2014/09/23

Serena Williams Three-Peats at US Open for 18th Grand Slam Title

 

(September 7, 2014) Serena Williams won her third straight US Open, sixth overall for her 18th major title by defeating tenth seed Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 6-3 in 75 minutes on Sunday afternoon.

“It feels great,” Williams said. “I never thought I would have won this one six times, because I won Australian five times and Wimbledon five times. I think I only won the Open like three times; now it jumped to six.”

When she’s on her game it’s not fun to play her,” said the 24-year-old Dane . “You know, she’s so strong. She has a good serve and she puts pressure on you straightaway. You know, today I went out there and I was a little nervous. I had a game plan in mind, but it was kind of difficult at the start. I tried to push her back, but that really didn’t work for me. She really just stepped in and she was playing aggressive. She was playing better than me today.”

Williams won the tournament without losing a set.

Williams is now tied with Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova at fourth on the all-time major titles list.

“Number 18. I have been trying to reach it for so long, since last year.” Williams said. “Well, since the beginning of the year. I didn’t really think would I get there. I just felt so good.”

“It means a lot to me. You know, I just could never have imagined that I would be mentioned with Chris Evert or with Martina Navratilova, because I was just a kid with a dream and a racquet. Living in Compton, you know, this never happened before. You know, I just never could have imagined that it could have ended — not ended. I’m just beginning. Well, I’m not beginning, but I could have gotten this far, you know. So it was just — I think it was — and then it was eluding me for three tournaments, I guess. But, still that’s a lot for me. I was like, you know, really excited to get it.”

Turning 33 in 19 days, Williams is the second-oldest player to win a Grand Slam title in the Open Era after 33-year-old 1990 Wimbledon champion Navratilova.

Williams, who did not win any majors this year coming into the US Open she had no expectations.

“My goal was just to get past the third round, maybe the fourth round, because it was just really difficult for me in the majors, said the 33-year-old. “My goal was just to win some matches.”

She has now also equaled Evert’s 6 US Open titles won. Williams leads all active players in tournament wins with 63.

Williams and Wozniacki are good friends off the court and the Dane talked about their relationship.

“When you’re out there — we’re both competitors and we both want to win, so we’re both going to do anything possible to win the match. You know, after the match we’re friends again. You know, it’s tennis. It’s a game. But off the court we’re still — we still care equally as much about each other. It doesn’t really change.”

“It’s definitely not easy,” Williams said, “but I think we both wanted to win this. We both wanted to do the best that we could. And like I say, I’ve play against (sister) Venus, so I think that helped me a lot to be able to — if I can play against her, I can really handle anything at this point.”

“Think her results and her career says it all: 18 Grand Slam titles,” Wozniacki said. “You don’t get that unless you’re exceptional in what you do. You know, she is one of the greatest of all time. You know, to have 18 Grand Slam titles and still be the person she is is really something very rare. You know, I admire her both on and off the court. I definitely think when Serena is on her game there’s not much we can do. So, you know, I think that’s why she has so many titles that she has.”

The No. 1 player earned a record $4 million dollars for the win, $3 million for the title, plus a $1 million bonus for having won the US Open Series Bonus Challenge.

Asked what she plans to do with her prize money, Williams said: “Well, I have a really good uncle that I love a lot. I always say this. His name is Uncle Sam. I think I’m going to give him a lot of it.”

 

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UCLA’s Marcos Giron, North Carolina’s Jamie Loeb Win American Collegiate Invitational at US Open

Peter Kobelt and Marcos Giron in the American Collegiate Invitational. Photo courtesy of the USTA

FLUSHING MEADOWS, N.Y. (Sept. 6, 2014) – A little bit of rain wasn’t going to stop UCLA’s Marcos Giron from winning the inaugural American Collegiate Invitational played at the US Open on Saturday.

