The American’s thrilling victory against world No. 2 Anett Kontaveit headlined Day 3 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Whether or not that result qualifies as an upset, there were certainly a few others on Wednesday, as Maria Sakkari and Felix Auger-Aliassime were sent to early exits.
Daniil Medvedev, Andy Murray and Coco Gauff joined Williams in the winners’ cirlce, while the doubles events began in Queens. Read one for our recap of a busy day of tennis.
Don’t count her out: For almost a quarter of a century, Williams has dominated her chosen sport, inspiring fans across the globe. But after a year-long absence from the tour, the 40-year-old Compton, Calif., native suffered early-round defeats at Wimbledon and in Toronto this summer underneath the blinding spotlight. Heading into the 2022 US Open, Serena—the 23-time Grand Slam champion, the world No. 1, the mother—was something of an underdog.
But as we’ve learned over the last 25 years, Serena often performs best under pressure. She did so under unbearable scrutiny against Kontaveit, winning in an appropriately dramatic match to keep her electric run alive.
Upsets continued on Day 3: In terms of seeding, Kontaveit was the biggest name to exit the 2022 US Open. But Greece’s Sakkari, the women’s No. 3 seed, also fell in a two-hour, 45-minute epic against China’s Wang Xiyu.
On the men’s side, No. 6 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada was dismissed by Great Britain’s Jack Draper in three sets.
A number of big names booked their spots in Round 3: Even as the men’s and women’s draws slim down considerably, big names remain in play.
World No. 1 Medvedev, who has reached the men’s singles final at the US Open in 2019 and 2021 (winning for the first time last year), swept aside France’s Arthur Rinderknech in straight sets.
Murray, the 2012 men’s singles champion who has struggled with a hip injury in recent years, managed American wild card Emilio Nava in four sets and exactly three hours. He advanced to the tournament’s third round for the first time since his 2017 quarterfinal run and will next face Matteo Berrettini, who edged Hugo Grenier in four sets.
Gauff, the No. 12 seed from Florida and doubles world No. 1, took out Romania’s Elena Gabriela Ruse in straight sets—ending with an exclamatory tiebreak. Madison Keys, the No. 20 seed from Illinois who was the women’s singles runner-up in 2017, took three sets to down Italy’s Camila Giorgi. Gauff and Keys will meet in a blockbuster Round 3.
One of the highest-ranked female players to have earned her spot in the third round is Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur, the tournament’s No. 5 seed. She’s hot off a run to the Wimbledon final last month, and could cap a very impressive year.
The doubles tournaments began: Doubles returned to Flushing Meadows on Day 3 of competition. The first round saw defending men’s champions Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury defeat Federico Coria and Cristian Rodriguez, 6-4, 6-4. A repeat title at America’s biggest tennis tournament would bag the duo their third trophy of the year.