Nadal and Murray in US Open last eight Wozniacki, Serena, Stosur in semis

NEW YORK, Sept 8, (AFP): Defending champion Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray reached the US Open quarter-finals after two days of frustration Thursday while Andy Roddick stormed off court in an angry tirade against officials.
Second seed Nadal saw off Gilles Muller of Luxembourg 7-6 (7/1), 6-1, 6-2 while fourth seed and 2008 runner-up Murray cruised to a 6-2, 6-3, 6-3 win over US wild card Donald Young.
But it was 2003 champion Roddick who grabbed the headlines when his last-16 clash against David Ferrer was suspended because of water seeping up through a crack in the surface on Louis Armstrong Stadium following another night of torrential rain.
After playing just two games of their resumed match, the players were taken off court as groundstaff tried desperately for 80 minutes to soak up the water.
When Roddick and Ferrer returned, the 29-year-old American was furious, telling besieged referee Brian Earley that the surface was still too wet to play.
He packed his bag and stormed off to jeers from the crowd.
“Why are we here if there is water there?” asked a furious Roddick.
“I’m getting really pissed off. Jesus, what are we doing here. It’s killing me. I am baffled right now.”
The match was switched to Court 13 as officials kept up their bid to clear a huge backlog caused by two days being washed out by rain.
The switch didn’t affect Roddick too much as he completed a 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 win over fifth-seeded Ferrer and next faces Nadal for a semi-final spot.

Officials decided to suspend all further play on Louis Armstrong which meant the women’s quarter-final between top seed Caroline Wozniacki and Andrea Petkovic was also played on Court 13.
Nadal had trailed Muller 0-3 overnight after just 15 minutes of play had been possible on Wednesday, but with bright sunshine replacing rain, the Spaniard raced into the last eight.
Nadal, whose fourth round match had originally been slated for Tuesday, had led a player revolt on Wednesday, angry at having to go on court when the Arthur Ashe Stadium surface was still damp and with rain still in the air.
He claimed players’ safety was being compromised by tournament officials.
“It was a tough day yesterday for the players and the fans who waited many hours,” said Nadal, who will have to play four days in succession if he is to feature in Sunday’s final.
“The situation yesterday was not easy for us and the organisers. They tried their best but they were wrong. Everyone makes mistakes.”
Nadal has endured a dramatic US Open, collapsing with cramping at a news conference after his third round win over David Nalbandian before his frustrating two days waiting for the rain to clear.
He made up for lost time on Thursday, taking less than two hours to complete victory over the 68th-ranked Muller who he had also defeated at Wimbledon this year.
Murray, who had joined Nadal in Wednesday’s protest, avenged his loss to the 84th-ranked Young at Indian Wells in March to reach the last eight for the first time since he fell in the 2008 final to Roger Federer.

Young had held a 2-1 lead when rain brought proceedings to a halt on Wednesday.
Murray next faces 28th-seeded American John Isner who defeated 12th-seeded Gilles Simon of France 7-6 (7/2), 3-6, 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (7/4) to reach a Grand Slam semi-final for the first time.
World number one Caroline Wozniacki reached the US Open semi-finals on Thursday with a 6-1, 7-6 (7/5) victory over Germany’s Andrea Petkovic.
Wozniacki, seeking a first Grand Slam title, booked a showdown with 13-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams for a place in the final.
Earlier, Serena Williams shrugged off a shaky start to book a semi-final berth, while Samantha Stosur ended Vera Zvonareva’s bid to reach the final for a second straight year.
Williams, whose 13 Grand Slam titles include three US Open triumphs, struggled early with her serve but looked her usual overpowering self by the time whe wrapped up a 7-5, 6-1 victory over 20-year-old Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

The American has reached the final four without dropping a set and awaited either world number one Caroline Wozniacki or 10th-seeded German Andrea Petkovic in the final four.
Their match was moved from the water-logged Louis Armstrong Stadium, where the legacy of days of heavy rain was water seeping up through the court surface behind one baseline.
Williams and Pavlyuchenkova had briefly taken the court on Wednesday night, but they never got beyond their warm-up before drizzly rain prompted officials to cancel the night session as weather prevented completion of any matches for the second straight day.
Williams said her days of indoor practice may have contributed to her erratic start.
“Maybe that had something to do with it,” said Williams, who said she told herself not to get upset with her early errors. “Indoors I think is a little faster.”

Stosur, on the other hand, may have benefitted from two days of enforced rest.
After a pair of marathon victories in the third and fourth rounds, she needed just 67 minutes to defeat world number two Zvonareva 6-3, 6-3.
Her third-round victory over Nadia Petrova took a US Open women’s record three hours and 16 minutes, and she rebounded to beat Maria Kirilenko on Sunday after dropping a 17/15 second-set tiebreaker to the Russian.
The ninth-seeded Australian extended her dominance over Zvonareva, beating her for the eighth straight time.
Stosur never faced a break point and fired 25 winners against Zvonareva, who said the Aussie was just too good for her on the day.
“She was able to hold her serve pretty easy, that’s why she could take a lot of risks on mine,” said Zvonareva, who has yet to return to a Grand Slam final after runner-up finishes at Wimbledon and Flushing Meadows last year.
“She was over-playing me a little in every game.”
Stosur faces either 26th-seeded Italian Flavia Pennetta or unseeded German Angelique Kerber for a place in the final.

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