After dropping her serve to give Ekaterina Makarova a 4-2 lead in the second set, Victoria Azarenka spiked her racquet to the court in frustration. She seemed to gather her wits walking to her bag for a new frame, but then gave her racquet another whack on the court. Unfortunately, the venting wasn't enough to preserve Vika's title hopes as Makarova held and broke to claim a straight sets victory and a semifinal berth.
After battling through a tough five-setter that finished around 2:26 a.m. on Monday—tying the record for the latest finish—there were questions about how fit Kei Nishikori would be coming into yesterday's match against Stan Wawrinka. The questions got a little louder when Nishikori started slow and Wawrinka cruised through the first set. But, in the end, Nishikori did prevail in another five-set marathon, to reach his first ever Grand Slam semifinal. He's also the first Japanese Man to reach the US Open seminfinals since Ichiya Kumagae did so in way back in 1918.
Salvaging the Season
By making the quarterfinals, Serena Williams has already logged her best Grand Slam result of the year, but there's no doubt she's looking for more. After a slow start that saw Serena fall behind 0-3, she came roaring back and reeled off six straight games to claim the first set. The second set was more of the same and Serena cruised, even though Pennetta put up a solid fight.
The Djoker and the Muzzard
Top seeded Novak Djokovic and his rival Andy Murray took the court for their 21st career meeting last night with a spot in the semifinals on the line. Since the draw came out, this was one of the most anticipated matchups of the tournament, made possible in the semifinals because of Murray's lower than usual ranking. The quality of the play was up and down, but there was plenty to watch and enjoy as the two stretched the encounter out over three-and-a-half hours. Ultimately, Djokovic's fitness and physicality won the match as Murray's body let him down. Djokovic will advance to his eight straight US Open semifinal.
A New Era at USTA
Though it's not strictly related to US Open tennis, Patrick McEnroe announced yesterday that he will be resigning his position as the USTA's Head of Player Development. The move has been rumored for a few months and the announcement was originally planned following the US Open in order to avoid creating any distractions. McEnroe will retain his position while the USTA searches for a successor.