Djokovic sets up semi-final clash with Monfils
New York—Caroline Wozniacki’s dramatic resurgence continued Tuesday when the former world number one defeated a hobbling Anastasija Sevastova to reach a fourth US Open semi-final.
The two-time runner-up, ranked at a lowly 74 after an injury-hit campaign, eased to a 6-0, 6-2 win and will face second seed Angelique Kerber for a place in Saturday’s championship match.
Sevastova, playing in her first Grand Slam quarter-final, never recovered from falling and turning her right ankle in the second game of the opening set.
The 26-year-old was hobbled from that point on and the contest was over in just over an hour with the world number 48 having committed 30 unforced errors to the Dane’s five.
Wozniacki, the finalist in 2009 and 2014 and semi-finalist also in 2010 and 2011, sympathised with Sevastova after she spent almost three months out of the sport with a right ankle injury earlier this year.
“I feel really sorry for her as I have had that injury before,” said 26-year-old Wozniacki who will now return to the top 30 as a result of her surprise run in New York.
“I had to keep pushing her back and make her move.”
Sevastova, the Cinderella story of the US Open after she had retired in 2013, won just 12 points in the first set before she briefly rallied late in the match.
Even having her right ankle heavily strapped did nothing to improve her chances of becoming the first Latvian woman to reach the last-four at a Grand Slam.
Australian Open champion Kerber defeated Italy’s Roberta Vinci 7-5, 6-0 to reach her second semi-final in New York having also made the last four in 2011.
Defending champion Novak Djokovic booked a 10th straight US Open semi-final appearance when Jo-Wilfried Tsonga retired trailing 6-3, 6-2 in their marquee quarter-final on Tuesday.
It was the third time in five matches that an opponent’s injury has worked to Djokovic’s advantage, after his walkover into the third round where Mikhail Youzhny retired after just six games.
Ninth-seeded Tsonga gave him more of a workout, but even before an apparent left knee injury began to trouble the Frenchman in the second set Djokovic had the match well in hand.
The Serbian world number one will face another Frenchman, Gael Monfils, for a place in Sunday’s championship match after the 10th seed pummelled compatriot Lucas Pouille 6-4, 6-3, 6-3.
It was the first time in 89 years that three French men had reached the quarter-finals of the US championships.
Tsonga was the highest seed among them, but his challenge ended with a whimper.
Down two breaks at 2-5 in the second, he called for the trainer, wincing as his knee was manipulated.
A merciless Djokovic then served out the set at love, firing a 118 mph (189.9 Km/h) ace—his first of the contest—on set point.
After Tsonga opened the third set with a double fault he called a halt.
“I really wish Jo a quick recovery,” Djokovic said. “He’s a fighter, he’s somebody that loves the big stage.”—AFP