Federer, Sharapova Out Of US Open — Leadership Newspaper
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Federer, Sharapova Out Of US Open

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Roger Federer

Roger Federer

Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova crashed out of the US Open on Monday in back-to-back seismic shocks under the Arthur Ashe Stadium lights.

Federer, the five-time champion and looking to end his 10-year wait to add to his total in New York, was beaten by Australia’s world number 55 John Millman 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (9/7), 7-6 (7/3).

It was 20-time major winner Federer’s first loss against a player outside the top 50 in 41 meetings at the US Open.

He finished with 77 unforced errors and 10 double faults.

“It was very hot. I felt I couldn’t get any air and I was sweating more and more and became more and more uncomfortable,” explained Federer.

“I guess I was happy when the match was over.”

He added: “John dealt with it better — he’s from Brisbane, one of the most humid places in the world!”

It was the world number two’s earliest defeat at the tournament since a fourth round loss to Tommy Robredo in 2013.

The result meant there would be no quarter-final showdown with old rival Novak Djokovic who will now face Millmann instead.

“I have so much respect for Roger and everything he’s done for the game. He’s been a hero of mine,” said Millman.

“Today he was definitely not at his best. But I’ll take it.”

Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova

Sharapova, the 2006 champion who was trying to reach the quarter-finals for the first time since 2012, hit 38 unforced errors and dropped serve six times.

The defeat also ended the former world number one’s perfect record of 23 wins — 22 of them on Arthur Ashe Stadium — in night sessions at Flushing Meadows.

“I thought she played really well. I thought in today’s conditions, her ball was getting up on me a little bit more, much more than my previous three opponents that I played,” said Sharapova.

“I didn’t take care of the chances that I had. By ‘chances,’ I mean the balls that were a little bit shorter.”

Suarez Navarro, who was also a quarter-finalist in New York in 2013, goes on to face American 14th seed Madison Keys, the runner-up in 2017.

“Maria has played here at night many times so I knew I needed to be aggressive, focussed and play solid,” said the 30th seeded Spaniard.

Meanwhile, Naomi Osaka reached her first Grand Slam quarter-final, beating Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus 6-3, 2-6, 6-4, tearfully admitting she was prepared to “break a leg” to win the match.

The 20-year-old became the first Japanese woman in the US Open last-eight since Shinobu Asagoe in 2004.

Osaka, seeded 20, came back from a break down in the final set to take the tie on a fourth match point when Sabalenka served up an eighth double fault.

“I would never have forgiven myself if I had lost that match,” said a tearful Osaka.

“When I was a break down in the final set I thought I would even break a leg if needed so I could get to every ball.”

Osaka will next face Lesia Tsurenko, the 36th-ranked Ukrainian who beat Czech teenager Marketa Vondrousova 6-7 (3/7), 7-5, 6-2.

(AFP)

 



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