Latest on US Open: Azarenka ‘pinishes’ Kerber in 3rd round

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NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the US Open (all times local):

6:05 p.m.

Victoria Azarenka “pinished” Angelique Kerber.

After closing out a grueling three-set victory that took near 3 hours, Azarenka revealed that hitting partner Sascha Bajin had coined a new term that combined the words “finish” and “punish.” She consults notes to herself between games, and that’s the word that steadied her after she wasted five match points on the 11th-seeded Kerber’s serve.

She said in an on-court interview that she told herself “I’m going to stay here all day” if that was what it took to win.

Instead, the 20th-seeded Azarenka served out the match at love to clinch a 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 victory in the third round Saturday. The two combined for 97 winners and 12 breaks of serve and played 35 rallies of at least 10 shots.

“I just enjoy this hustle, this running down every ball,” Azarenka said.

She next faces American Varvara Lepchenko.


5:25 p.m.

American Varvara Lepchenko has reached the fourth round at the U.S. Open for the first time.

With the home crowd willing her on at Louis Armstrong Stadium, the 46th-ranked Lepchenko rallied from a tough first set to beat No. 53 Mona Barthel of Germany 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 on Saturday. Lepchenko, 29, matched her best performance at a major after also reaching the round of 16 at the 2012 French Open.

Barthel has never advanced past the third round at a Grand Slam tournament.

Lepchenko was one of seven American women in the third round, the most since 2004. She was born in Uzbekistan, and her family received political asylum in the U.S. when she was 15. Lepchenko has been competing for the United States since 2007 and became an American citizen in 2011.


4:50 p.m.

John Isner is best known for a match that lasted more than 11 hours over three days and went to the 138th game of the fifth set. So he knows how unusual — and valuable — it is that he has played just 27 games through three rounds at this year’s U.S. Open.

Those are Roger Federer-like numbers — the Swiss great has played 20 games through three rounds here, in fact — and that could prove crucial when Isner faces the 17-time major champion in the fourth round.

He got some outside help Saturday when his opponent, Jiri Vesely, retired because of a neck injury after the 13th-seeded Isner won the first two sets 6-3, 6-4.

While Isner’s famous 2010 Wimbledon marathon against Nicolas Mahut is the extreme, the big-serving American does tend to play long matches. He’s grateful that he’ll have a full tank for Monday’s meeting with Federer.

“That bodes well for me,” Isner said. “Same goes for him, but he’s generally in that position. I’m going to go out there and roll the dice.”

Vesely’s retirement is the 16th of the tournament, setting a record for a major in the Open era, which started in 1968.


3 p.m.

U.S. Open tournament director David Brewer says Eugenie Bouchard has pulled out of women’s doubles and mixed doubles after getting a head injury when she slipped and fell in the locker room.

Brewer issued a statement Saturday, a day after Bouchard won her third-round singles match. Bouchard, the runner-up at Wimbledon last year, is seeded 25th in singles.

Brewer says it hasn’t been determined whether Bouchard will stay in the singles event.

The Canadian was entered in doubles with Elena Vesnina and in mixed doubles with Nick Kyrgios.


2:50 p.m.

Roger Federer finally got broken — twice, actually — but was in control pretty much the entire way en route to the fourth round of the U.S. Open for the 15th consecutive year.

The No. 2-seeded Federer beat No. 29 Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 on Saturday.

Federer has won each of his nine sets through three matches, dropping only a total of 20 games so far.

The 17-time major champion, who won the U.S. Open five times in a row from 2004-08, entered the match against Kohlschreiber having won 72 straight service games, including all 23 in New York.

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