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US Open diary: Day eight


 

Originally published on: 05/09/11 23:48

The first Monday in September in America is Labour Day, and for some the symbolic end of summer. Seeing out the season in style, Flushing Meadows served up a little slice of history as two Serbian men – Novak Djokovic and Janko Tipsarevic – made it to the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam for the first time.

Though curiously scheduled on Louis Armstrong – which has a capacity of just 10,200 – Djokovic’s match with Alexandr Dolgopolov didn’t disappoint. The first set contained some brilliant tennis and the Ukranian showed that he could be a superb player if he had a little more consistency. The tiebreaker that decided the first set went Djokovic’s way in the end – he won it 16-14 and cantered through the ensuing sets 6-4 6-2 to advance to the last eight. “It was a different experience [playing on Louis Armstrong] because I haven’t played on that court for a while,” said Djokovic afterwards. It was nice. I enjoyed it.”

Next up for last year’s finalist is compatriot Janko Tipsarevic, who defeated Juan Carlos Ferrero 7-5 6-7(3) 7-5 6-2 to reach his first ever Grand Slam quarter-final.

Former world No.1 Ferrero revealed after losing the bout that he had been struggling with injury. “I have blisters, like I had in the first day. You know, I still having the same ones as the first day that I play against Monfils,” he said, adding: “I have a little problem in my adductor.” A small consolation was that he fought to the end and did not add his name to the burgeoning list of retirees in New York.

Ahead of play, there were four former Grand Slam champions in action in the women’s draw, but by the end of play, three had gone home. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 20, defeated 2010 Roland Garros champion Francesca Schiavone 5-7 6-3 6-4, while Serena Williams, with 13 slams to her name, dispatched another former winner of the clay slam, beating Ana Ivanovic 6-3 6-4. Former US Open (2004) and French Open (2009) champion Svetlana Kuznetsova was up against world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki.

Although there were only eight singles matches today in the main event, the juniors were busting a gut on the outside courts, where three British boys – George Morgan, Ollie Golding and Liam Broady – made it through.

We also noticed Flavia Pennetta, who overcame sickness to beat Peng Shuai yesterday, back on court with doubles partner Gisela Dulko. The second-seeded pair fell to Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci after two hours and 25 minutes. Pennetta will be back on court Tuesday for her quarter final with Angelique Kerber.

Andy Murray was out on the practice courts at about 2.30pm local time and it looked as if he and his team were playing a game of tennis-ball boules at the end of the session, each taking turns to throw a ball from one side of the net and roll it close to a ball placed down the other end. High-octane stuff.

Murray is scheduled to play his fourth round match against Donald Young on Arthur Ashe Stadium on Tuesday at 11am local time (4pm BST). He will be followed by Rafael Nadal, who takes on Gilles Muller. John Isner and Gilles Simon take to Louis Armstrong 11am. Weather forecast is for rain. If it’s correct, maybe we’ll be able to perfect our boules…

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