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Jamie Murray on US Open mixed doubles final, Bethanie Mattek-Sands & signing Daniel James

  • Posted: Sep 06, 2019

In his latest BBC Sport column, Jamie Murray discusses his upcoming US Open mixed doubles final, the difficulties of juggling two competitions and how playing Premier League fantasy football helps pass the time at tournaments.

The US Open has been a successful tournament for me in recent years and I’m hoping I can win another trophy when I play with Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the mixed doubles final on Saturday.

Bethanie and I won the competition here last year, which meant I defended the title after winning it with Martina Hingis two years ago.

I also won the men’s doubles with Bruno Soares in 2016 after we reached the final in 2015 as well.

So I’ve had some decent success here and means I’m looking to win a trophy for the fourth successive year when Bethanie and I play Chan Hao-ching and Michael Venus, who are the top seeds, in the mixed final.

I like the conditions at Flushing Meadows, it suits my game and I’ve had some great partners along the way.

Generally I like playing in North America – I like the tournaments, I like the conditions, I like the crowds – so I feel like I’m always in good shape when I come to New York for the final Slam of the season.

I struggled a bit in the first three tournaments of the North American hard-court swing – in Washington, Montreal and then Cincinnati – mainly because we played with different balls.

They were a lot heavier than what we normally play with, that caught me off guard and I was struggling a little bit and not feeling good in my game.

But then I went to Winston Salem where they play with the same balls as here and started to feel better.

Neal Skupski and I had a really good tournament in the men’s doubles there, although we lost a very tight semi-final against Colombian top seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah.

We played five good matches to get there and beat some good teams along the way.

It was frustrating to lose in such a big match with fine margins and miss out playing in our first tour-level final together, especially because there were no breaks of serve and not many break points, but there are a lot of positives to take in our partnership from the tournament as a whole.

There has been a lot of good tennis over the past 10 days or so, with both Neal and Bethanie, so now it would be nice to finish the Grand Slam season with another trophy.

Bethanie is good fun to play with and we have a great chemistry on court. She’s a smart player, has a lot of skills and is very creative, plus she’s feisty, gets stuck in and doesn’t hold back.

We also have the benefit in New York of her being a home player, so we’ve had fantastic support in all the matches we’ve played here in the past couple of years.

She’s a very popular player, which you can see with the number of people wanting to talk to her and have selfies when she’s walking around the site, and she has got a good following.

It creates a good atmosphere on the court, which it should be again when we play on another big court in the final.

‘Fantasy football kills the dead time on tour’

When you’re doing well in both the men’s and the mixed, it can be hard to juggle them – although it is a great problem to have!

The schedule can make it frustrating because there have been a couple of days where I’ve played men’s and then I’m waiting four or five hours to play mixed. It is just dead time.

You’re hanging around waiting to play, wanting to get on court and you end up expending energy.

It is not easy, because you know you’ve got to go and compete, and know you’ve got to come back and play the next day. It plays on your mind a bit.

You just have to wait, you’re trying to kill time. There’s nothing to do really, that’s kind of normal.

One thing which usually keeps me entertained is fantasy football and because there is so much dead time there is no excuse for missing transfer and team selection deadlines.

But this week is the international break so I’ve had nothing to do. It’s always disappointing when there are no Premier League fixtures at the weekend.

There are 20 of us across two groups in our game, I’m in the bottom division and my brother Andy is in the top division.

It’s mainly friends and tennis people close to us in our circle, our dad is in the league too, Colin Fleming, a few guys that work with Andy. It’s great fun.

I’m a Manchester United fan so I signed Daniel James last weekend – he’s been scoring a few – and I also have Marcus Rashford.

We do a draft auction at the start of the season so I was ninth out of 10 picks, so I couldn’t get a Mohamed Salah or a Harry Kane or one of the other top guys at the start.

I put a lot of emphasis on trying to find clean sheets each week with random teams, but I wouldn’t say I’m great.

