US Open 2017: Rafael Nadal storms through and Thiem in action – live!

Powered by article titled “US Open 2017: Rafael Nadal storms through and Thiem in action – live!” was written by Nick Ames, for on Monday 4th September 2017 22.50 UTC

Thiem, who was making some wild forehand errors, seems to be controlling it a little better now and makes an impressive hold to 15. He leads 3-2 with serve. Those last two games will have done him the world of good. Imagine, now, if for the rest of this match we see these two playing at the very top of their games …

Now Thiem breaks back – thanks largely to a Del Potro double fault and a helpful net cord. Will this take the wind out of Del Potro’s sails? 2-2 in the fourth.

And Del Potro breaks in the fourth! He goes 2-1 up. Thiem is just cracking up; he can’t handle the repeated bludgeonings that are coming his way, and his judgement seems completely shot. Crazy though it may sound, this match is currently going only one way.


He really is. It’s an utterly stunning revival, this, however it plays out in the end.

Thiem holds the opening game of the fourth to love, with one lovely scooped shot by the net, and that will help him a lot – he needed that.

Del Potro wins the third set 6-1! What a breathtaking recovery – and what on earth can we expect now? To remind you, Thiem now leads 6-1, 6-2, 1-6.

Murray and Soares have won 6-3, 6-4. The title defence continues!

Thiem is disintegrating here. He is where Del Potro was earlier, but presumably without the high temperature. I paid tribute to his cool head earlier but, as Del Potro has dialled it up and up, he’s just found it impossible to cope. Another break and Del Potro is 5-1 up. What an utterly peculiar match.

Del Potro now leads 4-1, by the way, a couple of holds later. While Murray and Soares are serving for their match …

Andrey Rublev, he of the heroics earlier, is currently back on court playing in the men’s doubles with Karen Khachanov. They’re a set up against French pair Edouard Roger-Vasselin and Julien Benneteau – with the second set going into a tiebreak. Busy day for him!

Suddenly it’s Thiem who looks like the man under the weather. Del Potro makes it 3-0 and this turnaround is, if you saw just how close he seemed to conceding earlier, absolutely remarkable.

Del Potro breaks! The crowd go wild, and he responds with a fist-pump. He’ll be feeling a whole lot better now! He leads 2-0 in the third, and this is like a completely different sport to what we were watching earlier.

There is unlikely to be a third set for Murray and Soares – who have broken and lead 4-2 in the second …

Do we have a third set on our hands now? He made slightly heavy weather of it but Del Potro holds and gets his nose in front at 1-0. The Argentinians in the crowd are vocal now. Next couple of games may be crucial.

Thiem takes the second set 6-2. And again, he isn’t looking flummoxed by the very fluctuating prospect across the court from him. He’s now a set away from his best performance at a US Open – no matter how this has come about!

Del Potro has had a fever, apparently – but took some medication earlier and it does seem to be making a belated difference …

And now Del Potro takes another game. It’s 5-2 to Thiem. The crowd are right behind him – they want to see the thriller this ought to have been – and this all bodes nicely for the third set. This is already something of a Lazarus-like recovery … he couldn’t take it further and do something special, could he?

Del Potro earns three break points against Thiem … but can’t take any of them! The third is ceded after a 22-shot rally that does, at least, bode well for the Argentinian’s improved health. He is swatting the ball superbly at times now – he just wasn’t doing that at all earlier – and while he can’t close out the game we are at least watching a tennis match now. Thiem leads 5-1 in the second.

Murray and Soares have won the first set against Lindstedt and Thompson 6-3.

Signs of life from Del Potro in the fifth game, and he gets himself off the mark for the second set. If he starts feeling better then we may yet have a contest, though it’s surely going to have to wait until Thiem has wrapped this set up.

Del Potro hadn’t dropped a set before this. It seemed as if we’d have a real ripsnorter of a game on our hands. Now he can barely win a point. Thiem wins his latest service game to love, and it’s 4-0. The muted applause of the crowd shows nobody quite knows what’s going on.

To be fair to Thiem, he can’t do a lot more than this even though there’s clearly an injury issue – we still know not what – at the other end. He breaks to 15 now and leads 3-0 in the second set. Every chance Del Potro will retire before this is done; this is no contest at all.

