Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Anderson shocks Murray to reach U.S. Open quarters

Kevin Anderson of the Sacramento Capitals serves in a
2012 World TeamTennis match in the Sacramento suburb
of Citrus Heights. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Andy Murray had reached at least the quarterfinals in 18 straight Grand Slam tournaments.
   Kevin Anderson had been 0-7 in the fourth round of Slams.
   Both streaks ended on Monday as the 15th-seeded Anderson stunned the third-seeded Murray 7-6 (5), 6-3, 6-7 (2), 7-6 (0) at the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.
   "Disappointing to lose because of that," Murray, 28, said of his success in majors. "Obviously, that's many years' work that's gone into building that sort of consistency."
   The 6-foot-8 (2.03-meter) Anderson blasted 25 aces and had 81 winners against Murray, who won the 2012 U.S. Open in addition to Wimbledon the following year.
   "I'm a little lost for words right now," the 29-year-old South African, who has an American wife and a home in Delray Beach, Fla., said after the tournament's longest match at 4 hours, 18 minutes. "I just managed to keep my composure throughout."
   Unlike against Novak Djokovic in the fourth round at Wimbledon two months ago. Anderson lost after leading two sets to none. 
   But now Anderson has a good chance to reach the U.S. Open semifinals, even though he will face another two-time Grand Slam champion, fifth-seeded Stan Wawrinka, in the quarters. Anderson has beaten Wawrinka, who defeated American Donald Young in four sets, four straight times after losing their first three matches.
Andy Murray, shown at Indian Wells in March,
had reached at least the quarterfinals in 18 straight
Grand Slam tournaments. Photo by Paul Bauman
   In a night match, second-seeded Roger Federer beat hard-serving John Isner, seeded 13th, 7-6 (0), 7-6 (6), 7-5. The 6-foot-10 (2.08-meter) Isner had never been shut out in 428 tour-level tiebreakers, according to the ATP.
   With Isner and Young eliminated, there are no U.S. men in the quarterfinals for the 16th straight Grand Slam tournament. Isner was the last to get that far, in the 2011 U.S. Open. That's the only time an active American has accomplished the feat. Robby Ginepri, a U.S. Open semifinalist 10 years ago, retired on Aug. 27 at 32.
    Federer, a five-time U.S. Open champion (2004-08), will face 12th-seeded Richard Gasquet of France in the quarters. Gasquet beat sixth-seeded Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-1.
   The last two women's quarterfinals also were set. No. 2 Simona Halep of Romania will meet No. 20 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, and No. 5 Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic will play No. 26 Flavia Pennetta of Italy.
   Halep had her left thigh wrapped and rewrapped several times in her draining 6-7 (6), 7-5, 6-2 victory over No. 24 Sabine Lisicki of Germany.
   Pennetta, 33, defeated No. 22 Samantha Stosur, the 2011 U.S. Open champion from Australia, 6-4, 6-4 to reach the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows for the sixth time in eight years.
   Northern California connection -- Murray went 10-0 in the now-defunct SAP Open in San Jose, winning title in 2006 at 18 years old and in 2007. He also won the Aptos Challenger in 2005.
   Anderson, a former All-American at Illinois, reached the singles quarterfinals and doubles final (with Frank Moser of Germany) in the 2012 SAP Open. Later that year, Anderson played part-time for the now-defunct Sacramento Capitals in World TeamTennis.
   Anderson also won the doubles title (with since-retired Scott Oudsema of the United States) in the 2006 Rocklin Futures and was the singles runner-up to since-retired Scoville Jenkins of the U.S. in the 2007 Loomis Futures. Rocklin and Loomis are suburbs of Sacramento.
   Steve Johnson and Sam Querrey, a San Francisco native and former part-time Sacramento Capital, advanced to the men's doubles quarterfinals with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over wild cards Young and Michael Russell in an all-American matchup.
   The win sent Russell into retirement at 37. Russell compensated for his small size (5-foot-8 or 1.73 meters) with fierce determination. Ranked a career-high No. 60 in 2007, he held a match point against top-ranked and eventual champion Gustavo Kuerten before losing in five sets in the fourth round of the 2001 French Open.
   Also in the third round of men's doubles, Americans Eric Butorac and Scott Lipsky lost to third seeds and reigning Wimbledon champions Jean-Julien Rojer of the Netherlands and Horia Tecau of Romania 7-6 (3), 7-5. Lipsky starred at Stanford from 1999 to 2003.

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