Day-9 Eye Openers:
- Serena and Venus Williams. Enough said.
- THE HEAT. Again. It was 94-degrees in Flushing at the conclusion of Vinci and Mladenovic’s second set – most likely 20-degrees warmer on the court. Both took an extended break before the decider
- Marin Cilic. In four hours, wins another tough 5-setter to keep his title defense alive
- Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Down 2-sets-to-1, saves three match-points in the fourth…eventually forcing a fifth set in a tie-break. Hell of an effort from the Frenchman in his second career US Open Quarterfinal
- Roberta Vinci. At 32-years-old, she will play in her first Grand Slam Singles Semifinal this Thursday versus Serena Williams
Quarterfinals here in Arthur Ashe Stadium:
Roberta Vinci (ITA) def. Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) – 2-hours and 32-minutes in the searing heat…Roberta Vinci has secured a spot in her first-ever career Gland Slam Singles Semifinal. She’ll play Serena Williams on Thursday for a spot in Saturday’s US Open Final.
Mladenovic played well in her first career Grand Slam Singles Quarterfinal, but after 2-hours and 20-minutes in the heat, exhaustion-fueled unforced-errors cost her the match. Vinci broke early and took the first set 6-3. In the second, they traded breaks twice, and Kiki showed-off some remarkable football skills…
Up 6-5, Mladenovic leveled the match with a near-flawless return game. The entire quarterfinal really came down to one game: 3-all in the third. It must’ve been a 15 or 20 minute deuce battle. Mladenovic negated several break points with aggressive play at the net, but as the back-and-forth game wore-on, Mledenovic looked completely drained. Ultimately, exhaustion fueled double faults and unforced errors cost her the game…and the match. Vinci would serve it out, up a break.
Roberta Vinci – Road to the Semifinals
QF – def. Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 6-3, 5-7, 6-4
4R – w/o. Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) – withdrew due to locker room concussion
3R – def. Mariana Duque-Marino (COL) 6-1, 5-7, 6-2
2R – def. Denisa Allertova (CZE) 2-6, 6-3, 6-1
1R – def. Vania King (USA) 6-4, 6-4
 Marin Cilic (CRO) def.  Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) – Determined. As often happens with major accomplishments, the glow from Cilic’s 2014 US Open title started fading almost immediately. After early exits last Fall in Beijing and Shanghai, he stoked the coals with a straight-sets win over Roberto Bautista Agut in the Kremlin Cup Final. But at the ATP World Tour Finals, he lost all three of his Round Robin matches, and immediately took some time off. Greater expectation (from oneself, one’s team and the sport itself) is the byproduct of scoring a Major. Marin needed time to adjust, to acclimate, to rest and reassess.
He skipped the first three months of 2015, then returned to tennis at Indian Wells, where he fell in his first match to Juan Monaco. His clay season included a Quarterfinal run in Monte Carlo and the Round of 16 at Roland Garros. On grass, he reached the Semis in Stuttgart and the Quarters at Wimbledon. In the States, he made the Citi Open Semifinals, suffered early exits in Montreal and Cincinnati, then launched into his US Open title defense. After two shaky three-set wins, he overcame a hot Kukushkin, who took him the distance. It was a confidence booster. Cilic lost the first and fourth sets in tie-breaks, then found another gear to finish 6-1 in the fifth. Knowing that he’s physically prepared to go long gives him one less concern, one less distraction from staying loose and focusing on his tactics.
Today’s focused four-hour, five-set win over a Top-20 Tsonga proves it. All the pieces are starting to come together. Cilic has been here before. Past experience peppered with current results equals preparedness and confidence down the stretch. NEXT: Novak Djokovic.
Marin Cilic – Road to the Semifinals
QF – def.  Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 6-7(3),
4R – def.  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)
 Serena Williams (USA) def.  Venus Williams (USA) – Come on! Is there anyone who thought Venus would deny Serena an opportunity to make history with the Calendar Slam? More honestly, is there anyone who thought she was capable? Hats off to Venus. Without question, she is back to playing tennis at the top-level. But Serena? She has been and remains on a completely seperate level of perfectionism, belief and ferocity. Both possess amazing legacies, but today, Serena continues to play from her pinnacle, her apex. It is remarkable to witness in person.
