2015 US Open – Day 7

Day-7 Eye Openers:

  • Annett Kontaveit. She’s 19. She won a spot in the draw after playing through qualifying. She reached the Round of 16, where she fell to Venus Williams. That is a hell of an effort and great accomplishment for the Estonian
  • Eugenie Bouchard. Terrible luck. Friday night, she slipped, fell and hit her head in the locker room. With a concussion, she officially withdrew from the 2015 US Open
  • Roberta Vinci. She benefits from Bouchard’s misfortune. Back in the US Open Quarterfinals for the third time
  • Roberto Bautista Agut’s forehand. A solid four-set effort against the World #1 on Sunday night.

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Round of 16 here in Arthur Ashe Stadium:

[9] Marin Cilic (CRO) def. [27] Jeremy Chardy (FRA) – Eleven. That’s 11 consecutive US Open wins for the defending champion after going four sets with Frenchman Jeremy Chardy today on Ashe. Marin’s only hiccup came in the second when he rolled his ankle. After the tweek, Chardy broke to go up 4-2, held serve, then broke again to level the match. Set-3 was the thriller as both held serve through the tie-break, where Marin ripped four aces to secure a 2-1 lead. In the fourth, Marin’s hard-serving continued; his anticipation on the return game…telepathic. Cilic wrapped the match, only allowing Chardy one game in the decider. NEXT: [19] Jo-Wilfired Tsonga, who won an easy three-setter over Benoit Paire today.

Marin Cilic – Road the Quarterfinals:
4R – def. [27] Jeremy Chardy (FRA) 6-3, 2-6, 7-6(2), 6-1
3R – def. Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) 6-7(5), 7-6(1), 6-3, 6-7(3), 6-1
2R – def. Evgeny Donskoy (RUS) 6-2, 6-3, 7-5
1R – def. Guido Pella (ARG) 6-3, 7-6(3), 7-6(3)

[23] Venus Williams (USA) def. Anett Kontaveit (EST) – “Inspired.” That’s how Venus Williams described Annett Kontaveit’s US Open after dismissing the Estonian in just 50-minutes. She’s right. Annett earned a spot in the draw after playing through qualifying, then reached her first Grand Slam Round of 16 by defeating Casey Dellacqua, [31] Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Madison Brengle. It’s been a break-through tournament for the 19-year-old. That said, Venus’ US Open has been pretty remarkable as well. After two three-setters to start her run, she dominated the fiery hot Belinda Bencic to reach the 4th-Round. Confident, relaxed and serving well, Venus dominated Kontaveit – crushing her will, allowing only three games. NEXT: Little sister, [1] Serena Williams. Do you think Venus would actually deny her the Calendar Slam? Hmmm.

Venus Williams – Road to the Quarterfinals:
4R – def. Annett Kontaveit (EST) 6-2, 6-1
3R – def. [12] Belinda Bencic (SUI) 6-3, 6-4
2R – def. Irina Flaconi (USA) 6-3, 6-7(2), 6-2
1R – def. Monica Puig (PUR) 6-4, 6-7(7), 6-3

[1] Serena Williams (USA) def. [19] Madison Keys (USA) – Unapologetic dominance. Undeniable confidence. Serena Williams played out of her mind today…because she had to. Madison Keys is a hard-hitting, formidable threat. Forget the scoreline. This was not an easy win. The win is a glaring example of how the world’s best continually raise the bar, the more dangerous the test.

Madison has had an impressive year. She fell to Serena in the Australian Open semifinals, reached the Charleston final and played in her first Wimbledon Quarterfinal. Here in New York, she had a chance to up-end Serena’s quest for history (to secure the first Calendar Slam since Steffi Graf in 1988); but Serena’s flawless execution and agressive return-game rendered Keys’ weapons useless. In the first, Serena broke to go up 5-3, then served out the set. In the second, she broke to go up 4-3, then won the match on a Keys double fault. In 1-hour and 8-minutes, she set-up Tuesday’s all-Williams Quarterfinal. What a screenplay.

