Duo dodge storms to progress
A review of the action in the women's singles on day three of the US Open.
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Serena Williams was among the players who had their matches cancelled as rain disrupted the US Open in New York.
Play was suspended just before 1pm local time because of the threat of lightning and rain quickly followed.
Only a few minutes of play were possible over the next four hours and at 5.10pm organisers announced several women's matches had been cancelled.
The two happiest players were Li Na and Agnieszka Radwanska, who beat the rain to reach the third round.
Third seed Radwanska had a tough second set against Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor but came through 6-0 7-5 while fifth seed Li defeated Sweden's Sofia Arvidsson 6-2 6-2.
Li said: "I was so lucky before the rain came that I finished the match so I don't have to wait and warm up and come to the court again. It is tough for (everyone else).
"For me, I'll just relax for the rest of the day and do whatever I want to do."
It will be Laura Robson who Li faces, the British player beating Caroline Garcia 6-4 7-6 (7/5) but Venus Williams is out after losing a thriller against Zheng Jie.
Williams has only reached the third round at a grand slam once in the past two years, losing more than her fair share of close matches.
And this was another one, Zheng eventually coming through 6-3 2-6 7-6 (7/5) and then apologising to the crowd for beating one of their favourites.
Rain made the final stages even more dramatic, with Williams breaking Zheng when she served for the match and forcing a tie-break, and she really should have brought up the first match point.
But at 5-5 she dumped a simple volley in the net and then put a backhand wide to hand victory to her opponent after three hours and two minutes.
Williams said: "I should have made the shot. I think I was just rushing. I rushed so badly.
"I had a lot of opportunities in the match. I was always stepping up and putting myself in a good position. So this is a great sign. I'm just not playing consistently enough.
"I just dug myself into so many holes the whole match. I just fought as hard as I could to get out of them, but sometimes it wasn't enough."
There is rarely a Williams press conference these days where she is not asked about retirement, but she has never given so much as a hint that she is thinking about it.
Asked whether she sees herself playing singles again at the US Open, she said: "I definitely want to come back for the atmosphere.
"Next year's Open is so far away right now. I have to think about the doubles, think about this fall, playing maybe quite a few tournaments until the season is over just to get some momentum going into next season."
Serena's delayed match has been scheduled second on Arthur Ashe on Thursday while second seed Victoria Azarenka takes on Aleksandra Wozniak on Louis Armstrong.
Eighth seed Angelique Kerber, ninth seed Jelena Jankovic and Wimbledon runner-up Sabine Lisicki also had their matches cancelled along with Martina Hingis, who was due to partner Daniela Hantuchova in the doubles in her first Grand Slam match for six years.