He really let this fan have it.
Top-seeded Novak Djokovic will put his injuries to the test as he heads back to the court for his second-round match in the U.lS. Open on Wednesday. Djokoivc will compete against the Czech Republic’s Jiri Vesely at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Forest Hills, New York.
Second-seeded Angelique Kerber will try to continue her climb toward a major championship when she takes on Coatia’s Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in the second round.
Those two matches will highlight the schedule during the third day of competition at the national championship.
Djokovic‘s match is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. ET , while Kerber will play at 3:30 p.m. at Louis Armstrong Stadium.
Djokovic needed four sets to survive his first-round match against Poland’s Jerzy Janowicz, and he needed to call a trainer to the court in the first set set to attend to his ailing right arm. He also came into the tournament with an injured left wrist.
The Serbian star attempted to minimize the injuries as he moves forward in the U.S. Open.
“Calling for the medical timeout was just prevention,” Djokovic told reporters (h/t CNN). “It’s all good; to be honest, I take it day by day.”
“It’s getting better and better each day. I’m glad that I’m experiencing that so hopefully, as the tournament progresses, I’ll reach my peak.”
Vesely is the 49th-ranked player in the world, and he defeated Saketh Myneni in five sets in the first round.
Kerber had an easy first-round victory over Polona Hercog. Kerber reeled off a 6-0 bagel in the first set and won the first game of the second set before her opponent retired.
Lucic-Baroni is the 67th-ranked player in the world, and the 34-year-old had a relatively easy 6-4, 6-1 victory over Alize Cornet in the first round.
Top-seeded Serena Williams and second-seeded Andy Murray were both victorious in the first-round Tuesday night.
Williams rolled to a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova, and she will play Vania King in the second round. King is the 67th-ranked player in the world.
There were questions about Williams’ shoulder going into the match, but she won 90 percent of the points on her first serve and looked strong in the process.
Murray was in top form as he defeated Lukas Rosol 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 in the first round. Murray did not appear to have any weaknesses in his game and he has at least as much going for him as Djokovic in this tournament.
In addition to the Djokovic and Kerber matches, other key Wednesday action includes ninth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga meeting James Duckworth at 1 p.m. and fourth-seeded Rafael Nadal facing off against Andreas Seppi at 9 p.m. on the men’s side.
Defending champion and seventh-seeded Roberta Vinci meets Christina McHale at 11:00 a.m., while third-seeded Garbine Muguruza meets Anastasija Sevastova at 7 p.m. on the women’s side.
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Novak Djokovic leads the pack of competitors commencing the 2016 U.S. Open’s second round on Wednesday.
Following a shaky first-round victory over Jerzy Janowicz, the defending champion still must prove he’s healthy enough to repeat. Along with the top-seeded star, Rafael Nadal, Milos Raonic, Marin Cilic, Angelique Kerber and Madison Keys will look to advance.
Let’s take a look at Wednesday’s schedule before breaking down a few of the top matches.
Wednesday’s Viewing Information
When: Play begins at 11 a.m. ET
TV Schedule: 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. ET (ESPN) and 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Novak Djokovic vs. Jiri Vesely
After a stunning first-round Olympic loss in Rio de Janeiro, uncertainty followed Djokovic into the U.S. Open. The 12-time Grand Slam champion had not since competed due to wrist issues until Monday.
Djokovic surrendered the second set to Janowicz, a massive underdog with a No. 247 world ranking, after receiving medical treatment in the opening set. He downplayed any injury concerns after the win, per BBC.com.
“Hopefully as the tournament progresses, I’ll reach my peak,” Djokovic said. “There are periods when you’re not feeling 100 percent, but I don’t think it’s necessary to talk about this now. I’m just glad to come through this day, and let’s keep on moving.”
Despite the tournament’s bumpy start, he ultimately secured another triumph in Queens, New York. ESPN Stats & Info highlighted his career U.S. Open success:
His Round 2 opponent, Jiri Vesely, survived a compelling five-set match against Saketh Myneni. In his last major, the 23-year-old upset No. 8-seed Dominic Thiem during his second-round Wimbledon contest. He also defeated Djokovic in their only encounter, ousting him from the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters in April.
If he’s not fully healed, Djokovic could suffer another early elimination in Flushing Meadows. He’ll get pushed to his limit, but look for the No. 1 seed to escape a tough battle.
Pick: Djokovic in five sets
Madison Keys vs. Kayla Day
Keys, who has made the fourth round in five straight Grand Slams, nearly got booted in the opening slate.
After losing the first set and nearly dropping the second one in a tiebreaker, the 21-year-old engineered a late rally in Monday night’s matchup against Alison Riske, which lasted until 1:49 a.m. ET.
“I didn’t know I could play such great tennis after 1 a.m.,” Keys said in her post-match interview, per WTATennis.com. “But it had to be after 1 a.m., where I started playing a little bit better, so I think that was the key. I’m not usually a morning person, but this kind of morning, I am.”
The rising star now will now face 16-year-old Kayla Day, who upset Madison Brengle in her first career major matchup. Keys holds a rare experience advantage in a showdown where both American competitors combined are three years older than Serena Williams.
A lengthy Olympic run and grueling first-round matchup have likely worn Keys down, but she should muster enough energy to knock off the untested teenage upstart.