Murray and Soares, the defending champions of course, are easing away in that first set at 4-1 up. Thiem appears to be doing exactly that in the second set here, it’s 2-0 and Del Potro looks frustrated and knackered.

Rather less encouragement in the longevity department, now, as Thiem breaks to 30 in that opening game of the second. Murray and Soares, meanwhile, are a break of their own up in the men’s doubles – 3-1 in the first.

Del Potro did not hit a single winner in that set. He serves first in the second – a set that, no matter who wins it, will tell us a great deal about the rest of this match simply by its manner. It begins encouragingly with a wonderful, ping-ponging rally that Thiem wins after some help from the net cord.

Thiem has won the first set 6-1! Del Potro rallied a little at the end there, winning a game and then challenging Thiem at length on his service. Can he treat the next game, and indeed set, as a fresh start?

Thiem is now 5-0 up in the first set against Del Potro. I’m not sure the Argentinian is going to last the course at this rate, something is not right. We really aren’t seeing a lot of tennis today!

Jamie Murray is soon to start his third round men’s doubles match, by the way, alongside Bruno Soares. They will play Robert Lindstedt and Jordan Thompson at Armstrong.

Del Potro is having a long chat with the umpire, who has come over to see him as he sits down before the changearound – which is both odd and concerning. He doesn’t look content at all, but will continue.

Out here in the Grandstand, the shadow cleaves the court vertically rather than across the line of the net. So half the court is still in relative darkness, the other in light. The sky is bright blue, meanwhile, for it’s a beautiful day in New York. And could be an even better one for Thiem, the 24-year-old Austrian, who has eased to 3-0 up in the first now.

Quite the achievement!

Well, well – Thiem breaks a misfiring Del Potro to 15 in the latter’s first service game, and takes a 2-0 lead in the opening set. Del Potro is looking fragile.

If that first game, won by Thiem, is anything to go by then this one is going to go on a very long time – and perhaps make up for the brevity of what has preceded it, if you’re feeling at all short-changed …

It looks as if, over the last couple of hours of this blog, this might be the one match we have on our hands …

Meanwhile Del Potro and Thiem are underway, the latter serving first, so we’ll keep you close to that one.

Kaia Kanepi reaches the quarter-finals!

The 32-year-old has held on to beat Kasatkina 6-4, 6-4. And what a story that is – she is currently ranked down at 446 in the world after injury troubles … and had only reached the last eight here once, in 2010!


Vandeweghe, by the way, will play Pliskova in the quarters – what a match that should be, although Pliskova will take quite some stopping on current form. We’ll see Del Potro v Thiem shortly, by the way – they’re going to start that one early. No sign of that happening with Federer though.

Kasatkina is really giving it a go. Kanepi again broke and served for the match, only to be broken back again. It’s 5-4 in the second. Will the 20-year-old Russian be rewarded for her tenacity?

Meanwhile, Kasatkina and Kanepi are back on serve in the second! It’s 4-3 to Kanepi now, and that seventh game seemed to last forever. Superb comeback from Kasatkina to keep this bubbling under …

Coco Vandeweghe reaches the US Open quarter-finals!

She wins 6-4, 7-6 (7-2) and that was a really commanding, mature performance in the tiebreak – and all round, really – there, finished with a booming ace! Into the last eight she goes.

Vandeweghe goes through.
Vandeweghe goes through. Photograph: Peter Morgan/AP


Vandeweghe recovers from an early mini-break loss to go 4-2 up in the breaker. She’s three points from victory …

She holds it to love. Much better from her in this set – tiebreak upon us …


Safarova has to hold again at 5-6 now. Either there’s a tiebreak, or Vandeweghe goes through …

Safarova has just come up with a big – well, absolutely vital – hold against Vandeweghe for 5-5, even though there’s evidence she is holding back on those overheads a little but …

Kanepi is now 4-1 up in the second set against Kasatkina and threatening to run away with it. As is the theme of the day. Meanwhile the Bryans have beaten Mavrach and Pavic 4-6, 6-3, 6-4! A turnaround there!


