On a day curtailed partly by thunderstorms, Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark brought the curtains down on Maria Sharapova’s US open 2014 campaign by beating the No.5 seed in three sets. In another upset at Flushing Meadows on Sunday, Spain’s 4th seeded tennis star David Ferrer lost to Frenchman Gilles Simon in a tough four-setter. Ferrer is considered a relentless campaigner, who never failed to reach the last eight of 10 Grand Slam tournaments but in Wimbledon and now at the US open, he has failed to get past the third round. No.2 seed Roger Federer lost the first set in his match against Spain’s Marcel Granollers, when the play got interrupted due to thunderstorms. When the match resumed, Federer came back with all guns blazing and won the next three sets, losing just one game in each one of the sets. In another third-round match, No.7 seed Grigor Dimitrov also lost the first set like Federer to Belgium’s David Goffin. The only difference in case of Dimitrov was that he lost it 0-6. But the Bulgarian still survived against Goffin and in a battle of young guns, defeated the 23-year old Belgian in four sets. No.6 seed Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic also sailed into the fourth round by defeating Russia’s Teymuraz Gabashvili in straight sets.
Maria Sharapova made a very poor impression on people gathered at the Arthur Ashe Stadium on Sunday. With set scores level 1-1, the chair umpire allowed a 10-minute break to the players before the start of the third set due to the stifling New York heat. While Wozniacki was already on court, Sharapova took her time. Therefore, when she returned, she received a time-violation warning against which she began arguing with the chair umpire. It was in bad taste and the crowd didn’t like that. Sharapova’s bad behavior made the crowd side with Wozniacki and the Dane was applauded every time she scored a point. When the 10th-seeded Dane broke Sharapova at love to go up 3-1 in the final set, she got a standing ovation and she waved them back. The Dane mixed aggression with defense to keep the heat on the No.5 seed. The match lasted 2 hours 37 minutes during which Wozniacki wore down the Russian and won the match 6-4, 2-6, 6-2. It was the Dane’s first entry into a Grand Slam quarterfinal after over two years. The match had a poor count of first-serve winners from both players and the second serve points decided the match. While Sharapova won 9 of her 26 second-service points, Wozniacki’s second serve winners were 19 out of 35.
Frenchman Gilles Simon eliminated No. 4 seed Spaniard David Ferrer in a tough four-setter. In hot and humid conditions, both players struggled and sweated profusely. Despite his legendary staying power on courts, Ferrer looked tired. After losing the first set 3-6, Ferrer staged a recovery against heavy odds and won the second 6-3. At this point, the talented Simon took control and quickly took the next two sets to finish the match 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, 6-3. It was the second time in one month that Ferrer has failed to reach a Grand Slam Quarterfinal after 10 straight entries in the last 8 Grand Slams in as many appearances over a nearly two year period. In the fourth round, Simon’s opponent will be 14th seed Marin Cilic, who defeated South Africa’s big-hitting contender Kevin Anderson 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
No.2 seed, Roger Federer dropped the first set against Spain’s Marcel Granollers. But the play could not be continued due to thunderstorms. When the play resumed, Federer was a changed person. He outplayed Granollers in the next three sets, allowing the Spaniard just one game in every set as the match ended 4-6, 6-1, 6-1, 6-1 in Federer’s favor. The Swiss legend will have beat Spain’s talented 17th seed Roberto Bautista Agut to make his 39th quarter-final in his last 42 Grand Slam tournaments. Agut defeated Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 7-5, 6-2, 6-3 in his third round match to set up a clash with Federer. Another seed, who sailed into fourth round, was Czech Republic’s No.6 Tomas Berdych by scoring 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 straight sets victory over Russia’s Teymuraz Gabashvili. Berdych next plays Austria’s 20-year-old Dominic Thiem for the quarterfinal spot.
Joining Federer and Berdych in fourth round on Sunday was Bulgaria’s No.7 seed Grigor Dimitrov. The Bulgarian survived the 0-6 opening set loss to come back in style and defeat Belgium’s David Goffin 0-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-1 in 2 hours 21 minutes. Dimitrov sent down 7 aces and 29 winners. 2014 has been a great year for Dimitrov, who entered the quarter-final in the Australian open and semifinal at the Wimbledon, losing to the eventual champion Novak Djokovic. To enter the quarterfinal, Dimitrov will have to defeat Frenchman Gael Monfils in the fourth round. Monfils came through by defeating countryman Richard Gasquet 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 in under 2 hours, hammering 11 aces and 50 winners.
In other matches on day 7, No.14 seed Marin Cilic beat No.18 Kevin Anderson; Dominic Thiem defeated No.19 seed Feliciano Lopez; No.13 Sara Errani defeated Mirjana Lucic-Baroni; Belinda Bencic beat No.9 Jelena Jankovic and unseeded Chinese Shuai Peng defeated No.14 seed Lucie Safarova.
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