Zverev, Barty win at US Open as New York recovers from floods

AFP/New York
Filed on September 3, 2021 | Last updated on September 3, 2021 at 01.22 am
Alexander Zverev throws balls at fans as he celebrates his win over Albert Ramos-Vinolas. (AFP)

Barty seeks her sixth trophy of the year and a first US Open quarterfinals spot

Tokyo Olympic champion Alexander Zverev and top-ranked Ashleigh Barty rolled into the third round of the US Open on Thursday while New York struggled to recover from a deadly storm and flash flooding.

Remnants of Hurricane Ida struck on Wednesday night and killed at least 17 people, triggering a rare state of emergency for the city, flooding subways and turning roads into rivers.

With abandoned cars scattered across streets near the National Tennis Center and many highways shut down, fewer spectators than normal watched in Arthur Ashe Stadium as Australian Barty dispatched Danish teen Clara Tauson 6-1, 7-5 and German fourth seed Zverev ripped 33rd-ranked Spanish left-hander Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-1, 6-0, 6-3.

Zverev, last year's US Open runner-up and a champion two weeks ago at Cincinnati, broke to open the match and took the first set in 22 minutes, the second in 23 and finished in 74 minutes.

"It's great that I'm through in three sets and just over an hour," Zverev said. "I will need that energy. I'll need that power I have for further matches. I'm happy I only lost four games."

Zverev still recalls his loss to Dominic Thiem, sidelined by injury, in last year's US Open final when he was two points from his first Slam crown.

"It was painful," he said. "I still remember it every single time I walk on this court. I use it as motivation."

Reigning Wimbledon champion Barty, seeking her third Grand Slam title, advanced in 90 minutes and kept her cool when Tauson broke to level the last set 5-5.

"I've always been quite a calm person," Barty said. "That's certainly part of my game."

Barty, who next plays American Shelby Rogers or Romania's Sorana Cirstea, seeks her sixth trophy of the year and a first US Open quarterfinals spot.

Swiss 11th seed Belinda Bencic, the Tokyo Olympic women's champion, beat Italy's Martina Trevisan 6-3, 6-1 in windy conditions.

"That was a little bit tricky but after yesterday's bad weather I'm not complaining," Bencic said. "Thanks to everyone for coming. I know it was not easy."

After storms battered the US Open on Wednesday, play resumed under clear blue skies on Thursday with furniture scattered by high winds restored or replaced. High water that flooded plazas the night before had drained away.

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