Here is Kevin Mitchell’s report from Flushing Meadows on those Nadal and Pliskova routs we enjoyed earlier:

Safarova makes one of the worst overhead volley misses you will ever see at 30-0 up and 3-4. It’s been that kind of performance from her, all told, just a bit patchy with nothing really coming together at once. Fortunately for her, it’s all put to one side and she holds to 30. It’s 4-4.


Maybe not – Vandeweghe breaks back after Safarova jams one into the tramline. We’re all square again in the second.


Just as I say that, Safarova earns two break points and then wins the second! She leads the second set 3-2. Has this got some juice left in it? A match that goes to the last would be welcome at the moment; otherwise we’ll be left hoping Federer’s start time is brought forward significantly …

It’s on serve in the second set between Vandeweghe and Safarova: 2-2. It’s been a bit patchy but they are pretty evenly matched, I’d say.

And Kanepi has taken the first set 6-4! The experienced Estonian is halfway there …

Kanepi just broke Kasatkina and served for the set … only to be broken straight back to love. That one’s back on serve at 5-4 Kanepi.

Over at Armstrong, Kasatkina and Kanepi are on serve midway through the first set. The Bryan brothers, by the way, have levelled things up at a set each.

This is already Vandeweghe’s best US Open result, incidentally. Safarova is equalling her own best showing, from 2014. Who can break new ground?

That was Tom … this is Nick in London again. Bringing you news that Vandeweghe has taken the first set 6-4!

Vandeweghe takes the first set.
Vandeweghe takes the first set. Photograph: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images


A break point for Safarova against Vandeweghe but the American’s deep forehand forces her opponent to send her shot long. Vandeweghe holds … eventually.

Everyone’s favourite amiable ambling Argentinian, Juan Martin del Potro, is due on court soon to play the No6 seed Dominic Thiem. If Thiem goes out, there will only be two top-10 seeds left in the men’s draw – Nadal and Federer. Del Potro may be 29 and have knees and wrists made out of rice crackers but he has yet to drop a set so far in this tournament and won the whole thing back in 2009 (admittedly when his knees and wrists were made out of knees and wrists instead of the crackers).


The Bryan brothers have lost the first set of their match against Marach and Pavic. In their defence they are 39. But there’s two of them, so that makes them … 19 and a half? Because they need to run less? Safarova draws level in the women’s fourth match with Vanderweghe. It’s 2-2 in the first set and on serve.

Vandeweghe-Safarova is on serve at the moment, although the American brings up a break point for her opponent with a double fault. Some deuce-ing [LEGAL NOTE: NOT JUICING] ensues – before Vandeweghe seals the game and we’re at 2-1.

Andrey Rublev beats No9 seed David Goffin

The Russian 19-year-old Andrey Rublev has reached the quarter-finals after beating the No9 seed David Goffin in straight sets. He’ll play little-known Spaniard battler Rafael Nadal. Rublev’s best performance in a grand slam prior to this was a second-round appearance at this year’s Aussie Open (and Wimbledon).

Rublev celebrates after match point against Goffin.
Rublev celebrates after match point against Goffin. Photograph: Jerry Lai/USA Today Sports


CoCo Vandeweghe is out on court as she looks to continue a great US Open for the American women. If she wins, three of the last eight (at least) will be American in the women’s draw. She’s playing Lucie Safarova, who won the doubles here this year.

Rublev is now 3-2 and a break up in the third set against the No9 seed Goffin on Louis Armstrong. If Goffin does go out – and it seems very likely – then there will be only three of the top 10 seeds left in the men’s quarter-finals. How Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic must wish they’d been fit. On the bottom half of the draw, the highest seed left is Pablo Carreño Busta, and then America’s own Sam Querry. I’m thinking the men’s semi-finals may get a slightly higher audience than the final this year…

Hello. And welcome to a sunny New York – there’s a festive atmosphere on Labor Day, America’s fifth-best public holiday. Even the woeful New York Mets are winning just across the road(ish) from Arthur Ashe. The Bryan Brothers are on court, and have won the first game of their match – they’re No5 seeds in the men’s doubles, not the force they once were but still dangerous in front of the home fans.

I’m going to hand over to Tom Lutz for a little while now – it’s teatime here. See you in a bit …

But who will Nadal play in the last eight? It looks rather like being the 19-year-old Russian prodigy Andrey Roblev at the moment – he is two sets up against David Goffin, taking them both 7-5, 7-6.

