Djokovic wards off tough challenge

Wozniacki survives upset bid while Federer, Tsonga set up last-eight clash.

Afp September 06, 2011

NEW YORK: World number one Novak Djokovic set up an all-Serbian quarter-final at the US Open, beating Alexandr Dolgopolov 7-6 (16-14), 6-4, 6-2, and will now meet Davis Cup teammate Janko Tipseravic in the last-eight clash.

Djokovic later admitted that he realised the importance of winning the crucial tiebreaker.

“This is one of the longest tie-breaks I ever played,” he said. “It was exciting to be part of it but I knew that I needed to win that set. It was exciting for the crowd but it was game-wise an ugly set.”

Federer demolishes

Meanwhile, third-seed Roger Federer dismantled unseeded Argentinian Juan Monaco 6-1, 6-2, 6-0 to line up a much-anticipated clash with France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the man who rallied from two sets down to beat him in the Wimbledon quarter-finals.

Federer won the first set in just 18 minutes and by the time it was all over he had blasted 42 winners - including 14 aces - past Monaco. The Swiss expressed sympathy for his hapless opponent after the match.

Meanwhile, Tsonga, the 11th-seed, doused the hopes of eighth-seed American Mardy Fish 6-4, 6-7, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2. Their three-hour, 43-minute tussle helped ensure that Federer did not take the court until shortly before midnight.

Wozniacki in US Open escape

Wozniacki came back from a set and 4-1 down to defeat Kuznetsova and reach the last-eight. The 2004 champion was eventually undone by 78 unforced errors in the match.

The Dane, who is still searching for an elusive Grand Slam title, saw off the tiring Kuznetsova 6-7, 7-5, 6-1 and will now tackle Germany’s Andrea Petkovic for a place in the semi-finals.

Serena Williams also reached the last-eight with a 6-3, 6-4 breeze past former world number one Ana Ivanovic and now faces 17th-seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who beat seventh-seed Francesca Schiavone 5-7, 6-3, 6-4.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 7th,  2011.