Zverev, Brady book berths in US Open semis

Flushing Meadows, New York, Sep 8 (efe-epa).- Alexander Zverev topped Borna Coric 1-6, 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-1), 6-3 and Jennifer Brady cruised past Yulia Putintseva 6-3, 6-2 on Tuesday to advance to the US Open semifinals for the first time.

Brady immediately asserted her dominance in the first match of the day on Arthur Ashe Stadium, using her potent forehand to punish any short balls off the racket of her diminutive opponent.

The American raced out to a 4-0 lead off the bat, quickly stamping out Putintseva’s plans to lure her into long rallies and careless errors.

Brady blasted 11 winners in the first set to the Kazakh player’s five. She also took full advantage of her opponent’s lack of serving power to secure two service breaks.

The second set played out in similar fashion, with the American leveraging her superior firepower from the baseline to cruise to a relatively straight-forward victory.

“I think I have matured. I definitely have gotten a lot fitter, I feel a lot stronger out on court, have a lot more confidence in myself and my game,” Brady was quoted as saying afterward by the WTA’s website.

The American now awaits the winner of a quarterfinal match between third-seeded Japanese Naomi Osaka and American Shelby Rogers.

In the second match Tuesday on Arthur Ashe Stadium, Zverev got off to a dreadful start against an opponent who had upset him at the 2017 US Open.

The German committed 12 unforced errors in just seven games in losing the first set 6-1, as Coric settled into a comfortable rhythm from the back of the court and waited for mistakes.

Coric then appeared to have the match totally under control when he grabbed an early service break in the second set, but the Croatian gave Zverev new life when he lost serve in the eighth game due to a couple of costly backhand unforced errors.

The set eventually came down to a tiebreaker, which Zverev won by dragging Coric rallies and eliciting some crucial unforced errors, including one on set point.

The third set also was closely contested, with the players each securing one service break; but the German took full control in the tiebreaker to finally grab the lead.

Zverev had talked prior to the tournament about enjoying his tennis more under new coach David Ferrer, and that showed in key moments of Tuesday’s match.

Rather than trying to force the issue, he was content to engage in lengthy rallies and allow Coric to beat himself with unforced errors.

That strategy worked for Zverev in taking control of a match that had been slipping away and grabbing a service break lead in the fourth set.

Coric, who pulled off an astonishing comeback in defeating Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas in the third round, ran out of miracles on Tuesday as Zverev secured one final service hold to clinch the victory.

“At some point I told myself, ‘Look, if you keep playing like this, you’re going to be down two sets to love in a blink,'” Zverev was quoted as saying on the ATP Tour’s website. “I needed to be more aggressive, needed to go into the rallies and be more stable as well. At the end of the day, this is what I did and this is why it worked out for me.”

Next up for Zverev in the semifinals will be either Canada’s Denis Shapovalov or Spain’s Pablo Carreño Busta, who advanced to the final eight when Serbian world No. 1 and pre-tournament favorite Novak Djokovic was defaulted from their round of 16 match for accidentally hitting a line judge with a ball. EFE


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