Rather than break-down Serena’s 3-set win last night, I thought I’d share the bios we delivered during the warm-up tonight:
VENUS WILLIAMS 
TO THE CHAIR UMPIRE’S LEFT – AT 35 YEARS OLD, SHE’S HELD THE WORLD NUMBER ONE RANKING – AND WON HER 46TH CAREER SINGLES TITLE EARLIER THIS YEAR IN AUCKLAND. A FIVE-TIME CHAMPION AT WIMBLEDON, SHE OWNS SEVEN GRAND SLAM SINGLES TITLES IN-ALL. SHE’S A FED CUP CHAMPION, AN OLYMPIC GOLD MEDIALIST IN SINGLES, AND A THREE-TIME DOUBLES GOLD MEDALIST WITH SISTER, SERENA. FROM PALM BEACH GARDENS, FLORIDA, PLEASE WELCOME, TWO-TIME US OPEN CHAMPION…VENUS WILLIAMS.
SERENA WILLIAMS 
AND TO THE CHAIR UMPIRE’S RIGHT – IN 1999, AT JUST 17-YEARS-OLD, SHE WON HER FIRST GRAND SLAM SINGLES TITLE RIGHT HERE AT THE US OPEN. SIXTEEN YEARS AND 20 GRAND SLAM SINGLES TITLES LATER, SHE IS THE DEFENDING US OPEN CHAMPION – AND HAS HELD THE RANK OF WORLD NO. 1 FOR A COMBINED 257 WEEKS. IN ALL, SHE OWNS 69 CAREER SINGLES TITLES, INCLUDING THE LAST FOUR CONSECUTIVE GRAND SLAMS, PLUS FOUR OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALS. AT 33 YEARS OLD, SHE IS ARGUABLY ONE OF THE GREATEST ATHLETES OF ALL TIME. FROM PALM BEACH GARDENS, FLORIDA, PLEASE WELCOME SIX-TIME US OPEN CHAMPION, AND THE NUMBER ONE PLAYER IN THE WORLD… SERENA WILLIAMS.
THIS IS THE 27TH TIME THAT VENUS AND SERENA HAVE FACED EACH OTHER IN COMPETITION, INCLUDING THEIR HISTORIC MEETING 14 YEARS AGO AT THE 2001 US OPEN FINAL. TOGETHER, THEY OWN A COMBINED 115 CAREER SINGLES TITLES, 6 WTA FINALS TROPHIES, 5 OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALS AND 58 GRAND SLAM CHAMPIONSHIPS IN BOTH SINGLES AND DOUBLES. THEY ARE THE WINNING-EST PLAYERS ON THE WTA TOUR.
Serena Williams – Road to the Semifinals
QF – def. Venus Williams 6-2, 1-6, 6-3
4R – def.  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)
 Novak Djokovic (SRB) def.  Feliciano Lopez (ESP) – “I played a bad game at the beginning of the second, and the set was gone…” – Novak Djokovic at 1:10am after his four-set win over Feliciano Lopez. And that was really his only hiccup against the net-charging Spaniard. Novak dominated the first and third sets, and held his ground through the fourth, winning 7-2 in the tie-break. The 2011 US Open Champ now has two days to prepare for Friday’s Semifinal with defending champion Marin Cilic.
Novak Djokovic – Road to the Semifinals
QF – def.  Feliciano Lopez (ESP) 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(2)
4R – def.  Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) 6-3
3R – def.  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
Quarterfinals. Arthur Ashe Stadium: Day-10 Schedule.
- [DAY]  Flavia Pennetta (ITA) vs.  Petra Kvitova (CZE)
- [DAY]  Victoria Azarenka (BLR) vs.  Simona Halep (ROU)
- [DAY]  Kevin Anderson (RSA) vs.  Stan Wawrinka (SUI)
- [NIGHT]  Richard Gasquet (FRA) vs.  Roger Federer (SUI)
- [NIGHT] Jim Courier and Mardy Fish (USA) vs. John McEnroe and Michael Chang (USA)