US Open 2016, Day 9: Novak Djokovic, Monfils, Kerber, Wozniacki through to semis

Novak Djokovic, Monfils and Caroline Wozniacki book a place in the US Open 2016 semis.

By: Express Web Desk | Updated: September 7, 2016 9:19 pm
Novak Djokovic is through to the US Open semis for the ninth year on the trot. (Source: Reuters)

Novak Djokovic moved into the U.S. Open semifinals for the 10th consecutive year when No. 9 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga stopped because of a hurt left knee, the defending champion’s third opponent to pull out with an injury. After the top-seeded Djokovic won the first two sets 6-3, 6-2 on Tuesday night, Tsonga was visited by a trainer and had his left leg taped below the knee. Tsonga double-faulted on the opening point of the third set, then retired from the match. Djokovic’s second-round opponent, Jiri Vesely, withdrew from the tournament with a sore left forearm. The man Djokovic was supposed to play in the third round, Mikhail Youzhny, quit after six games because of a strained left hamstring. Earlier, Monfils, Wozniacki and Kerber won their respective quarter-final matches to book a place in the last-four.

sahilmalhotra1 September 7, 20167:53 am

Tsonga serves, feels discomfort in the knee and RETIRES! Novak Djokovic wins another match, without completing it. The Serb won the first two sets 6-3, 6-2. He will meet Monfils in the semis

sahilmalhotra1 September 7, 20167:49 am

Comfortable serving game and Djokovic seals the second set 6-2. Tsonga struggling!

sahilmalhotra1 September 7, 20167:48 am

Tsonga is back up and we return to action in the men’s singles quarter-final

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Not looking good for Tsonga as he receives treatment on his left knee. He lays flat on the court now. Injury time-out!

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Unforced errors cost Tsonga a crucial serving game. Djokovic, 5-2 up, to serve for the second set

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Djokovic with the break point but he blows it away with an unforced error. Tsonga to serve at 40-40

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Tsonga has looked good but has failed to produce quality points when they matter. Djokovic on the other hand has won most rallies, and is control of proceedings at the moment

sahilmalhotra1 September 7, 20167:35 am

Hold for Djokovic puts him two games away from taking a 2-0 lead over Tsonga in the men’s singles quarters

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Tsonga fights to hold serve. Djokovic still a break up and will serve at 3-2 in the second set

sahilmalhotra1 September 7, 20167:28 am

Tsonga with a good drop, Djokovic sprints ahead for the return, the big man tries a lob over the Serb’s head but fails to get elevation….Djokovic smashes the winner. It’s 40-40 on Tsonga’s serve

sahilmalhotra1 September 7, 20167:25 am

Clinical hold follows the early break as Djokovic takes 3-1 lead in second set against Tsonga

tanujlakhina September 7, 20167:21 am

Tsonga’s backhand return crashes into the net and Djokovic breaks early. Will serve at 2-1 now

tanujlakhina September 7, 20167:18 am

Djokovic-Tsonga play out long rallies in the second set. Tsonga stands tall near the net, and slices one to go 40-30 up on serve

tanujlakhina September 7, 20167:15 am

Both Tsonga and Djokovic start the second set with holds. It’s 1-1 at the moment

tanujlakhina September 7, 20167:10 am

Novak Djokovic wins the first set against Tsonga 6-3, and trails 0-1 in the second

tanujlakhina September 7, 20163:27 am

That wraps up the morning session at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre. In the evening session, Caroline Wozniacki opens play against Anastasija Sevastova. That will be followed by Novak Djokovic against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

tanujlakhina September 7, 20163:25 am

That’s the final match on Louis Armstrong Stadium before it is grazed and reconstructed for 2018 US Open. And the final match sees an intense battle with the Spaniards coming out on top over the American pairing

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Feliciano/Marc Lopez save two break points in the final game to beat Bryan brothers 7-6, 4-6, 6-3

tanujlakhina September 7, 20162:45 am

Play has been suspended with Lopez’s leading 4-3 in final set over Bryans. On serve though

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Bryan brothers force a third in the final match on Louis Armstrong Stadium. Take second set 6-4 vs Marc Lopez and Feliciano Lopez

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Gael Monfils with an ace down the tee and he reaches his first US Open semi-final and second overall. Beats Lucas Pouille 6-4, 6-3, 6-3

tanujlakhina September 7, 20161:20 am

Mirza and Strycova lose the second set 6-1 and the match 6-7, 1-6

tanujlakhina September 7, 201612:49 am

Roof being closed on Arthur Ashe Stadium where Monfils leads 4-3

tanujlakhina September 7, 201612:49 am

Droplets falling in New York now. Umbrellas out. Play suspended on all courts

tanujlakhina September 7, 201612:46 am

Mladenovic with a putaway at the net and the French pair go up 3-0 in no time in second set

tanujlakhina September 7, 201612:37 am

From 5-2 up in the first set, Mirza-Strycova taken to tiebreak. And lose opener 7-6 (3)

tanujlakhina September 7, 201612:34 am

Mirza/Strycova finally get on board in the tiebreak after an error by the French pair. 1-5 down now

tanujlakhina September 7, 201612:32 am

Monfils gets an early break in the second set to go up 2-1

tanujlakhina September 7, 201612:30 am

Garcia/Mladenovic hold serve to force a tiebreaker. And get an early mini-break

tanujlakhina September 7, 201612:25 am

Finally Strycova holds serve to a big C’mon! 6-5 up now in the first set

tanujlakhina September 7, 201612:22 am

Mladenovic/Garcia claw back from 5-2 down to make it 5-5 after breaking Mirza’s serve on the way

