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Big Three & Murray Feature On 'Super Saturday'  

2008-09-06 08:33:39|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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                                                      September 5, 2008   US OPEN

? AFP/Getty Images
Roger Federer         ATP World No. 1 Rafael Nadal, No. 2 and four-time defending champion Roger Federer (pictured), No. 3 and 2007 runner-up Novak Djokovic and No. 6-ranked Andy Murray will compete in the US Open semifinals on 'Super Saturday'.

ATP Profiles: Rafael Nadal | Roger Federer | Novak Djokovic | Andy Murray

        For the first time since 2003, three of the top four seeds have advanced to the last four. The top four seeds last competed in US Open semifinal action in 1992 (Jim Courier, Stefan Edberg, Pete Sampras, Michael Chang).

        Below we take an indepth look at the two semifinal encounters on Saturday.

[1] Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs [6] Andy Murray (GBR)

        Nadal, who alongside Federer has reached the semifinals of all four Grand Slam championships this year, has a 5-0 lead over his next opponent Murray. Both players are competing in the US Open semifinals for the first time. The pair has met three times on hard courts and the last time Murray won a set of the Spaniard came in their first meeting at the 2007 Australian Open.

Rafael Nadal         Murray and Nadal are in the Top 5 of hard-court match winners this season. Nadal has amassed an ATP-best 42-7 record on hard-courts, while Murray is currently in fifth position overall with a 28-7 record. The pair is also two of six players to have won two or more hard-court titles this year. Nadal won at ATP Masters Series Canada in Toronto and the Olympic Games in Beijing, while Murray leads the ATP circuit with three hard-court crowns at Doha, Marseille and ATP Masters Series Cincinnati.

         Nadal, who is the 21st player in the Open Era to make at least one semifinal appearance at each Grand Slam, is competing in the ninth major semifinal of his career. He has lost at this stage just once, at the Australian Open in January (l. to Tsonga). His previous best performance at the US Open came in 2006 when he was a quarterfinalist (l. to Youzhny).

        Having won this year’s Roland Garros and Wimbledon crowns, Nadal is bidding to follow Rod Laver, Sampras and Federer (twice) as the fourth man to win three consecutive Grand Slam titles in the Open Era. He is also bidding to become just the fifth man in the Open Era to win three Grand Slam titles in a year after Laver, Jimmy Connors, Mats Wilander and Federer.

Nadal is currently riding a 19-match winning streak at the Grand Slams. Here is a look at the longest Grand Slam winning streak in the Open Era.

Longest Grand Slam Winning Streaks (Since 1968)
Player
No. of Matches
Streak Duration
Rod Laver
29
1969 Australian Open-1970 Wimbledon R32
Roger Federer
27
2005 Wimbledon-2006 Roland Garros SF
Roger Federer
27
2006 Wimbledon-2007 Roland Garros SF
Jimmy Connors
25
1974 Australian Open-1975 Australian Open SF
Pete Sampras
25
1993 Wimbledon-1994 Roland Garros R16
Bjorn Borg
20
1978 Roland Garros-1978 US Open SF
Bjorn Borg
20
1980 Roland Garros-1980 US Open SF
John McEnroe
20
1981 Wimbledon-1982 Wimbledon SF
John McEnroe
19
1984 Wimbledon-1985 Roland Garros
Rafael Nadal
19
2008 Roland Garros-ongoing

Source: ITF

        Nadal is the fifth Spaniard to reach the US Open semifinals in the Open Era. He is now bidding to become the third Spaniard to reach the US Open final, following in the path of Manuel Orantes and Juan Carlos Ferrero. Orantes won the title in 1975, when the tournament was played on clay; and Ferrero was runner-up in 2003.

Spaniards in US Open Semifinals (Since 1968)
Year
Player
Semifinal Result
Eventual Finish
1975
Manuel Orantes
d. Guillermo Vilas
Winner
1998
Carlos Moya
l. Mark Philippoussis
Semifinalist
2003
Juan Carlos Ferrero
d. Andre Agassi
Finalist
2007
David Ferrer
l. Novak Djokovic
Semifinalist
2008
Rafael Nadal
vs Andy Murray
?

Source: ITF

        The 22-year-old Nadal is the first left-hander to reach the US Open semifinals since Greg Rusedski, who went on to finish runner-up in 1997 (l. to Rafter). The last left-handed champion at the US Open was John McEnroe in 1984.

        Nadal has won an ATP best eight titles this year and since reaching the ATP Masters Series Miami final (l. to Davydenko) in April has won 54 of his last 56 matches. The top seed has advanced to the US Open final on 19 occasions in the Open Era, winning the title 12 times.

