Williams, Nadal advance to semis
NEW YORK – Disappointed.
That was the word Andy Murray used over and over to describe how he felt about his exit from the U.S. Open.
After all, Murray arrived at Flushing Meadows ranked No. 2, owner of a tour-leading 37 wins on hard courts this season – and quite sure he was prepared to win his first Grand Slam title a year after reaching the U.S. Open final. Instead, he heads home after the fourth round, a 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 loser to No. 16 Marin Cilic of Croatia on Tuesday.
“I just struggled today. I played poorly,” Murray said. “I could have been better in pretty much every part of the game, whether it was mental or serve, forehand, backhand, returns.”
And now Murray will slide back to No. 3 in the rankings, a spot behind Rafael Nadal, who will move up by virtue of beating No. 13 Gael Monfils 6-7 (3), 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 in Tuesday night’s last match to get to the quarterfinals.
Nadal-Monfils featured two men often cited as the best athletes on tour, and it was a spirited contest early, filled with long points, terrific retrieving, powerful hitting – and animated celebrations by both. Monfils eventually began to show signs of fatigue, leaning over to gasp for air between points, and Nadal took control.
Nadal, trying to complete a career Grand Slam by winning the U.S. Open, will meet No. 11 Fernando Gonzalez of Chile in the semifinals. Gonzalez eliminated No. 7 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (3), 6-4.
Murray’s loss, at least for one evening, turned into the talk of a tournament that had been generating very little buzz about the men’s field. Instead, the focus has been on the women’s event, thanks to the surprising emergence of 17-year-old American Melanie Oudin and the quick comeback of former No. 1 Kim Clijsters.
Clijsters beat Venus Williams in the fourth round; now she will take on defending champion Serena Williams, who improved to 23-1 in Grand Slam singles matches this season by beating No. 10 Flavia Pennetta of Italy 6-4, 6-3 Tuesday night.
Looking ahead to facing Clijsters, the younger Williams said: “She’s such a great person and I, like, only wish the best for her. But not in the next match.”
The 27-year-old American and 26-year-old Belgian both have 12-match winning streaks at the U.S. Open. Clijsters won the first seven en route to the 2005 title, the last time she played in New York, and now has five this year, the last a 6-2, 6-4 win against 18th-seeded Li Na of China.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.
Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User