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Djokovic Downs Sousa; Into 11th US Open Quarter-final

  • Posted: Sep 03, 2018

Djokovic Downs Sousa; Into 11th US Open Quarter-final

Two-time champion to meet Federer or Millman in quarter-finals

Novak Djokovic reached his 11th US Open quarter-final on Monday, moving past Joao Sousa 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 in a humid day session on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Djokovic, who will face Roger Federer or John Millman in the last eight, advanced after one hour and 59 minutes to maintain his unbeaten record in fourth-round matches at the year’s final Grand Slam (11-0).

Meeting for the second time in five FedEx ATP Head2Head encounters at Flushing Meadows, Djokovic converted five of six break points and hit 23 winners to progress. In their first meeting, at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in 2013, Djokovic dropped just four games, overpowering Sousa 6-0, 6-2, 6-2.

The two-time champion, who improves to 28-0 in New York against players outside the Top 50 of the ATP Rankings, is bidding to lift his third US Open title on his first visit to the tournament since reaching the 2016 final (l. to Wawrinka). The Serbian also remains undefeated at the quarter-final stage in Flushing Meadows (10-0).

Five-time winner Roger Federer or John Millman of Australia will look to stop Djokovic from reaching an 11th US Open semi-final. In August, Djokovic beat the Swiss for the 24th time in 46 FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings to capture the Career Golden Masters in Cincinnati. Djokovic defeated Millman in their only previous FedEx ATP Head2Head encounter at the 2018 Fever-Tree Chanmpionships.

Following comfortable holds in their opening service games, Djokovic made the first move in an extended third game. The 70-time tour-level titlist, after failing to convert his first break point, fired a cross-court backhand passing shot, beyond a stranded Sousa at net, to move ahead. Three service holds later, Djokovic played with consistency, while Sousa struggled to find holes in his opponent’s defence. The World No. 68 dropped his serve to love, on a double fault, to hand Djokovic a one-set advantage.

After trading breaks early in the second set, Djokovic covered the court well, playing with great depth, to extract errors from his opponent. Under score line pressure, serving at 4-5 (30/30), Djokovic’s reliability worked wonders. The Serbian soaked up the pressure, extracting two forehand errors to close in on his 11th quarter-final appearance in New York.

A tighter third set ensued, with neither man able to manufacture a break-point opportunity through eight games. But, at the business end of the set, Djokovic discovered his top form. The Wimbledon champion took control on his backhand side, firing winners to earn three break points at 0/40. Djokovic converted his first chance with an overhead down the centre of the court before serving the match out to 30. 

Sousa, the first Portuguese player to reach the fourth round at a Grand Slam, was aiming to defeat his third Top 20 opponent in four rounds at the US Open. Despite entering the tournament on a seven match losing streak at tour-level, the 29-year-old won back-to-back matches against Pablo Carreno Busta and Lucas Pouille to create Portuguese history.

Did You Know?
Novak Djokovic has reached the semi-finals or better on his past 10 US Open visits.

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US Open 2018: Madison Keys through to quarter-finals

  • Posted: Sep 03, 2018
2018 US Open
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 27 August-9 September Coverage: Live radio coverage on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra; live text commentaries on the BBC Sport website

Last year’s runner-up Madison Keys is through to the quarter-finals of the US Open after she defeated 29th seed Dominika Cibulkova 6-1 6-3.

American 14th seed Keys broke twice in the first set and again on Cibulkova’s first game in the second.

She dropped serve shortly afterwards but broke back twice to win in one hour and 16 minutes on Arthur Ashe.

Keys will face the winner in the match between Maria Sharapova and Carla Suarez Navarro in the quarter-final.

She said: “I am glad I got the win and can come out here again for another match. It’s always easier to be more energised when the person on the other side of the net is more energised than you can possibly be.

“She’s a good player and has done a lot in her career. It was about having to focus on first serves and waiting for the right ball. I had to move my feet and used the crowd in those tight moments.”

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'My desire has not gone down at all' – Williams after reaching last eight

  • Posted: Sep 03, 2018

Serena Williams says her motivation to win major trophies remains as high as ever in motherhood after reaching the US Open quarter-finals.

Williams, whose daughter Olympia turned one on Saturday, is aiming to win a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title in New York.

The 36-year-old American former world number one is playing her seventh tournament since giving birth.

“That desire has not gone down at all,” she said.

“And I don’t think it was capable of going up, because if it was at a 10, I was at a 15 or a 20 – and I’m still there.”

Williams, seeded 17th, has been in fine form at Flushing Meadows, dropping her first set of the tournament before recovering to win 6-0 4-6 6-3 against Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi on Sunday.

Winning the US Open for a seventh time would see her level Australian Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 majors.

  • Williams beats Kanepi to reach US Open last eight
  • Defending champion Nadal through to fourth Grand Slam quarter-final this year

Williams returned to Slam competition at the French Open in May, only to withdraw before her last-16 match against Maria Sharapova of Russia because of injury.

She then reached the Wimbledon final in July but lost to Germany’s Angelique Kerber.

“My desire still remained at that incredibly high level to compete and to want to win,” Williams said.

“It would be wonderful to win a Grand Slam while having a daughter, but it’s a lot of work.

