World number one and defending champion Rafael Nadal steamed into the third round on another scorching day at the US Open on Wednesday with a straight-sets win over Vasek Pospisil.
Nadal, spared the worst of the heat thanks to his late-night start on Arthur Ashe Stadium, sped past Pospisil 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.
His only hiccup came in the second set when he dropped his serve to fall 2-4 down.
“The conditions are tough,” Nadal said. “It was important to start very well with that break. To win in straight sets is always very positive, especially in these conditions. It’s almost midnight, very happy about the victory.”
Former champions Stan Wawrinka and Juan Martin del Potro also advanced, while 2012 winner Andy Murray, like Wawrinka back at Flushing Meadows after missing last year through injury, was bounced by Fernando Verdasco.
Wawrinka survived searing mid-day heat and a spirited Ugo Humbert.
“I knew it would be a difficult match,” said Wawrinka, who was pleased to find himself feeling fit after prevailing 7-6 (7/5), 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 in three hours and 21 minutes.
“My level is there. I’m playing really good tennis,” added Wawrinka, who was unable to defend his 2016 title after undergoing two knee surgeries last year.
“I think there is a good chance that I’m playing better in the next round,” said the Swiss, who will face Canadian Milos Raonic for a place in the last 16.
Meanwhile, Murray, the 2012 US Open winner, who was playing his first Grand Slam in 14 months, is still fighting to find full fitness after hip surgery in January.
He gave himself a mixed review after a 7-5, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 loss to Spain’s Fernando Verdasco, whose only win over Murray in 14 prior meetings was at the 2009 Australian Open.
“I think some of the tennis I played today was some of the best I’ve played since I had the surgery or since I came back,” said Murray.
He was disappointed to surrender the first set after holding a set point but pleased he had enough in the tank to push Verdasco through five break points in the final game before the Spaniard converted his third match point.
Even with his current limitations, Murray is a dangerous opponent, Verdasco said.
“He’s an unbelievable player, so talented. No matter how much his hip hurts or whatever, he’s going to fight and he’s going to put all the balls he can in and run,” Verdasco said after earning a third-round meeting with 2009 champion del Potro.
The third-seeded Argentinian, who career was nearly ended by wrist injuries after his maiden Grand Slam triumph here, defeated American Denis Kudla 6-3, 6-1, 7-6 (7/4).
Del Potro was delighted to get through in three sets, and not spend too long in the steamy sunshine.
Organizers again implemented an extreme heat policy that allowed both men and women a 10-minute heat break in matches extended beyond straight sets.
Stefanos Tsitsipas, the Greek 20-year-old who came in with high expectations after beating four top 10 players en route to the Toronto Masters final, said the heat took a mental as well as physical toll.
“You don’t have fresh air to breathe — you breathe this heat that’s coming, the moisture that’s in the air. So you feel like you are empty,” said the 15th-seed, who fell 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 to Russian Daniil Medvedev.
Medvedev, who won his second ATP title of the season at Winston-Salem last week, booked a third-round meeting with 20th-seeded Croatian Borna Coric, a 7-6 (7/4), 6-2, 6-3 winner over Spain’s Roberto Carballes Baena.
Fifth-seeded South African Kevin Anderson, runner-up to Nadal last year and a runner-up to Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon, made quick work of France’s Jeremy Chardy, 6-2, 6-4, 6-4.
Anderson next faces rising Canadian star Denis Shapovalov, who labored to a 6-4, 4-6, 5-7, 7-6 (7/2), 6-4 victory over Italian Andreas Seppi.
U.S. Open champion, Stan Wawrinka, will not defend his title in New York later this month and will also miss the rest of the season due to a knee injury, the Swiss said on Friday.
The 32-year-old battled with the injury throughout the grasscourt season and was knocked out in the first round at Queen’s and at Wimbledon.
“I am sad to announce that after talking with my team and doctor I had to make a difficult decision to undergo a medical intervention on my knee,” Wawrinka posted on Facebook.
“This was the only solution to make sure I will be able to compete at the top level for many more years.
“I also want to take this opportunity to thank my fans for sending plenty of messages of support during the last couple of days. I will see you all in 2018!”
The world number four had already announced on Wednesday that he was withdrawing from the Rogers Cup, that begins Monday in Montreal and the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati due to injury.
Wawrinka joins world number five Novak Djokovic on the sidelines, with the Serb also missing the rest of the season due to an elbow injury.
World number one Andy Murray, who is struggling with a hip problem, is also a major doubt ahead of the final grand slam of the calendar year, which begins on Aug. 28 at Flushing Meadows. The Briton withdrew from the Rogers Cup on Thursday.
