The day started off with Pablo Carreno Busta beating an out of sorts Diego Schwartzman 6/4 6/4 6/2. The Argentine tried all he could to get into the match but just didn’t look to have it in him. Whether it was the back or quad injury that was rumoured, it was certainly hampering him. PCB once again looked a classy operator and he saw this out with plenty left to spare, showing both great power and a deft touch against one of his best mates. The Spaniard has cruised through the draw without dropping a set so far and you can only beat what is put in front of you! It was a disappointing start to the day as Diego has contributed so much to this event and deserved to be able to give more here! What a top 9 days it has been for him though, with several major breakthroughs!
I am made up for Sloane Stephens, she has shown guts and focus that should shut a few up! It has been an awesome few months since her return at Wimbledon. She worked out the potential headache that is Anastasija Sevastova, who turned this into a real encounter! After levelling it up at one set a piece it looked like the Latvian would go on and take this. Sloane showed great resilience and heart coming from a breakdown. She really upped her game, the angled backhand cross court and willingness to come forward won the day. Her desire to win and find a way through these rounds have been immense, her movement was once again on point and the forehand has the ability to just accelerate through the court! 6/3 3/6 7/6(4) in just under 2 and a half hours in a match full of energy sapping points. The crowd was on fire and Sloane fed off it! So pleased for her!
This was followed by the first evening session match and boi, this was something. The standard of hitting from both Venus and Kvitova was intense. It was clear how much both players wanted this, I have so much respect for the pair and the respect for each other was also clear for all to see, before and after! They both love tennis and love the competitive side that comes with it. Fair play! Sloane said after her win that Venus was the captain for the U.S girls and this performance showed why. Both players dug deep and on this showing, Petra can also hold high! For Venus, the forehand stood up and she is one match away from her third final of the season. The crowd really getting involved, like they did in Sloane’s match, but it was all above board. Like Sloane she got home in a final set break on a wave of emotion, playing a very good tie break to take a 6-1 lead, 6/3 3/6 7/6 (2) did it! It was an emotional victory! 2 to go gal!
Sam Querrey had the chance to make this 3/3 for America. I think he will be disappointed with his performance but I have never seen Kev Anderson pumped liked this, apparently, he is releasing his ‘inner Nadal’! Regular shouts of encouragement at himself, even from the first point. I wonder if the intensity may tire him, but he lasted last night and it was Querrey who blew his opportunities!Big Kev is reaping the rewards as far as I’m concerned for always being a model professional.He deserves credit for the high-level tennis he is playing, it’s too easy for people to dismiss his efforts but some fantastic shot making last night! Thus it will be between Pablo Carreno Busta and Anderson for a place in the final!
Andy Del Potro