United haven’t been doing as well in recent years so I haven’t been loyal to picking their players – there is too much at stake.

We don’t have a prize at the end of the season, it is just bragging rights – that is priceless.

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Jamie Murray was speaking to BBC Sport’s Jonathan Jurejko at Flushing Meadows.

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US Open 2019: Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah win men's doubles title

  • Posted: Sep 06, 2019

Colombian top seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah have won the US Open men’s doubles title, their second consecutive Grand Slam.

The Wimbledon champions defeated Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos 6-4 7-5 under the roof on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The pair had been 5-3 down in the second set, but won the last four games to secure the title.

Spaniard Granollers and Argentine Zeballos were playing only their second event together.

In the women’s doubles, fourth seeds Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka beat Americans Vania King and Caroline Dolehide 4-6 6-3 6-4 to reach the final where they will play Ashleigh Barty and Victoria Azarenka.

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Daniil's Day: Medvedev Reaches First Grand Slam Final At The US Open

  • Posted: Sep 06, 2019

Daniil’s Day: Medvedev Reaches First Grand Slam Final At The US Open

Russian will face Nadal or Berrettini on Sunday

Daniil Medvedev was one of the hottest players on the ATP Tour entering the US Open, reaching the final in Washington and Montreal before claiming his first ATP Masters 1000 trophy in Cincinnati. But could he replicate that form in Flushing Meadows?

The 23-year-old has made the answer to that question clear. Medvedev defeated 2017 Nitto ATP Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov 7-6(5), 6-4, 6-3 on Friday to reach his maiden Grand Slam final.

“Today I felt that he was closer to winning the first set, but I won it and that changed the momentum of the match,” Medvedev said in his post-match on-court interview.

Medvedev joins former World No. 1s Ivan Lendl (1982) and Andre Agassi (1995) as the only players to make the Washington, Canada, Cincinnati and US Open finals in the same season during the Open Era (since 1968). He is now 20-2 during the North American summer swing.

“When I came to the USA I didn’t know that it would be this good,” said Medvedev, who has a tour-leading 50 wins in 2019, including 37 on hard courts. “I have to say I love [the] USA.”

 Player  Wins
 1. Daniil Medvedev  50
 2. Rafael Nadal  45*
 3. Roger Federer  43
 4. Novak Djokovic  41
 5. Stefanos Tsitsipas  37

* Nadal is competing in the evening’s second semi-final
The 2017 Next Gen ATP Finals qualifier made the Round of 16 of a major just once before this tournament, and he didn’t move past the third round in two previous trips to New York. But Medvedev, who guaranteed his spot at the Nitto ATP Finals for the first time with his quarter-final victory over Stan Wawrinka, is the first Russian to reach a major championship match since Marat Safin won the 2005 Australian Open.

Medvedev was calm and composed — as if he has been in this situation numerous times — patiently camping behind the baseline and repelling Dimitrov’s offence over and over until the Bulgarian’s game slowly began to break down. The World No. 5 advanced to the final after two hours and 38 minutes, setting a clash with three-time champion Rafael Nadal or first-time major semi-finalist Matteo Berrettini.  

Buy 2019 <a href=''>US Open</a> Tennis Tickets

Entering the match, Medvedev had broken opponents 28 times to lead all semi-finalists. And he continued that trend in this match, breaking on five of his nine chances. 

Dimitrov showed throughout the encounter that he would try to blast a forehand at any opportunity and move his way to net, using his knifing backhand slice to try to elicit a ball he could swing away at. But Medvedev never got frustrated, playing steadier tennis as the match went on to earn one of the biggest wins of his career.

The five-time ATP Tour champion dominated both the short rallies and the long rallies. Medvedev won rallies of less than five shots by a margin of 63-54, and rallies that lasted longer than eight shots 30-21 to earn just his second straight-sets triumph of the tournament (R1, def. Gunneswaran).

