The hardcourt action in New York continued at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on Thursday. More unexpected players rose to the occasion, and many top names brought their A-games to take one step closer to the major title that lingers in the distance. 

These are the Top 5 photos from the US Open.

1

Serena Williams

The 23-time Grand Slam champion was frustrated at times against Margarita Gasparyan, but she buckled down to post a  6-2, 6-4 win. The 38-year-old is now 20-0 in second round matches at the US Open and will face Sloane Stephens in the third round. 

"She knows how to play well, it's not easy, and I'm glad I got a tough match today so I'll be ready for that one," Serena said in her on-court interview. 

2

Vasek Pospisil 

The Canadian is having a superb week after not competing in a tour-level match in months due to the shutdown. Pospisil posted a  6-7 (1), 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-3 score against Milos Raonic who came into the second-round clash with wins over Andy Murray and Stefanos Tsitsipas at last week's Western & Southern Open. 

3

Amanda Anisimova

Katrina Scott got off to a strong start against No. 22 seed Amanda Anisimova, but the world No. 28's power game proved to be too much for the 16-year-old. Anisimova pulled out a 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 win to set up a third-round matchup against Maria Sakkari. 

4

Richard Gasquet

The Frenchman put up a good fight, but Alex de Minaur was able to come through on the most important points. The No. 21 seed dispatched Gasquet with a 6-4, 6-3, 6-7 (6), 7-5 win to advance into the third round, where he will face Karen Khachanov. 

5

 Sloane Stephens

Ever since capturing her first Grand Slam title in Arthur Ashe Stadium, Stephens has struggled to come out on the court with that same intensity and drive to win. However, she's managed to put together two consecutive wins, which she hasn't done since last September. 

The American posted a solid 6-2, 6-2 win against Olga Govortsova on Louis Armstrong Stadium. Stephens will take on six-time US Open champion Serena on Saturday.