Serena’s quickfire win & Daniil just loves it! – Day 9 US Open.

Serena winning in 44 minutes was a welcome sight to me. She utterly dominated Qiang Wang and it was an encouraging performance. Wang never really got going though, due to the ferocity of the start from Rena and you could see she was struggling with nerves and it never got any better. Serena was in no mood to mess about or give her opponent any encouragement and though we never got to see the ankle being fully tested, she says it is fine. Tiger Woods and Queen Latifah were in attendance and like me, will be more than happy with what they saw. The job is nowhere near done yet mind. We go again.

It will be a semi-final against Elina Svitolina for Serena after the Ukranian beat Jo Konta. She has now at the very least backed up her semi-final at Wimbledon and it was a pretty solid effort. Konta threw in too many errors again but remained pretty defiant in defeat. She seems happy with the team around her and the direction she is going. The big difference with this defeat for me is that it is a player she has notoriously struggled against in the past. I don’t think it is all doom and gloom just yet for Jo.

In the men’s that was another incredible effort from Daniil Medvedev. He showed us his full range of power, determination and intelligence there. Keeping the points short, bringing Stan in, rallying when needed and serving huge, the full list was on show and it had Wawrinka running in circles. There were rumours of Stan being ill coming into this as well and Daniil certainly handled it a lot better. You could see the frustration pouring out of Stan as the match progressed and Daniil ran away with the fourth. The good news for him is that he doesn’t play until Friday now. Also, the semi will obviously be an exceptionally tough match but maybe not the most exerting. Could he?? You cannot write him off. This was gutsy once again. We are also getting a bit of love back from the NYC crowd now. Happy days for Daniil!

That should have been the end of the excitement for the night, but after Serena had got the job done, Federer fell in pretty spectacular fashion to Grigor Dimitrov. After an edgy start, it became apparent that the Bulgarian had started to settle. Having not served out the second due to a few nerves at *5/3, he immediately broke Federer back to take the set. You could feel the momentum was shifting. Even so, Fed actually took the third set but Grigor hit straight back at the start of the fourth and you knew we were going the distance. Federer then took a medical timeout and when he returned to the court it was clear he was struggling with a back problem. One he says he has been carrying all event. What was impressive was that Dimitrov kept believing when behind, something he has lacked in the past. The Fed-Ex is now without a title in NYC since 2008.

Andy Del Potro

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