NEW YORK — After winning the U.S. Open in rather easy fashion Monday evening, Marin Cilic proclaimed that he was part of a new wave ready to threaten the Big 4’s domination of tennis.
“A lot of guys are saying that people would like to watch the top four guys extend their streak at the top and extend their run at the Grand Slams, because they attract the most fans and TV viewership,” Cilic said after trouncing Japan’s Kei Nishikori, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 in under two hours to win his first major title.
“[But] one day they are going to go out and there’s going to be a need for [another player]. There’s going to be much bigger competition… The game is definitely going to evolve much more.” To read more of this story, click here
NEW YORK — Marin Cilic played the U.S. Open final like he had an important dinner reservation in midtown.
Utilizing a massive serve and flat, powerful groundstrokes that he stroked to every corner of the court, the 6-foot-6 Croatian destroyed Japanese sensation Kei Nishikori, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3, in just 1 hour, 54 minutes to capture his first Grand Slam title.
Cilic, 25, became the first Croatian to win a major title since his coach, Goran Ivanisevic, won Wimbledon in 2001.
Cilic double-faulted on the first of three match points, but then smacked a backhand winner into the open court on the second before falling down on his back in celebration. He then made his way into his players’ box where he hugged his entourage, including Ivanisevic.
“Everything I was working for and dreaming came [true] today and I feel for all the other players that are working, I think this is a big sign and big hope that if you’re working hard, things are going to pay off,” said Cilic, who had lost five of his seven previous encounters with Nishikori.
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NEW YORK — To move up in the history books, Serena Williams had to put her friendship with Caroline Wozniacki aside while they dealt with the small matter of the U.S. Open championship.
Williams, 32, and Wozniacki, 24, have bonded in recent years and supported each during trying times, such as Wozniacki’s highly publicized breakup with golfer Rory McIlroy earlier this year and Serena’s bout with injuries in 2011.
Yet when it comes to tennis, Serena is all-business and she proved it yet again by ruthlessly dispatching Wozniacki, 6-3, 6-3, in 1 hour, 15 minutes to win her third straight U.S. Open title, her sixth overall and her 18th career major, tying her with legends Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova for fourth on the all-time list.
After Wozniacki sailed a backhand long on match point, Williams lay on her back behind the baseline and soon began crying in celebration.
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NEW YORK — If you had told Roger Federer before the U.S. Open began that he would need to beat Marin Cilic and Kei Nishikori to win his 18th Grand Slam title, he probably would’ve asked where to initial his signature “RF.”
And that was exactly the situation the Swiss legend found himself in on Saturday afternoon entering his semifinal with Cilic, a 6-foot-6 Croat against whom Federer was 5-0.
Nishikori had already upset world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in a stunning four-setter, and now Federer, the No. 3 man in the world, was teed up to win his elusive 18th major by beating two men ranked 16th and 11th in the world.
But hey, that’s why they play the matches, right? To read more of this story, click here
NEW YORK — Three weeks before the U.S. Open began, 24-year-old Kei Nishikori had a cyst removed from his right foot during a procedure in Charlotte, N.C.
He flew home to Florida to begin his recovery and was officially listed as questionable for the U.S. Open.
Now, a month later, Nishikori has made history by becoming the first man born in Asia to reach a Grand Slam final after he stunned world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3 in the semifinals in 90-degree heat and extreme humidity in Arthur Ashe Stadium. The match lasted 2 hours, 52 minutes.
“Before come to New York, I wasn’t really sure I should come to New York or should I do rehab more in Florida,” Nishikori said on CBS of his foot procedure. “[Michael Chang] said come and play the first couple matches and you might feel good.”
Chang, the former French Open champ and U.S. Open runner-up, is Nishikori’s coach. Turns out he knew a little something.
In the span of six days now, the Japanese sensation and No. 10 seed has taken out the Nos. 1, 3 and 5 seeds at the Open.
“I feel the support from Japan, even from the TV,” Nishikori said on court. “It’s 4 o’clock in the morning but I hope a lot of people are watching.” To read more of this story, click here
NEW YORK — CBS will get the U.S. Open women’s final it hoped for on Sunday afternoon when two-time defending champion Serena Williams tries to make it three straight against her good friend Caroline Wozniacki.
Top-seeded Serena obliterated No. 17 Ekaterina Makarova, 6-1, 6-3 in exactly an hour and will play for her sixth U.S. Open title and 18th Grand Slam crown, which would tie her for fourth all-time with Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova.
No. 10 Wozniacki, who advanced after a bizarre match that saw her opponent Peng Shuai get taken off the court in a wheelchair with heat illness, is into her second U.S. Open final (2009) and is still seeking her first Grand Slam crown.
“Well, I think regardless she obviously wants to go win her first Grand Slam and I want to win and make a little history,” Serena said on court. To read more of this story, click here
NEW YORK — John McEnroe was 100 percent right when he said on CBS that the handling of the Peng Shuai cramping incident was a “black eye” for the U.S. Open.
“It was horribly badly bungled…a serious black eye for our sport,” Mac said on air.
As Ricky Ricardo used to say, “Somebody has some ‘splaining to do.”
With the stunned Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd managing a shocked but polite applause, the 28-year-old Chinese was eventually taken off the court in a wheelchair following her retirement for what was called a heat illness against Caroline Wozniacki in Friday’s semifinals. Wozniacki advanced to the final against either Serena Williams or Ekaterina Makarova by the score of 7-6, 4-3, but there were so many unanswered questions after it was over. To read more of this story, click here
NEW YORK — Between them, Stefan Edberg, Boris Becker, Michael Chang and Goran Ivanisevic won 14 Grand Slam singles titles, including three U.S. Opens.
By Monday evening, one of them will add another U.S. Open title to his resumé — as a coach.
All four legends have a horse in the race for this year’s Flushing Meadows championship.
Edberg, who won U.S. Open titles in 1991 and ’92, coaches the five-time Open champion Roger Federer, who takes on Marin Cilic in one semifinal Saturday. Cilic is coached by his fellow Croation Ivanisevic, whose lone Grand Slam title came at Wimbledon in 2001. To read more of this story, click here
Despite her struggles in the three previous Grand Slams of 2014, Serena Williams remains the Queen of Queens and the U.S. Open is hers to lose.
The No. 1 seed and two-time defending champion will take a 19-match winning streak in Flushing Meadows into Friday’s semifinal meeting with No. 17 Ekaterina Makarova of Russia.
Fan favorite Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, the highest remaining seed after Williams at No. 10, meets unseeded Peng Shuai of China in the other semifinal. Wozniacki and Peng begin at 1:45 p.m. with Williams-Makarova to follow.
“For me it’s just about every day is a new day,” Williams said after dispatching Flavia Pennetta, 6-3, 6-2, Wednesday night in the quarterfinals. “You never know. Especially for me this year, you never know what can happen. I take everything very seriously as it comes.”
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NEW YORK — Roger Federer was staring at double-match point in the fourth set against a red-hot Gael Monfils in the U.S. Open quarterfinals and stood on the brink of being ousted from the tournament he has won five times.
The lubricated Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd was in full support of Federer’s potential comeback against the Frenchman after he had dropped the first two sets, but here he stood, on the edge of defeat at the hands of a man John McEnroe called “probably the greatest athlete in the history of our sport.”
But Federer dug deep into his steely reserves and hit a swinging forehand volley to save one match point on his serve and then hit a forehand winner from the baseline on the second. To read more of this story, click here