 

The top-seeded Giron of Thousand Oaks, Calif., downed Ohio State’s Peter Kobelt, 6-1, 6-3, to win the men’s title, while North Carolina’s Jamie Loeb beat fellow New Yorker Julia Elbaba, 7-5, 6-1, of Virginia to capture the women’s championship in the eight-player event played at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center

 

If Giron is ranked No. 250 or higher and Loeb No. 150 or higher in the world rankings at this time next year, the pair will receive a main draw wild card into next year’s US Open. Guaranteed at least a qualifying wild card, Giron and Loeb will also get wild cards into two USTA Pro Circuit events, while Kobelt and Elbaba will get one.

 

Playing a dominating all-court game, the reigning NCAA singles champion Giron took a commanding 5-1, 15-40 lead on Kobelt’s serve when the rain came. Kobelt won one point, and play was suspended. “I was like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ ” said Giron, who entered the locker room and began a 90-minute wait. “I had all the momentum to that point, but all of the sudden a rain delay can make you more relaxed once you come back out there.”

 

But Giron came back and took the set and eventually the match.

 

Currently ranked No. 419 in the ATP World Tour rankings, Giron has been in New York for two and a half weeks having played in the main draw of the pro event. “I’m ready to go back home,” Giron said. “This is a place I definitely want to be coming back to a lot in the future. This is the top of tennis, and I’m definitely looking forward to coming back and proving myself.”

 

Giron has had a good summer, including qualifying at the Winston-Salem tournament. “It’s attainable,” he said of reaching No. 250 by this time next year. “It’s been a steep learning curve since I turned pro, but I’m getting a grasp on it and slowly learning how to be a pro.”

 

Giron and Kobelt had split matches during their college days, and Kobelt said Giron has improved since he beat him two years ago. “Marcos played great,” he said. “He has a lot of confidence since winning the NCAA title and had a great summer. He’s really developed an all-around game.”

 

Inspired by seeing her hero Roger Federer earlier in the morning eating breakfast, Loeb was able to overcome a slow start to down Elbaba in front of a bunch of USTA Eastern Section supporters of both players, including USTA First Vice President Katrina Adams.

 

Unlike both men’s players who next begin life on the pro tour, both Loeb and Elbaba have started school and will be among the nation’s elite this coming season.

 

“I think I started off pretty slow,” said Loeb, of Ossining, N.Y., in Westchester County. “It was pretty hot out there, and it took me awhile to adjust to that. But as I got into the match I was able to get more serves in.”

 

Loeb said the key to the day was a break in a close second game of the second set. “Getting that break was huge,” she said, adding she felt a little nervous at the start and that might have attributed to her slow start. “I think I’m pretty mentally tough, and I’m always going to fight to the last point.”

 

Besides seeing Federer, Loeb her favorite memory of the week was “all the support of my family and friends. It’s great for college players to get the chance to succeed beyond college.”

 

Elbaba was disappointed with the loss. “I felt I left everything out there on the court,” she said. “I thought we put on a great match for all the supporters. Tennis is a big game on momentum, and I thought she just gained confidence throughout the match.”

 

Elbaba said her best memory was, “playing some of my best tennis in front of some of the biggest crowds I’ve played in front of.”

 

SATURDAY’S FINAL RESULTS

Women

Jamie Loeb (North Carolina, Ossining, N.Y.) def. Julia Elbaba (Virginia, Oyster Bay, N.Y.), 7-5, 6-1

Men

Marcos Giron  [1] (UCLA, Thousand Oaks, Calif.) def. Peter Kobelt (Ohio State, New Albany, Ohio), 6-1, 6-3

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Another Super Saturday Shocker as Marin Cilic Beats Roger Federer to Reach US Open Final

 

(September 6, 2014) Super Saturday at the US Open had its second shocker of the day when No. 14th seed Marin Cilic used his big serve and big strokes to dominate No. 2 seed Roger Federer 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 to reach his first major final.

The match followed the first surprise of the day when No. 1 Novak Djokovic was upset 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3 by Japan’s Kei Nishikori.