Serena Williams – Road to the Quarterfinals:
4R – def. [19] Madison Keys (USA) 6-3, 6-3
3R – def. Bethanie Mattek-Sands 3-6, 7-5, 6-0
2R – def. Kiki Bertens 7-6(5), 6-3
1R – def. Vitalia Diatchenko 6-0, 6-2 (ret)

[1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) def. [23] Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) – Consistency. That’s why Roberto Bautista Agut is inside the ATP World Tour’s Top-25. Against the World #1, on a late Summer Sunday in New York, Bautista Agut displayed that consistency on the sport’s biggest stage. From the forehand side, he gave Novak a run for his money. In set-one, both held through seven games. Djokovic drew first blood with a break to go up 5-3. On Novak’s serve, RBA fought through two intense, extended rallies, but couldn’t break back. Nole claimed the set 6-3. In the second, Novak broke early…which Roberto later erased to level it at 4-all. Bautista Agut then broke again to make the match a “best of three.” After crushing his racquet with a stomp, Novak launched into the third set determined. Pissed. After a break at 2-all, Novak held the rest of the way to go up a set. In set-4, the break-fest continued…Djokovic went up 1-0 in his first return game. Suddenly, Roberto’s forehand became a rubber-band, whipping unreal pace in games three and four. He’d break-back to level it at 2-all. Djokovic then rattled-off three quick games to go up 5-2. Bautista Agut had one final break in him before falling 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 in 3-hours and 3-minutes. NEXT: [18] Feliciano Lopez (ESP) who dispatched Fabio Fognini in straights.

Djokovic at the Slams this year: Australian Open (W). Roland Garros (F). Wimbledon (W).

Djokovic at the ATP Masters-1000 Events: Indian Wells (W). Miami (W). Monte Carlo (W). Rome (W). Montreal (F). Cincinnati (F). That’s insane. Novak Djokovic has been in the Final of every single event he’s played this year…with the exception of one: Doha. I was there.

Novak Djokovic – Road to the Quarterfinals:
4R – def. [23] Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) 6-3
3R – def. [25] Andreas Seppi (ITA) 6-3, 7-5, 7-5
2R – def. Andreas Haider-Maurer (AUT) 6-4, 6-1, 6-2
1R – def. Joao Souza (BRA) 6-1, 6-1, 6-1

Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) vs. [13] Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) – September 6, 2015. 1:01am. Kiki Mladenovic earns a spot in her first Grand Slam quarterfinal. Kristina took out last year’s semifinalist and US Open Doubles Champion Ekaterina Makarova in the 3rd latest women’s night match in US Open history. After winning the first set in a tie-break, Kristina was broken at love, 4-5 in the second; Makarova leveling the match. Something clicked at the start of the third. Mladenovic went on a tear, winning the first four games of the set. She won the match with her third break of the set, and collapsed to the court overwhelmed by the accomplishment. NEXT: Roberta Vinci, who advanced with a walk-over after Genie Bouchard’s unfortunate locker-room concussion.

Kristina Mladenovic – Road to the Quarterfinals:
4R – def. Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) 7-6, 46
3R – def. Daria Kasatkina (RUS) 6-2, 6-3
2R – def. Bojana Jovanovski (SRB) 7-5, 6-1
1R – def. Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) 6-3, 7-5

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Round of 16. Arthur Ashe Stadium: Day-8 Schedule.

  • [DAY] Varvara Lepchenko (USA) vs. [20] Victoria Azarenka (BLR)
  • [DAY] Donald Young (USA) vs. [5] Stan Wawrinka (SUI)
  • [DAY] [22] Samantha Stosur vs. [26] Flavia Pennetta (ITA)
  • [NIGHT] Johanna Konta (GBR) vs. [5] Petra Kvitova (CZE)
  • [NIGHT] [13] John Isner (USA) vs. [2] Roger Federer (SUI)