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Snap Judgments: Day 3 at the 2017 US Open

Robert Cole/ALOST
Sloane Stephens continues to make up for lost time after missing 11 months with a foot injury, continuing her good form with a win over Dominika Cibulkova on Wednesday. (Robert Cole/ALOST)
Sloane Stephens continues to make up for lost time after missing 11 months with a foot injury, continuing her good form in her comeback with a win over eleventh-seeded Dominika Cibulkova on Wednesday. (Robert Cole/ALOST)

 

Almost three weeks to the day, 18-year-old up-and-comer Denis Shapovalov was one point away from defeat on four separate occasions in a first-round match at the Masters 1000 event in Montréal – as well as one lost point away in that situation from having to continue to grind away on the Challenger circuit just a few days later after his elimination.

What a difference three weeks – and four match points saved – makes! From pulling that match out of the fire against Rogério Dutra Silva, almost nothing has stopped Shapovalov in his meteoric ascent into professional tour relevance, and his straight-set win in primetime last night on Arthur Ashe Stadium over No 8 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has officially turned Shapovalov into must-see TV. The 2016 Wimbledon junior champion used his punishing inside-out forehand and clutch serving to get him out of trouble when he needed to, and was poised beyond his years playing on the big stage under the New York City night sky.

Earlier, there was a match on Court 10 that almost defied logic. Though the match was between two unseeded Americans, Sofia Kenin and Sachia Vickery, the drama that was contained inside the walls of the court could have easily been seen in a Grand Slam final between the top two players in the world. After two match points saved (Kenin), arguments about foot faults (Vickery), a violation handed out for on-court coaching (Kenin) and audible outbursts of both motivation and frustration (both), it was Kenin who pulled it out in the end after two hours and 38 minutes. Speaking of Americans, two more notable players who represent the Red, White and Blue posted victories on Day 3. Venus Williams continued to look like one of the favorites that she is tabbed as in this US Open after a straight-set victory in the second round over France’s Océane Dodin. Just as impressive, Sloane Stephens continued her dominant summer after a long spell out due to injury with a three-set victory over No. 11 seed Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia.

All of those matches were witnessed by us in person (and more), and, as always, our photographer, Robert Cole, was courtside on multiple courts at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center to provide us and our viewers amazing closeups of the action. There are now 31 photos in this gallery.

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