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Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Baby Fed packs off Roger Federer in US Open 2019

The first day of quarterfinal play at the 2019 US Open went according to plan—or at least according to seeding—through the first three matches, but Grigor Dimitrov flipped the script by upsetting Roger Federer in five sets in the Arthur Ashe Stadium nightcap.  That was restricted to Men’s only as - Serena Williams opened the evening session by notching her 100th career US Open singles victory, after Elina Svitolina and Daniil Medvedev advanced earlier in the day.  There would always be upsets also strong comebacks !

Evonne Fay Goolagong Cawley’s history makes a very interesting read.   This Australian was  one of the world's leading players in the 1970s and early 1980s, the number one Australian pro on tour after the retirement of Margaret Court. Goolagong Cawley won 14 Grand Slam titles: seven in singles (four at the Australian Open, two at Wimbledon and one at the French Open), six in women's doubles, and one in mixed doubles.

Goolagong realised during the 1976 US Open final that she was pregnant and did not play again on the regular tour until the late summer of 1977, continuing through to Wimbledon 1978.  She is the only mother to have won the Wimbledon title since Dorothea Lambert Chambers in 1914. She had a daughter in 1977 and won the 1980 Wimbledon title.

The USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center is a stadium complex within Flushing Meadows–Corona Park in Queens, New York City, United States.  The site of the park was once geologically part of the Hudson River.  It hosted the 1964 New York World's Fair and fell into despair thereafter.  It has been the home of the US Open Grand Slam tennis tournament, played every year in August and September, since 1978 and is operated by the United States Tennis Association (USTA).  The facility has 22 courts inside its 46.5 acres (0.188 km2; 0.0727 sq mi)  and 11 in the adjoining park.

The biggest news is of that fatal upset - Five-time champion Roger Federer is out of the US Open after Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov won a late-night thriller to finally beat the Swiss great. Federer, 38, had won all seven of their previous meetings but unseeded Dimitrov fought back to win 3-6 6-4 3-6 6-4 6-2. Federer, who needed treatment for a back injury in the latter stages, said: "I felt it the whole time, but I was able to play."

Dimitrov, 28, faces Russian fifth seed Daniil Medvedev in the last four. World number 78 Dimitrov's shock win ensured there will be at least one first-time Grand Slam finalist on Sunday.  Third seed Federer, who lost to Australian John Millman in the last 16 last year, has now been knocked out of the US Open by players ranked outside of the world's top 50 for the second successive year - after never previously having lost to one at Flushing Meadows. Federer's exit leaves long-time rival Rafael Nadal as the strong favourite to lift the trophy, with defending champion Novak Djokovic also out after retiring injured from his last-16 match against Stan Wawrinka on Sunday. Spanish second seed Nadal, a three-time US Open champion, faces Argentine 20th seed Diego Schwartzman in their quarter-final on Wednesday.

It is now clearly a golden opportunity for 33-year-old Nadal to win his 19th Grand Slam title and narrow the gap on Federer in the race to be regarded as the greatest men's player of all time.  Dimitrov, whose career has stalled spectacularly in the past two years, was not expected to be the man to prevent a 'Fedal' final from happening. Nicknamed 'Baby Fed' in the early days of his professional career because of his technique, the Bulgarian was once heralded as the man who might succeed the Swiss as the leading player in the men's game. But he has tumbled down the ATP rankings since reaching a career-high ranking of three in November 2017, with a shoulder injury derailing his season this year and forcing him to withdraw from four tournaments. Coming into the final Grand Slam of the season Dimitrov had lost seven of his previous eight matches, including a chastening defeat by world number 405 Kevin King in Atlanta.

Today, Dimitrov bounced back from losing the first set against Federer with ferocious forehands which rocked the Swiss and helped him level the match. Despite falling behind for a second time, Dimitrov managed to retain belief and dragged his long-time foe into some physically-draining points in the fourth set… .. in Women’s it was different, or rather regular.  Serena Williams underlined her tag as the favourite for the US Open with a brutal quarter-final win over China's Wang Qiang in just 44 minutes.

The 37-year-old American broke serve five times and hit 25 winners as she eased to a 6-1 6-0 win over the 18th seed on Arthur Ashe Stadium.  Williams, seeded eighth, is chasing a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title. She will face Ukraine's fifth seed Elina Svitolina, who beat Britain's Johanna Konta, in the semi-finals.

Though the Six-time US Open champion Williams has not won a Grand Slam title since returning from giving birth to daughter Olympia in September 2017, Williams turned Wang's first quarter-final into nightmare  ~ and this exactly is the reference to Ms Cawley, who after childbirth came back to win Wimbledon.  Serena is now back to her devastating form – here she has moved serenely through the draw, steamrolling three of her opponents - including old rival Maria Sharapova - in straight sets. American 17-year-old Caty McNally is the only player to have tested Williams, trying to push her illustrious opponent around the court in a bid to expose her perceived lack of movement.

Today’s win of Serena Williams against  Qiang Wang of China punches  her ticket to the 2019 US Open semifinals and reach an impressive milestone. Williams' victory inside Arthur Ashe Stadium was her 100th  career singles match win in New York City.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
4th Sept. 2019.

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