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Roger Federer, of Switzerland, bends for a volley against Marcel Granollers, of Spain, in the third round of the US Open tennis tournament on Aug 31, in New York. (AP)
Nole downs Kohlschreiber to reach US Open quarters Serena, Pennetta set up clash

NEW YORK, Sept 1, (Agencies): Novak Djokovic didn’t let Philipp Kohlschreiber stand in the way of another Grand Slam quarter-final berth on Monday, reaching the US Open last eight with a straight-sets win over the German. Serbia’s world number one defeated Kohlschreiber 6-1, 7-5, 6-4 on another muggy day at Flushing Meadows, reaching the last eight at the US Open for the eighth straight year. It’s his 22nd successive Grand Slam quarter-final, a run that stretches back to Kohlschreiber’s victory over him in the third round of the 2009 French Open. The Wimbledon champion looked headed for a short day’s work when he raced through the first set in 25 minutes.

But Kohlschreiber dug in, keeping his nose in front on serve and forcing Djokovic to fend off a set point in the 10th game of the second. Djokovic did so with a stinging forehand passing shot to end a rally that sent the Louis Armstrong Stadium crowd wild, then broke Kohlschreiber for a 6-5 lead. Serving for the set Djokovic saved another break point with an off-speed service winner and having wrapped up the second set he broke Kohlschreiber to open the third and marched home from there. Djokovic will play either eighth-seeded Andy Murray or ninth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for a semi-final berth.

Grand slam king Roger Federer came back with renewed vigor after a weather delay to rout Spaniard Marcel Granollers 4-6 6-1 6-1 6-1 and charge into the fourth round of the US Open. The 42nd-ranked Granollers surprisingly led the second-seeded Swiss 5-2 when lightning and heavy rains suspended their afternoon match at Arthur Ashe Stadium. After play resumed a couple of hours later, 17-times grand slam winner Federer conceded the first set and trailed 1-0 in the second before taking 18 of the next 20 games to secure victory.
 
“I was able to come back and turn it around, because Marcel started really on fire,” 33-year-old Federer told the crowd. “I’m happy the break helped me and I came out and played some great tennis.” Five-times US Open winner Federer will next play 17th seed Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain, who beat France’s Adrian Mannarino 7-5 6-2 6-3. Federer holds the all-time men’s record for most grand slam singles titles but has come up empty over the last eight dating back to the 2012 Wimbledon tournament.
With his nemesis Rafa Nadal, the 2013 US Open champion, missing the tournament with a wrist injury and the Swiss playing in the softer side of the draw, this could be a great chance for Wimbledon runner-up Federer to add to his record total. Federer said he is feeling great and looking forward to this opportunity in his 60th successive grand slam appearance. “It’s been really excellent the last three matches here at the US Open,” said Federer, who lost his first set of the tournament against Granollers. “I feel very explosive, quick. The coordination is there as well. I feel like I’ve gotten used to the hard courts by now. It’s really working well. I’m very pleased. “I’m happy I wake up every day and I’m ready to go.
 
Five-time champion Serena Williams reached her first Grand Slam quarter-final of the year at the US Open on Monday, setting up a clash with Flavia Pennetta in a duel between the two oldest women left in the draw. World number one Williams, the two-time defending champion, eased past world number 50 Kaia Kanepi, 6-3, 6-3, for a fourth win over the Estonian. “It’s my first quarter-final of the year at the majors — at last I did it,” said the 32-year-old American, who had fallen in the fourth round in Australia, the third round at Wimbledon and suffered a second round French Open exit. “It was a tough match today. Kaia hits the ball very hard and moves the ball around really well. I wanted to stay relaxed and told myself that whatever happens, Serena, you’re still in the doubles.”
 
Italian 11th seed Pennetta, also 32, reached her fifth quarter-final in New York with a 7-5, 6-2 victory over Australian 29th seed Casey Dellacqua. Pennetta made the semi-finals in 2013, where she was defeated by Victoria Azarenka, but despite having a 5-0 losing record against Williams, she refuses to believe that the outcome of Wednesday’s quarter-final is a foregone conclusion. “Of course she’s better than me, but I still believe I can beat her. If she doesn’t have a good day I can do that,” said Pennetta of an opponent who has dropped just 17 games in four rounds so far. “If I get in the court and just play and try not to take 6-Love 6-Love, I’m going to take 6-Love 6-Love.”

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