She leaned forward, yelled and shook both fists, victory almost hers.
So on they played, with tennis so uneven you’d have thought the foundation of Arthur Ashe Stadium was collapsing under the weight of that roof.
Lopez, the 18th seed, booked his last-eight spot at the 14th attempt with a 6-3, 7-6 (7/5), 6-1 win over Italy’s Fabio Fognini, the conqueror of Rafael Nadal in the previous round. Then, by the time you could catch your breath from that 11-minute marathon, Fognini had broken Nadal right back at love, firing missiles all over the court with pinpoint precision.
The 52-minute fifth set alone was filled with one apparent momentum swing after another.
Fognini, ripping outrageous winners from unexpected angles against the frustrated Spaniard, was down an early break again in the fourth set but broke Nadal in the fourth and eighth games to force a fifth set. He missed the tournament because of health issues in 2012 and a year ago.
“If you hit the ball a bit shorter, the opponent has more space”.
“I can’t describe how happy I am”, said Fognini.
The 33-year-old American, trying to complete the first calendar Grand Slam since Steffi Graf in 1988, battled nerves and mistakes plus a determined rival, but seized command late in the second set and dominated to the finish.
It had been a trouble-free visit to New York for Djokovic, the top seeded Serb not dropping a set while losing just 10 games going into his match against Seppi. “Always has been”.
When Rafa won the first two sets, the match seemed to be over.
“It was a tough three sets”.
Frenchman Jeremy Chardy provided the upset of the day dispatching seventh seeded Spaniard David Ferrer 7-6(7/6), 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 and was joined at the exit by Canadian 10th seed Milos Raonic who was beat 6-2, 7-6(7/4), 6-3 by Spain’s Feliciano Lopez. Not any more. Now, Rafael Nadal, the 29-year-old lion in winter, is out of another Grand Slam before the first weekend. And now that milestone is four wins away.
But Williams finally got her game together. If that means I win, then great. As Friday evening flipped to Saturday morning at the U.S. Open, Nadal did something he had never done before at a Grand Slam tournament.
We’re in the first week of September, and Nadal has three tournament wins.
“I don’t know what to expect”.
“Her determination is unlike anyone else’s”, Keys said. Knowing the tempestuous, unstable Italian, he will probably lose the match.
Look back at Nadal’s French Open defeat and there’s reason to hope. Also making it to the fourth round is Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard, who beat 2014 Australian Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova 7-6 (11-9) 4-6 6-3 and will face Italy’s Roberta Vinci in the round of 16.
Bencic inflicted the most recent defeat upon top-ranked Serena Williams in a Toronto semi-final last month, but fell to 0-4 against Venus.
“I think I have a good base now”.
“She went for everything”.
Serena Williams reacts after winning a point against Bethanie Mattek-Sands.
Nadal gave up an early break on Friday before consolidating his next one to take a 4-1 first-set lead.