That’s probably the only game-by-game we’ll do in this blog today although I might rethink that strategy if the Federer match – currently set for midnight UK time – is brought forward significantly. I don’t know what the rules are for that, but as things stand the only tennis on Arthur Ashe between now and then will be Vandeweghe v Safarova.

Nadal: “I think I played a solid match, with not many mistakes. I know Dolgopolov can play amazing shots but at the same time a bit unpredictable. I tried to be very focused on my serve and wait for opportunities on the return.”

Dolgopolov just never clicked into gear there; lots of nice, attractive shots but not enough concentration or intensity in the rally. He was very well beaten there and Nadal will be very glad to have got this done so quickly – an hour and 41 minutes – with such a tough remainder of the week ahead.

Nadal reaches the quarter-finals in straight sets!

Third set: Nadal 6-2, 6-4, 6-1 Dolgopolov* (*denotes server): Two Dolgopolov mistakes bring Nadal to within two points of victory. A third, admittedly after the ball was hit close to his body, sees him hit into the stands and Nadal has three match points! Dolgopolov saves the first … and also saves the second … and then outrallies Nadal to save the third with a cross-court backhand! He just hasn’t done that enough – if at all before then – today. A fourth match point follows and that’s saved too, Nadal skying a wide second serve. And then there’s a fifth, in what is probably the most entertaining game of the entire match. No mistake this time – Dolgopolov nets and Nadal completes the rout!

Nadal wins in straight sets.
Nadal wins in straight sets. Photograph: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images


Third set: Nadal* 6-2, 6-4, 5-1 Dolgopolov (*denotes server): Dolgopolov challenges the opening point, suggesting he still has a bit of fire left, and he wins so Nadal does not have an early ace. He doesn’t win the point but one of those slick, early returns brings up 15-15. That’s about as good as it gets, though – the next three points pass off rapidly and Nadal is a game from the most routine of victories.

Third set: Nadal 6-2, 6-4, 4-1 Dolgopolov* (*denotes server): A thoroughly broken opponent whose backhand is still in good enough working order to go 15-0 up with a crisp winner down the line. The next two points go his way too and that’s a presentable little recovery. He closes out the game and is, at least, on the board for this set.

Third set: Nadal* 6-2, 6-4, 4-0 Dolgopolov (*denotes server): It will be a procession now, surely. Dolgopolov shakes his head after going well long on the first point. He then nets, and Nadal then takes us to 40-0 with an ace. He takes the game to love against a thoroughly broken opponent.

Third set: Nadal 6-2, 6-4, 3-0 Dolgopolov* (*denotes server): If Dolgopolov can’t hold here it will start to look messy. In the second point he salvages a Nadal drop shot but it’s swatted back away from him for 15-15. Two points later, a wide diagonal forehand brings up 30-30. A luscious Nadal backhand down the line, properly vintage Nadal, takes him to break point but, to his credit, Dolgopolov rallies to deuce. Dolgopolov then volleys beautifully, high and on the run, for advantage, only to again err for a second deuce. Two points later, the first an epic rally, and we have deuce number three. And two points after that Nadal, who has just murdered him on his second serve, breaks again.

Third set*: Nadal* 6-2, 6-4, 2-0 Dolgopolov (*denotes server): Nadal rattles through here to 40-0. His opponent is most definitely sagging. An ace makes sure of it.

Third set: Nadal 6-2, 6-4, 1-0 Dolgopolov* (*denotes server): What does Dolgopolov have left? He’s actually hit 12 winners to Nadal’s eight but the other stuff is what’s letting him down. He played much more consistently in the second set but Nadal simply cranked things up a touch before things could get to the wire. A wide backhand on the first point of the third is not a good sign, and nor is a netted one for 15-30. He does, however, take it up to game point with a lovely drop-volley; another wild backhand then brings up deuce and you’re reminded what a frustrating player he is. A fourth error then gives Nadal advantage; a fifth gives Nadal the break and this could get away very quickly indeed.

