Djokovic benefits from another injury to reach semi-final — US Open round-up and results
Reigning champion Novak Djokovic booked a 10th straight US Open semi-final appearance when Jo-Wilfried Tsonga retired trailing 6-3, 6-2 in their quarter-final on Tuesday.
It was the third time in five matches that an opponent’s injury has worked to Djokovic’s advantage, after his walkover into the third round where Mikhail Youzhny retired after just six games.
Tsonga, the No 9 seed, gave him more of a workout, but even before an apparent left knee injury began to trouble the Frenchman in the second set Djokovic had the match well in hand.
The Serbian world No 1 will face another Frenchman, Gael Monfils, for a place in Sunday’s final after the 10th seed pummelled compatriot Lucas Pouille 6-4, 6-3, 6-3.
It was the first time in 89 years that three Frenchmen had reached the quarter-finals of the US championships.
Tsonga was the highest seed among them, but his challenge ended with a whimper.
More from the US Open:
• Order of play: Serena, Murray, Del Potro in action on Day 10
• Ahmed Rizvi on Rafael Nadal: Is it all over for the Spaniard?
• Angelieuq Kerber: Into the semi-final and feeling ‘positive’
“I really wish Jo a quick recovery,” Djokovic said. “He’s a fighter, he’s somebody that loves the big stage.”
In Monfils, 12-time grand slam champion Djokovic will face a player whose only prior semi-final run at a major came back in 2008 at the French Open.
Monfils was in control throughout against the 22-year-old Pouille, who was coming off an epic fifth-set tiebreaker win over 14-time major winner Rafael Nadal.
That marked the 24th-seeded Pouille’s third straight five-setter. Whether it was a let-down after the biggest win of his career or sheer fatigue, his 44 unforced errors meant he never stood a chance against a dialled-in Monfils.
The remaining quarter-finals take place on Wednesday with Wimbledon and Olympic champion Andy Murray facing sixth-seeded Kei Nishikori and third-seeded Stan Wawrkina facing Juan Martin del Potro, the 2009 champion whose career was nearly derailed by a series of wrist injuries.
WOZNIACKI SETS UP KERBER CLASH
Caroline Wozniacki’s dramatic resurgence continued when the former world No 1 defeated a hobbling Anastasija Sevastova to reach a fourth US Open semi-final.
The two-time runner-up, ranked a lowly 74 after an injury-hit campaign, eased to a 6-0, 6-2 win and will face second seed Angelique Kerber for a place in Saturday’s final.
Sevastova, playing in her first grand slam quarter-final, never recovered from falling and turning her right ankle in the second game of the opening set.
She was hobbled from that point on and the contest was over in just over an hour with the world No 48 having committed 30 unforced errors to the Wozniacki’s five.
Australian Open champion Kerber defeated Italy’s Roberta Vinci 7-5, 6-0 to reach her second semi-final in New York having also made the last four in 2011. Kerber holds a 7-5 career record over Wozniacki.
The German second seed showed remarkable powers of resilience to retrieve three breaks of serve against Vinci in the first set.
In a powerful demonstration of her title credentials, 28-year-old Kerber then wrapped up the second set of her quarter-final by allowing Vinci just five points on her serve.
“It’s always tough to play Roberta, she always comes out to play great tennis,” said Kerber, who last made the semi-finals in New York in 2011.
“I am happy to win in two sets which means a lot to me.”
Kerber could dethrone Serena Williams, who she has already faced in the Australian Open and Wimbledon finals this year, on top of the world rankings if results go her way.
“She’s on fire. She’s won a lot of matches,” Vinci said. “When the moment is tough and both players are so close, she’s focused. She’s in good shape. She’s No 2, so probably this is the difference between us.”
The remaining quarter-finals take place on Wednesday with world number one Williams facing fifth seed Simona Halep of Romania and Croatian teenager Ana Konjuh facing fellow big hitter, Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic.
Novak Djokovic (SRB x1) bt Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA x9) 6-3, 6-2, retired
Gael Monfils (FRA x10) bt Lucas Pouille (FRA x24) 6-4, 6-3, 6-3
Angelique Kerber (GER x2) bt Roberta Vinci (ITA x7) 7-5, 6-0
Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) bt Anastasija Sevastova (LAT) 6-0, 6-2
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Published: September 7, 2016 04:00 AM