Top Four Men’s Seeds Reach U.S. Open Semifinals for First Time Since 1992

The top four men’s seeds reached the semifinals at the U.S. Open for the first time in 19 years, with Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray joining Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer in the final four.

Defending champion Nadal of Spain, the second seed, won 6- 2, 6-1, 6-3 yesterday against 2003 champion Andy Roddick of the U.S. Murray, the fourth seed from Britain, won in four sets against American John Isner and will face Nadal in one of today’s two semifinals.

Top seed Djokovic, of Serbia, and five-time champion Federer, the third seed from Switzerland, advanced to the other semifinal with wins two days ago.

“I think it’s good for tennis, I think everyone has played great tennis in the slams this year and I think that’s what people would like to see,” Murray said at a news conference. “It’s been great consistency, and I’m glad to be part of that.”

The same four top seeds also reached the semifinals at this year’s French Open. That hadn’t happened at the U.S. Open since 1992, when No. 1 Jim Courier, No. 2 Stephan Edberg, No. 3 Pete Sampras and No. 4 Michael Chang reached the semifinals.

Williams vs. Wozniacki

The women’s semifinals also are scheduled for today, with three-time champion Serena Williams of the U.S. facing top seed Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark and Samantha Stosur, the ninth seed from Australia, facing unseeded German Angelique Kerber.

The losses by Roddick and Isner meant there will be no American in the U.S. Open men’s semifinals for the fifth straight year. Roddick is the last American to make the semifinals at the National Tennis Center in New York, in 2006.

That’s a stark contrast to the last time the four top men’s seeds advanced to the semifinals, in 1992. Courier, Sampras and Chang all are Americans, while Edberg is from Sweden.

Nadal did not lose his serve in the 1-hour, 53-minute match against Roddick, who took a medical timeout in the third set and had a trainer work on his leg. Roddick said he came onto the court with “zero reserves” after a four-set win the day before.

‘In Control’

“It was evident early on that he was in control of things,” Roddick said in a news conference. “That’s the most aggressive I’ve seen him play this summer.”

Nadal and Murray will be meeting in their third straight Grand Slam semifinal. Nadal won both of the earlier encounters, at the French Open and Wimbledon.

Murray defeated Isner 7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-2) in a 3-hour, 24-minute match in Arthur Ashe Stadium and reached his fourth Grand Slam semifinal of the year. Murray lost in the Australian Open final against Djokovic and then was eliminated by Nadal at the French Open and Wimbledon.

The win makes Murray the seventh man to reach the semifinals of all four Grand Slams in the Open era of professional tennis, which began in 1968. Rod Laver and Tony Roche both accomplished the feat in 1969, Ivan Lendl in 1987, Nadal in 2008 and Djokovic this year. Federer advanced to every Grand Slam semifinal from 2005 to 2009.

Both the men’s and women’s finals were pushed back one day following rain that washed out almost the entire schedule for two straight days. The women’s final now will be held Sept. 11 and the men the following day, the fourth straight year in which weather conditions dictated a Monday finish.

In the mixed doubles final, U.S. teens Melanie Oudin and Jack Sock defeated Gisela Dulko and Eduardo Schwank of Argentina. Nineteen-year-old Oudin, a quarterfinalist in the 2009 U.S. Open, and Sock, 18, won 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 1-0 (10-8), with the match decided in a super-set or super-tiebreak.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mason Levinson in New York at mlevinson@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net.

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