Monday, June 17, 2024
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Djokovic, Murray book qtrs showdown

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NEW YORK: Former champions Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray booked a tantalizing US Open quarterfinal duel on Monday with straight-sets fourth round victories.
World number one and top seed Djokovic didn’t let Philipp Kohlschreiber stand in the way of another Grand Slam last-eight appearance, defeating the 22nd seed from Germany 6-1, 7-5, 6-4 on another oppressively muggy New York day.
Eighth-seeded Scot Murray advanced with a hard-fought 7-5, 7-5, 6-4 victory over ninth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, avenging a loss to the Frenchman in the Toronto Masters last month.
Djokovic and Murray boast a long rivalry in which the Serbian owns a 12-8 record.
They are 2-2 in Grand Slam finals, including Murray’s triumph over Djokovic in the 2012 final at Flushing Meadows for his first major crown.
“Tough match,” Murray said of the looming contest. “We’ve had a lot of long ones. We played a long one here a few years ago — I have great memories from that match.”
Djokovic reached his 22nd straight Grand Slam quarterfinal, a run that stretches back to Kohlschreiber’s victory over him in the third round of the 2009 French Open.
“I’m very glad obviously that I had so many consecutive quarterfinals of Grand Slams. It says that I do value these tournaments the most and try to always perform my best tennis in them,” Djokovic said.
The Wimbledon champion looked headed for a short day’s work when he raced through the first set in 25 minutes.
But Kohlschreiber dug in, keeping his nose in front on serve and forcing Djokovic to fend off a set point in the 10th game of the second.
Djokovic did so with a stinging forehand passing shot to end a rally that sent the Louis Armstrong Stadium crowd wild, then broke Kohlschreiber for a 6-5 lead.
Serving for the set Djokovic saved another break point with an off-speed service winner and having wrapped up the second set he broke Kohlschreiber to open the third and marched home from there.
Murray broke Tsonga in the final game of each set en route to his victory, first recovering an early break in both the second and third.
Five-time champion Serena Williams reached her first Grand Slam quarterfinal of 2014 at the US Open Monday but Canadian poster girl Eugenie Bouchard, struggling in the heat and humidity, was knocked out.
World number one Williams, the two-time defending champion, eased past world number 50 Kaia Kanepi, 6-3, 6-3, for a fourth win over the Estonian and goes on to face fellow 32-year-old Flavia Pennetta of Italy in a clash of the two oldest remaining players in the draw.
Meanwhile, seventh seeded Bouchard was at the centre of a medical drama on Louis Armstrong court when she had to have her blood pressure and temperature taken in her 7-6 (7/2), 6-4 defeat to Russian 17th seed Ekaterina Makarova.
Wimbledon runner-up Bouchard called the medical timeout at 2-3 down in the second set when she was obviously struggling in the 31-degree heat (87F) and humidity running at 60 percent.
She slipped 4-2 down, broke back for 4-3 but left-handed Makarova was too strong for the ailing Canadian as she booked a spot in the last-eight for the second successive year.
“I was feeling very light headed and dizzy on the court, just seeing things a little blurry. I just generally didn’t feel good,” said Bouchard whose defeat meant that for only the second time in the Open era there will be just one top-eight seed in the quarterfinals of a major title. (Agencies)

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