Four-time former Australian Open champion, Roger Federer, has set up a thrilling semi-final contest against fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka at the Rod Laver Arena.
Federer, who was close to his imperious best, ended the dream run of Andy Murray’s conqueror, Mischa Zverev, 6-1, 7-5, 6-2 at Melbourne Park for a place in his 41st Grand Slam championship semi-final.
Earlier in the day, Wawrinka beat Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets.
The 35-year-old Federer leads Wawrinka, the fourth seed, 18-3 in their Head-to-Head series.
Federer, bidding to reach the 41st major championship semi-final of his career, took advantage of early nerves for 29-year-old Zverev by winning the first five games – and losing seven points. The first set lasted 20 minutes.
World No. 50 Zverev regrouped and covered the net to keep Federer on the back foot, but, ultimately, was left to rue a missed volley that could have edged him closer to a 4-1 lead. The doubts started to set in and Federer sensed his opportunity, fighting back to break to love for a 6-5 lead.
Zverev kept battling, but his resistance faltered in the fifth game and a 26-point seventh game of the third set. Federer hit 65 winners overall, committing just 13 unforced errors in the one-hour and 32-minute encounter.
Federer won 23 of 32 points at the net (72%), as he booked a thirteenth semi-final place at the Australian Open.
“My expectation was not to play Stan Wawrinka in the semis. I thought maybe I could get to the fourth round or quarters – that’s what I told the Swiss press,” he said.
“For me to play against Stan I have to play aggressive, the more time I give him the better he is. I’m happy he’s got this far but he doesn’t need to go a step further – Stan knows I’m joking.”
Federer is the oldest men’s singles semi-finalist at the tournament since Arthur Ashe in 1978, and the oldest at any Grand Slam since Jimmy Connors reached the 1991 US Open last four aged 39.
Top seeds Novak Djokovic and seven times champion Roger Federer had to fight back to win their respective games to claim their place in the Wimbledon semi-finals.
Djokovic was trailing two-sets-to-one against 26th-seeded Marin Cilic before turning things around for a 6-1, 3-6, 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 6-2 decision on the No. 1 Court.
The Serb snuck past Cilic in 3 hours, 38 minutes with the help of a seven service breaks and six double faults by his Croatian counterpart.
He will meet Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, who beat defending champion Andy Murray 6-1, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 in the semi final.
Federer, on the other hand lost the opening set of his quarter-final game to Australian Open champion and compatriot, Stanilas Wawrinka before coming through 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 6-4 on Centre Court.
This will be the ninth Wimbledon semi finals of the the 17 – time grand slam winner and his 35th career major semis.
Federer’s next opponent will be 6-foot-5 eighth-seeded Canadian slugger, Milos Raonic,who ended world number 144 and 19-year-old Australian, Nick Kyrgios giant-killing act with a brutal 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) win
Raonic advanced with a resounding ace on his fourth match point after 2 hours, 22 minutes of big-hitting tennis.
In the women’s category, 3rd seed, Simona Halep will meet Eugenie Bouchard in the Wimbledon semi-finals after both completed straight-sets quarter-final victories.
Halep, who is the highest seed left in the draw, defeated 2013 finalist Sabine Lisicki 6-4 6-0 while Bouchard,who is the 13th seed from Canada, reached her third Grand Slam semi-final of the year with a 6-3 6-4 win over German, Angelique Kerber.
Czech pair, Petra Kvitova and Lucie Safarova will meet in the other semi- final match.
Switzerland’s Stanislas Wawrinka has won his first Grand Slam title with victory over an injury-hit Rafael Nadal in the finals of the Australian Open.
Wawrinka’s victory places him on number three in the world ranking, moving up from eight seven.
He withstood a fightback from the world number one, who was struggling with a back problem, to come through 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-3.
The 28-year-old becomes only the second Swiss man to win a Grand Slam singles title after 17-time champion Roger Federer.
And he is the first man outside the ‘big four’ of Nadal, Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray to win a Grand Slam since Juan Martin Del Potro at the 2009 US Open.
The Spaniard, 27, showed great spirit to hit back once again from a break down in the fourth, but a forehand winner gave Wawrinka the decisive break at 5-3 and he served out the biggest win of his life with a love game.
“I still think that I’m dreaming,” said Wawrinka. “It’s a strange feeling. I saw so many finals. I always try to watch the finals of Grand Slams because that’s where the best players are playing.
“Before today, for me it wasn’t a dream. I never expected to play a final. I never expected to win a Grand Slam. And right now I just did it,” he said.