Sports

Djokovic out, Williams in, as tennis players gear up for US Open

Spain's Tommy Robredo shocked world number one Novak Djokovic 7-6(6) 7-5 on Thursday to move into the quarter-finals of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati.

For the 16th seeded Robredo the victory was his first over Djokovic since their first meeting in 2005. The Serb had swept their next six meetings.


Tommy Robredo celebrates after defeating number one ranked Novak Djokovic. Photo: AFP

The loss brought a temporary halt to Djokovic's bid to become the first player to win all nine ATP World Tour Masters events during his career.

It was also another setback in the Serb's buildup to the U.S. Open later this month. He had fallen to Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the third round of the Rogers Cup last week in Toronto.

"Many, many, many things are not clicking these two weeks on hard courts," said Djokovic. "It's unfortunate but it's more than obvious I'm not playing even close to what I'm supposed to play.

"I have to keep on working and trying to get better for U.S. Open...

"It’s disappointing that I'm finishing Cincinnati again with a tough loss but it's sport. I didn't play well in Toronto; didn't play well here.

"Hopefully it's going to be different in New York."

In women's tennis, world number one Serena Williams continued her march towards a first Western and Southern Open title, easing into the quarter-finals of the Cincinnati tournament with a 6-2 6-2 demolition of 13th seeded Italian Flavia Pennetta on Thursday.

The 17-time grand slam winner was joined in the last eight by second seeded Romanian Simona Halep, who defeated Czech Lucie Safarova 6-4 7-5.

While Williams' brilliant resume includes 61 titles, the Cincinnati hard court event is not on that long list.

The 32-year-old American has set her sights on adding it to her collection.


Serena Williams (above) and Flavia Pennetta on Day 6 at the Cincinnati Open. Photos: AFP

In five previous visits, Williams has only reached the semifinals twice.

Her best result came last year when she let the title slip through her fingers, losing in a third set tie-break to Victoria Azarenka.

"I love coming here, it's fun," said Williams, who is a perfect 12-0 on American hard courts this season.

"I like it because it's in America, as well, and it's so good to play some tournaments in the United States.

"Being an American, it just feels like you're at home.

"Even though it's not your home state, it's your home country, so it's a great feeling." - Reuters

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