Monday’s final will feature two players in their first major final – 24-year-old No. 10 Nishikori versus 25-year-old No. 14 Cilic.

“Just an amazing day for me. I feel amazing,” Cilic said. “To be able to play like this, I never dreamed of.”

“Just for the performance today from, I mean, first point to the last I was absolutely playing the best tennis of my life,” Coloc said in press.. “Considering the huge occasion I was playing in, I mean, for the second time in a semifinals of a Grand Slam, it just can’t be more special. Considering also that, you know, even I was a set up and break up, you know, the crowd was rooting for Roger to come back. You know, it wasn’t easy to deal with that, but I felt that my serve helped me a lot today, you know, to get some free points to breathe a little bit easier. It was, I mean, working perfectly.”

“It’s fairly simple: I think Marin played great,” Federer said. “I maybe didn’t catch my best day, but I think that was pretty much it in a nutshell.”

“I think he served great when he had to,” Federer said. “I think the first break was tough. I think was up 40-Love and then lose five straight points, and then had one chance in the third when I was up a break and he came straight back. Those are my two moments really. But credit to him for just playing incredible tennis.”

The Monday final will mark the first time since the Australian Open final in 2005 that neither Federer, Rafael Nadal or Djokovic is in a grand slam final.

“That’s going to be a sensational day for both of us,” said Cilic about his match against Nishikori.

This marked the first time Cilic has beaten Federer, the Swiss won on the five previous occasions.

Cilic is the first man from Croatia to reach a grand slam final since his coach Goran Ivanisevic won Wimbledon back in 2001.

“Well, it’s gonna be special day for both of us,” said the Croat. “I mean, opportunity for both of us to win a Grand Slam, to be a part of the history. It’s gonna be definitely huge emotions on the court. And we played couple times already here at the US Open. Both of those matches were extremely tough under very difficult conditions. I feel that, I mean, we have both different game styles. I mean, Kei is extremely well — I mean, he hits the ball extremely well from the back of the court. I think I’m going to have to just focus on my game to break that a little bit of rhythm and to try to serve well. I think it’s gonna be a good sort of tactical matchup for the final.”

 

 

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Kei Nishikori Stuns No. 1 Novak Djokovic to Reach US Open Final

(September 6, 2014) Under brutal heat and humidity, Japan’s Kei Nishikori became the first man from Asia to reach a major final, when on Saturday afternoon, the 24-year-old shocked top player Novak Djokovic 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3 at the US Open.

“It’s just amazing, amazing feeling to beat the No. 1 player,” Nishikori said after the match in an on-court interview.

“I expected him to be able to play another five-setter because he had two days off,” Djokovic said of Nishikori’s stamina. “He hasn’t played before this tournament, so he had a big break. He could prepare himself for this tournament. He played some great tennis. I congratulate him for the effort. He was the better player today.”

Nishokori came into the semifinals having played two marathon five-set matches against top 5 players. In the fourth round the 10th seed stopped fifth seed Milos Raonic in a match which ended at 2:26 a.m. on Thursday morning. In his quarterfinal, Nishikori defeated reigning Australian Open champions and third seed Stan Wawrinka. Nishikori played more 81/2 hours combining those two matches.

“That second set my game today was not even close to what I wanted it to be,” said the Serb. “A lot of unforced errors, a lot of short balls. Just wasn’t myself.”

“I don’t want to talk about conditions,” Djokovic continued. “It’s same for both of us. I think he just played better in these conditions than I did. I just wasn’t managing to go through the ball in the court. You know, I wasn’t in the balance. Unforced errors. Even when the ball gets back to his part of the court it’s pretty short; he takes advantage of it. On the other side I didn’t. That’s it.”

 

“Well, this is definitely huge for Japan,” Djokovic commented. “It’s a big country. Over a hundred million people. This can definitely be a great encouragement for tennis in that country. He’s been around for last couple of years. He’s been making a lot of success. But playing finals of a Grand Slam and now fighting for title is definitely something different. You know, he has gotten to another level, and I’m sure that people will praise him.”

