Stan Surges Into 3R; Donaldson Ends American Teen Drought
Wawrinka, a semi-finalist in two of the past three years in Flushing Meadows, has not dropped a set en route to the third round. The Swiss completed the victory in two hours and 28 minutes, striking 57 winners, while turning aside 10 of 11 break points faced.
"It's always better to win in three sets, that's for sure," said Wawrinka. "But I was ready to go even longer on that court. It was not as hot as the other day, but it was really humid. I think except for that little moment when I got broken in the second, there were a few games when I was a little bit out of it mentally and not as focused as I wanted. But I came back. In general, I think it was a great level."
Giannessi capped an impressive run through qualifying, which saw him reach his first Grand Slam main draw, and claim his first tour-level match win in more than four years. Wawrinka admits the World No. 243 gave him a stern test.
"I never played against him, but I watched him before," Wawrinka said of Giannessi. "I talked with [coach] Magnus [Norman] and knew what to expect. He is a great player. He has some great shots. He's feeling the ball well. It was a tough match, as I expected. But I think I'm quite happy to have won in three sets."
Wawrinka now awaits resurgent Brit Daniel Evans, who continued his strong run of form with a 6-4, 6-4, 5-7, 6-2 upset of 19-year-old and 27th seed Alexander Zverev. Evans has won eight of his past nine matches, including a title run at the $100k ATP Challenger Tour event in Aptos, U.S.A. He will face Wawrinka for the first time.
Evans, who denied 11 of 14 break points faced, while converting six of 14 of his own, was made to work in beating the Emirates ATP Star of Tomorrow. The German teen battled to force a fourth set, taking his seventh set point in the third. But Evans would prove to be too strong in the end, breaking for 2-1 in the fourth and again for 5-2, before closing out the win after three hours and nine minutes. He reaches a second straight third round at a Grand Slam, having advanced as far two months ago at Wimbledon.
"It was probably my best win, [considering] the situation and circumstances," said Evans. "It was late and difficult mentally. To come back in the fourth and get on top was good. I was a bit passive [in the third set]. He took control. It was pretty evident that's what he was going to do for the rest of the match. I needed to stay on top of him."
Where one #NextGen star failed to reach the third round, another succeeded, as American hopeful Jared Donaldson cruised past Viktor Troicki 7-5, 6-3, 6-3. Donaldson, who is projected to crack the Top 100 of the Emirates ATP Rankings for the first time, followed up a first-round upset of David Goffin with a two-hour and 17-minute victory over Troicki. The Rhode Island native is the youngest American to reach the third round at the US Open since 18-year-old Donald Young did so in 2007.
"I've been playing well this summer," said Donaldson. "I've also had kind of an average beginning of the year. I'm fortunate that I've been able to play so well through the hard courts. It's really special to be able to culminate the summer and play really well at this event.
"I remember coming here when I was 12. It was really cool to watch all the best players in the world play here. Now, I'm thankful that I'm one of those players."
One of four Americans in the third round, along with John Isner, Jack Sock and fellow qualifier Ryan Harrison, Donaldson will next face big-serving Croatian Ivo Karlovic. Karlovic polished off Donald Young 6-4, 7-6(4), 6-4 on Thursday, firing 24 aces in total.