FLUSHING MEADOWS, N.Y., Sept. 2 (UPI) -- Two down, five to go for Serena Williams.
Though she again won in straight sets, Williams' second round match was far more difficult than her first, in which her opponent didn't win a single game. Williams needed a tiebreaker to pull off the first set on her way to a 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 victory.
"When I get down, I tend to get really relaxed and I start to play a little better," Williams said of needing the first set tiebreaker.
In the third round, Williams will face fellow American Bethanie Mattek-Sands. The two have never played each other.
"I love her personality. It really shows in her dresses and the clothes and the outfits. I love her spirit," Williams said. "She's had a lot of ups and downs throughout her whole career. She's just incredibly positive, you know. It's so inspiring for someone like me."
Williams needs to win five more matches at the U.S. Open to win the calendar-year Grand Slam -- titles at all four major tournaments. The last player, men's or women's, to accomplish that feat was Steffi Graf in 1988.
Serena's sister, Venus, also faced an American, Irina Falconi, in Wednesday's night session. Despite committing 47 unforced errors, Williams defeated Falconi in three sets, 6-3, 6-7 (2-7), 6-2.
In the men's draw, defending champion and ninth-seed Marin Cilic continued into the third round with a straight-sets defeat of Russia's Evgeny Donskoy. And two-time winner Rafael Nadal defeated Argentinian Diego Schwartzman in three sets.
But perhaps the match of the day on the men's side involved American Mardy Fish, who endured a marathon five-set thriller against 18th-seeded Spaniard Feliciano Lopez.
The match, which exceeded three hours in length, thrilled fans at Court No. 2 at Louis Armstrong Stadium -- particularly because Fish has said the tournament will be his last in professional tennis.
After leading 2-sets-to-1, Fish lost a contentious fourth set and the deciding fifth set, and the match, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1, 5-7, 3-6 to bring his career to an end. He left Louis Armstrong Stadium to a standing ovation from the crowd.
"I've got a lot of great memories. I have got a lot of great memories; I've got a lot of good wins out here," Fish said. "I have made a lot of really good friendships with almost everyone out here. You know, I'll miss that."
Fish never won a Grand Slam tournament in his pro career, but did notch quarterfinal appearances at three of the four major tournaments. His best finish in New York was a quarterfinal appearance at the 2008 U.S. Open.
- 19th-seeded American Madison Keys easily won her second round match, 6-1, 6-2, over Czech Tereza Smitkova.
- American Coco Vandeweghe lost to fellow American Mattek-Sands, 2-6, 1-6, and at one point destroyed her racquet during a moment of frustration in the match.
- Only one seeded player lost in each draw Wednesday, Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov (No. 17) for the men and Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (No. 31) for the women.