Nishikori will face Roger Federer or Marin Cilic in Monday’s final.

More to follow.

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Peng Retires in Match; Wozinacki and Williams Move into US Open Women’s Final

 

(September 5, 2014) China’s Shuai Peng, appearing to have cramps clutched her right knee and limped her way over to the back wall of the court in tears while receiving serve from 10th seed Caroline Wozniacki who was up 7-6(1), 4-3, 30-40.

At the wall, a trainer, a tournament official, a security guard and a ballperson ran to Peng’s side to help her. After about a ten minute period, which included Peng being taken off court for evaluation and being treated for heat illness, she resumed play. Points later she collapsed to the ground and retired from the match, advancing Wozniacki to her second major final.

Peng was taken off the court in a wheelchair.

In her news conference hours later, Peng said she felt fine.

“I think it was the physical because today is really humid and hot,” said the 28-year-old, ranked 39th. “And then like my body is not like from like — maybe I got from I parents when I’m born. It’s not like the strong, my physical like everything. So also from like what I does in the practice and just the lot of fitness and then try to improve with everything.”

“I said, `No, no, no. I don’t want to give up. I want to try one more time,'” said Peng, when she  had to retire. “I knew I’m not going to stay maybe too long, but I just want to try, you know. I just wanted to challenge her one more time.”

“It was really hard to watch for me whenever I saw her collapse on the court,” the 10th seed Wozniacki said. “You know, tennis is great, but the health is more important. You know, to see her struggling out there, I just wanted to make sure she was okay. I got the word that she’s okay now and just getting cooled down, so that’s great to hear. I’m in the finals, which is obviously great. It’s been five years for me since my last one here, so I’m extremely happy to be back there.”

The 24-year-old Dane lost to Kim Clijsters in the final of the US Open in 2009.

The other semifinal had very little drama as No. 1 Serena Williams ran away with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Ekaterina Makarova. For Williams this will be her third straight US Open final. She’s looking to three-peat and win her sixth US Open crown on Sunday.

 

“I’m just really excited to be in the final,” the 32-year-old said. In the beginning of the week I definitely wasn’t sure I would make it this long. Definitely wasn’t sure I’d be here. So I’m just elated, to be honest, to have made it this far.”

“I think I played pretty well today. You know, I was able to change up my game and just keep moving forward and just keep doing what I could do today.”

Williams evaluated her match-up with Wozniacki: I” definitely expect another close match. She really knows my game well and knows how to play. She’s so consistent. I think that’s one of the things that makes her really tough. So I just have to be ready for that and, again, just stay calm and just be able to relax and be happy. You know, the beginning — the past six months I would never thought I’d be here. I think it’s just staying calm and happy.”

Williams is seeking her 18th major on Sunday which would tie her on the all-time list with Martina Navratilova and Christ Evert.

 

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It’s An All-New York Battle For First American Collegiate Invitational Title at US Open

Marcus Giron photo courtesy of the USTA

Marcus Giron photo courtesy of the USTA

FLUSHING MEADOWS, N.Y. (Sept. 5, 2014) – Former junior rivals and doubles partners from the USTA Eastern Section will square off for a spot in next year’s US Open main or qualifying draw as North Carolina’s Jamie Loeb will take on Virginia’s Julia Elbaba in the women’s singles final at the inaugural American Collegiate Invitational being played at the US Open.

 

In the men’s final it will be reigning NCAA singles champion Marcos Giron of UCLA against Ohio State’s Peter Kobelt, also on Saturday at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

 

“That was the biggest crowd I’ve ever played in front of and Kristie (Stanford’s Ahn) had an equal number of supporters out there today,” said Elbaba, who grew up in Oyster Bay on Long Island, and beat Ahn from Upper Saddle River, N.J., 3-6, 6-1, 6-1. “We both represented the Eastern Section pretty well out there, as well as college tennis. I really want to make the professional US Open next year. Tomorrow’s going to be a really tough match.”

