Saturday night in New York, Labor Day weekend, was bound to go late at the US Open after three long, thrilling day matches on Arthur Ashe Stadium went late into the evening.
I'm going to immediately get into bed and sleep until 3 o'clock tomorrow Madison Keys
The day session kicked off with top-seeded Karolina Pliskova fighting off a match point to keep her title hopes alive and CoCo Vandeweghe going nearly three hours to take out former world No 2 Agnieszka Radwanska before turning turning the stage over to Rafael Nadal, the No 1 seed on the men’s side who, once again, dropped the opening set before righting the ship to put away lucky loser Leonardo Mayer in four.
Then came the fan exodus, the day session crowd emptying Ashe to usher in the evening attendees, who got see some drama as well.
After Roger Federer dispelled any remaining concerns about his back and had dispatched Feliciano Lopez in straight sets, it was down to Madison Keys to close out the night session at 1:45 am, the second-latest finish for a women’s match in US Open history.
Keys polished off the day’s play with a come-from-behind, three-set victory over Elena Vesnina.
The American and the Russian did not even start their third-round match until nearly midnight and almost overtook the record of 1:48 am also set by Keys in a match she won against Alison Riske in the first round here a year ago.
Keys, the 15th seed, took eight of the last nine games and came back to beat 17th-seeded Vesnina 2-6 6-4 6-1 to reach the US Open’s fourth round for the third consecutive year.
From 4-all in the second set, Keys didn’t lose another game until she was ahead 5-0 in the third.
Vesnina still has never been past the third round at the US Open in 12 appearances in singles, although she did win the 2014 women’s doubles title.
“I’m going to immediately get into bed and sleep until 3 o’clock tomorrow,” said Keys, as she plans to prepare to face No 4 Elina Svitolina in the fourth round
Keys gives the United States five women in the fourth round, joining No 9 Venus Williams, No 20 CoCo Vandeweghe, Sloane Stephens and Jennifer Brady.