The 2020 US Open returned to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center this week with no fans due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s a roundup of the fourth day of action.
Serena Williams, Sloane Stephens advance to third round
The third round of the tournament officially has a marquee matchup. Serena Williams and Sloane Stephens both took care of business on Thursday to advance to the third round, where they will face off in a battle of past US Open champions.
Williams, the No. 3 seed, topped Margarita Gasparyan 6-2, 6-4, while Stephens dominated with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Olga Govortsova.
Williams has won the US Open six times, tied for an Open Era record, but Stephens is the more recent champion, having won the event in 2017.
“She’s such a good player,” Williams said after match. “She’s so smooth and looks like she’s not taking on a lot of energy, and then bam, there’s five winners. She’s obviously won here before and she’s beaten me before, so she knows how to play well. It’s not easy, I’m glad I had a tough match today to get ready for that one.”
Grigor Dimitrov falls in marathon match
The US Open saw another big upset with the fall of No. 14 seed Grigor Dimitrov, who lost 6-7 (7-5), 7-6 (7-4), 3-6, 6-4, 4-1 to unseeded opponent Márton Fucsovics.
The upset took nearly five hours to complete, and Fucsovics fought hard throughout. The Hungarian saved four set points in the second set, and came back from down a break in the fourth set to stay in the match.
It was a rough end for Dimitrov, who reached the semifinals in last year’s US Open and tested positive for COVID-19 months ago. Dimitrov racked up 74 unforced errors and eight double faults, clearly fading in the fifth set of a marathon.
Fucsovics will face American Frances Tiafoe in the next round.
Madison Keys cruises in straight sets
Fellow American Madison Keys also made quick work of her opponent on Thursday. Keys, the tournament’s No. 7 seed, cruised to a 6-2, 6-1 win over Spain’s Aliona Bolsova. Keys needed just 53 minutes to complete the win.
Keys advances to a third-round matchup with France’s Alizé Cornet.
Dominic Thiem dominates for birthday win
It was a very good birthday for Dominic Thiem.
The US Open’s No. 2 seed had little trouble beating Indian opponent Sumit Nagal, winning 6-3, 6-3, 6-2. Thiem broke Nagal seven times in three sets, and won more than 70 percent of points on both his first and second serves.
It wasn’t all good for the Austrian though, as he was seen complaining after the first set about not being allowed to drink Red Bull straight out of the can for US Open sponsorship reasons. He eventually poured the drink into a cup, then told reporters after the match he didn’t want it poured out of his sight.
Thiem is now set to face Marin Cilic in the tournament’s third round
More from Yahoo Sports: