The first set of men’s and women’s semi-finals at the US Open were determined last night and 12th seed Carreno-Busta (advised 20/1) continued his impressive form recording his fifth straight sets win against the diminutive 29th seed Schwartzman. He will face 28th seed Anderson in Friday’s semi-final after the South African veteran upset the odds when defeating American 16th seed Sam Querrey in four sets.
The other semi-final will be determined tonight when top seed Nadal faces another teenage NextGen sensation 19-year-old Rublev for the first time while veteran Federer (aged 36) continues his unbelievable resurgence when he faces old foe and 24th seed Del Potro for the 22nd time.
Both encounters promise real entertainment and excitement but you get the feeling from the way Nadal and Federer are looking better and better the further they progress in this tournament that the writing is already on the wall for their blockbuster semi-final showdown. For many purists this will be an anti-climax when they could have potentially met in the final if Federer had been moved to the bottom half of the draw after Murray’s withdrawal.
Like Federer, veteran Venus Williams (seeded 9 and aged 37) continues to defy the laws of physiology and is experiencing a major resurgence in form at a time when the majority of professional players have or are seriously considering retirement. Venus recorded arguably the biggest win of her return to form in the early hours of this morning when she defied the odds and a 4-1 head-to-head deficit when she defeated hot favourite Kvitova in an epic three set encounter that was fittingly decided by a third set tie break.
Williams will face compatriot and Wild Card Stephens in Thursday’s semi-final and the youngster had to fight both her nerves and a determined opponent to overcome 16th seed Sevastova last night. She looked in command after winning the first set 6-3 but the ever adaptable Sevastova changed her play and tactics and won the second set and looked in a commanding position when she went a break up in the third set. However, Stephens hung in there and as nerves started to affect both players as they exchanged breaks they fittingly found themselves in a tiebreak situation and Stephens emerged the victor to set up her second Grand Slam semi-final appearance.
The other semi-final berths will be decided tonight as top seed Pliskova faces 20th seed Vandewhege for the fifth time with the head-to-head standing at 2-2. Pliskova is the favourite for this one and they have both recorded one win each on hard courts and Vandewhege won the last meeting at Dubai last year in straight sets. The other quarter-final is between Keys and the surprise package of this tournament veteran and Wild Card Kanepi who is ranked 513 after being away from the tour due to injury and got in to the draw due to a protected ranking.