World No. 1 Novak Djokovic’s fortunes keep shining at the 2011 US Open. Not only did the Serb get his match in on a rain-hampered day in Flushing Meadows on Thursday, but he got an early rest when his opponent, countryman Janko Tipsarevic, retired in the fourth set with a hamstring injury.
“I think I sensed early in the third set, when I got a break, he lost a lot of pace on his first serve,” said Djokovic who led 7-6(2), 6-7(3), 6-0, 3-0, and cruised after two sets when Tipsarevic retired. “He wasn’t able to move as well. It’s really unfortunate in a quarterfinal of a Grand Slam.”
Djokovic also needed a visit from the trainer for a toe problem.
The world No. 1 will next in the semifinals meet Roger Federer, who late Thursday night defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4, 6-3, 6-3.
When Andy Roddick’s match resumed Thursday it was quickly halted due to a wet spot on the court. An hour later the players were brought back out, with the spot still wet, and US Open officials quickly felt Roddick’s wrath.
“Can you tell us why you brought us out here?…How hard is it to not see water?…What are we doing here?” Roddick said. Roddick went on, “I’m baffled right now. Absolutely baffled.”
The match was then moved to Court 13 at Roddick’s request, where the American defeated Spaniard David Ferrer, avenging a recent Davis Cup loss 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, high-fiving spectators afterwards.
“I thought the atmosphere was great. People packed in,” Roddick said of the smaller venue. “I’d rather play a smaller court and have it packed, than playing a bigger court and have it a quarter full.”
Roddick will next in the quarterfinals meet world No. 2 Rafael Nadal, who defeated Gilles Muller of Luxembourg 7-6(1), 6-1, 6-2.
Nadal, already on the ATP Player Council, is frustrated with the playing schedule amidst the rain at the US Open and is looking to make some changes.
“The problem is we don’t have enough power in these kind of tournaments,” Nadal said of the players. “That’s what have to change very soon.”
American Donald Young quickly exited the US Open at the hands of No. 4 seed Andy Murray, losing 6-2, 6-3, 6-3.
Murray will next face big American John Isner, who served his way past Frenchman Gilles Simon 7-6(2), 3-6, 7-6(2), 7-6(4). It is the first Grand Slam quarterfinal for Isner.
“A lot of times when I’m tired I am able to conserve energy at the right times and expend my energy at the right times,” said Isner on his ability to look tired in every match. “I think today it was huge for me getting that first set because I was down a break twice, and he served for it at 6-5.”
Winners in the women’s quarterfinals were former No. 1 Serena Williams, current No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki, Sam Stosur and German surprise Angelique Kerber.
Williams defeated Russian No. 17 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-5, 6-1, overcoming serving difficulties in the opening set.
“I just kept losing serve in the beginning. Very weird,” Williams said.
Williams will next meet Wozniacki, who was a 6-1, 7-6(5) winner against No. 10 Andrea Petkovic of Germany.
“I don’t care what people think and say or do,” said Wozniacki, under the microscope as the world No. 1 who hasn’t won a Slam, and will be facing Serena Williams for the first time since becoming No. 1. “I care about what I know best. I go out there, and what I care about is that I give 100 percent every time.”
Stosur will player Kerber after Kerber upset No. 26 Flavia Pennetta 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, and Stosur beat No. 2 Vera Zvonareva 6-3, 6-3.
