Murray sent packing
Andy Murray's first Grand Slam in more than a year ended with a second-round exit at the US Open, where he fell in four sets to Spain's Fernando Verdasco on Wednesday.
Verdasco, seeded 31st, had lost 13 of 14 prior matches with the Scot, who claimed the first of his three Grand Slam titles at the 2012 US Open.
But on another scorching day in New York, Verdasco triumphed 7-5, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 to book a third-round meeting with another former champion, third-seeded Argentine Juan Martin del Potro.
The Scot, playing his first Grand Slam since Wimbledon of last year and just his fifth tournament since hip surgery in June, gave himself a mixed report card.
"I think some of the tennis I played today was some of the best I've played since I had the surgery or since I came back," Murray said. "There were also periods in the match, especially in the first set, where I really didn't play particularly well. I hit a lot of mistakes when I was up in that set. I feel like I should have won the first set and didn't."
Later, World No. 1 and defending champion Rafael Nadal steamed into the third round on another scorching day with a straight-sets win over Vasek Pospisil.
Nadal, spared the worst of the heat thanks to his late-night start on Arthur Ashe Stadium, sped past Pospisil 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.
Meanwhile, former champions Stan Wawrinka and Juan Martin del Potro also advanced, while 2012 winner Andy Murray, like Wawrinka back at Flushing Meadows after missing last year through injury, was bounced by Fernando Verdasco.
WILLIAMS SISTERS TO CLASH FOR 30TH TIME
Serena and Venus Williams set up a 30th career meeting. Six-time champion Serena eased into Friday's third round encounter against her sister with a 6-2, 6-2 win over German world number 101 Carina Witthoeft on the back of 30 winners and 13 aces.
Venus, the 2000 and 2001 champion, made the third round for the 17th time with a 6-4, 7-5 victory over Camila Giorgi of Italy.
Friday's match will be the earliest the sisters have met at a Slam since the 1998 Australian Open in what was also their first ever clash. It will be their sixth face-off in New York.
"Friday will be incredibly hard," said Serena before jokingly hitting back at Venus's claim that when they last met at a Slam in the final of the 2017 Australian Open her sister had an advantage as it was "two against one."
That was a reference to Serena being in the early stages of pregnancy with her daughter Olympia.
"I guess I had a little advantage but it's going to be hard for me on Friday," said 36-year-old Serena.