Halep, Wawrinka beat the heat while Sock wilts
By Steve Keating
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Simona Halep and Stan Wawrinka beat the heat with straight-sets wins to reach the third round of a sweltering U.S. Open on Thursday while American hope Jack Sock wilted under the punishing conditions, collapsing on court.
After the sun set on Flushing Meadows, fourth seed Caroline Wozniacki played in cooler conditions but was unable to repel a red-hot Petra Cetkovska, the 149th ranked Czech repeating her 2013 Wimbledon upset of the Dane with a 6-4 5-7 7-6(1) win.
Cetkovska had looked to be cruising to victory when she led 4-1 in the second set but the injury-prone 30-year-old lost her way and then saved four match points in the decider before she was ultimately rewarded for being aggressive on vital points.
Leading off the night session, second seed Roger Federer was neither troubled by the weather nor his opponent as the Swiss maestro easily dispatched Steve Darcis of Belgium 6-1 6-2 6-1 in just 80 minutes to stay on course for a sixth U.S. Open crown.
While Federer barely broke a sweat, players spent most a sizzling day session with ice packs draped over their shoulders, chugging on water bottles and searching for shade.
British hopes Andy Murray and Johanna Konta, however, enjoyed a productive day in the sun as both went the distance to score second round victories.
Third seed Murray appeared frozen to the spot on a broiling afternoon but caught fire when he needed to and rallied for a 5-7 4-6 6-1 6-3 6-1 win over Frenchman Adrian Mannarino.
Konta, meanwhile, provided the early upset, toiling for three hours and 27 minutes to see off ninth-seeded Spaniard and Wimbledon finalist Garbine Muguruza 7-6(4) 6-7(4) 6-2 in what was the longest women's match ever at the U.S. Open. Continued...