For the first time since 2003, Roger Federer will be leaving Flushing Meadows before the semifinals of the tournament. The five-time US Open champion was ousted by Tomas Berdych 7-6 (1), 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 denying him an opportunity to recapture the title he held from 2004-2008.
“I just didn’t come up with the goods tonight,” said a disappointed Federer after the match.
The 26-year old Berdych, who hails from the Czech Republic, trailed early in the first set, but managed to force a tiebreak which he controlled easily, finishing it off with a powerful ace. Federer, who was coming off a three day layoff since his last match did not look like himself until the third set as he slowly started to get himself back into the match. But, there would be no comeback for Federer as Berdych broke him in the eight game of the fourth set to serve for the match. Berdych would go on to complete the job after Federer committed his 40th unforced error by being unable to return the serve over the net. Berdych raised both arms in the air to signify his victory.
“It couldn’t better. There’s no better moment so far than this one,” said Berdych, who is only making his second Semifinals appearance in a Grand Slam tournament.
The No. 6 ranked Berdych made the semifinals of the 2012 French Open but lost to Robin Soderling of Sweden in five sets.
Berdych will now face Andy Murray in a Semifinals match that features perhaps two of the best players who have yet to win a Grand Slam title.
Murray came back from an opening set loss to eliminate Marin Cilic of Croatia 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-2, 6-0. The No. 12 ranked Cilic actually had Murray on the ropes, leading 5-1 in the second set before Murray began fighting his way back into the match.
“He (Cilic) played well at the start. I was a bit tentative. I needed to make a move and I did that. I kept fighting,” said Murray, who leveled the second set at 5-5 before winning the tiebreak 7-4.
“He got a little bit nervous at the end of the second set, which helped,” added Murray.
It was smooth sailing from there as Murray would eventually finish the match with 11 aces. He only committed 31 unforced errors while Cilic had 50.
David Ferrer of Spain outlasted Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia 6-3, 6-7 (5), 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4) in their 4 hour and 31 minute long Quarterfinal match. It was highly eventful and emotional match between two men who are raring for a breakthrough win in a Grand Slam tournament. But, it was Ferrer, who proved to be more resilient as Tipsarevic crumbled in the last two sets.
During the third set, Ferrer called for a medical timeout.
Apparently, he was dealing with an injury on his right foot. The trainer removed his shoe and sock and began cutting his toenails with a clipper.
“I had a problem with my toes and nail,” confirmed Ferrer after the match.
Although he would go on to lose the set, Ferrer started to move better and got his rhythm to send the match into a fifth and deciding set.
But, once there, things took a bad turn for Tipsarevic who suffered a nasty fall after slipping on the hardcourt while attempting to chase a drop shot. He fell badly on his left hip and grimaced in pain. The world no. 8 gamely got up as he tried desperately to protect his 4-1 lead. As Tipsarevic’s play began to dip, Ferrer took advantage of the situation as he leveled things up at 4-all. It was now Tipsarevic’s turn to call a medical timeout as he limped to his chair to take a few moments to compose himself. The fifth set would move into a tiebreak and both men received a standing ovation inside the Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Moments later, Ferrer raised his arms in victory, knelt to the ground before giving his competitor a hug at the net.
“My opponent, he also deserved to win this match, no?” said Ferrer. “In one tiebreak, it’s a lottery, and I had luck in important moments.”
Ferrer, who made it to the Semifinals of the US Open in 2007, returns to that position with the hope of a more favorable outcome. But, he will have to earn it as he faces defending champion Novak Djokovic who has not yielded a single set in five matches in the tournament.
World No. 2 Djokovic vanquished Juan Martin del Potro 6-2, 7-6 (3), 6-4 in their Quarterfinals match to reach his 10th consecutive Grand Slam semifinal. The Serbian tied Rod Laver and Ivan Lendl for the second-longest streak of consecutive semifinal appearances in Grand Slam tournaments since 1925. Roger Federer holds the record at 23-straight Grand Slam Semis appearances beginning from the 2004 Wimbledon tournament up to the 2010 Australian Open.
Before the quarterfinal matches, Andy Roddick bid farewell to his fans as his 13 year career came to a close after del Potro beat him in the 4th round 6-7 (1), 7-6 (4), 6-2, 6-4. The 30-year old Roddick, who hails from Austin, Texas was the US Open champion in 2003.