With a Berrettini loss against Nadal, Medvedev will become the youngest US Open finalist since Novak Djokovic (23) in 2010 (l. to Nadal). He can become youngest champion since Juan Martin del Potro (20) in 2009 (d. Federer).

Dimitrov arrived in Flushing Meadows having lost seven of eight matches, including a straight-sets defeat to World No. 405 Kevin King at the BB&T Atlanta Open in July. But the Bulgarian did a complete 360-degree turn in form in New York, advancing to the last four at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center for the first time.

Did You Know?
Medvedev, who leads the ATP Tour with seven finals this year (2-4), will climb to a career-high No. 4 in the ATP Rankings on Monday regardless of his result in the final. The Russian first cracked the Top 10 on 15 July, the day after Wimbledon ended.

20% Off Medvedev's Gear at Tennis Warehouse

As It Happened
Set 1
It took some time for both players to settle in, with Medvedev breaking immediately for a 1-0 lead in the first set and Dimitrov responding to even the opener at 2-2. The average rally length for the majority of the first set exceeded seven shots, with both men seemingly working into form, and Dimitrov typically taking the first strike when he could.

Dimitrov earned a set point on Medvedev’s serve at 6-5, getting a look at a second-serve return. But the Russian displayed no fear, hitting an inside-out forehand approach shot that led to an error on a backhand pass from the Bulgarian’s racquet. And in the tie-break — in which more points were won by the returner (7) than the server (5) — Medvedev was simply a bit steadier, gaining the advantage when Dimitrov miss hit a forehand on the first set point against him.

The Bulgarian could not capitalise on winning two more points overall in the opener and had a far better winner-to-unforced error ratio. Dimitrov hit 14 winners to 15 unforced errors in the first set whereas Medvedev struck just seven winners to 18 unforced errors.

Set 2
Dimitrov shook off any initial disappointment after letting slip chances in the first set by breaking to start the second set, trying to pump himself up and get the crowd involved. But the eight-time ATP Tour champion struggled to hold, losing his next two service games as Medvedev reduced his unforced errors.

As the match ticked near and then past the two-hour mark, Dimitrov began swooping into the net more, pushing the pace of rallies against the Medvedev wall. But despite breaking back, and later earning three game points on his serve that would have evened the set at 5-5, the Bulgarian missed into the net to give his opponent a daunting two-set lead. That proved costly, as Medvedev has lost just once with a two-set lead (12-1), with that defeat coming against Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the first round of Roland Garros this year.

Set 3
Dimitrov had never come from two sets down to win a match in his career, so it was clear he would need to get off to a quick start. But the Bulgarian missed a forehand long to give Medvedev a 3-1 advantage, and the fifth seed never looked back.

Medvedev did not face a break point in the final set, and his celebration was muted after holding to 15 to clinch his victory.

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Dimitrov Cancels ‘Pity Party’ At The US Open

  • Posted: Sep 06, 2019

Dimitrov Cancels ‘Pity Party’ At The US Open

Former World No. 3 has regained his rhythm in New York

Editor’s Note: This story was originally published on 2 September. The Bulgarian is into the US Open semi-finals.

Everybody goes through tough times. But it’s not those difficulties that define you; it’s how you respond to them. And Buglarian Grigor Dimitrov has faced his adversity and surged out the other side at this US Open.

The World No. 78 entered the season’s final Grand Slam having lost seven of eight matches. But after dismissing in-form #NextGenATP Aussie Alex de Minaur 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 Sunday, the former World No. 3 is into his first quarter-final in his ninth trip to Flushing Meadows.

“[It’s] absolutely amazing. I don’t take anything for granted, especially this tournament, this time,” Dimitrov said. “I’ve worked for it the past weeks. I’ve put a lot of hours on the court and off the court. You just never know. I mean, tennis is like this. You just never know when a little bit of luck smiles at you. You also have to seize your opportunity.”