Second set: Nadal* 6-2, 6-4 Dolgopolov (*denotes server): Nadal serves for the second set. He gets off to a nice start by forcing an error for 15-0, and that quickly becomes 30-0 with an unreturned serve. When the same happens again, he has three set points – and takes the first with an ace! Nadal wins the second set and goes two up!

Nadal serves and wins the second set.
Nadal serves and wins the second set. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images


Second set: Nadal 6-2, 5-4 Dolgopolov* (*denotes server): Dolgopolov’s backhand seems to be easing him through this one, but then all of a sudden it’s 30-30. That becomes 30-40 as the Ukrainian nets during perhaps the tensest rally of the match so far, and this could be a big moment. It is one! Nadal hammers a second serve back towards Dolgopolov, and his opponent can only net. When the pressure’s on, the best players deliver – and Nadal has broken at exactly the right time.

Second set: Nadal* 6-2, 4-4 Dolgopolov (*denotes server): Dolgopolov exerts a little pressure for the first time in a while and has Nadal in a tiny bit of bother at 40-30 thanks to a couple of nice, deep backhands, but then can’t get enough on a Nadal passing shot and we stay on serve.

Second set: Nadal 6-2, 3-4 Dolgopolov* (*denotes server): And now a flawless hold from Dolgopolov. Neither man seriously threatening to break at the moment, but we’re heading towards the business end of this set now.

Second set: Nadal* 6-2, 3-3 Dolgopolov (*denotes server): Another easy enough hold to love from Nadal, although there was a long-ish rally on the third point. Cat and mouse in this set so far; it’s much closer but not that entertaining.

Second set: Nadal 6-2, 2-3 Dolgopolov* (*denotes server): Nadal queries an overrule from the umpire, who called the ball long, on the first point and turns out to be wrong. Mistakes from both men follow before Dolgopolov volleys sharply for 40-15. He can’t repeat the trick, with an attempted backhand overhead that goes wide, and Nadal gets a tiny bit of light before the Ukrainian closes it out with a winner. Serve dominating in this set.

Second set: Nadal* 6-2, 2-2 Dolgopolov (*denotes server): That’s an uneventful hold to love from Nadal, finished off with an ace.

Second set: Nadal 6-2, 1-2 Dolgopolov* (*denotes server): Dolgopolov brings up 30-0 with a lovely, flicked half-volley that Nadal can’t quite retrieve. He holds to love and it’s a nice service game of his own. Touch wood, he looks a bit more focused now – so maybe we have a match.

Second set: Nadal* 6-2, 1-1 Dolgopolov (*denotes server): A routine hold to 15, with a textbook overhead from Nadal, followed by a brilliant stop-volley two points later, sandwiched in the middle. Dolgopolov needs to threaten a bit more regularly on the Nadal serve. There was one promising game in the first set but that’s not enough.

Second set: Nadal 6-2, 0-1 Dolgopolov* (*denotes server): Can Dolgopolov find some consistency? He sparkled at times in the first set but just seemed to lack backbone. Every eyecatching shot is followed by a couple of tight or loose ones. One such mistake brings up deuce in the opening game of the second, and then Nadal earns a break point with a running, whipped forehand. That’s saved and a sweeping backhand, followed by a long Nadal return, gives Dolgopolov an important hold.

First set: Nadal* 1-1 Dolgopolov (*denotes server): Nadal eases his way to 40-0 and it seems as if Dolgopolov is keeping something back to go again in the second. He does avert the inevitable with a fine backhand return but Nadal wraps it up quickly enough. Nadal wins the first set 6-2.

Nadal wins the first set 6-2.
Nadal wins the first set 6-2. Photograph: Julie Jacobson/AP


First set: Nadal 5-2 Dolgopolov* (*denotes server): Nadal bludgeons a trademark forehand past Dolgopolov for 0-15 and then forces a mistake with a deep, meaty backhand. Some deftness at the net from Nadal gives him two break points at 15-40; Dolgopolov saves the first and we’re seeing a lot of decent winners in this match now. The last of them gives Nadal his second break and takes him to the verge of the set! Just 28 minutes have been played … is there something in the Flushing Meadows water today?

