No. 10-seed Pliskova downs Konjuh, Nishikori upsets No. 2-seed Murray
NEW YORK – A recap of the quarterfinals action on Wednesday at the 2016 U.S. Open, including results, tweets, hot shots, photos and more.
• Karolina Pliskova continued her winning ways on Wednesday, downing Croatia’s Ana Konjuh in 57 minutes to mark her 10th-straight win, dating back to the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati in early August. Seeded tenth, Pliskova is into her first Grand Slam semifinal after not advancing past the third round in 17 previous majors.
Konjuh, the U.S. Open junior champion in 2013, advanced to the quarterfinals with a commanding win over No. 4-seed Agnieszka Radwanska on Monday, but the 18-year-old came out tense and nervous against Pliskova. The 24-year-old Czech raced out to a 3-0 lead in the opening set, thanks to two breaks of serve and a flurry of unforced errors from Konjuh. From 4-0 in the first set, Konjuh held for four straight games but was unable to break Pliskova, who won 92% on her first serve on the match. In the final game in the second set, Pliskova hit back-to-back aces to close out the match 6-2, 6-2, and seal her spot in the semifinals.
"I wasn't at my best level today for sure, but she was just too good. Her serve is just too good. Today on the court, you know, she found her rhythm and took the opportunities that I gave her," said World No. 92 Konjuh, who's ranking is due to rise almost 40 spots after her performance in New York. "I cannot be sad after all of this. Good luck to her....Overall, I'm happy with my results here. When I came here I could only imagine playing the quarters. I think it's been a great tournament."
In her 10-match win streak, Pliskova has beaten four Top 10 players—Venus Williams on Monday at the U.S. Open and Angelique Kerber, Garbine Muguruza and Svetlana Kuznetsova in Cincinnati.
"Obviously the title from Cincinnati helped me a lot. I was waiting for the bigger title for a few years, let's say two, so that was next step," Pliskova said after the match. She will move through to play the winner of Wednesday night’s match between No. 1-seed Serena Williams and No. 5-seed Simona Halep.
"It would be a dream," Pliskova said of making the U.S. Open final. "But unfortunately I'm in the part of the draw with Serena, so it would be very tough to get through this one. So I'm not gonna think about the finals yet. Obviously I know there is a chance. Always there is a chance. So I'm going to do everything for, you know, get at least close to the final.
"But even if Serena is not going to win, there is Simona. That will be very tough match for me in the semifinal. I'm just looking forward to this challenge."
• In the second day session match on Wednesday, No. 5-seed Kei Nishikori upset No. 2-seed Andy Murray 1-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, 7-5 in three hours and 58 minutes to advance to the second Grand Slam semifinal of his career. Nishikori, a finalist here in 2014, lost the opening set in 35 minutes and Murray, who won his third major title at Wimbledon and a second-straight Olympic gold medal in Rio just last month, looked ready to advance to his 20th career Grand Slam semifinal. But in the second set—after the Arthur Ashe Stadium roof closed due to intermittent rain—Nishikori steadied and found his game.
After winning the third set to go up two sets to one, things started to go downhill for Murray after play was interrupted by a noised similar to a gong that sounded throughout Arthur Ashe Stadium at 1-all in the fourth set. Murray complained about the warning to chair umpire Marija Cicak, but play continued on—as did the sound during a few other moments in the match. After that point, Murray lost five games in a row to lose the fourth set—and three more in the beginning of fifth. Ultimately, Nishikori was able to battle some last-minute nerves to close out the match.
"I have not let anyone down. I tried my best. I fought as hard as I could with what I had today. I didn't let anyone down. Certainly not myself. I pushed myself as hard as I could over the last few months, and I'm very proud of how I have done," Murray said after the match. "I'm not going to have the best perspective on things right this minute, but after a few days away and stuff, I would imagine I'd be very happy with how I have done and learn from this match today and the summer as a whole, because it's been tough. It's been a hard summer.
"And, yeah, I'm happy with how it's gone. There's just a few things I could do differently next time."
Tweets of the Day
Murray has won 11 of his last 12 five-set matches and has won 15 of his last 17 since losing to Fernando Verdasco at Aus. Open in 2009.— Chris McKendry (@ChrisMcKendry) September 7, 2016
Snapshots from Day 10
This post will be updated.