Pick: Keys in straight sets
Marin Cilic vs. Sergiy Stakhovsky
Outside of Andy Murray, Cilic is best positioned to capitalize on Djokovic‘s health and Roger Federer‘s absence. The 2014 U.S. Open champion is coming off a Western & Southern Open title where he conquered Murray in the final, and he rolled through Rogerio Dutra Silva in this tournament’s first round.
The 27-year-old made a serious run at back-to-back U.S. Open titles before falling to Djokovic in last year’s semifinals. Nevertheless, he improved his career Open record to 25-6.
Per ATPWorldTour.com, the No. 7 seed expressed confidence before his next matchup against Sergiy Stakhovsky.
“For me it feels different. I am feeling great,” Cilic said. “Conditions suit my game. I know I can play great at Grand Slams. I had a really good run at Wimbledon and coming here having won Cincinnati I feel in really, really good form. It’s important to not lose that. It’s a different feeling to two years ago.”
On Monday, Stakhovsky needed a fifth-set tiebreaker to vanquish Gastao Elias. Although an impressive comeback, the 30-year-old won’t have enough left in the tank to pull off an upset.
Look for Cilic to maintain his momentum with another convincing win.
Pick: Cilic in straight sets
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Two days before her first-round loss at the 2016 U.S. Open, Eugenie Bouchard posted a tweet that drew Serena Williams into a conversation about the Canadian’s commitment to tennis.
That tweet reflects where Bouchard finds herself: on the outside looking in at the top-tier players.
Bouchard excels at tweeting, uploading Instagram photos and in magazine photo shoots. However, she’s struggling at tennis, the sport that propelled her into the spotlight. Her stardom is fading. In fact, it may have faded for good.
Tuesday, Bouchard lost to No. 72 Katerina Siniakova, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2. A Wimbledon finalist in 2014, Bouchard’s been in a yearlong funk on the court.
Meanwhile, she continues to sign endorsement deals. Once considered the next Maria Sharapova, Bouchard’s career is starting to look more like that of Anna Kournikova, a Grand Slam-less player who enjoyed champion-level attention.
In her last seven Grand Slam appearances, Bouchard has lost in the first round three times, the second round twice and once in the third and fourth round, respectively. She’s ranked No. 39 and is projected to drop outside the top 40 on Monday.
Bouchard told the Associated Press (via Tennis.com) that she has yet to regain her top form: “I didn’t feel like, on the court, I was back to where I was. But physically, since the beginning of the year, I’ve been feeling good.”
Last year, Bouchard seemed to be regaining confidence before she suffered a concussion in a locker room accident at the U.S. Open. She withdrew from the tournament and sued the U.S. Open and USTA. The lawsuit has yet to be resolved.
Her attorney, Benedict Morelli, blames the USTA for what he characterized as “hardball” tactics, per the New York Times‘ Ben Rothenberg. The USTA released a statement to the SportsBusiness Journal that was published in the Montreal Gazette:
It is truly unfortunate that a year after her accident, Genie’s focus is on matters other than playing to her best ability. As you probably know, her lawyers asked for an extension; the USTA on the other hand, has remained ready, willing and able to bring the litigation to a conclusion as expeditiously as is possible whether through settlement discussions or a fully litigated process.
Sunday, Bouchard sent that tweet that featured Williams introducing Beyonce at the Video Music Awards, with the comment “You should be focused on the US Open! Oh no wait, you’re Serena”:
She seemed to be taking a shot at the USTA by pointing out that Williams has many interests outside of tennis. Although Bouchard may not have intended to elevate herself to Williams’ status, that’s the way several Twitter followers took it.
They suggested Bouchard win a few Slams—perhaps 22—before comparing her off-court options to those of Williams.
Forget about comparing her to Williams, Bouchard is falling behind players her age or younger. She’s 22. There are seven players younger than Bouchard who are ranked above her. Madison Keys, 21, is ranked No. 9.
As she descends into mediocrity, her critics are increasing.
After she lost to Angelique Kerber in the second round of the Rio Olympics, Canadian rower and commentator Adam Kreek, suggested on CBC (via Global News) that she was more concerned about fashion than tennis.
Bouchard scoffs at the idea that tennis is not a priority. She told Rothenberg: “I am 100 percent focused on tennis.”
To be fair, Kerber is No. 2 and reached the gold-medal round. It’s not like Bouchard lost to an unranked player. Perhaps it was how she lost. After taking a 4-1 lead in the first set, Bouchard crumbled. Kerber beat her 6-4, 6-2.
It’s difficult to judge what motivates players or if they are giving 100 percent. Results, however, are quantifiable. Bouchard is 30-21 this year. In 2014, she reached the WTA Tour Championships, a year-end tournament for the season’s top eight players. She’s No. 31 right now.
Her record in Grand Slams in 2014 was 19-4. In 2015 it dropped to 7-3. This year, she’s 4-4.
What appeared to be a slump may be the new normal for Bouchard. What if she’s settled into the type of tennis player she’s going to be? Perhaps instead of a sign of a career to come, 2014 was a fluke.
She’s still young and has time to improve. Li Na, 34, and Kerber, 28, are proof that players can have late-career success. However, unlike Bouchard, once Li and Kerber reached the top 20, they stayed there.
Bouchard reached a career-high of No. 5 in 2014. She finished last year ranked No. 48. This year, she dropped to a season-low No. 68 after the Australian Open. Her brief climb back to the 30s will end on Monday.
Things look dim for the once-bright star.
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Novak Djokovic is 0-1 against Jiri Vesely, his second-round opponent at the U.S. Open