Tennis: Wawrinka makes US Open last eight as Murray, Federer wait

Stan-Wawrinka

Stan Wawrinka

French Open champion Stan Wawrinka defeated US comeback king Donald Young 6-4, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 Monday to reach the US Open quarter-finals while Andy Murray and Roger Federer awaited their chances to advance.

Swiss fifth seed Wawrinka will next face the winner of a later match between British third seed Murray and South African 15th seed Kevin Anderson.

Wawrinka dropped his first set of the tournament but made an eighth quarter-final in his past nine Grand Slams, denying 68th-ranked Young his first trip to a Slam quarter-final.

The set was so quick. I wasn’t there mentally,” Wawrinka said of his second-set letdown. Calmed down a little bit. I began to be more aggressive, started moving my feet better.

Young was the first player since Gilles Muller in 2008 to rally twice from two sets down in a US Open, having been 0-17 in such sets before this week, but the lefthander fell to 3-18 against top-10 opponents.

“He had the crowd. It was a tough match for sure,” Wawrinka said. “It was a great atmosphere.”

Wawrinka improved to 2-1 in the rivalry with Young, who upset the Swiss in a fifth-set tie-breaker at the 2011 US Open and Wawrinka beating him six weeks later at Shanghai.

Wawrinka, 30, smacked a backhand service return winner to break Young for a 2-1 edge and denied the American’s only break chance of the first set with a forehand winner in the fourth game.

Young, 26, had lost the first set in every prior match, too, and he bounced back again as Wawrinka netted forehands to surrender breaks in the fourth and sixth games, smashing his racquet to the cement at one stage in frustration.

“Sometimes you don’t control yourself. You need to put the pressure out,” Wawrinka said. “I played really well after.”

Wawrinka raced ahead 5-0 in the third set. Young battled back to 5-3, but Wawrinka then held on a stunning running backhand winner to finally take the set.

He broke Young to open the fourth set and held serve to the end, which came after two hours and nine minutes.

 

– Federer, Murray come later –

 

Swiss second seed Federer, winner of a record 17 Grand Slam titles, was set to face US 13th seed John Isner in the late match at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Federer, trying to become at 34 the oldest US Open champion since Ken Rosewall in 1970, has a 4-1 career edge on Isner and has won 12 consecutive US Open matches over American foes since losing to Andre Agassi in 2001.

Isner, 30, has held in 93 consecutive US Open service games since last broken by Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber in the third round in 2013, including all 54 last year and 39 so far this year.

Isner, who has saved 14 break points over the two-year span, seeks his second Slam quarter-final after the 2011 US Open in his 30th major start.

Murray, the 2012 US Open and 2013 Wimbledon champion, was to meet Anderson at Louis Armstrong Stadium, where Czech sixth seed Tomas Berdych and French 12th seed Richard Gasquet, both past US Open semi-finalists, were set to follow.

Anderson, 0-15 all-time against top-10 foes, is trying to snap an 0-7 mark in fourth-round Grand Slam matches, each loss to a top-10 rival.

His most recent last-16 setback came after being two sets ahead of top-ranked Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon two months ago.

Anderson, 29, is the first South African in New York’s last 16 since Wayne Ferreira in 2002. He came in off a third career title at Winston-Salem.

Murray seeks his 19th consecutive Slam quarter-final and leads Anderson 5-1 in career meetings. The 28-year-old Scotsman last failed to reach a Slam last eight at the 2010 US Open.

Berdych, 29, and Gasquet, 29, are 6-6 in career matches, Berdych taking the past three with the most recent being this year at Madrid. Only one of their meetings was not decided in straight sets.

Gasquet was a Wimbledon semi-finalist last July to match his best Slam showing. Berdych was a Wimbledon runner-up in 2010 for his top major result.

 



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