-5, 5-7, 6-3 win over Bolivia's Hugo Dellien.

"I'm not sure what happened today and why I started cramping suddenly," Medvedev said. "I obviously thought at one point 'How did I win?' I don't know how I did."

Stan Wawrinka, the 2016 US Open champion, beat Jeremy Chardy in four sets and is on a fourth-round collision course with Djokovic.

Andrea Petkovic knocked out Czech sixth seed Kvitova 6-4, 6-4, while 15th seed Bianca Andreescu continued her steady progress with a 6-3, 7-5 win over Kirsten Flipkens.

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