Monday, September 1, 2014 4:22 am
Swiss teenager Belinda Bencic dismissed former world number one Jelena Jankovic 7-6 (8/6), 6-3 on Sunday to reach the quarter-finals of the US Open.
Bencic, 17 and ranked 58th in the world, became the youngest US Open quarter-finalist since Martina Hingis won the title in 1997 at the age of 16.
Hingis, whose mother Melanie Molitor is one of Bencic’s coaches, was courtside for the match, lending a little moral support to her young compatriot, who won the 2013 junior title at Wimbledon and Roland Garros but hadn’t made it past the third round in three major main draw appearances this year.
She next faces China’s Peng Shuai, a 6-3, 6-4 winner over 14th-seeded Lucie Safarova.
Meanwhile, Bencic’s older compatriot and five-time champion Roger Federer sat out a two-hour break for torrential rain to race into the US Open fourth round on Sunday on a stormy, humid New York day which saw David Ferrer crash to defeat.
Second-seeded Federer, the champion between 2004-2008, came back from a set down to defeat Spain’s Marcel Granollers 4-6, 6-1, 6-1, 6-1 by racing away with 20 of the last 24 games of the match which had been interrupted due to rain and the threat of lightning.
Federer, bidding to become the oldest Grand Slam champion in more than 40 years, clinched his 70th win at the tournament on the back of 57 winners and 13 aces.
But the 33-year-old had struggled in the first set where he slipped to 2-5 down against the world number 42 before he grasped welcome respite in the locker room to sit out the storm.
“It was a good match and I managed to turn it around as Marcel was on fire at the start,” said Federer.
“The break helped me and when I came back I played some great tennis. The conditions were windy and quick at the start but when we got back it was humid and that played in my favour.”
Federer will face Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut for a place in the quarter-finals.
US Open men’s singles last-16 line-up (x denotes seeded player):
Novak Djokovic (SRB x1) v Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER x22)
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA x9) v Andy Murray (GBR x8)
Stan Wawrinka (SUI x3) v Tommy Robredo (ESP x16)
Kei Nishikori (JPN x10) v Milos Raonic (CAN x5)
Tomas Berdych (CZE x6) v Dominic Thiem (AUT)
Marin Cilic (CRO x14) v Gilles Simon (FRA x26)
Grigor Dimitrov (BUL x7) v Gael Monfils (FRA x20)
Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP x17) v Roger Federer (SUI x2)