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Monfils wins the first set 6-4 in 35 minutes

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Mladenovic with a perfect top spin lob to hold serve after facing two set points

tanujlakhina September 7, 201612:15 am

Strycova sends return of serve long and that’s one set point gone for the Indo-Czech pair. And on the second chance, Garcia with strong volleys to bring it back to deuce

tanujlakhina September 7, 201612:14 am

Pouille’s backhand sails into the tramlines and Monfils leads 5-3

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Gael Monfils gets an all important break to lead 4-3 in the first set over Lucas Pouille

tanujlakhina September 7, 201612:10 am

Mirza with a strong volley at the net and the pair lead 5-2 in the first set

tanujlakhina September 7, 201612:07 am

Caroline Garcia holds serve and Mirza/Strycova lead by 4-2 in the first set

tanujlakhina September 7, 201612:01 am

Strycova with a perfect forehand winner cross court and brings up two break points. Mirza with a booming return on serve and Strycova moves to put away the volley at the net. 3-1 up now in the first set

tanujlakhina September 6, 201611:57 pm

Lucas Pouille pushed in the third game by Monfils but manages to hold and it stays on serve at 2-1. Same scoreline and also on serve in the women’s doubles match involving Sania Mirza

tanujlakhina September 6, 201611:53 pm

Sania Mirza starts by holding her serve and the Indo-Czech pair lead 1-0 in the first set

tanujlakhina September 6, 201611:52 pm

Play underway on Grandstand where Sania Mirza and Barbora Strycova take on Kristina Mladenovic and Caroline Garcia

tanujlakhina September 6, 201611:44 pm

Makarova/Vesnina are through to the women’s doubles semi-finals with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Klepac/Srebotnik

tanujlakhina September 6, 201611:38 pm

Lucas Pouille and Gael Monfils are on court warming up

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In mixed doubles quarterfinal, Yung-Jan Chan and Nenad Zimonjic win 1-6, 6-3, 13-11 against Yaroslava Shvedova and Bruno Soares

tanujlakhina September 6, 201611:08 pm

Vinci’s forehand sails long and Kerber is through to the semi-final. Wins 7-5, 6-0

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Vinci saves match point with a great backhand slider – very old-school style. But Kerber pounces on the second serve on deuce to bring in another chance

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In women’s doubles on Louis Armstrong, Makarova/Vesnina have won first set 6-4 vs Klepac/Srebotnik

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Vinci hasn’t held serve since eighth game in the first set to make it 4-4

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Kerber is absolutely bulldozing past Vinci now. Up 5-0 in the second and the Italian will serve to hold for first time since the first set

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Kerber continues her good run with an ace down the tee. Leads 3-0 in the second set

tanujlakhina September 6, 201610:53 pm

That’s three breaks in a row for Kerber. Vinci doesn’t look confident on her serve. German up 2-0 in second set

tanujlakhina September 6, 201610:45 pm

Uh-oh! Double fault by Vinci and she hands the first set to Kerbet 7-5

tanujlakhina September 6, 201610:37 pm

Vinci’s backhand slice is into the net and Kerber breaks to make it 5-5 in the first set

tanujlakhina September 6, 201610:37 pm

Vinci serves for the first set at 5-4. But Kerber has a break point after pushing Vinci on the run on the forehand side and the Italian sends it long

tanujlakhina September 6, 201610:07 pm

Stays on serve between the Italian and the German. 2-2 at the moment

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Siegemund/Pavic beat Gibbs/Novikov 6-2, 7-6 and Mattek-Sands/Safarova beat Muhammed/Townsend 6-1, 6-2

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Roberta Vinci and Angelique Kerber are on court and play has begun in the first quarterfinal. Kerber serving first

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Bethanie Mattek Sands and Lucie Safarova have won the first set 6-1 against Taylor Townsend and Asia Muhammad. And in the mixed doubles quarter on Grandstand, Siegemund and Pavic have picked up the first set 6-2 over Gibbs and Novikov

tanujlakhina September 6, 20168:26 pm

France’s Lucas Pouille, Gael Monfils face off for spot in semi-final

Lucas Pouille is 22 years old and just reached his second Grand Slam quarterfinal. His countryman, Gael Monfils, recently turned 30 and is in his eighth.