First set: Nadal* 4-2 Dolgopolov (*denotes server): Goffin v Rublev has now started elsewhere, so we’ll let you know how that goes. Meanwhile Nadal goes 0-15 down, but turns that into 30-15 with a delightfully clean backhand down the line after his opponent appeared to have been working him round the court. Dolgopolov slaps a fine winner in return for 30-30. Hotting up a little bit here? Perhaps, as Nadal double faults for break point … which he saves with a flashing forehand for deuce. Dolgopolov comes back and Nadal has to stave off another break point before correctly challenging a ball that was called “out” to avoid facing a third. He eventually comes through, but has been properly tested at last.

Nadal serves.
Nadal serves. Photograph: Al Bello/Getty Images


First set: Nadal 3-2 Dolgopolov* (*denotes server): And now a nice, confidence-boosting hold to love from Dolgopolov, sealing it with an ace. Some flashy moments in this one but little real rhythm so far.

First set: Nadal* 3-1 Dolgopolov (*denotes server): Nadal is pegged back from 40-0, Dolgopolov bringing applause with another flashing backhand winner. Dolgopolov is a curious player, fun to watch but very inconsistent. At deuce, Nadal wins a fun point at the net with a sharp volley; then his opponent proves the point by going long under little pressure.


First set: Nadal 2-1 Dolgopolov* (*denotes server): Nadal has not had to do a great deal for the points he’s won yet, and two errors gift him a chance at 30-30. Another hands him a first break point of the match – and he takes it when Dolgopolov stretches near the net and hits long! Bit of a present, that.

First set: Nadal* 1-1 Dolgopolov (*denotes server): Dolgopolov fails to get a consequential return on either of Nadal’s first two serves and then, after the longest rally so far, puts a forehand into the right tramline. He then nets and Nadal holds to love.


First set: Nadal 0-1 Dolgopolov* (*denotes server): Dolgopolov levels at 15-15 with a breathtaking double-handed crosscourt backhand winner, and then finds the line with another. He’s happy to gamble and take the ball early, almost on the half-volley; it doesn’t quite pay off in the next point but, two later, he holds serve in decent enough fashion.

Nadal will be hard to miss, even in this shadow – he’s clad in a fluorescent pink shirt and headband. His Ukrainian opponent is also brightly attired in some sort of orange and yellow getup for this first ever best-of-five between these two. We’ll go game by game for this one, starting shortly …


Nadal is out on court – and got quite the reception when he entered. Dolgopolov is too, and looks smiley and relaxed. Today’s rattling along at quite a pace … can these two provide a match we can really get our teeth into?

At least one of these two won’t make the final this year, although they are a great bet to meet in the last four. How long can they go on for?

Nadal has dropped two sets so far in the US Open; Dolgopolov, the world No63, has ceded three – two of them in a first-round epic against Jan-Lennard Struff. Nadal leads the head-to-head 6-2, so is obviously hot favourite but his opponent can be expected to have his moments …

Pliskova will play either Vendeweghe or Safarova in the last eight. Next up on Arthur Ashe is Nadal v Dolgopolov, which we will try and cover game-by-game. Hopefully they won’t be too long; perhaps another 20 minutes or so …

Pliskova: “I wanted to try and play a little better, [my last match] helped me through tough moments. I think [Brady] was probably a bit nervous and I tried to take advantage of that.”

Pliskova wins 6-1, 6-0 and is in the quarter-finals!

She beats Brady in just 46 minutes. It was in no doubt from the fourth game onwards, really. If she can play with this kind of freedom and control, don’t rule her out of coming out on top of the pile.

And as sure as night follows day, Brady now has to serve to stay in the match – for a little while longer, at least. Pliskova is up 6-1, 5-0.

Karolina Pliskova fires a return back to Jennifer Brady.
Karolina Pliskova fires a return back to Jennifer Brady. Photograph: Jason Decrow/AP


Pliskova leads 4-0 and this is as good as over. She can win the title on this form, no doubt about that, although sterner tests lie ahead. She’s timing everything perfectly, finding the lines, and there is a good chance this could be done within 50 minutes.

Brady hits the occasional lovely, clean winner but there has just been no rhythm from her, and Pliskova is quite clearly seeing the ball better in this confusing half-and-half light. The No1 seed has just broken in the second game of the second set, sealing it with a brilliant backhand, and leads 2-0.

