US Open 2015: Review Of Day 8

South African Kevin Anderson upset the 2012 champion Andy Murray to reach his maiden quarter-final at a grand slam breaking a string of seven losses in the round of 16. It also marked the first time that the 15th seeded Anderson, winner at the Winston Salem Open beat a top 10 player at a major in sixteen attempts, as he fired 25 aces against the World number three from Scotland, who had won the ATP 1000 in Montreal in the beginning of August. Murray was also trying to reach his 19th consecutive grand slam quarter-final. The match played on Louis Armstrong stadium lasted 4 hours and 18 minutes as Anderson became the first South African since Wayne Ferreira at the Australian Open 1992 to enter the last eight of a grand slam. The score line was 7-6(5),6-3,6-7(2),7-6(0).

He will next play the reigning French Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland who overcame a minor hiccup in the second set to beat left-handed American Donald Young 6-4,1-6,6-3,6-4 in the afternoon on Arthur Ashe Stadium. The 68th ranked Young had upset the 11th seeded Frenchman Giles Simon and the 22nd seeded Victor Troicki after coming from a two set deficit and the effort seemed to have taken a toll as he could not repeat the second round upset at the 2011 U.S Open against the fifth seeded Wawrinka also in five sets.

Five time champion and fellow Swiss Roger Federer (2004-2008) followed Wawrinka in the evening session as he defeated the last remaining American in the men’s singles John Isner 7-6(0),7-6(6),7-5 in 2 hours and 39 minutes. Federer converted only one out of the ten break points he had against Isner but saved all five on his own serve as he became the only player in the draw to reach the last eight stage without dropping a set in four matches. The Cincinnati winner Federer will next play the in-form Frenchman Richard Gasquet. The 12th seed who reached the semi-final at Wimbledon 2015 (loss to Djokovic) upset the sixth seeded Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic 2-6,6-3,6-4,6-1.

The quarter-final matches to be played on Day 9 in the men’s section with my pick mentioned first :-

Novak Djokovic (1) v. Feliciano Lopez (18) ; Djokovic leads 5-0
Marin Cilic (9) v. Jo Wilfred Tsonga (19) ; Cilic leads 4-1.

Among the ladies, Simona Halep, Petra Kvitova and Victoria Azarenka advanced but there was defeat for the 2011 champion Samantha Stosur of Australia who was ousted by the Italian Flavia Pennetta 6-4,6-4. The 26th seeded Pennetta will play the two time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova who ended the run of the qualifier from Britain Johanna Konta 7-5,6-3. The second seeded Halep battled back strongly after dropping the first set to the German Sabine Lisicki 6-7(6),7-5,6-2 to set up an enthralling match up against the former world number One Victoria Azarenka. The 20th seed from Belarus opened the proceedings on Labor Day with a 6-3,6-4 win over the unheralded American Varvara Lepchenko.

The women’s quarter-final to be played on Tuesday will be a family affair between the Williams siblings Serena and Venus. The six time champion Serena who can claim the calendar slam with a win in Saturday’s final leads the series 15-11 against the two time champion Venus. She also leads 8-5 in grand slam matches between the two. The other quarter-final will be between the Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic and the Italian Roberta Vinci in what would be their first meeting on the WTA tour.

– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy.You can reach him at the email: sportzcosmos@gmail.com]

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