US Open Day 4 men's wrapup: Djokovic, Zverev cruise; Berrettini gets by Moutet
Photo: Sarah Stier/Getty Images

The second round of the US Open wrapped up with the top half of the men's draw in action as top seed Novak Djokovic, fourth seed Alexander Zverev, sixth seed Matteo Berrettini and seventh seed Denis Shapovalov advanced.

Djokovic, Zverev, Berrettini, Shapovalov safely into round three

Djokovic dominated Dutchman Talon Griekspoor, winning 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 behind 32 winners and six breaks of serve to run his record to 23-0 at majors this season.

"Great performance. Definitely better than the first-round match", Djokovic. "Obviously, i'm very pleased with the way I came out on court. I served very well. It was important I came up with the goods.

"All in all very good, very good. I'm very pleased with the level of my tennis. All is going in the right direction."

Next up for the world number one is a familiar foe: Kei Nishikori. The 2014 finalist, who beat Djokovic on his way to the championship match, survived a five-set thriller against American Mackenzie McDonald 7-6, 6-3, 6-7 (5), 2-6, 6-3 in three hours, 57 minutes.

Despite being 2-17 lifetime against the Serb, Nishikori is looking forward to the challenge of trying to stop Djokovic's bid for the calendar-year Grand Slam.

"Obviously I love the challenge. Now he's one of the best on the tennis tour. It's not someone I love to play all the time, because he's obviously the toughest opponent, one or two", Nishikori said. "I'd rather have someone ranked lower.

"But I always love the challenge. Even though I have a bad record, I always try to be positive. I'm sure it's going to be a tough one, but i'll do my best."

Zverev continues his dominant stretch of tennis, crushing Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-1, 6-0, 6-3 in 74 minutes. The German has yet to be broken and has dropped just eight points on his first serve through six sets. 

"My serve is kind of the key to my game", Zverev said. "When it's working, i'm playing great. It's no secret that the serve is probably the most important shot in my game. The matches are not going to get easier and I will need that to be my weapon.

"I think it was always a problem of mine in the beginning of my career that I always spent a lot of hours, a lot of time at the beginning of tournaments. So it's nice to kind of have two matches... winning [them] in straight sets."

Jack Sock is Zverev's third-round opponent as the American outlasted 31st seed Alexander Bublik 7-6 (4), 6-7 (3), 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. 

Berrettini was challenged by Corentin Moutet with the Italian coming out on top 7-6 (2), 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 hitting 50 winners over the course of the three hour, 21 minute match.

Berrettini is quietly moving through the draw/Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

His next challenge comes from Ilya Ivashka, who won his first title in Winston-Salem last week. The Belarusian downed Vasek Pospisil 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (5) to reach the third round at a second consecutive major.

Shapovalov gained a measure of revenge on Roberto Carballes Baena, defeating the Spaniard 7-6 (7), 6-3, 6-0 in two hours, seven minutes.

Having been beaten by Carballes Baena 8-6 in the fifth set over five hours in the first round of Roland Garros last year, the Canadian blasted 50 winners and won 85 percent of his first serve points.

"It was definitely a tough matchup, having played him at Roland Garros... I knew it was going to be very difficult", Shapovalov said. "I feel super happy with myself to get away with it in straight sets. It could have been a very, very long match."

Lloyd Harris, having a breakout season, will be Shapovalov's next opponent as the South African routed American Ernesto Escobedo 6-4, 6-4, 6-2. 

Sinner, Monfils, Karatsev win; Hurkacz upset; Brooksby, Opelka lead American charge

21st seed Aslan Karatsev saved a pair of match points in battling past Jordan Thompson 3-6, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (9), 6-1 in four hours, 44 minutes. The Russian finished with 57 winners and won back-to-back matches at a major for the first time since his historic run at the Australian Open earlier this year.

Karatsev is looking for another deep run at a hard court major following his semifinal showing at the <strong><a href='https://vavel.com/en-us/tennis-usa/2021/08/30/1084222-2021-us-open-womens-draw-preview.html'>Australian Open</a></strong>/Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
Karatsev is looking for another deep run at a hard court major following his semifinal showing at the Australian Open/Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

"It was really important mentally, [it means] you're getting tougher", Karatsev said. "Especially when I had the last losses in the Grand Slams - Roland GarrosWimbledon - and the US tournaments, so I think it's really important to my confidence."

Jensen Brooksby will be next for the Russian after the wild card previaled in all-American matchup by a 6-7 (5), 7-6 (10), 7-5, 6-2 over Taylor Fritz in four hours, six minutes to reach the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time.

"I'm feeling great to get through that one. There were a lot of different things that run through the mind, during the match and after. But I was proud within myself", Brooskby said.

"It's really exciting. That's what you do all the training for. Those are the moments to enjoy the most... a place like the US Open, my home Grand Slam, it doesn't get more exciting than that. I loved that atmosphere."

Tenth seed Hubert Hurkacz was the highest seed to lose, falling to Italian veteran Andreas Seppi 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (8). The 35-year old, who won a 15-13 fifth-set tiebreaker in the first round, will face qualifier Oscar Otte after the German swept past Denis Kudla 6-4, 6-4, 6-2.

13th seed Jannik Sinner had a tougher than expected challenge from 18-year old Zachary Svajda, finally seeing off the American wild card 6-3, 7-6 (2), 6-7 (4), 6-4.

"Today for sure was not easy. I didn't [know] my opponent", Sinner said. "I tried to stick to my game plan. I think the level today, I think it was quite high, to be honest. I tried to play my game. At the end, I'm very happy about my performance."

Next for Sinner is 17th seed Gael Monfils after the Frenchman defeated Steve Johnson 7-5, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, firing 15 aces and winning 25 of 31 points at net.

"It was a tough match", Monfils said following his victory. "Against Stevie is always an interesting match... I felt Stevie was slicing the ball great with the backhand... I had to put up I think a great skill to beat him, serving good, great defense, and a bit of luck to win this one."

22nd seed Reilly Opelka continues to impress as he got by the dangerous Lorenzo Musetti 7-6 (1), 7-5, 6-4 and he will play Nikoloz Basilashvili, who ended the run of qualifier Maxime Cressy 7-6 (3), 6-3, 7-5.

Opelka hits a forehand during his second-round victory/Photo: Elsa/Getty Images
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