Jennifer Brady eyes the ball as she prepares to return a shot to Karolina Pliskova.
Jennifer Brady eyes the ball as she prepares to return a shot to Karolina Pliskova. Photograph: Peter Morgan/AP


Do send your emails and tweets in as we go, by the way – addresses above. Let’s talk. At the moment the tennis out on Arthur Ashe is remarkably routine and it will take quite something from Brady to turn it into a contest.

Pliskova wins the first set 6-1. The little glimmer for Brady was nothing more than that … Pliskova just purred along throughout that set, that tiny wobble in her first service game aside, and looks well on course here.

Brady is off the mark, having saved two break points to get out of a considerable hole – that’ll help her and, hopefully, the contest too although her opponent still looks to be well in the groove.

At this rate this’ll be done as quickly as it started. Pliskova breaks again and then holds to love with the minimum of fuss. Brady has made no impact. Pliskova leads 4-0.

Karolina Pliskova serves the ball to Jennifer Brady.
Karolina Pliskova serves the ball to Jennifer Brady.
Photograph: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images


Brady, from Pennsylvania, has an evidently sunny disposition and a bright return of serve too. She works her way to a break-back point, and then another, but the rather more inscrutable Pliskova gutses it out and goes 2-0 up. Next few games might tell us if we have a genuine contest or not …

And that shadow makes an impact as Brady, despite firing one nice clean winner, makes several mistakes in her opening service game and goes down a break.

Brady scraped past Monica Niculescu by the skin of her teeth last time out, in a third-set tie break. She’s serving first here against Pliskova, with one half of the court shrouded in heavy shadow. There may well be mistakes here early on given the sharp contrast in light.

Pliskova and Brady are hitting up now, so it shouldn’t be long. Can Pliskova edge closer to – at the very least – emulating last year’s final appearance?

The match between David Goffin and Andrey Rublev will probably be the first men’s one to start today, over at Louis Armstrong, but a doubles tie needs to be completed first.


Yesterday was, ultimately, one to celebrate an old hand in the form of Venus Williams. Will we be able to say the same today? The two-time champion Rafael Nadal certainly hopes so, and the men’s No1 seed can park himself in the quarter-finals by beating Alexandr Dolgopolov later on. Victory would bring the prospect of a semi-final against, yes, Roger Federer (who is also in action later, against Philipp Kohlschreiber, but almost certainly after we’ve wrapped this blog up here in London) … but it would be wise not to get ahead of ourselves.

Not least because first of all we’ll see the women’s top seed, Karolina Pliskova, in action against Jennifer Brady. The American world No93 has looked good so far and you wouldn’t want to rule out an upset, particularly given that Pliskova has wobbled once or twice in the earlier rounds, having to battle back from a set down in her last two matches. The winner of that one will play Coco Vandeweghe or Lucie Safarova; they’re on later too, and in fact the entire quarter-final lineup will be known by the time today’s schedule is ticked off.

So let’s get started and see where the day takes us. Should have Pliskova v Brady on our hands pretty sharpish …

Nick will be here shortly. Here’s the singles order of play for Monday afternoon in New York:

Arthur Ashe Stadium (from 11am local/4pm BST)
Karolina Pliskova (Cze) [1] v Jennifer Brady (US)
Rafael Nadal (Esp) [1] v Alexandr Dolgopolov (Ukr)
Coco Vandeweghe (US) [20] v Lucie Safarova (Cze)

Louis Armstrong Stadium (after doubles match)
David Goffin (Bel) [9] v Andrey Rublev (Rus)
Daria Kasatkina (Rus) v Kaia Kanepi (Est)

Grandstand (final match)
Juan Martín del Potro (Arg) [24] v Dominic Thiem (Aut) [6]

Updated © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

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Rajesh Ahuja

I am a veteran journalist based in Chandigarh India.I joined the profession in June 1982 and worked as a Staff Reporter with the National Herald at Delhi till June 1986. I joined The Hindu at Delhi in 1986 as a Staff Reporter and was promoted as Special Correspondent in 1993 and transferred to Chandigarh. I left The Hindu in September 2012 and launched my own newspaper ventures including this news portal and a weekly newspaper NORTH INDIA KALEIDOSCOPE (currently temporarily suspended).