Russians progress in New York
Men’s number nine seed Andrey Rublev and women’s contender Anastasia Potapova are among the Russians to reach the second round of the US Open after the pair won their respective opening clashes on Tuesday.
Rublev was forced to fight hard in a five-set contest against Serbian world number 64 Laslo Dere. The 24-year-old Russian had seemed on course for a routine win after taking the first two sets, only for Dere to battle back and level the match at two sets apiece. But Rublev prevailed in a contest lasting three hours 41 minutes by claiming the decisive set, winning the match 7-6 (7-5), 6-3, 3-6, 4-6, 6-4.
Rublev will face Kwon Soon-woo in the second round at Flushing Meadows, after the South Korean overcame Spain’s Fernando Verdasco in four sets in their first-round clash. Rublev is a two-time quarterfinalist in New York, reaching that stage of the tournament in 2017 and 2020.
Test passed 📝Andrey Rublev steadies the ship in a rollercoaster of a match. pic.twitter.com/LJnRRGXWBI— US Open Tennis (@usopen) August 30, 2022
Elsewhere in the men’s draw, Russia’s Aslan Karatsev failed to progress to the second round after losing his opening match against Italy’s Fabio Fognini in five sets. Former world number 14 Karatsev had taken a two-set lead in the match, only to surrender his advantage against the 35-year-old Italian, eventually losing 6-1, 7-5, 4-6, 1-6, 4-6.
Fognini next plays four-time US Open winner Rafael Nadal in the next round, with the Spaniard coming back to beat Australia’s Rinky Hijikata in four sets in their first-round match.
As with Karatsev, Russian qualifier Pavel Kotov, 23, was likewise unable to reach the second round at Flushing Meadows, falling to Brandon Nakashima of America in straight sets on Tuesday.
Elsewhere, Russian men’s pair Daniil Medvedev – the defending champion and world number one – has already secured a place in the second round by winning his opening match against Stefan Kozlov of the US on Monday. Medvedev meets Arthur Rinderknech of France in Wednesday’s night session at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Russian number 27 seed Karen Khachanov also plays his second-round match on Wednesday evening, when he will face Thiago Monteiro of Brazil. Khachanov, 26, overcame American Denis Kudla in four sets in the first round and is looking to at least match his two previous runs to the third round in New York in 2018 and 2020.
In the women’s draw, Russian 21-year-old Anastasia Potapova booked a place in the second round of the US Open for the first time in her career with a straight-sets win over American rival Claire Liu on Tuesday. Potapova, ranked number 52 in the world, next plays Zheng Qinwen, after the Chinese teenager shocked Latvian 16th seed Jeļena Ostapenko in their opener.
The first-round match between Russian 28th seed Ekaterina Alexandrova and American Peyton Stearns was suspended on Tuesday due to rain at one-set all and with the Russian leading 4-3 in the third set.
Russian 22-year-old Varvara Gracheva lost her opening match against Croatia’s Petra Martic, while 18-year-old compatriot Erika Andreeva – who had come through qualifying – suffered the same fate against Czech two-time Grand Slam winner Petra Kvitova.
Earlier this week, Russian women’s number one Daria Kasatkina suffered a shock first-round defeat in her match against British underdog Harriet Dart, although Anna Kalinskaya, Evgeniya Rodina, Ludmila Samsonova and Veronika Kudermetova all came through their opening contests and play in the second round on Wednesday.
Russian players are returning to Grand Slam action after being banned from Wimbledon earlier this year along with Belarusian stars because of the conflict in Ukraine.
Reports prior to the US Open claimed that American organizers had seriously considered a similar step before opting against it.
Both the ATP and WTA punished Wimbledon for the ban by removing its rankings points from this season’s tournament.