Coverage starts at 1pm on ESPN, then moves to ESPN2 at 7pm on Thursday
(All times Eastern)
There was plenty of drama on the courts Wednesday at the U.S. Open, as world #6 Milos Raonic suffered cramps, setting him up for a knockout punch from #120 Ryan Harrison 6-7 (4) 7-5 7-5 6-1; Johanna Konta was overcome by heat and humidity both in the 80s, but picked herself up and battled back to win 6-2 5-7 6-2; and reigning French Open champion and world #3 Garbine Muguruza was on the receiving end of a stunning upset by Anastasija Sevastova, who had retired from the sport in 2013, only to return 14 months later – smart to come back.
Serena Williams vs. Vania King
Serena Williams made quick work of Ekaterina Makarova on Tuesday, winning 6-3 6-3 in just 62 minutes to advance to the second round of the Open for 17th time. It was a dominating performance punctuated by 12 aces, as Williams won 90% of her first serve points.
Vania King, ranked #87, defeated Antonia Lottner 7-6 6-3, in a match marked by uncommon precision, as the two combined to commit just 4 unforced errors over 96 minutes. King gives up 4 inches and 25 pounds to Williams (to say nothing of 11 years experience and 22 Grand Slam titles), as she, like most people on Earth, lacks Williams’ power. King and Williams have played once before, at the 2014 U.S. Open, with Williams coming out on top 6-1 6-0.
Steve Johnson vs. Juan Martin del Potro
World #22 Steven Johnson dug himself a massive hole in the first round, going down 6-4 6-1 against Evgeny Donskoy, #79, before taking three straight sets 7-6 6-3 6-3 to emerge victorious after a grueling 3 hours and 12 minutes. This is Johnson’s sixth U.S. Open, but only the second time he’s made it past the first round, his best showing being a third round exit in 2012.
Juan Martin del Potro is back at the Open for the first time since 2013, as the wrist injuries that have dogged him for much of his career caused him to miss the previous two. Del Potro wasted no time getting back into the swing of things, defeating fellow Argentine Diego Schwartzman 6-4 6-4 7-6. Del Potro is no stranger to the U.S. Open, having won here in 2009, and twice making it to the quarterfinals. Don’t be fooled by del Potro’s #142 ranking, as it’s largely the product of having missed too much time due to injuries, as this year’s Wimbledon was his first Grand Slam since Australia in 2014. He and Johnson have never met before.
Here’s the complete lineup of Men’s and Women’s Singles for Thursday:
Watch the 2016 U.S. Open Thursday at 1pm ET on ESPN, and then at 7pm on ESPN2 by subscribing to the Sling Orange.