No. 1 Barty, other seeds reach US Open 3rd rd


NEW YORK — About the only problems No. 1 seed Ash Barty and other top women’s players encountered Thursday afternoon at the US Open came in the delays trying to get to Flushing Meadows in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida’s remnants blowing through the Northeast a night earlier.

Barty, a two-time major champion including at Wimbledon in July, Tokyo Olympic gold medalist Belinda Bencic, double Wimbledon title-winner Petra Kvitova and other seeded women including No. 14 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, No. 17 Maria Sakkari, No. 23 Jessica Pegula and No. 28 Anett Kontaveit all won in two sets to get to the third round.

Barty delivered 11 aces and accumulated 19 break points, converting five, on the way to a 6-1, 7-5 win against 18-year-old Clara Tauson of Denmark.

Also, Angelique Kerber wasted little time defeating Anhelina Kalinina 6-3, 6-2 to advance. Kerber will meet 2017 champion Sloane Stephens in the next round.

The only seeded woman to exit in the afternoon was No. 24 Paula Badosa, who was eliminated by Varvara Gracheva 6-4, 6-4.

Fourth-seeded Karolina Pliskova advanced on Thursday night, defeating American Amanda Anisimova 7-5, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (7). Pliskova’s 24 aces were the most in one US Open women’s match since serving records were first kept by the tournament in 1998, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Also at night, 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu improved her tournament record to 9-0 by defeating Lauren Davis 6-4, 6-4. Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic moved on with a win over Petra Martic, the No. 30 seed, 7-6 (6), 6-4.

With the sun out and nary a cloud around during the daytime, play in second-round matches on the outer courts was pushed back from 11 a.m. to noon to allow the U.S. Tennis Association time to clean up downed tree branches and other scattered debris and make sure everything was ready for competition on Day 4 of the year’s last Grand Slam tournament.

Once all was ready to go, it was just a matter of players’ transportation navigating traffic delays caused by road closures and vehicles that were abandoned overnight; a trip from Manhattan to Queens that normally might take 30-45 minutes took 1 1/2 hours or longer for some.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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