Friday, September 5, 2014

U.S. Open Day 11: Federer saves match points in win

Roger Federer rallied from two sets down, saving two match
points, to beat Gael Monfils, 2014 photo by Paul Bauman
   Match of the day -- Second-seeded Roger Federer saved two match points and defeated No. 20 Gael Monfils of France 4-6, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-2 to reach the U.S. Open semifinals for the first time since 2011.
   The 33-year-old Federer has won 17 Grand Slam singles titles, including five in the U.S. Open (2004-08). His last major crown came at Wimbledon in 2012.
   Monfils, 28, was trying to advance to his second major semifinal and first since the 2008 French Open. 
   Upset of the day -- No. 14 seed Marin Cilic, a 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) Croat, reached his second Grand Slam semifinal with a 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (4) victory over No. 6 Tomas Berdych, a 6-foot-5 (1.96-meter) Czech.
   Notable -- Fourth-seeded Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina of Russia will meet unseeded Martina Hingis of Switzerland and Flavia Pennetta of Italy on Saturday for the women's doubles title.
   Hingis, an International Tennis Hall of Famer, will turn 34 on Sept. 30. Her last Grand Slam title was the Australian Open mixed doubles in 2006.
   Women's semifinal matchups (seedings in parentheses) -- Caroline Wozniacki (10) vs. Peng Shuai today not before 10:45 a.m. PDT (CBS). Wozniacki leads the head-to-head series 5-1 with five straight wins.
   Serena Williams vs. Makarova (17) today not before 12:45 p.m. PDT (CBS). Williams leads 3-1, all on hardcourts. In the players' two Grand Slam meetings, both in 2012, Makarova won 6-2, 6-3 in the fourth round of the Australian Open and lost 6-4, 6-0 in the third round of the U.S. Open.
   Men's semifinal matchups -- Djokovic (1) vs. Nishikori (10) on Saturday. Djokovic leads 2-1, including a withdrawal by Nishikori in the Miami semifinals in March because of a groin injury.
   Federer (2) vs. Cilic (14) on Saturday. Federer leads 5-0, but their last meeting was close. Federer prevailed 7-6 (5), 6-7 (3), 6-4 early last month in the third round at Toronto on a hardcourt.
   U.S. report -- Williams pursues her third consecutive U.S. Open title, Bob and Mike Bryan will play for the men's doubles crown, and Abigail Spears will appear in the mixed doubles final.
   Reaching the junior singles quarterfinals were two American boys (No. 4 Stefan Kozlov and No. 6 Francis Tiafoe) and three U.S. girls (No. 4 Tornado Alicia Black, qualifier Caroline Dolehide and wild card Katerina Stewart). No American boys or girls reached the doubles semifinals.
   Northern California connection -- In an all-American men's doubles semifinal, the top-seeded Bryans beat unseeded Scott Lipsky and Rajeev Ram 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. All except Ram played at Stanford -- the Bryans in 1997 and 1998, and Lipsky from 2000 to 2003.
   The 36-year-old Bryan twins, seeking their fifth U.S. Open title and 100th overall crown, will meet 11th-seeded Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez of Spain. Like Williams, the Bryans seek their first Grand Slam title of 2014 after dominating last year.
   Top-seeded CiCi Bellis of Atherton, near Stanford, and Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic withdrew from their girls doubles quarterfinal against seventh-seeded Viktoria Kuzmova and Kristina Schmiedlova of Slovakia. Bellis has a sore wrist.
   Fast fact -- Cilic missed last year's U.S. Open while serving a four-month doping suspension. He said he ingested a stimulant inadvertently.
   Quote -- Berdych, on his loss to Cilic: "At least the third set was close."

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