Bouchard loses to Makarova in US Open’s 4th round
By HOWARD FENDRICH
The Associated Press | September 02,2014
NEW YORK — Wilting in high heat and humidity, Eugenie Bouchard became the latest top woman to lose at the U.S. Open, ending her streak of making the semifinals at each Grand Slam tournament this year.
The No. 7-seeded Bouchard, the runner-up at Wimbledon in July, needed a medical timeout and was beaten 7-6 (2), 6-4 Monday by 17th-seeded Ekaterina Makarova of Russia.
In muggy air with temperature in the high 80s (above 30 Celsius), a trainer checked Bouchard’s blood pressure and rubbed plastic bags of ice on her shoulders, arms and legs during the changeover after the second set’s fifth game.
When action resumed, Bouchard got broken right away to trail 4-2. She broke Makarova and pulled even, but got broken at love in the final game to end it.
Bouchard’s loss means that for the first time since 1977, eight women will have filled the eight finalist slots at a season’s Grand Slam tournaments.
Li Na beat Dominika Cibulkova at the Australian Open in January; Li didn’t even enter the U.S. Open because of a knee injury, while Cibulkova was stunned by 15-year-old American CiCi Bellis in the first round.
Maria Sharapova edged Simona Halep at the French Open in June; Sharapova lost to Caroline Wozniacki in the fourth round in New York, and Halep went out in the third round against qualifier Mirjana Lucic-Baroni.
Petra Kvitova defeated Bouchard at Wimbledon in July; Kvitova departed in the third round in Flushing Meadows against 145th-ranked qualifier Aleksandra Krunic, who had a chance to pull off another shocker Monday night against two-time major champion Victoria Azarenka.
While Makarova is into the U.S. Open quarterfinals for the second year in a row, Bouchard’s early-for-her major exit certainly fits with the way things have gone the past eight days. Of the top 10 seeded women, only two remain: No. 1 Serena Williams and No. 10 Wozniacki.
Williams got to her first Grand Slam quarterfinal of 2014 by overwhelming 50th-ranked Kaia Kanepi of Estonia 6-3, 6-3 Monday, winning her first 12 service points with the help of five aces.
Through four matches, Williams has lost only 17 games — the eighth time she’s made it to the U.S. Open quarterfinals dropping that many or fewer.
One of the few glitches Monday for Williams came when she tried to serve for the match at 5-2 in the second set. She double-faulted twice in a row to hand over a break point to Kanepi, who promptly converted it with a backhand winner down the line.
After breaking back to win, Williams acknowledged feeling a bit of pressure to make up for her showings at the year’s other majors — fourth round at the Australian Open, second round at the French Open, and third round at Wimbledon.
“I think I felt it in my service game,” Williams said. “I’m like, `Can I please make it to a Grand Slam quarters this year?”’
Because of various upsets, Williams’ pursuit of a third straight U.S. Open title and 18th Grand Slam championship has not been interrupted by much difficulty. Other women eliminated potential matchups on her half of the field against Kvitova, Bouchard and past major champions Ana Ivanovic and Sam Stosur, who beat Williams in the 2011 U.S. Open final — the 32-year-old American’s most recent loss at Flushing Meadows.
Next for Williams is 11th-seeded Flavia Pennetta of Italy, who beat 29th-seeded Casey Dellacqua of Australia 7-5, 6-2.
Pennetta, a semifinalist a year ago, has lost all five previous meetings against Williams.
“You cannot invent something. I mean, you just have to play your tennis,” Pennetta said. “Of course, she’s better than me, but if I still believe I can beat her, maybe if she doesn’t have a good day, I can do that.”
The top-seeded man, Novak Djokovic, played mostly mistake-free tennis, making only 19 unforced errors and facing only two break points — both saved — in a 6-1, 7-5, 6-4 victory over 22nd-seeded Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany.
Djokovic, the 2011 U.S. Open champion, earned a spot in the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open for the eighth year in a row — and at a 22nd consecutive Grand Slam tournament overall. The last time Djokovic was eliminated before the quarterfinals at a major was a third-round loss to Kohlschreiber at the 2009 French Open.
Djokovic now meets No. 8 Andy Murray, who got past No. 9 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-5, 7-5, 6-4.
Both of Murray’s Grand Slam titles came via victories over Djokovic, in the finals of the U.S. Open in 2012 and of Wimbledon in 2013.