Tuesday, September 2, 2014

U.S. Open Day 8 highlights: Nishikori win ties record

Kei Nishikori loses to Andy Murray in the 2012
Australian Open quarterfinals. Nishikori reached
the last eight in a Grand Slam tournament for the
first time since then by beating Milos Raonic in
a match that ended at 2:26 a.m. New York time.
Photo by Paul Bauman
   Match of the day -- Score one for the little guy. It rarely happens in this era of power.
   No. 10 seed Kei Nishikori, a gutsy 5-foot-10 (1.78-meter) Japan native, outlasted No. 5 Milos Raonic, a 6-foot-5 (1.96-meter) Canadian with a pulverizing serve, 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-7 (6), 7-5, 6-4 in a fourth-round match that ended at 2:26 a.m. New York time.
   That tied the latest finish in U.S. Open history. Also ending at 2:26 a.m. were Philipp Kohlschrieber's third-round victory over John Isner in 2012 and Mats Wilander's second-round win over fellow Swede Mikael Pernfors in 1993.
    Nishikori, 24, reached his second Grand Slam quarterfinal and first at the U.S. Open. He missed most of the tuneup tournaments for Flushing Meadows with a severely infected right big toe and had his foot re-wrapped early in the fourth set of the 4-hour, 19-minute battle.
   Nishikori is coached by Michael Chang, an International Tennis Hall of Famer and the 1996 U.S. Open runner-up.
  Upset of the day -- In the latest women's surprise, No. 17 seed Ekaterina Makarova of Russia ousted No. 7 Eugenie Bouchard of Canada 7-6 (2), 6-4 in the fourth round.
   Bouchard, the runner-up at Wimbledon last month, took a medical timeout in the second set for dizziness in the heat and extreme humidity. She failed to reach a Grand Slam semifinal for the first time this year.
   Among the top nine women's seeds, the only quarterfinalist is No. 1 Serena Williams.
   Notable -- Top-ranked Novak Djokovic, the 2011 U.S. Open champion, advanced to the quarterfinals for the eighth consecutive year at Flushing Meadows and 22nd straight Grand Slam tournament. He outplayed the 22nd-seeded Kohlschreiber of Germany 6-1, 7-5, 6-4.
   Williams, who has won 17 Grand Slam singles titles, reached her first major quarterfinal of the year with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over unseeded Kaia Kanepi of Estonia.
   No. 16 seed Victoria Azarenka, the U.S. Open runner-up to Williams for the past two years, eliminated qualifier Aleksandra Krunic of Serbia 4-6, 6-4, 6-4. Krunic had knocked out No. 3 Petra Kvitova, who won her second Wimbledon title last month, in the third round.
   Sixth-seeded Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek, the defending men's doubles champions, lost to 11th-seeded Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 in the third round.
   Eighth-seeded Vasek Pospisil and Jack Sock, the reigning Wimbledon champs, fell to unseeded Carlos Berlocq and Leonardo Mayer of Argentina 6-2, 6-2 in the third round.
   Women's quarterfinal matchups (seedings in parentheses) -- Williams (1) vs. Flavia Pennetta (11), Azarenka (16) vs. Makarova (17), Peng Shuai vs. Belinda Bencic, Caroline Wozniacki (10) vs. Sara Errani (13).
   Men's quarterfinal matchups -- Djokovic (1) vs. Andy Murray (8), Stan Wawrinka (3) vs. Nishikori (10). The other encounters will be determined today. If the seedings hold, they will be Tomas Berdych (6) vs. Marin Cilic (14) and Roger Federer (2) vs. Grigor Dimitrov (7).
   Northern California connection -- Top-seeded CiCi Bellis, 15, of Atherton in the San Francisco Bay Area routed Renata Zarazua of Mexico 6-1, 6-3 in the first round of girls singles. Bellis stunned 12th-seeded Dominika Cibulkova, the Australian Open runner-up in January, in the first round of women's doubles before losing to Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan in the second round.
   In an all-American men's doubles match, top-seeded Bob and Mike Bryan beat Bradley Klahn and Tim Smyczek 6-3, 7-6 (5) to reach the quarterfinals. All except Smyczek (pronounced SMEE-check) played at Stanford, but only Klahn graduated. Klahn, 24, is 12 years younger than the Bryan twins.
   Fast fact -- For the first time since 1977, eight different women will have played in a year's Grand Slam finals.
   Quote -- Makarova, on what was going through her mind during Bouchard's medical timeout: "Well, actually, I thought, 'Thanks,' because I also was tired."

1 comment:

  1. I watched the match live until 1:10 am, and went to sleep. The score was 6-4, 6-7, 7-6, 3-3, Raonic up 2 sets to one and Kei just missed winning the 3rd set, having set point in the TB. Kei looked spent, and had his foot wrapped (on live TV). Being a tennis player, I know how major IMPORTANT the foot is, especially for Kei whose strength is quickness and court coverage. As I put myself into bed, I said a prayer for Kei, and mumbled "It would be a miracle if he pulls it off". Woke up at 7, and saw the miraculous did happen. MANY, many HUGE congrats to Kei. Hope you can recover, be fresh and the foot heals and gives you all the support you need. In some way, I feel Wawrinka is easier to deal with than Raonic, a more "conventional" game than the "bomb-throwing" Raonic's. Peace.