Poland’s Iga Swiatek looked sharp on Thursday to secure her spot in the third round as she defeated former champion Sloane Stephens 6-3, 6-2.
“I’m pretty happy that I was solid from the beginning till the end, because in Cincinnati I had some ups and downs in terms of focus,” said Swiatek. “Right now I think I was more solid. So I’m pretty happy with the performance.”
Swiatek entered the U.S. Open in a bit of a funk following her 37-match winning streak which was ended at Wimbledon this summer. But Swiatek has looked sharp thus far in New York, and will take on American Lauren Davis next.
“I know we practiced couple of times, but it was a few years ago. Well, I don’t know honestly how she plays right now, for sure I have knowledge about how she played a few years ago but right now I haven’t watched her in matches. There is not a lot I can say,” Swiatek added. “I know that I’m going to try to be focused on myself and be proactive and try to play the game that is going to be intense…Right now I know just from my side what I’m going to do.”
In the late match inside Arthur Ashe Stadium, Rafael Nadal overcame a first-set loss to upend Italy’s Fabio Fognini 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-1 and book his spot in the third round.
“I’m happy after a terrible start. I don’t understand yet how I started that bad because the feeling before the match was good,” said Nadal. “These kind of things sometimes happen, so need to accept it and keep going. That’s what I did. Lucky that Fabio made some mistakes and I was able to start putting some balls in and finish the match playing obviously better, much better.”
Nadal will meet France’s Richard Gasquet next. Gasquet defeated 32nd seeded Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.
Third-seed Carlos Alcaraz cruised past Argentina’s Federico Coria 6-2, 6-1, 7-5, saving 13 break points in the process and firing 46 winners.
“I’m really happy with my performance today. I think I played really, really well,” said Alcaraz. “I had to be really, really focused. [In a] Grand Slam, every minute on court counts. You have to be really focused and show your best level. I think I did it today. I’m really happy with that.”
Alcaraz faces American Jenson Brooksby who upset Cincinnati champion and 25th seed Borna Coric 6-4, 7-6(10), 6-1.
Other notable winners on Thursday included eighth-seed Jessica Pegula, ninth-seed Garbine Muguruza, and 19th seed Danielle Collins. On the men’s side, ninth-seed Andrey Rublev, 15th seed Marin Cilic and 25th seed Frances Tiafoe.