Another day and another big scalp for Leylah Fernandez. Once again when the match reached the key moments there were very few signs of nerves from her, especially when it mattered most. The crowd really have taken to her and that shouldn’t come as that much of a surprise, with the fist pumps and smiles. It has helped give her that extra confidence and support in these matches. Svitolina possibly regressed back to her old ways of being a little too passive in the rallies in the opener and changed it up in the second and started going for her shots and taking it to her opponent. The 19-year-old just goes again though, showing patience in the rallies, working nice angles and then pulling the trigger when she is ready. It gave her a 5/2 lead in the decider and despite Svitolina breaking back and being aggressive again, I think it was clear the braver player got over the line in the final set breaker. She got the little bit of luck she needed at the 5-5 point but she had deserved it and in truth, the Ukrainian wasn’t anywhere near the passing shot when she got the net cord. Fernandez will play the second-seeded Aryna Sabalenka who had an easy time of it against an injured Barbora Krejcikova. The Czech was accused of being unprofessional at the net in her loss to Muguruza but things clearly were not right as this proved. Sabalenka won 6/1 6/4 but got herself back out on the practice courts after victory, clearly showing she wasn’t happy with her performance. I have to say the top-priced 2/7 (1.29) that the Belarussian is to make the final looks a little short to me.
Daniil Medvedev ended Botic Van de Zandschulp’s run in New York. It looked like it was going to be very easy for him as he rushed through the first two sets for the loss of three games but the qualifier found his level more in the third and fourth and this wasn’t particularly comfortable by the end. The Russian actually had to break at the end of the fourth to secure victory. Daniil has had it all on his terms until this last night and that is my main concern for him. You can have things a little too easy at times and then struggle to find the level you require when it is needed most. Three semi-finals in a row for Medvedev in NYC now though, he does love the conditions. What an effort from Van De Zandschulp too. A player that I have always seen at Challenger tour level but it will be interesting to see if he can stay somewhere near this level for the remainder of the season now. Medvedev will face Felix Auger-Aliassime for a place in Sunday’s showpiece. FAA got through when leading Carlos Alcaraz by a set and 3/1 before the Spaniard retired with a right adductor injury. It sounds like up to that point that Felix had handled all that was thrown at him and it was only after the opener that the Spaniard’s condition really deteriorated. Like Fernandez this is obviously his first semi-final at a major and Medvedev is currently around the 1/6 (1.17) mark to make it through.
Al Davies (Andy Del Potro).