“It takes a lot of work to win those tournaments. I’m only in my third one back. I’m going to continue to grind and see what happens.”

Meanwhile, Williams says she hopes to have more children in the future – but maybe not until after she finishes playing.

“Right now is not the time,” she said. “I’m thinking about playing tennis and enjoying this time with Olympia.

“I’ll have plenty of time in the future.”

‘It was a Serena scream’

Williams cruised to the first set in 18 minutes against Kanepi, only to see the world number 44 fight back to level in the second.

The Estonian missed two break points in the first game of the third set, allowing Williams to fight back and hold serve with a backhand winner, which brought out a loud yell of “come on” from her.

“It was a Serena scream,” Williams said with a smile. “I don’t try to do it. It just comes out.

“Winning a big game and a very important game and a really tight game, I think it was just a relief.”

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Tomic The 11th Different Aussie Titlist In 2018

  • Posted: Sep 03, 2018

Tomic The 11th Different Aussie Titlist In 2018

Revisit the week that was on the ATP Challenger Tour as we applaud the achievements of those on the rise and look ahead to who’s in action in the week to come

Rafa Nadal Open Banc Sabadell (Mallorca, Spain): As Rafael Nadal continues his title defence at the US Open, his academy in Mallorca hosted an inaugural €43,000 event on the ATP Challenger Tour. On Sunday, sixth seed Bernard Tomic lifted his first trophy at any level since 2015, defeating Matthias Bachinger 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(3).

Tomic rallied from a set and a break down to beat Bachinger, completing an impressive week on the hard courts of the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar. The 25-year-old continues a stunning campaign for Aussies on the Challenger circuit, which has seen 11 different players capture titles. In fact, there have been four winners in the past month alone, with Thanasi Kokkinakis, Alexei Popyrin and Maverick Banes also triumphing in August.


Torneo Citta di Como (Como, Italy): The scenic Italian town of Como welcomed players and fans for the 13th time, with home hope Salvatore Caruso celebrating his first ATP Challenger Tour title. Nestled in the foothills of the Alps and situated along the shores of Lake Como, the tournament is one of the more picturesque events on the circuit.

Caruso, aged 25, defeated Christian Garin 7-5, 6-4 for his maiden crown, capping a strong week on the clay. It was his second win of the day after persistent rain forced both the semi-finals and final to be held on Sunday. Caruso is projected to return to the Top 200 of the ATP Rankings one week from Monday.

The ATP Challenger Tour descends on downtown Chicago for the first time, as the Oracle Challenger Series makes its debut in the bustling metropolis. Andreas Seppi, Denis Istomin and Vasek Pospisil lead the pack, with #NextGenATP star Michael Mmoh the top American in the field.

The award-winning AON Open Challenger in Genova, Italy, celebrates its 15th edition, with 21-year-old Hubert Hurkacz continuing his push in the ATP Race To Milan. Benoit Paire is the top seed.

In 2016, Casper Ruud lifted the trophy in Sevilla, Spain, and was followed by Felix Auger-Aliassime last year. Will another teen reign on the famous yellow clay? Home favourites Nicola Kuhn and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina hope so. Ruud is also back, seeded fifth.

Meanwhile, Cassis, France, opens its doors for the first time and the hard-court event in Zhangjiagang, China, returns for a second edition. Top seed Jason Jung is the defending champion at the Asian stop.

ATP Challenger Tour 

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Quarter-finalist Isner hopes to avoid clash with birth

  • Posted: Sep 03, 2018
2018 US Open
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 27 August-9 September Coverage: Live radio coverage on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra; live text commentaries on the BBC Sport website

American 11th seed John Isner’s hopes of surpassing his best finish at a US Open could be cut short if his first baby arrives sooner than expected.

Isner reached the quarter-finals with a 3-6 6-3 6-4 3-6 6-2 win over Canadian 25th seed Milos Raonic on Sunday to equal his best showing here.

His first child is due on 22 September but he has already been thinking what would happen if there was a clash.

“I would play if it worked out I could get there and get back,” he said.

He added in comments reported on the US Open website: “If it was the day of the match, not possible. I’m not going to miss the birth, but we’ll see.”

Wimbledon semi-finalist Isner will face Juan Martin del Potro or Borna Coric next after reaching the last eight in New York for the first time since 2011.

He is the only American remaining in the men’s draw after 18th seed Jack Sock was knocked out by Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili in the second round.

  • Defending champion Nadal through
  • Murray into mixed doubles quarter-finals
  • Djokovic and Federer seeking last eight tie

Elsewhere, ninth seed Dominic Thiem also reached the quarter-finals by beating 2017 runner-up Kevin Anderson 7-5 6-2 7-6 (7-2) of South Africa.

The Austrian broke late in the first set and twice in the second before winning the third in a tie-break on Arthur Ashe Stadium..

It is the first time Thiem has reached the last eight in New York, and he will face 17-time Grand Slam winner and defending champion Rafael Nadal.

French Open finalist Thiem called the win “one of his best matches ever”.

Twelve months ago the 24-year-old had two match points in the fourth round against Del Potro but lost in five sets.

“It’s a dream coming true,” said Thiem. “I was really close last year, but I couldn’t close it out.”

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