        Murray, who is appearing in his maiden Grand Slam semifinal, has joined Tim Henman (2004) and Greg Rusedski (1997) as the only Britons to make the last four here in the Open Era. The Scot is also just the fifth different British player to reach a Grand Slam semifinal in the Open Era, after Roger Taylor (three times), John Lloyd, Rusedski and Henman (six times).

Britons in Grand Slam Semifinals (Since 1968)
Player
Grand Slam
Eventual Finish
Roger Taylor
1970 Australian Open
l. Dick Crealy in SFs
Roger Taylor
1970 Wimbledon
l. Ken Rosewall in SFs
Roger Taylor
1973 Wimbledon
l. Jan Kodes in SFs
John Lloyd
1977 Australian Open
l. Vitas Gerulaitis in F
Greg Rusedski
1997 US Open
l. Pat Rafter in F
Tim Henman
1998 Wimbledon
l. Pete Sampras in SFs
Tim Henman
1999 Wimbledon
l. Pete Sampras in SFs
Tim Henman
2001 Wimbledon
l. Goran Ivanisevic in SFs
Tim Henman
2002 Wimbledon
l. Lleyton Hewitt in SFs
Tim Henman
2004 Roland Garros
l. Guillermo Coria in SFs
Tim Henman
2004 US Open
l. Roger Federer in SFs
Andy Murray
2008 US Open
vs Rafael Nadal in SFs

Source: ATP

        The 2008 US Open represents Murray's 12th major championship. Murray's previous best showing at the US Open was a fourth round exit in 2006 (l. to Davydenko). As a 17-year-old, Murray won the 2004 US Open boys’ singles title (d. Stakhovsky).

Andy Murray         There have been just two different British champions at the US National Championships, in the event’s 128-year history. Laurie Doherty won the title in 1903 when the tournament was held at The Casino in Newport on grass, and Fred Perry was a three-time champion in 1933, 1934 and 1936 at the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, also on grass.

        The 21-year-old Murray has guaranteed a new career-high ranking of No. 4 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings when the new rankings are released on Monday. Both Rusedski and Henman both achieved a career-high ranking of No. 4. By reaching the US Open semifinals, Murray has leapt to fourth place in the ATP 2008 Race for Tennis Masters Cup Shanghai.

Andy Murray: ATP Rankings History | ATP Rankings Breakdown

        The last No. 6 seed to reach the US Open final was Andre Agassi in 2002 (l. to Sampras). A No. 6 seed has only won the US Open title once in the Open Era. In 2000, Marat Safin also his reached his maiden Grand Slam final and went on to the win the title (d. Sampras).

[2] Roger Federer (SUI) vs [3] Novak Djokovic (SRB)

Roger Federer         Four-time defending champion Federer will meet Djokovic for the eighth time in a repeat of the 2007 US Open final. Federer has a 6-2 career advantage (4-2 on hard courts), which includes winning the pair’s last four meetings. Djokovic has beaten Federer in the 2007 ATP Masters Series Canada final and in the 2008 Australian Open semifinals.

        Swiss superstar Federer, who relinquished the No. 1 ranking for Nadal on August 18, is riding a 32-match winning streak at Flushing Meadows. Only one male player have recorded a longer winning streak – American Bill Tilden won 42 matches (1920 US Nationals to 1926 US Nationals third round). Federer’s last loss at the US Open came in the 2003 fourth round (l. to Nalbandian). He is appearing in a record 18th straight Grand Slam semifinal.

        The 27-year-old Federer is bidding to become the first man since Tilden in 1924 to win a fifth successive US Open title, and as 2003-07 Wimbledon champion, Federer is also bidding to become the only man to win five or more successive titles at two Grand Slam events. His victims in the last four US Open finals are Lleyton Hewitt (2004), Agassi (2005), Andy Roddick (2006) and Djokovic (2007).

        The World No. 2 is tied second on the all-time hard-court titles leaders list with 36 crowns, which puts him level with Sampras and 10 trophies behind Agassi. This year, Federer has arrived in New York without a hard-court title for the first time since 2001. He has won two clay-court titles in 2008 at Estoril (d. Davydenko) and Halle (d. Kohlschreiber). At the recent Olympic Games in Beijing, Federer won the doubles gold medal with Stanislas Wawrinka.

Novak Djokovic         The 21-year-old Djokovic is the first Serbian man to reach the US Open semifinals in the Open Era. He is currently second among the 2008 hard-court match win leaders with a 33-7 record at Tour level. He has won 10 career titles, including seven on hard courts. In January he captured his maiden Grand Slam trophy at the Australian Open (d. Tsonga) and secured the bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics (d. Blake).

 



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