Ironically, Dimitrov’s lowest point of the American summer came at De Minaur’s highest. Dimitrov lost to World No. 405 Kevin King in straight sets in the first round of the BB&T Atlanta Open, an ATP 250 event that De Minaur eventually won. But the Bulgarian went unbroken against the Aussie in New York.

“Grigor played great. He’s a quality player and he brought the old Grigor back today and he deserved the win,” De Minaur said. “He was too good today.”

Dimitrov doesn’t see this run in New York as a return to the “Old Grigor”, though. He doesn’t believe this is a new him, either. Dimitrov is focussing on the task at hand, and not worrying about anything else, and that’s how he’s advanced this far.

“[The] only way is forward,” Dimitrov said. “Overall I feel like a different person, a different player. I mean, there’s no point to sit here and talk about the past six, seven months, to welcome everybody to my pity party. It is what it is.”

Although Dimitrov has not had his best season, the Bulgarian has reached incredible heights on the ATP Tour in the past. In 2017, he captured his maiden ATP Masters 1000 title at the Western & Southern Open, and then went on to triumph at the Nitto ATP Finals. At his best, Dimitrov was capable of beating any player on any day.

But Dimitrov’s standing of No. 78 is his lowest since May 2012, just after his 21st birthday. It’s only been two years since Dimitrov’s triumph at The O2 in London. “I faced the adversity, faced everything I had to. Back on the court is always a great feeling. I’m back. I’m enjoying it, as well. I’m feeling free,” Dimitrov said. “Of course when you get out on the court, you can’t hide.”

Heading into the US Open, Dimitrov had an opportunity, though, and he has taken full advantage by reaching the last eight. Entering this tournament, he only had 145 ATP Ranking points to defend for the rest of the season. A trip to the quarter-finals earns him 360 points for this event alone, which will vault him safely back into the Top 50.

To other players on the ATP Tour, it was just a matter of time until Dimitrov found this breakthrough. The eight-time ATP Tour champion has practised well, but simply been unable to bring that to his matches.

“It’s pretty amazing that a player of Grigor’s calibre went through the slump he did. It’s amazing because you still watch him hit the ball and he’s hitting the ball great. But just confidence-wise, he wasn’t winning matches and a couple tough draws, a couple bad matches and he got into this slump of just not winning matches,” De Minaur said. “I think he’s got his rhythm back. He’s always been a hell of a player and when he gets rolling, he’s very dangerous.”

Dimitrov will hope that is true when he takes on five-time US Open champion Roger Federer next. The 38-year-old Swiss has won all seven of their FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings, five of which have come in straight sets.

“I’m happy that things are going better for him after he won Cincinnati a couple years ago now… also the World Tour Finals. He had a bit of a slump. This is the big quarters for him, obviously with an opportunity against me. I’m aware of the fact it’s a big match for him,” Federer said. “I’ve done well against him in the past. But new match, new Grigor, new me again.” 

Dimitrov began this tournament on Court 11, grinding away against Andreas Seppi in a search for solid tennis and most importantly, some confidence. But three wins and a walkover later, he has gotten better step by step.

“Whatever it is, I kept on going forward, just tried to look in that particular moment what I can do well, what I can do better,” Dimitrov said. “You put that little brick every single day. You control the things that you can control. That’s what I’ve been focussing on the most.”

In reality, Dimitrov doesn’t have much to lose against Federer. But dreaming too big about what a win would mean isn’t what helped Dimitrov climb out of his slump. And he won’t let that change.

“Excitement? Yes. So is every other feeling you could possibly think. But it’s one of the most important things, not to look too far ahead,” Dimitrov said. “Enjoy the moment for a second, appreciate the situation, and we move on. Hopefully in a couple of days I’ll be sitting here again.”

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Top Seeds Cabal/Farah Take The Trophy In New York

  • Posted: Sep 06, 2019

Top Seeds Cabal/Farah Take The Trophy In New York

Colombian pairing drops one set en route to second Grand Slam title

For the second straight Grand Slam, Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah have created Colombian history.

