Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 5th 2014 Contents A77
Friday, September 5, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
NEW YORK---Through a pair of back-
and-forth sets, Novak Djokovic and Andy
Murray put on a display befitting a
matchup of past US Open champions.
They tracked down would-be winners
and somehow got them back, prolonging
points that involved ten or 20 strokes or
more, extended by Djokovic s slides and
splits or Murray s gifted anticipation. After
one 30-shot masterpiece on his way to
victory, Djokovic raised his right fist, bel-
lowed, "Come on!" and windmilled his
arms to rile up the crowd.
Eventually, the physically demanding
action proved too much for a fading Mur-
ray, and Djokovic pulled away to win 7-
6 (1), 6-7 (1), 6-2, 6-4 and reach the tour-
nament s semifinals for the eighth
"I knew coming into tonight s match
that it s going to be tough, that he s going
to go for his shots, and the more aggressive
one would win it," the No. 1-ranked and
No. 1-seeded Djokovic said. "I m glad I
managed to stay fit in the end and pull
It took a while for him to push out
front in a three-hour, 32-minute match
that ended after 1 am yesterday.
Asked in an on-court interview to look
ahead to facing tenth-seeded Kei Nishikori
of Japan in tomorrow s semifinals, Djokovic
joked: "My thoughts are just directed to
sleeping right now."
That drew guffaws from spectators, and
he continued: "Or party. What do you
say? Let s party. I think my coach right
there would chase me with a little baseball
bat if he saw me going to the city to party
Nishikori became the first man from
Japan to reach the US Open semifinals
since Ichiya Kumagae in 1918, outlasting
third-seeded Stan Wawrinka of Switzer-
land 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7), 6-7 (5), 6-4.
In the women s quarterfinals, top-seed-
ed Serena Williams dropped the first three
games before quickly turning things around
to defeat 11th-seeded Flavia Pennetta of
Italy 6-3, 6-2.
Williams, who counts five US Open
titles among her 17 Grand Slam trophies,
will play 17th-seeded Ekaterina Makarova
of Russia in the semifinals.
Taking advantage as the eighth-seeded
Murray s lively forehand dipped in quality
and the Scot s service speeds slipped,
Djokovic broke to go up 3-1 in the third
set, then fended off a pair of break points
in the next game. On the first, Murray
sailed a backhand long to end a 28-stroke
point, then leaned over and put a hand
on his knee. On the second, he dumped
a forehand into the net, then slammed
his racket against his right thigh and
Soon, Murray was turning to his box
to say, "Nothing in the legs." In the fourth
set, a trainer came out to deliver a heat
pack to Murray.
"I got stiff in my hips and my back. ...
I don t know exactly why," said Murray,
who beat Djokovic in the finals at the US
Open in 2012 and Wimbledon in 2013. "I
didn t hurt anything. It was just, I think,
He had back surgery a year ago, and
dealt with cramping in his first-round
match in New York last week. Murray
looked fine since then, but he couldn t
sustain his top form against the relentless
Djokovic, who won the US Open in 2011.
"He was fresher toward the end," Mur-
ray said. "I tried to hang in as best I could."
Djokovic tops Murray
for 8th semi in a row
Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, returns a shot to Andy Murray, of Britain, during the quarterfinals of the US Open tennis
tournament Wednesday, in New York. AP PHOTO
Kei Nishikori, of Japan, reacts after defeating Stan Wawrinka,
of Switzerland, in five sets during the quarterfinals of the
2014 US Open tennis tournament, Wednesday, in New York.
Japanese fans celebrate
Nishikori's US Open win
TOKYO---Kei Nishikori s run
to the semifinals of the US
Open was hailed as a "win
for all of Japan" back home.
Nishikori became the first
Japanese man to reach the US
Open semifinals in 96 years
by outlasting third-seeded
Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland
3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7), 6-7 (5), 6-
4 on Wednesday.
Japanese tennis fans had
woken up at dawn to watch
the quarterfinal and were
"It was a spectacular win
for all of Japan," said office
worker Toru Miura. "We
haven t had a lot of success in
men s tennis over the years."
The previous Japanese
semifinalist at the US Open
was Ichiya Kumagae in 1918.
No man from the country had
made it to the final four at any
major tournament since Jiri
Satoh at Wimbledon in 1933.
"It s really impressive," Japan
Tennis Association director
Masaru Uchiyama told Sports
Hochi newspaper. "It was truly
inspirational to watch as he
came back after dropping the
The 24-year-old Nishikori,
the first Japanese to be ranked
in the ATP s top ten after
climbing to No. 9 in May, faces
No. 1 Novak Djokovic on Sat-
Wednesday s four hour, 15
minute-win over the Aus-
tralian Open champion
Wawrinka came a day after
Nishikori defeated Milos
Raonic in a fourth-round
match that lasted over four
"Even though he was tired
he fought hard to the end,"
said JTA director of strength-
ening and development
Minoru Ueda. "Let s hope he
can get another win."
Nishikori is coached by 1989
French Open champion
"He has improved his stam-
ina immensely," former Japan
Davis Cup player Jun Kami-
wazumi said. "I think the
influence of Michael Chang
has been a major factor in his
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