 

She added: “I think this tournament is a great idea. I love it because I’m from New York and I have my family and supporters here. I think the US Open is the greatest tournament there is and I’m honored to be playing on these courts.”

 

Ossining’s Loeb beat Elbaba in a dual match during the school year. On Friday, Loeb beat ACC rival from Virginia Danielle Collins, 6-3, 6-1. Collins captured the NCAA women’s singles title in May and played in the Open main draw last week.

 

“I got off to a slow start and Jamie didn’t give me any room to get back into it.” Collins said. “She really keeps her foot on the gas the entire time. That’s what you get when you play a world-class player like Jamie. It’s why she’s one of the best players in the country.”

 

Both Elbaba and Loeb started school two weeks ago, but haven’t spent much time in the classroom yet this semester. “My professors don’t like me right now but I’m a media studies major so we’re trying to figure out right now how all this media is going to get me some credits. I really want to do sports broadcasting someday.”

 

The winner of the American Collegiate Invitational will receive either a main draw or qualifying draw wild card entry into the 2015 US Open, based on their individual ranking. The champion will also get wild cards into two USTA Pro Circuit events, while each runner-up will get one.

 

Both men’s matches were competitive with Giron dropping the first set to fellow Southern Californian Sarkissian, 6-1, in a rematch of the NCAA singles final. “He definitely came out strong at first and didn’t miss any balls,” said Giron, who lost to No. 1 American John Isner in the main draw last week. “I didn’t think I was completely out of the match and I just slowed down and really thought about what was going on.”

 

Kobelt needed two tiebreakers to take out UCLA’s Clay Thompson, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (2).

 

“It’s another chance to come back and play the US Open next year if I win,” said Kobelt, who played in the main draw doubles at the Open last week. “It was unbelievable. Those are the things you dream about as a kid and you never really think they will happen to you.”

 

Both done with school, Sarkissian and Thompson will now hit the pro tour. Thompson took a match on Arthur Ashe Stadium court Thursday night and picked a good one for his first: Federer vs. Monfils. “To see Ashe like that and for such a historic match, it was unreal,” Thompson said.

 

AMERICAN COLLEGIATE INVITATIONAL SEMIFINAL RESULTS

Women

Julia Elbaba (Virginia) def. Kristie Ahn (Stanford), 3-6, 6-1, 6-1

Jamie Loeb  (North Carolina) def. Danielle Collins (Virginia), 6-3, 6-1

Men

Peter Kobelt (Ohio State) def. Clay Thompson (UCLA) [2], 7-6 (6), 7-6 (2)

Marcos Giron (UCLA) [1] def. Alex Sarkissian (Pepperdine), 1-6, 6-1, 6-4

 

SATURDAY’S FINAL SCHEDULE

Second match on after 11 a.m. ET start (not before noon); Court 6

Women

Julia Elbaba vs. Jamie Loeb

Followed by

Men

Peter Kobelt vs. Marcos Giron  [1]

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Roger Federer Saves Two Match Points to Reach US Open Semifinal

 

 

 

(September 4, 2014) No. 2 seed Roger Federer saved two match points while coming back from two-sets to love down to defeat 20th seed Gael Monfils 4-6, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-2 on Thursday night and reach the US Open semifinals for the first time in three years.

For the first two sets, the 33-year-old veteran had no answer to a focused Monfils hard-hitting Frenchman, nor did he have an answer for dealing with the windy conditions in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Federer began to dig out of a two sets down hols in the third set. The five-time US Open winner survived two match points when he was down 5-4 in the fourth set. He won five games in a row to take the fourth set and gain majors momentum in the fifth set where Monfils’ level of play took a precipitous drop.