After becoming the first players from their nation to lift a men’s doubles Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in July, the top seeds became the first South American pairing in the Open Era to win the US Open on Friday with a 6-4, 7-5 victory against Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos.

”This whole Colombian tennis power thing started with a dream of one guy who owned this huge business called Colsanitas… One special guy who started it all was Roberto Cocheteux who passed away 17 or 18 days ago,” said Farah during the trophy ceremony. “We couldn’t go to his burial because we had to stay here and it was very tough for us. We said we would dedicate this tournament to him and there is no better way to dedicate something than to win it.”

Cabal Farah

Cabal and Farah fired 32 winners in the one-hour, 31-minute encounter to capture their 16th tour-level team title and improve to 45-13 this year. After falling short of the trophy in their opening 30 Grand Slam appearances as a pairing, Cabal and Farah are now the second team in as many years to complete the Wimbledon-US Open double.

“It was a really difficult time two weeks ago. We made a decision, we fought for it and we played for him and here we honour him, for Colsanitas, for Colombia and for everybody,” said Cabal during the trophy ceremony. “We are happy we could do this for him and hopefully he is in the sky watching us and resting in peace.”

The Colombians follow in the footsteps of Mike Bryan and Jack Sock, who swept the last two major titles of the 2018 season. Prior to last year, the most recent team to win Wimbledon and US Open in the same year was Jonas Bjorkman and Todd Woodbridge in 2003.

Winners Of The Wimbledon-US Open Double (Open Era)

Team Year(s)
Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah 2019
Mike Bryan and Jack Sock 2018
Jonas Bjorkman and Todd Woodbridge 2003
Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge 1995, 1996
John Fitzgerald and Anders Jarryd 1991
John McEnroe and Peter Fleming 1979, 1981, 1983

Cabal and Farah’s title in New York solidifies their position as the top team in the ATP Doubles Race To London. The top seeds, who improve to 5-2 in tour-level championship matches this year, add 2,000 ATP Doubles Rankings points to their total (7,940) to take a 4,495-point lead over second-placed Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo (3,445). Cabal and Farah will also split $740,000 for their run to the trophy.

“It was my biggest dream to win the US Open here on this huge stadium so it cannot get more real than this. It cannot get more amazing than this,” said Farah.

The two-time Grand Slam champions dropped just one set en route to the title in New York, coming from a set down in the second round to defeat British duo Daniel Evans and Cameron Norrie. Cabal and Farah beat three seeded pairings during their fortnight at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Alongside Granollers and Zeballos, the Colombians also overcame 13th seeds Robin Haase and Wesley Koolhof in the third round and 15th seeds Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski in the semi-finals.

Under the roof on Arthur Ashe Stadium, both teams held their opening four service games with relative ease. But, from that point, Cabal and Farah made their move to take a one-set lead. The Colombians returned with aggression and moved up the court to take time away from their opponents and convert their third break point of the match. Serving for the set, Farah escaped from deuce with two unreturnable serves to delight the lively Colombian fans inside Arthur Ashe Stadium, wearing the colours of their national flag while cheering in support.

Cabal and Farah threatened to break early in the second set as Granollers and Zeballos closed the net, but despite firing numerous passing shot winners, the top seeds failed to convert any of their opening six break points. After Farah conceded his serve with multiple errors at 3-4, the Colombian pairing fought back to claim the title with four consecutive games.

The top seeds capitalised on a number of errors to immediately break serve in the following game and Farah earned a second break with rapid reactions at net to serve for the title. On championship point, Farah served out wide before Cabal fired an overhead winner to confirm victory. After the match, Cabal took his son from the stands to celebrate the win and eventually lift the trophy.

Granollers and Zeballos were bidding to extend their 10-0 unbeaten record as a team by lifting their maiden Grand Slam title together. In their only previous appearance as a team, the Spanish-Argentine tandem won the Coupe Rogers in Montreal.

