Djokovic, Federer face tough tests to making finals

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer remain on course for a marquee one-two clash in the men’s U.S. Open final, but each must first vanquish a formidable opponent and friend in Friday’s semi-finals at Flushing Meadows.

Photo

World number one and top seed Djokovic, seeking to finish a brilliant season with a third grand slam triumph, will try to end the reign of 2014 champion Marin Cilic of Croatia in the opening men’s semi-final.

Number two Federer, first all-time with 17 grand slam singles crowns, follows onto Arthur Ashe Stadium court for an all-Swiss semi-final against French Open champion Stan Wawrinka.

It is a high calibre last four that promises to produce a compelling showdown in Sunday’s final.

Djokovic, beaten in the Roland Garros final by Wawrinka, has never lost to Cilic in 13 meetings, including the quarter-finals of the last two Wimbledons. But the 26-year-old Croat has felt the magic again in his return to Flushing Meadows.

“It’s definitely the toughest matchup, I would say,” said ninth-seeded Cilic, whose season was hampered early by a shoulder injury but has picked up momentum with his return to Flushing Meadows.

“I haven’t beaten him ever in my career. I had close matches the last few years, but I haven’t found the right formula to be able to win a match,” added the defending champion, extended twice to five sets on his way to the semi-finals.

The 28-year-old Serb sailed through his first three matches without the loss of a set, then needed four sets to get past Spaniards Roberto Bautista Agut and 18th seed Feliciano Lopez.

The big serve of Lopez presented Djokovic with problems but may have been just the preparation needed to be ready for Cilic.

“He has a big serve,” Djokovic said about Cilic. “The serve gets him out of trouble. I know him very well. I have played with him many, many times. We are great friends. Great guy.

“I’m sure he’s gonna try to be aggressive, going to try to take his chances. That’s how he won last year’s U.S. Open. I watched him play. He played great. Best tennis of his life.”

Federer once ruled the Open, winning five straight from 2004. It has been seven years since he last hoisted the trophy but the second seed has shown prime form of late.

Dominant on serve, Federer has saved nine of 11 break points he has faced in his five matches at Flushing Meadows, while averaging 82 per cent first serve points won.

At the age of 34, he has not lost a set the entire tournament, but knows the threat posed by Davis Cup team mate Wawrinka.

“I’m looking forward to playing him, because he definitely is a big test and a big challenge for me. He beat me in straight at the French Open, so I hope I can do better this time.”

Before that quarter-finals encounter at Roland Garros, Federer had won 16 of 18 matches against Wawrinka including all 11 of their hardcourt matches in a rivalry dating back 11 years.

Warwinka, who beat Djokovic in the French Open final, long toiled in the deep shadow of Federer but now feels he is on even-footing.

“I think the past three years I got closer to him. My level improved a lot. I’m playing better tennis,” said 30-year-old Wawrinka, who beat Rafa Nadal for his maiden major at the 2014 Australian Open.

“I think now we are both nervous when we enter the court. Before it was only me. I was nervous because I knew I wasn’t at his level. And now I think we can see that he was also nervous … the past few years.

“That’s a big difference, because that shows how much he knows that I can play at his level.”

 

Related Posts
United v Chelsea – oh so different now
London - Manchester United against Chelsea has often been a seminal fixture in deciding the destiny of the Premier League title in recent years but Monday's clash at Old Trafford ...
READ MORE
Brian Vitori handed one-year ban by ICC for illegal bowling action
Zimbabwean speedster Brian Vitori has been given a year-long suspension from bowling by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for a suspected illegal action, according to ESPN. The bowler was handed such ...
READ MORE
2016 Rio Olympics - Athletics - Final - Men's 5000m Final - Olympic Stadium - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 20/08/2016. Mo Farah (GBR) of Britain celebrates winning the gold. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Briton Mo Farah joined the ranks of the all-time distance greats on Saturday by becoming just the second man to retain both Olympic track long distance titles after adding a ...
READ MORE
Mapeza’s troops gear up for Sofapaka test
Norman Mapeza is looking forward to his African safari debut as a coach when he leads his FC Platinum troops in the preliminary round first leg clash against Kenyan giants ...
READ MORE
Nadal upset by Wawrinka as Federer, Djokovic advance
ROME (Reuters) - Seven-time Italian Open winner Rafa Nadal lost 7-6(7) 6-2 to Stan Wawrinka on Friday meaning there will be an all-Swiss semi-final after Roger Federer crushed Thomas Berdych ...
READ MORE
Morocco appeal to CAS over Afcon ban
Morocco have appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) over their ban from the next two African Nations Cup tournaments, the Swiss-based tribunal said this week. Morocco, originally due ...
READ MORE
Soccer Stars: Who shall it be?
The 2014 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League Soccer star is set to be crowned today (Friday) at an awards ceremony that will be staged in the capital. Delta Beverages marketing executive ...
READ MORE
Chelsea on brink of title after win at Leicester
LONDON (Reuters) - Chelsea came from behind to beat Leicester City 3-1 on Wednesday and move to within one win of clinching the Premier League title for the first time ...
READ MORE
Argentina's former soccer player Diego Maradona speaks in the Soccerex Asian Forum on developing the business of football in Asia at the King Hussein Convention Center at the Dead Sea, Jordan, May 4, 2015. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed
LONDON - Former Argentina captain Diego Maradona says longtime FIFA president Sepp Blatter and European soccer chief Michel Platini should have been given life imprisonment rather than six-year bans from ...
READ MORE
Belgium Formula One - F1 - Belgian Grand Prix 2016 - Francorchamps, Belgium - 28/8/16 - Mercedes' Nico Rosberg of Germany leads the race ahead of Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo of Australia during the Belgian F1 Grand Prix.  REUTERS/Yves Herman
SUZUKA, Japan (Reuters) - Mercedes have pinpointed the cause of the engine blowout that forced Lewis Hamilton to retire while leading the Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix, and have put ...
READ MORE
United v Chelsea – oh so different now
Brian Vitori handed one-year ban by ICC for
Farah does the double, U.S. clean up
Mapeza’s troops gear up for Sofapaka test
Nadal upset by Wawrinka as Federer, Djokovic advance
Morocco appeal to CAS over Afcon ban
Soccer Stars: Who shall it be?
Chelsea on brink of title after win at
Maradona urges life imprisonment for Blatter, Platini
Mercedes identify cause of Hamilton’s engine blowout

Arts & Entertainment

Arts & Entertainment

Where To Stream Drake’s ‘More Life’: Playlist Will Be Available On Spotify And Amazon

17th March 2017 Staff Reporter 0

After a long wait, Drake’s next project, “More Life,” is finally releasing on Saturday. Originally believed to be an Apple Music exclusive, it’s now looking like the playlist will also be available on other streaming […]

Arts & Entertainment

Rick Ross Feuding With Birdman, Nicki Minaj? Listen To New Album ‘Rather You Than Me’

17th March 2017 Staff Reporter 0

Rick Ross released his new album “Rather You Than Me” Thursday and took some shots at Birdman and Nicki Minaj. In the song, “Idols Become Rivals,” the MMG star dissed rapper Birdman for not paying his artists […]