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Ruud wins in five at US Open, Carreno Busta comes up with tweener lob winner on match point

Casper Ruud of Norway celebrates after defeating Tommy Paul of the United States at the US Open. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

By Ricky Dimon

For the most part, Friday at the U.S. Open was about Serena Williams–and deservedly so. Following a three-set drama with Anett Kontaveit in round two, Williams played another thriller that had the Arthur Ashe Stadium faithful in a frenzy. But this time it was the 23-time Grand Slam champion’s final match, as Ajla Tomljanovic sent her into retirement with a 7-5, 6-7(4), 6-2 victory that lasted three hours and five minutes.

You might have missed it amidst the Williams hoopla, but there were other happenings around the grounds of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

In a marathon on the men’s side, Casper Ruud outlasted Tommy Paul 7-6(3), 6-7(5), 7-6(2), 5-7, 6-0 after four hours and 24 minutes. A roller-coaster ride saw Paul serve for the third set 6-5 and lead 40-0 only to squander that opportunity. The American impressively battled back in the fourth following his third-set collapse, but it was Ruud who held up much better physically–and mentally–in the fifth.

“Not many times you play more than four hours of tennis (in) a day,” the French Open runner-up commented. “It’s obviously a challenge. But I felt good and I felt physically strong; I’m very happy about that. The match was so close, back-and-forth all the time. In the fifth set I got a really good start and kept building on it. (I’m) very happy with the level I showed in the fifth. The body was holding up for it.”

Pablo Carreno Busta just barely managed to avoid a fifth set in his third-round meeting with Alex de Minaur. On match point at 6-5 in the fourth-set tiebreaker, an already impressive point from the baseline and at net ended with Carreno Busta tracking down a De Minaur lob and sending it back with a perfect tweener lob. The Aussie got a racket on it but had no chance of putting it back in the court, thus concluding the contest in dramatic fashion.

Next up for Carreno Busta is Karen Khachanov, who got a retirement from Jack Draper.

It wasn’t a great day for the British contingent, as Andy Murray joined Draper at the exit with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-7(1), 6-3 defeat at the hands of Matteo Berrettini. Murray produced a commendable effort and was competitive from start to finish over three hours and 48 minutes, but Berrettini had too much firepower.

Nick Kyrgios is also through to the last 16, erasing J.J. Wolf 6-4, 6-2, 6-3. Kyrgios and Daniil Medvedev will collide in a blockbuster matchup on Sunday.

Yes, Williams’ short but sweet run was memorable. But even with her ouster, week two in New York is shaping up nicely.

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.