In contrasting styles, China’s Peng Shuai and Frenchman Gael Monfils dominated their more favorite opponents on Day 9 and while Shuai reached the semifinals, Monfils’ theatrical victory over No.7 seed Dimitrov has brought him to face Roger Federer for a semifinal berth. No.2 seed Roger Federer entered his 10th US open quarterfinal in 11 appearances and he was joined by Croatia’s Marin Cilic and Czech Republic’s Tomas Berdych. Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki was another woman, who made it to the semifinal of US open on Tuesday.
Unseeded Chinese Peng Shuai continued with her super run at the US open this year after upsetting the No.4 seed Agnieszka Radawanska in the second round. In a late-career push to her game, Shuai reached the women’s semifinal on Day 9 defeating Belinda Bencic of Switzerland with a shocking ease. Shuai has had odd successes in WTA singles events but she is a formidable doubles player, who has already won the 2013 women’s doubles crown at Wimbledon with Hsieh-Su-Wei and also at 2014 French Open with the same partner. Shuai is also the 2010 Asian Games gold medalist. But the singles’ performance of the 28-year old Shuai has largely been overshadowed by her more illustrious compatriot Li Na. On Tuesday however, Shuai brushed aside the upcoming star from Switzerland, Belinda Bencic 6-2, 6-1. The highly consistent Shuai is yet to lose a set at US open this year and against the 17-year old Bencic, the Chinese committed only 7 unforced errors, while producing 24 clean winners. Bencic couldn’t come up to the expectations as her game crumbled in the horrible 910 F New York heat. Earlier, world No.58 Bencic became the youngest quarterfinalist at Flushing Meadows after Martina Hingis, who won the US open as a 16-year old in 1997. Bencic was barely 6-months old then. For a place in the final, Shuai will meet No.10 seed Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, who outplayed 13th seeded Italian Sara Errani 6-0, 6-1.
Frenchman Gael Monfils was at his dramatic best in his fourth round 7-5, 7-6, 7-5 victory against the No.7 seeded Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov. In an entertaining match, both players made some unbelievable shots. In the final game, a shot from Monfils curled around the net but the alert Dimitrov still won that point. The match was literally decided on break points with Monfils converting 3 out of 4 but Dimitrov found wanting as he converted just 1 of 7. Monfils continued with his antics all through the match. Once, when he faced a set point on Dimitrov’s serve in the tiebreak, he fought it off. Afterwards, in an illogical display at 6-6, he started sending easy ball back to Dimitrov and urged the Bulgarian to hit winners. A perplexed Dimitrov made two unforced errors instead and presented the set to the Frenchman. Minutes earlier, Dimitrov looked like pocketing that set.
Playing as good as ever, Roger Federer reached the quarterfinals by defeating Spain’s 17th-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4, 6-3, 6-2. In the last 11 years, it was Federer’s 10th quarterfinal entry. The only exception came last year, when Federer was going through a bad patch. It was another Spaniard, Tommy Robredo who had deafeated Federer in the fourth round. In his match against Bautista Agut on Tuesday, Federer moved well and scored 35 points at the net. He suffered just one break of serve but that hardly bothered him as the first set score moved from 5-1 to 5-4 with Federer serving. He ended the set with two aces. The rest of the match was easy for Federer, who took less than two hours to wrap things up. In Thursday’s quarterfinals, Federer has to deal with the volatile 20th-seeded Frenchman Gael Monfils.
Other men entering the quarterfinals on Tuesday were; Croatia’s Marin Cilic and Spain’s Tomas Berdych. Cilic beat France’s Gilles Simon in a tough match that lasted over 4 hours and took 5 sets. Cilic served 23 aces and 70 winners but his 76 unforced errors extended the match. He finally came through with a 5-7, 7-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 win to take on Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinal. No.6 seed Berdych had a rather easy passage as he disposed of Austria’s Dominic Thiem, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4.
Men’s No.1 doubles pair of Bob and Mike Bryan of USA defeated 7th seeded Spaniards David Marrero and Fernando Verdasco, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 in a quarterfinal match. In women’s doubles quarterfinals, No.4 seeded Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina of Russia beat the William sisters 7-6, 6-4. Swiss Veteran Martina Hingis combined with Italy’s Flavia Pennetta to defeat Kveta Peschke of the Czech Republic and Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia 6-4, 6-3. Also entering the women’s doubles semifinal were India’s Sania Mirza with her Zimbabwean partner Cara Black. The No.3 seed Mirza and Black defeated Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan, and Xu Yi-Fan of China, who retired with the score reading 6-1, 1-0 in favor of the Indo-Zimbabwean pair.
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