“Horacio and Marcel are very good friends of ours,” said Farah. “To go and win Montreal and then come here and make the final shows that they are playing at a great level.”

Granollers and Zeballos rise to No. 10 in the ATP Doubles Race to London after adding 1,200 ATP Doubles Ranking points to their collection in New York. With 2,200 points, the US Open finalists are just 370 points behind Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury, who occupy the eighth and final Nitto ATP Finals qualification spot. Granollers and Zeballos also share $370,000 for reaching the championship match.

“We really enjoyed [this run]. We are playing really good and we had a really good two weeks here. It was amazing to spend all this time with Marcel,” said Zeballos.

Did You Know
This is the seventh consecutive Grand Slam event where the men’s doubles title has been won by a pair of players from the same nation.

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'Still reaching US Open finals 20 years on? I'd have said you were joking' – Williams

  • Posted: Sep 06, 2019
US Open 2019
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 26 Aug – 8 Sep
Coverage: Live text and BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra commentary on selected matches on the BBC Sport website and app. Click here for Live Guide.

Serena Williams says she would not have believed after her first US Open title in 1999 that she would be playing in a record 10th final 20 years later.

Williams, 37, stormed into the Flushing Meadows final with a 6-3 6-1 win over Ukrainian fifth seed Elina Svitolina.

The American will bid for a record-equalling 24th major singles title on Saturday against Bianca Andreescu.

“I would have thought it was a sick joke,” Williams said of being in a final 20 years after her first.

“At 17, I thought for sure I’d be retired at 28, 29, living my life. I would definitely not have believed somebody saying that.”

Williams is aiming to equal Australian Margaret Court’s all-time record of Grand Slam singles titles.

The eighth seed has competed in three major finals since returning from giving birth to daughter Olympia in September 2017. She lost in the past two Wimbledon finals as well as a controversial US Open showpiece against Naomi Osaka in New York last year.

“I think it’s cool that I’ve been in more finals than I think anyone on tour after being pregnant. That’s kind of awesome,” she said.

“I look at it that way because it’s not easy to go through what I did and come back, and so fast.

“To keep playing, to also not be 20 years old, I’m pretty proud of myself.”

Williams is the favourite to beat 19-year-old Canadian Andreescu, who will be competing in her first Grand Slam final after beating Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic in the last four, particularly after the way in which she destroyed semi-final opponent Svitolina.

Williams hit 33 winners in a powerful display that Svitolina could not cope with, although Williams agreed with the Ukrainian’s assertion she could have played even better.

“I think it was solid. It definitely wasn’t my best tennis,” Williams said.

“It’s interesting that she knows that. She’s a super professional to know that.

“She probably could have played better as well. I definitely know I could have played better.”

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Brilliant Williams outclasses Svitolina to reach US Open final

  • Posted: Sep 06, 2019
US Open 2019
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 26 Aug – 8 Sep
Coverage: Live text and BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra commentary on selected matches on the BBC Sport website and app. Click here for Live Guide.

Serena Williams has another shot at winning a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles title after demolishing Elina Svitolina to reach the US Open final.

The American, 37, overpowered the Ukrainian fifth seed to win 6-3 6-1.

Williams, seeded eighth, is aiming for her first Grand Slam win since giving birth in September 2017.

The six-time champion will face Swiss Belinda Bencic or Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu in Saturday’s final.

Bencic, 22, and 19-year-old Andreescu, both competing in their first major semi-final, meet for the right to face Williams later in Thursday’s night session in New York.

  • Nadal ‘greatest fighter ever’ in tennis – men’s semi-finals preview

Williams underlines why she is favourite for victory

Williams is already considered by many as the greatest female player ever, yet will not be satisfied herself until she has levelled – and then overtaken – Australian Margaret Court’s total of all-time Grand Slam singles titles.

