US Open Day 4 wrapup: Kenin, Serena advance to third round; Azarenka whips Sabalenka
Photo: Seth Wenig

The conclusion of the second round at the US Open saw the bottom half of the women's draw in action with second seed Sofia Kenin, third seed Serena Williams and seventh seed Madison Keys among the 16 winners to book their spot in the third round.

Three top ten seeds fell with fifth seed Aryna Sabalenka soundly beaten by Victoria Azarenka, ninth seed Johanna Konta lost to Sorana Cirstea and tenth seed Garbine Muguruza was stunned by Tsvetana Pironkova.

Americans had an outstanding day with a 5-1 record as 22nd seed Amanda Anisimova and 26th seed Sloane Stephens joined Kenin, Williams and Keys in the Round of 32.

Kenin, Williams move on in straight sets

Kenin progressed to the third round with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Leylah Annie Fernandez. The reigning Australian Open champion broke Fernandez in the third game of the opening set and did the same in the second set in the one hour, 22 minute contest, hitting 19 winners in the victory.

Williams also had a routine victory, eliminating Margarita Gasparyan 6-2, 6-4. Seeking her record 24th Grand Slam title, the third seed was ahead 3-0 after just nine minutes. Despite getting broken serving for the set at 5-1, she immediately broke Gasparyan for the set.

Exchanging break in the second set, Williams survived a ten-minute, five deuce game to claim a 4-2 advantage. Out of nowhere, Gasparyan won eight of the next ten points to level the set before the six-time US Open champion won the last two games to close out the encounter.

Williams remains on course for her 24th Grand Slam title/Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
Williams remains on course for her 24th Grand Slam title/Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

"I feel like i'm on a new journey every day, and in this tournament in particular this year", she said. "So I feel really good. I feel like i'm on that journey and going in the right direction. I love the crowd here, obviously, but I've been playing so long that i'm into the modern era where it's all digital! There's something calming about it, though."

Azarenka, Cirstea, Pironkova all pull off surprises

For the second consecutive year, it was a Belarus derby with Sabalenka and Azarenka facing off. Unlike last year, the outcome was different with the two-time major champion crushing the fifth seed 6-1, 6-3. Azarenka won the first four games of the match and rolled through in just 66 minutes.

Cirstea rallied from a set and a break down to stun Konta 2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4  in the longest match of the tournament, taking two hours, 50 minutes. Trailing 6-2, 2-1, the Romanian broke back, eventually forcing a tiebreaker that she won and she took the decisive break in the seventh game and closed out the match three games later.

Pironkova, playing in her first tournament in three years, knocked off Muguruza 7-5, 6-3 on Louis Armstrong Stadium. Trailing 4-2, the Bulgarian saved three break points to avoid falling further behind and she won the final three games of the opening set. She broke in thre seventh game of the second set and closed out the match with an ace.

American update: Keys, Stephens, Anisimova reach third round; McNally, Vickery on hold

Keys crushed Aliona Bolsova in just 56 minutes. The 2017 finalist has dropped just five games through the first two rounds while Stephens was similarly impressive in disposing of Olga Govortsova 6-3, 6-2. Anisimova found herself down a set to 15-year old wild card Katrina Scott before rallying for a 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory while Pera lost to 15th seed Maria Sakkari 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Keys has played flawless tennis through two rounds/Photo: Frank Franklin II/Associated Press
Keys has played flawless tennis through two rounds/Photo: Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

Two other Americans had their matches interrupted by rain with Caty McNally heading to a third set against 21st seed Ekaterina Alexandrova while Sachia Vickery won a first-set tiebreak against Iga Swiatek, coming from 5-0 down to take it 7-5.

Vekic, Muchova, Jabeur also move on

18th seed Donna Vekic routed Patricia Maria Tig 6-2, 6-1 while 20th seed Karolina Muchova progressed with a 6-3, 7-6 (4) victory over Anna Kalinskaya. 27th seed Ons Jabeur survived a titanic first set against Kaia Kanepi before prevailing 7-6 (8), 6-0 while Alize Cornet knocked off Ysaline Bonaventure 7-6 (5), 6-3.

16th seed Elise Mertens led Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-3, 1-0 before their match was stopped and will resume on Thursday.

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