“Well, then it was tough, because I think then my serve was not good, so it let me a bit down again at 5-All,” Monfils said. “I think maybe I hit a double fault. I think I had a point for 6-5 and could not really quite use my serve. I think the side I was was tougher because it was against the wind, so it was a bit tougher. Then rush me with his long return, so it was very tough. But then he play good. He played good. He had the set. Then physically I had a drop, five minutes. But maybe come from mentally also, because I thought that I could have play better this fourth set. For five minutes I think I had — I was a little bit, yeah, tired and mentally also tired. So then it came quick. I think then he start to be very offensive. So then it was very tough to handle it.”

Federer was asked about how he survived his match to come back and win.

“Well, it was one of those moments where you got the back against the wall and hope to get a bit lucky and you hope to play exactly the right shots that you need or that he completely just messes it up,” Federer said. Either way works as long as you get out of it. But clearly it’s not a great feeling, because you feel it’s not in your control anymore really. So I’m very, very happy to have found a way tonight.”

“I was like saying to myself, Keep it simple, you know, and try to make him play them,” Monfils discussing having two match points. “Because I knew that he will force it, like he will put the first ball in and then for sure come to the net very quick. So it was more like, you know, I be relax and just lean a bit more on my forehand return and try to make it. And then we just played those two points, and, you know, well done.”

“It’s just unbelievable to win matches like this at slams,” Federer continued. “You know, I have won other big ones in other places. But over best of five, saving match points against Gaël in an atmosphere that it was out here tonight, it’s definitely very special. I’m. Not sure I have ever saved match point before in a slam. If that hasn’t happened, I’m unbelievably happy that it was today, because I knew I could play better after the first couple of sets. I believed I could turn it around from the get-go when the third set started, and I’m so happy the crowd got into it. The rallies were incredible at times, and my game really picked up. I served great in the fifth when it mattered, and just overall an enjoyable match also to play, because it had all the ups and downs similar to the Wimbledon final.”

This was the ninth time Federer has won a match after dropping the opening two sets down, eight of them at majors.

The victory will move Federer ahead of Rafael Nadal for the No. 2 spot in te ATP race.

Federer will take on Marin Cilic in his semifinal on Saturday afternoon.

 

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Opening Day At US Open In First American Collegiate Invitational

Danielle Rose Collins from the University of Virginia in action in the quarterfinals of the Women's Collegiate Invitational. Photo courtesy pf the USTA

Danielle Rose Collins from the University of Virginia in action in the quarterfinals of the Women’s Collegiate Invitational. Photo courtesy of the USTA

FLUSHING MEADOWS, N.Y. (Sept. 4, 2014) – The inaugural American Collegiate Invitational began play at the US Open on Thursday at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

 

University of North Carolina women’s tennis player Hayley Carter described the thrill of practicing next to Serena Williams earlier in the morning while UCLA’s Clay Thompson said he fulfilled a lifelong dream before ever striking a ball.

 

Winners on the men’s side for the day included three from Southern California schools and a Big 10 player while on the women’s side two New Yorkers, one from New Jersey and the nation’s reigning NCAA women’s singles champion all moved on to Friday’s semifinals.

 

Top-seeded and reigning NCAA men’s singles champion Marcos Giron, his UCLA teammate Clay Thompson, Pepperdine’s Alex Sarkissian and Ohio State’s Peter Kobelt recorded wins while NCAA women’s singles champion Danielle Collins, her Virginia teammate Julie Elbaba, top-seeded Jamie Loeb of North Carolina, and Stanford’s Krisite Ahn each posted straight-set wins.

 

“I was so excited,” said Thompson. “I walked in yesterday and picked up my credential and walked on site and said, ‘My dream is complete; I’m at the US Open as a player.’ No matter what happens from here doesn’t matter. If I were to lose in the first round, I’m still on the world’s greatest stage for tennis. It’s just amazing.

 

“There’s no better place in the world to play a tournament.”

 

Loeb (Ossining, N.Y.), Elbaba (Oyster Bay, N.Y.) and Ahn (Upper Saddle River, N.J.) each call the New York-area home, and have played in the US Open before with Ahn even qualifying for the women’s pro main draw back in 2008.