TENNIS-X NEWS, NOTES, QUOTES AND BARBS
The USTA had to love watching their US Open broadcast partner and ESPN commentator John McEnroe on Wednesday advocating for the players to protest and refuse to play so many backed-up matches in a row at the US Open…Serena Williams on her buddy, movie director Spike Lee: “I know Spike really, really well. We’re really good friends. We always hang out in Florida. We always try to do lunch or dinner sometimes. His parents actually live in Palm Beach, literally down the street. I’ve been there a few times. He and his wife are great…He’s crazy. He wants to win more than I do. He’s like, ‘Hit to me really hard.’ I’m like, ‘I can’t hit to you really hard. I’m going to break your racquet if I do.’ He’s like, ‘No, go your hardest.’ I’m like, ‘Really?’ He’s actually really good. He’s like really, really intense. I’m a little intimidated…He loves debates. Whenever we’re at dinner, he’s looking for a debate. You have to join in and pick a side. I always try to pick an opposite side so it can just be a debate. It’s fun though. I love it…I’m a Miami Heat fan and Dolphins fan. I support the Heat. He supports the Knicks. We always argue about that one.”…Serena on her new house in LA and storing her trophies: “I created a karaoke room, so I can’t put trophies in there. The other area, the gentleman’s lounge, is kinda packed with vintage things I got at a flea market, which is really cool. In Florida, forget it. Venus and I, there’s just no more space. I would love to keep winning them. But we’re like, ‘Oh, what are we going to do with this one?'”…Bored yet?…Hannah Storm and the women at the ESPN sports desk and Chris Fowler — can you make more of Rafael Nadal coming out of the locker room a little late for his match (which turned out to be not his fault)? Geez, talk about a mountain out of a molehill, you guys bored much with all the rain?…Later turned into a PR nightmare for the USTA when Andy Roddick, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray go straight to the referee’s office after coming off the wet courts to vent at officials…Boy, when Justin Gimelstob doesn’t want to talk about something he can be kind of a dick with the other Tennis Channel announcers…Martina Navratilova says pro tennis should play “lets” rather than replay them — let’s not. Does tennis really need an element of luck introduced into it?…How painful was that Thursday night during the rain delay on ESPN2 putting up with Cliffy and Hannah Storm? Rough…From Tennis.com’s Jonathan Scott on Caroline Wozniacki’s brief light-hearted take on Rafael Nadal’s cramping in a post-match conference: “Reactions around the blogosphere and Twitterverse both largely decried the move, sensing an unforced error from the just-turned-21 Dane. It seems apparent now that her still-faceless new coach doesn’t delve into public relations. She likely meant no offense, but intent is not the same as cause. When snagging one’s first Slam title becomes an odyssey, it’s advisable to lie low. Otherwise she finds herself in this spot: Slammed.” — The blogosphere! The Twitterverse! It’s all over the place! Ooooh, slammed! #1 Jonathan — get over yourself; #2 — get a sense of humor…ESPN’s Darren Cahill: “There’s no strong or visible leadership from the ATP.”…The top players want to form a union after being put out on court at the US Open while it is misting out? Good luck with that, do that. The fact you are ‘pushed around’ to appease the tournament network television partners is the reason you can ask for those paltry $500K-$1 million appearance fees at tournaments like Dubai. We feel for you.”…The last time Andy Roddick and Rafael Nadal played in a Grand Slam, Roddick won 6-0, 6-3, 6-4…How about Pam Shriver interviewing Will Ferrell when Ferrell when into Ron Burgundy mode? Ferrell is the 007 of comedy, licence to kill from anywhere in the stadium…Americans Melanie Oudin and Jack Sock are somehow in the US Open mixed doubles final: “Any Grand Slam final you get to is a great achievement, especially because mixed doubles is probably the last thing I thought I’d get to the final in, personally,” Oudin said. They will meet Gisela Dulko and Eduardo Schwank of Argentina in the final…Unrelated, but if you like Google News, on Thursday you couldn’t get a better headline than “Drunk Moose Gets Stuck in Swedish Apple Tree”…Sania Mirza suffered a knee injury during her US Open doubles match this week and may be out for the remainder of the year…Svetlana Kuznetsova on playing Caroline Wozniacki: “She was a wall. To break a wall, you cannot hit hard. You have to mix it up.”…SI.com on how Donald Young “laughingly told how he’d played a game to 21 with Pete Sampras not even a year ago. ‘He beat me,’ Young said. ‘He let me know that wasn’t good. Called me a little princess …'”…Tennis Channel pulled its signal from both Verizon FIOS and Cablevision services in an ongoing dispute over fees and tiered placement of the channel.” — no more endless reruns of Davis Cup and “Best of 5” for you!…The New York Times reports that many of the “gold badge” top chair umpires have skipped the US Open since it is not worth their time as the USTA makes it the lowest-paying of the top tournaments, resulting in lower-quality umpires in the chairs for big matches.
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