This is where it gets serious. The US Open has moved into its second week, and the increased level of competition is becoming all the more tangible with each day. Let’s recap on days 7 and 8 at Flushing Meadows:
Novak Djokovic was at his imperious best as he overcame world number 95 Joao Sousa in straight sets as the Serb moved into the fourth round. Joining the world number one with straight sets victories were holder Andy Murray and 5th seed Tomas Berdych who defeated Florian Mayer and Julien Bennetau respectively.
In perhaps the only big shock of the round, Aussie Lleyton Hewitt continued his incredible run in New York with a straight forward enough victory over Mikhail Youzhny. The former world number one is 66th in the world, but the baseliner seems to have found his form at just the right time.
No prizes for guessing who continued to dominate the women’s tournament, as Serena Williams swept into the quarters with a 6-4 6-1 victory over compatriot Sloane Stephens. Li Na beat Jelena Jankovic but there were two big shocks elsewhere in the women’s with 3rd seed Agnieszka Radwanska falling in straight sets to Ekaterina Makarova and Angelique Kerber losing to Carla Suarez-Navarro in three hard fought sets. Despite not being good for Radwanska and Kerber, these sorts of results are great for the women’s game, with it previously in danger of becoming too predictable.
The big shock in the men’s tournament on day eight was the untimely exit of former world number one Roger Federer. The stylish Swiss was beaten comfortably in the end by Tommy Robredo, and following his early exit at Wimbledon, you have to wonder whether the former master has still got what it takes at the highest level.
No such concerns currently exist as far as Rafa Nadal is concerned though, the Spaniard beating Philipp Kohlschreiber; although the German did get a set off the French Open champion. There were also wins for Gasquet and Ferrer, ensuring that a high proportion of seeds remain in the tournament despite Federer’s early exit.
The shock of the women’s tournament on day eight was world number 83 Flavia Pennetta’s straight sets win over 21st seed Simona Halep. The Italian eased to a straight sets victory over the Romanian and was joined in the quarter finals by fellow Italian Roberto Vinci who defeated Camila Giorgi in straight sets. The only other fixture in the women’s tournament saw a three set victory for Daniela Hantuchova over Alison Riske.