 

“It’s awesome being here,” Ahn said. “It’s great exposure for college tennis and to be a part of the first one is such an honor. From here this event is only going to get better. It’s not quite main draw, but it’s pretty amazing.”

 

“It’s always exciting to play here in Flushing,” said Elbaba, who played two US Open junior events and qualified both times, but never won in the main draw. “It brought back a lot of memories being on these courts.”

 

 

University of Florida’s Olivia Janowicz felt the same way as Ahn. “I’ve literally been dreaming about this day since I was a kid,” Janowicz said. “I grew up in Jersey and I remember coming here and watching (Kim) Clijsters when she was an unknown.”

 

Janowicz’s college teammate Alex Cercone added: “It’s a dream come true and I’m honored to be a part of this group. The environment is different than anything I’ve ever experienced.”

 

Kobelt said, “Just walking around the locker rooms and seeing anyone you can name: (Milos) Raonic, (Richard) Gasquet; you name it, they’re here. Just being in the gym with them and practicing next to them is amazing.”

 

The winner of the American Collegiate Invitational will receive either a main draw or qualifying draw wild card entry into the 2015 US Open, based on their individual ranking. The champion will also get wild cards into two USTA Pro Circuit events, while each runner-up will get one.

 

Tomorrow’s meeting between Sarkissian and Giron will be a rematch of the 2014 NCAA Singles Championship finals, which Giron won, 6-4, 6-1.

 

Notre Dame’s Greg Andrews couldn’t believe the way the players were treated. “I felt like this was one of the best events I’ve ever been a part of,” he said. “It was so much fun. I felt like a king as a player the way they treated us. I think the fans got a chance to see that there is a lot of talent in college tennis. I really hope they keep it going.”

 

Despite losing, Carter still enjoyed her time in New York playing alongside the best tennis players in the world. “This has been an amazing experience,” she said. “This morning I got to practice next to (Caroline) Wozniacki, Serena (Williams) and (Tomas) Berdych. It was a tough day but I can’t hang my head too much!”

 

Kobelt felt much like Carter. “I came from a small town in Ohio and never thought tennis would take me this far,” he said. “If I don’t go farther in tennis I can say I played the US Open, and it’s an achievement I’ll have for the rest of my life.”

 

MEN’S FIRST-ROUND RESULTS

Peter Kobelt  (Ohio State, New Albany, Ohio) def. Gregory Andrews  (Notre Dame, Richland, Mich.), 7-6 (3), 6-4

Marcos Giron  (UCLA, Thousand Oaks, Calif.) [1] def. Raymond Sarmiento  (USC, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), 7-6 (8), 6-3

Clay Thompson (UCLA, Venice Beach, Calif.) [2] def. Jared Hiltzik  (Illinois, Wilmette, Ill.), 6-3, 6-4

Alexander Sarkissian  (Pepperdine, Glendale, Calif.) def. Mackenzie McDonald (UCLA, Piedmont, Calif.), 5-7, 6-3, 6-3

 

WOMEN’S FIRST-ROUND RESULTS

Danielle Collins (Virginia, St. Petersburg, Fla.)  def. Olivia Janowicz (Florida, Palm Bay, Fla.), 6-2, 6-4

Jamie Loeb (North Carolina, Ossining, N.Y.) [1] def. Jennifer Brady (UCLA, Boca Raton, Fla.), 6-3, 6-4

Kristie Ahn  (Stanford, Upper Saddle River, N.J.) def. Hayley Carter (North Carolina, Hilton Head, S.C.)  [2], 6-4, 6-1

Julia Elbaba (Virginia, Oyster Bay, N.Y.) def. Alexandra Cercone (Florida, Seminole, Fla.), 6-3, 6-4

 

