French Open champion Stan Wawrinka has defeated US comeback king Donald Young 6-4, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 to reach the US Open quarter-finals.
Swiss fifth seed Wawrinka will next face the winner of a later match between British third seed Murray and South African 15th seed Kevin Anderson. Wawrinka dropped his first set of the tournament but made an eighth quarter-final in his past nine major appearance, denying 68th-ranked Young his first trip to a Slam quarter-final. "The set was so quick. I wasn't there mentally," Wawrinka said of his second-set letdown. "Calmed down a little bit. I began to be more aggressive, started moving my feet better." Young was the first player since Gilles Muller in 2008 to rally twice from two sets down in a US Open, having been 0-17 in such sets before this week, but the lefthander fell to 3-18 against top-10 opponents. "He had the crowd. It was a tough match for sure," Wawrinka said. "It was a great atmosphere." Wawrinka improved to 2-1 in the rivalry with Young, who upset the Swiss in a fifth-set tie-breaker at the 2011 US Open and Wawrinka beating him six weeks later at Shanghai. Wawrinka, 30, smacked a backhand service return winner to break Young for a 2-1 edge and denied the American's only break chance of the first set with a forehand winner in the fourth game. While Marin Cilic and Jo-Wilfred Tsonga set up quarter-final date, Novak Djokovic through as world number one Novak Djokovic took another step closer to a 10th Grand Slam title.
Victoria Azarenka has reached her fourth US Open quarter-final
on Monday with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Varvara Lepchenko of the United States.
Former world number one Azarenka, the 20th seed, will face either Romanian second seed Simona Halep after the Romanian saw off the challenge of Sabine Lisicki. The Belarusian, whose season has been stalled by a left thigh strain, appeared on Arthur Ashe Stadium with both biceps tightly strapped. "It's a little embarrassing. I have blisters from my shirts rubbing against my arms so I needed the bandages," said Azarenka, the runner-up to Serena Williams in 2012 and 2013. "It looks weird but I did what I have to do." Lepchenko, who was bidding to become the first American woman not called Williams to make the last-eight since 2009, was broken in the third and ninth games of the opening set. She rallied to edge ahead in the first game of the second but handed the break straight back to the 26-year-old Azarenka. The Belarus star carved another break for 5-3 before faltering when she served for the match. But she secured victory in the next game on her first match point when left-handed Lepchenko went wide. "I felt at 5-3 that I never went for my shots, she didn't give me much rhythm," she said. "But I told myself to be aggressive and go for it."
Halep battles through injury to book quarter-finals place
Second seed Halep overcame a thigh injury and 30-degree heat to reach her first US Open quarter-final. Halep needed 2 hours, 38 minutes on Tuesday (AEST), as well as a 10-minute heat break, to down German 24th seed Sabine Lisicki 6-7 (6/8), 7-5, 6-2. Halep, 23, is the first Romanian in the last eight in New York since Irina Spirlea went to the 1997 semi-finals. But she did it the hard way, letting two set points slip away in the first set before then requiring a medical timeout to have her left thigh tightly strapped. There were 17 service breaks, nine of them in the second set, while both players committed a total of 105 unforced errors, 72 off the German's racquet. "It's unbelievable to reach my first quarter-final at the US Open. It was a crazy match," said Halep after her fourth successive win over the 2013 Wimbledon runner-up. "I'm pretty tired but I would have been very unhappy with myself had I lost." Despite the injury, Halep insisted it was Lisicki who was the keener of the two to take advantage of the heat rule, which allows women players to leave the court for 10 minutes after the second set if the temperature goes beyond 30.1 degrees. "She took the break so I went out too and cooled down."