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US Open | Day 8 Highlights

US Open | Day 8 Highlights

Complied by Arthur Kapetanakis and Erwin Ong, usopen.org reports that on Labor Day, the US Open’s Extreme Heat Policy was once again in effect, as temperatures climbed back into the 90s.

A peak of around 32C was expected but feeling significantly hotter with the humidity and the hot weather is predicted to remain until the end of the week.

The heat policy means a break of 10 minutes is permitted between the third and fourth sets of men’s singles matches and the second and third sets of women’s and junior singles matches.

There are no breaks allowed during doubles matches.

On a day you could fry an egg on the court, four men and four women cooked up Round-of-16 singles wins to complete the quarter-final lineups.

It was standard fare for much of Day 8, with all six higher-seeded players winning in the early action, until Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova’s title hopes were diced under the lights in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Madison Keys, the only American singles player at work on this US holiday, clocked out early with a straight-sets victory to kick off the day session, and Novak Djokovic followed her with a 6-3 6-4 6-3 cruise over the unseeded Joao Sousa.

Roger Federer shocked by John Millman: One win away from a 47th career meeting with Novak Djokovic, Federer was halted by a breakout performance from the hard-working Aussie.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion entered the match with a 40-0 record against opponents outside the Top 50 at the US Open, but the ATP’s No 55-ranked man didn’t blink, even after dropping the opening set, in a 3-6 7-5 7-6 7-6 victory.

Federer served for a two-set lead at 5-4 in set two, but could not close out a game in which he led 40-15.

The Swiss also had a set point in the third-set tiebreak, but he netted a forehand return on a Millman second serve.

He had his chances in the fourth, as well, leading by a break early in the set, but again Millman battled back.

The 29-year-old journeyman was in dreamland as he closed in on his first ATP Top-10 victory, and reality set in when Federer sailed a forehand long on match point.

 

Naomi Osaka, Kei Nishikori fly Japan’s flag high: For the first time since 1995, a Japanese man and woman have reached the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam.

That year, on the Wimbledon grass, Shuzo Matsuoka lost to Pete Sampras in the last eight, while Kimiko Date fell to Jana Novotna in the same stage.

Flash forward to 2018, and it’s Osaka and Nishikori taking the stage.

Osaka won a battle of 20-year-olds against the steely Aryna Sabalenka, 6-3 2-6 6-4, to reach her first Grand Slam quarter-final.

The Florida resident steadied herself after Sabalenka rode her second-set momentum to an early break in the third, and on Osaka’s fourth match point, a double fault handed her the victory.

Before we move on, a hat tip to Sabalenka, who made a name for herself with her stellar US Open Series showing.

The Belarusian reached the Round of 16 in Montreal and the Cincinnati semis before hoisting her first WTA trophy last week in New Haven, a summer-long run that included four upsets of players in the Top 10.

Up next for Osaka is another first-time quarter-finalist, Lesia Tsurenko, who overcame an injury and nerves to record a 6-7 7-5 6-2 victory over Marketa Vondrousova.

Nishikori, a 2014 finalist in New York, has come full circle from a wrist injury that sidelined him at last year’s tournament, as well as the 2018 Australian Open.

After spending some time on the Challenger circuit in March to get match-tough, the No 1 Japanese has posted impressive results since, including his first Wimbledon quarter-final and a runner-up finish in Monte Carlo.

On Monday, he beat Philipp Kohlschreiber in straight sets to reach the quarter-finals in New York for the third time.

 

Marin Cilic wins Top-10 showdown against David Goffin: Marin Cilic set up a repeat of his title-winning match against Nishikori in 2014 with a 7-6 6-2 6-4 victory over No 10 David Goffin.

After his four-hour, five-set tussle with Australian teenager Alex de Minaur, which ended at 2:22 am as Saturday night turned to Sunday morning, Cilic wrapped up his Round-of-16 clash against Goffin in a more efficient 2 hours and 24 minutes.

 

Maria Sharapova’s streak ends against birthday girl Carla Suárez Navarro: Sharapova’s perfect record in US Open evening play is no more.

Suárez Navarro, who turned 30 years old on Monday, gave the Russian her first loss in 23 career night-session matches at the US Open.

Sharapova gifted her opponent eight double faults and 38 unforced errors, and the Spaniard’s steady game proved the perfect foil as she celebrated her birthday with a 6-4 6-3 win.

Suárez Navarro, who had never played under the lights in Arthur Ashe Stadium, is through to her sixth career Grand Slam quarterfinal, and her first in New York since 2013.

 

Quote of the Day: “I think being able to play on a court named after someone so amazing, and not just in tennis, but bigger than tennis, it’s always really special. And to, you know, be the American, home crowd and all of that, it’s just all part of what I love about the US Open.” – Madison Keys, Suárez Navarro’s quarter-final opponent, on Arthur Ashe and his legacy.

As part of the US Open’s seventh annual Military Appreciation Day, Lieutenant General Darryl A. Williams of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and U.S. Army Veteran Johnnie Ashe, brother of Arthur Ashe, participated in a ceremonial coin toss and an on-court tribute to the 1968 US Open champion.

 

Looking Ahead: All four quarter-final matches in Arthur Ashe Stadium feature one former US Open champion, with Sloane Stephens, Juan Martin del Potro, Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal in action.

The men’s, women’s and mixed doubles competitions also begin their quarter-final rounds, while junior action will occupy the outer courts of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

 

BritWatch: Jamie Murray & Bruno Soares (BRA) [4] d Robin Haase (NED) & Matwe Middelkoop (NED) [14], 7-6(4) 6-4; Jamie Murray & Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) d Wesley Koolhof (NED) & Nadia Kichenol (UKR), 7-6(5) 6-7(6) [10-7]; Aidan McHugh d Cesar Cretu (ROU), 7-6(2) 6-3; Emma Raducanu d Margaryta Bilokin (UKR),  6-3 6-1; while Dominic Inglot & Franko Skugor (CRO) lost to Mike Bryan (USA) & Jack Sock (USA) [3], 6-2 6-4.

 

Brits in action on Day 9: Court 7 – Boys Doubles R1 / Anton Matusevich & Adrian Andreev (BUL) v Alexander Lee (USA) & Niroop Vallabhaneni (USA); Court 11 – Boys Doubles R1 / Aiden McHugh & Timofei Skatov (KAZ) [4] v Rinky Hijikata (AUS) & Govind Nanda (USA).

 

Prime Watch: Amazon Prime is streaming game 7 match courts in addition to its US Open Live Show channel, available via smart TV, FireStick, computer and mobile device.

These are live television feeds from Arthur Ashe Stadium, Louis Armstrong Stadium, Grandstand, and Courts 5, 10, 13 and 17.

 






About The Author

Barbara Wancke

Barbara Wancke is a Tennis Threads Tennis Correspondent who has been involved in the sport for over 40 years, not only as a former player, umpire and coach but primarily as an administrator and tennis writer contributing over the years to Lawn Tennis, Tennis World, and Tennis Today. She has worked with the Dunlop Sports Co, IMG and at the ITF as Director of Women’s Tennis, responsible, amongst other things, for the running of the Federation Cup (now Fed Cup), and acting as Technical Director for tennis at the Seoul Olympics (1988). She subsequently set up her own tennis consultancy Tennis Interlink and was elected to the Board of the TIA UK where she became the Executive Administrator and Executive Vice President until she stood down in July 2014 and is currently an Honorary Vice President.

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