Friday, April 19, 2024

US Open semis set

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NEW YORK – Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka shrugged off the threat of rain to storm into the U.S. Open semi-finals on Wednesday, while Simona Halep stood up for the younger generation to complete a women’s final four that will feature three thirtysomethings.

Moved from the Arthur Ashe Stadium court to Louis Armstrong to bring Federer’s match forward, Wawrinka appeared untroubled by the change of venue, needing just an hour and 47 minutes to repel big-hitting South African Kevin Anderson 6-4, 6-4, 6-0.

Second seed Federer turned in an equally economical effort, brushing aside Frenchman Richard Gasquet 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 in a tidy 87 minutes to set up an all-Swiss semi-final on Friday.

The other side of the draw features a battle of the big men, with top seed Novak Djokovic taking on defending champion Marin Cilic.

Halep moved closer to a first grand slam singles title after edging Victoria Azarenka 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 to set up a meeting with Flavia Pennetta, who toppled Czech fifth seed Petra Kvitova 4-6 6-4 6-2 to join compatriot Roberta Vinci in the last four.

Defying the odds, rankings and age, 33-year-old Pennetta and 32-year-old Vinci etched their names in history by becoming the first two Italian women to reach the semi-finals of the same grand slam in the Open Era.

With 33-year-old Serena Williams also in the last four, 23-year-old Halep will be conceding almost a decade of experience to her remaining challengers. (Reuters)

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