Following the difficult birth of daughter Olympia two years ago which almost cost Williams her life, she has reached consecutive Wimbledon finals – plus last year’s controversial US Open showpiece against Naomi Osaka – without capping what has already been a remarkable comeback with another major win.

For Williams to not go on and win a seventh US Open title – an Open era record in the women’s singles – would be a major shock on the evidence of her performances over the past two weeks.

Free of the knee injury which bothered her earlier this year, she is looking as sharp, powerful and clinical as she has in a long time.

That was illustrated by the ease with which she swatted aside Svitolina, the highest ranked player to reach the last eight at Flushing Meadows and competing in her second successive Grand Slam semi-final.

The 24-year-old Ukrainian has one of the most impenetrable returning games on the WTA Tour, yet even she could not keep Williams at bay.

After a slow start where Svitolina could conceivably have led 2-0, it was the American who broke at the first attempt and from that point it was all one-way traffic.

Williams found her range quickly and dominated with her powerful, precise hitting which resulted in 33 winners in a match which lasted only one hour and 10 minutes.

“The first two games were long games and I know how she can play – she is a good player,” Williams said.

“I wanted to not get off to a slow start and I wanted to hang in there.”

Svitolina was expected to provide a tougher test for Williams after clinically dispatching British number one Johanna Konta in their quarter-final on Wednesday.

With her fleet of foot and ability to return, she would have been hoping to withstand everything fired by Williams and then outlast her older opponent.

But even she could not cope with the pummelling produced by the American.

Svitolina’s inability to take any of six break points in the early part of the first set proved terminal to her hopes.

Helped by three unforced errors from Williams in the opening game, Svitolina created three break points which she could not convert and then saw her illustrious opponent fight back from a 0-40 deficit to break for a 2-0 lead after a hard-fought 15 minutes.

Another 0-40 lead disappeared as Williams held for a 4-1 lead and from that point Svitolina’s confidence sapped, along with her ability to push her opponent.

“I just wish I could have taken those opportunities,” said Svitolina, who won the season-ending WTA Tour Finals last year.

“It could be maybe a 2-2 or 3-3 instead of 0-3, which allows you to push to play more freely.”

In the second set she was not able to touch Williams’s serve, winning just three receiving points.

“She has unbelievable strength. She gives lots of power,” Svitolina said.

“There’s lots of power behind her shots all the time. That’s what makes her an unbelievable, legendary tennis player.”

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GB's Murray & Skupski beaten in semi-final

  • Posted: Sep 06, 2019

Britons Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski failed to reach the men’s doubles final, losing in two sets to top seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah.

The Columbian pair, who are Wimbledon champions, won 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (10-8) in just over two hours in New York.

There were no breaks of serve in the semi-final with Farah and Cabal converting their third match point.

They will play Spain’s Marcel Granollers and Argentina’s Horacio Zeballos in Friday’s final.

Zeballos and Granollers defeated Germans Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-5) in the other semi-final at Flushing Meadows.

Murray and Skupski, the 15th seeds, had two set points in the second-set tie-break against Cabal and Farah but could not convert either with the Colombians securing the win when Skupski netted a forehand smash.

“It was a close match, no breaks of serve, not many break points either,” Murray said. “I guess we just didn’t make enough good returns at the right time and ended up losing.

“It’s frustrating to be that close to the final, losing by such a close margin, but it’s been a good tournament.

“We played some good tennis, five good matches, so it bodes well for us going forward.”

The Britons are still a relatively new pairing, having teamed up after this year’s French Open. They lost in the first round at Wimbledon.

Scot Murray is already through to the mixed doubles final, where he and American Bethanie Mattek-Sands will face the top seeds – Chan Hao-ching, of Chinese Tapei, and New Zealander Michael Venus.

In the women’s doubles, Ashleigh Barty and Victoria Azarenka are through to the final after thrashing Aliaksandra Sasnovich and Viktoria Kuzmova 6-0 6-1.

They will play the winners of the semi-final between Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka and Vania King and Caroline Dolehide.

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