FRIDAY’S SEMIFINALS SCHEDULE OF MATCHES

Starting at 11 a.m. ET; Court 6

Women

Julia Elbaba vs. Kristie Ahn

Followed by

Jamie Loeb  (USA) [1] vs. Danielle Collins

Followed by

Men

Peter Kobelt vs. Clay Thompson [2]

Followed by

Marcos Giron  [1] vs. Alex Sarkissian

 

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Marin Cilic Reaches First US Open Semi with Victory over Tomas Berdych

Marin Cilic

Marin Cilic

(September 4, 2014) Last year Marin Cilic missed the US Open because he was suspended from the tour after testing positive for a banned stimulant. He said that took the unintentionally from a glucose tablet he purchased from a pharmacy. He tested positive for nikethamide after a match in Munich in May of 2013.

This year the Croatian Cilic who is the 14th seed, is back on tour and has reached his first US Open semifinal by defeated sixth seed Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (4).

“It was a great performance today,” Cilic said. “Was very tricky with the conditions. Very gusty. I mean, for both of us. We are big guys. Not easy to deal with the wind and with, I mean, the ball moving in the air. I felt that I was using the wind a bit better today. Just considering the conditions and the opening of the match went in my side, that sort of relaxed me a bit more. I felt that I’m in a good driving seat and that Tomas was all the time catching me and I was serving good in the right moments. So, yeah, it feels great to be in the semis first time after three tries in quarterfinals. Lost both times to eventual winners. Just feels great to be here.”

Cilic’s serve was the key to victory, hitting 19 aces. The Croatian hit 46 winners to Berdych’s 21.

“I start pretty terribly,” Berdych said. “It was not the way to start the match like that. Then obviously was really tough to catch up. And really my serve was off. Basically, you know, when you have a game built on a serve, then it’s really tough and difficult to reschedule it and do it a bit differently. Yeah, today was not, definitely not the day I want to have. Yeah, that’s it. That’s tennis. Just need to carry over and go forward.”

Cilic is now the first Croatian to make the semifinals of the US Open since his coach, former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic did it in 1996.

“The only matches I watched on TV was Goran’s Wimbledon matches,” Cilic said of his tennis memories as a child. “That’s the only memory, you know, from tennis at very young age. And then later I started to play with him when I was 14 few times. He was out due to his shoulder injury. He played with me and one other kid from Croatia my age, and that was, for me, huge at age of 14 to play with my idol. Was amazing. Then I think he helped me a lot with pointing me in a good direction with my coach, long-time coach, Bob Brett. I think that was a very crucial part of my career.”

“You know Goran, so Goran is everything but not boring. Yeah, I feel that it’s very entertaining. We work a lot, but we still — I mean, even some days we are preparing, you know, we would have sessions of three, three-and-a-half hours or whatever, and we always have good time. I think that’s most important. It’s, I would say, can’t be better.”

Cilic will face the winner of the Roger Federer–Gael Monfils quarterfinal in his semifinal on Saturday.

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Hall of Famer Martina Hingis into US Open Women’s Doubles Final

Martina Hingis

Martina Hingis

(September 4, 2014) Martina Hingis is in the US Open women’s doubles final for the first time since winning the title in 1998.

The 2013 Tennis Hall of fame inductee and partner Flavia Pennetta reached the final upsetting third seed Cara Black and Sania Mirza 6-2, 6-4.

“Well, it means a lot to me,” Hingis said. “I only won one title here in doubles. That was a while back in ’98. I made some good matches, like some great memories, but it’s been a while. So it’s like I really cherish this moment because I have had some great matches, but also in doubles I didn’t feel like I had too many opportunities. I lost to players that actually I beat in this tournament now again, like whether it was Peschke, you know. So it felt like really far away. Also in the beginning of this tournament I think we had a really tough draw. So I think we really deserved our spot. I think this tournament it all came together for me. I played a lot better than in the previous tournaments. With Flavia I feel really comfortable being out there. I think that’s the key to success.”

Hingis and Pennetta will play fourth seeds Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina in the final on Saturday.

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