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Day 9 at the Flushing Meadows saw men’s World No.7 Alexander Zverev and 2018 US Open champion Naomi Osaka move to the semi-finals of the year’s last major.
The German, who is seen among the top title contenders in the men’s draw, came through a tough four-setter against World No.32 Croat Borna Coric. The Croat got off to a roaring start at the Arthur Ashe stadium, claiming two service breaks and winning the opening set 6-1.
However, just when it looked like the German may be headed for the exit door, he produced a stunning comeback, taking the next three sets 7-6, 7-6, 6-3.
Wary not to look too far ahead, Zverev said, “We are going to have a new Grand Slam champion. This is the one thing that we know for sure. We don’t know who it is but there are a lot of guys who want it. There are a lot of guys who are hungry for it.”
In another last-8 encounter at the famed arena, the Japanese two-time Grand Slam champion came through in straight sets against 93rd-ranked American Shelby Rogers. Rogers was simply no match for her superior opponent as the latter waltzed into the semi-final with a facile 6-3, 6-4 win to book passage to the semi-final.
Reflecting on how far she has come to be among the contemporary stars in the game, Osaka said, “I don’t think a person can ever be truly comfortable. But I’m aware that I worked very hard to be in this position.”
In another keenly watched last-8 battle at the Arthur Ashe, 27th-ranked Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta came through a tough five-setter against World No.17 Canadian Denis Shapovalov. The Spaniard, who was leading World No.1 Novak Djokovic when the latter was disqualified from the tournament for accidentally hitting a lineswoman with a tennis ball in a moment of fury, took the opening set rather comfortably before dropping the next two. However, just when it seemed that his opponent had the momentum going his way, Busta staged a spirited fightback, taking the next two sets and booking himself a place in the last four.
In more quarter-final action, 41st-ranked American Jennifer Brady moved to the last-4 stage with a commanding 6-3, 6-2 win over 35th-ranked Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan.
In men’s doubles semi-final action at the Arthur Ashe, Brit-American doubles pair of Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram lost to Dutch Wesley Koolhof and his Croat partner Nicola Metkic 7-6, 6-4.
Wesley and Metkic drew Brazilian Bruno Soares and Croat Mate Pavic in the final. The Brazilian-Croat duo came through in straight sets against Jean-Julien Roger of the Netherlands and Horia Tecau of Romania.
In women’s doubles action, Russian pair of Anna Blinkova and Veronica Kudermetova lost to German Laura Siegemund and Russain Vera Zvonareva 7-5, 3-6, 5-7.
Day 10 will see Slam queen Serena Williams taking on Tsvetana Prironkova of Bulgaria for a place in the final. In an all-Russian men’s semi-final at Arthur Ashe, Daniil Medvedev will battle Andrey Ruvlev.
In another women’s last-8 encounter, Belarussian Victoria Azarenka will take on Belgian Elise Mertens.