This season has been a breakthrough of sorts for both the youngster and the veteran, who meet Tuesday at the U.S. Open with at least one Frenchman guaranteed a spot in the semifinals.

Pouille’s ascension has been of the conventional up-and-coming variety. He reached a career-best ranking of No. 21 this summer after he made his first major quarterfinal at Wimbledon.

Monfils has been advancing this far at the Grand Slams for more than eight years, though he’s still better known for his flair for creative shot-making than his results. That seems to be shifting in 2016, and a sharply focused Monfils is 18-2 in matches he’s played since a first-round loss at Wimbledon including the highest-level tournament title of his career at Washington.

Of the eight men’s quarterfinalists at Flushing Meadows, only Monfils and Juan Martin del Potro have yet to drop a set.

The 24th-seeded Pouille, in stark contrast, has played three straight five-set matches _ none more draining than his upset of Rafael Nadal on Sunday.

“Mentally I’m stronger, physically I’m stronger,” Pouille said of how his training has changed this season.

He’ll need all of that in his matchup with the 10th-seeded Monfils, against whom he blew a two-set lead at last year’s Australian Open in their only previous meeting.

“I think it’s going to be a tough match for me, but for him as well,” Pouille said. “It’s going to be interesting.”

Also of interest to them will be Tuesday’s other men’s quarterfinal, when a third Frenchman, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, takes on No. 1 Novak Djokovic. This is the first time since 1927 that three Frenchmen have reached the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open or its predecessor, the U.S. Championships.

Djokovic has contested just two full matches in four rounds because of opponents’ injuries, and the men he defeated in the completed matches were both ranked outside the top 80.

He played crisply in his win Sunday over 21-year-old Kyle Edmund, who was in his first Grand Slam round of 16, but it’s still unclear just how healthy or sharp Djokovic is. The ninth-seeded Tsonga presents a huge step up in competition, though Djokovic owns a 15-6 advantage in the head-to-head series including a victory in the 2008 Australian Open final for the Serb’s first major title.

WOMEN’S QUARTERFINALS:
Caroline Wozniacki has an apartment in Manhattan, so the U.S. Open offers all the benefits of a home tournament for her sleeping in her own bed, lunch or dinner out with friends every day.

“I just can cook,” she started to say, then corrected herself: “Or I don’t cook, actually. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. My mom has cooked. She’s staying with me this week, which is nice. She’s cooked a couple of meals. She does my laundry, as well. It’s nice to have Mom around. Usually I have to do all that myself.”

So perhaps that’s the secret to Wozniacki’s run to the quarterfinals when she hadn’t won four matches in a row since March 2015.

Wozniacki is a two-time U.S. Open runner-up, at least. Her opponent Tuesday, Anastasija Sevastova, had never won four straight matches at any major until now and was retired for nearly two years before returning at the start of last season.

Neither player is currently ranked in the top 45, but considering their popularity with the fans, they’re facing off in a night match at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The other women’s quarterfinal features two top-10 players: second-seeded Angelique Kerber, this year’s Australian Open champ, and No. 7 Roberta Vinci, last year’s U.S. Open runner-up.

Vinci has been bothered by a sore left Achilles tendon, not the sort of impediment that’s ideal against an opponent the caliber of Kerber. Vinci planned to stay off her feet as much as possible Monday.

“Sure, I would like to wake up and not feel any pain,” she said. “I can’t count on a miracle, though.”

tanujlakhina September 6, 20168:24 pm

BUILD UP
Novak Djokovic, Angelique Kerber aim for semi-finals

Men’s top seed Novak Djokovic and women’s number two Angelique Kerber look to book berths in the last four of the U.S. Open as the quarter-finals of the year’s last grand slam get underway on Tuesday.

Kerber, who nearly ended Serena Williams’ long run as world number one last month in Cincinnati, tries to stay on track for a possible winner-take-all match with the American in the finals when she goes against Roberta Vinci.

The German, who won the 2016 Australian Open and was runner-up to Williams at Wimbledon, has yet to drop a set at Flushing Meadows.

The seventh-seeded Vinci could be a difficult hurdle for Kerber. The Italian, last year’s U.S. Open runner-up , has split four career matches with Kerber and won two of three on hard courts.

The other women’s quarter is a battle of none seeds with former world number one Caroline Wozniacki playing Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia, who upset French Open winner Garbine Muguruza and Britain’s 13th-seeded Johanna Konta along the way.

Men’s world number one Djokovic, who has hardly been tested after receiving a second-round walkover and benefited from a first-set retirement in the third round, faces French veteran Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in his quarter-final.

The Serb leads their head-to-head 15-6 and has won 11 of his last 12 matches against Tsonga dating back to 2012. Tsonga’s wins include a five-set quarter-final victory over Djokovic at the 2010 Australian Open.

The other men’s quarter on Tuesday is an all-French affair with 10th-seeded veteran Gael Monfils taking on 22-year-old Lucas Pouille, who shocked 14-times grand slam singles winner Rafa Nadal in five sets in the fourth round.