Azarenka sends Stosur packing
Top-seeded Belarussian prevails over defending champion; Vinci shock for Radwanska
Olympic champion Andy Murray beat the rain at Flushing Meadows by rushing past Milos Raonic of Canada 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 on Monday to book his place in the quarterfinals of the US Open tennis championships.
Third-seeded Murray's fourth round match bumped a women's doubles contest back in the order of play to avoid a forecast rainstorm, but the Briton left little to chance as he bolted to victory in exactly two hours.
Top-seeded Balarussain Victoria Azarenka overcame a stiff resistance from defending champion Samatha Stosur 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (5) to enter the semifinals.
"I hit my passing shots well, which was an important part," said Murray, who is gunning for his first Grand Slam title.
Murray scored a single break against the huge server in each of the first two sets and then marched to victory over the 15th seed with a brilliant display of shot-making.
The rains came bang on after his match ended.
"I know it just started raining just now, so it was perfect timing to finish," said the Scotsman, who did not face a single breakpoint in the match.
Murray conceded he was far from feeling fresh at the end of a long summer that included his golden triumph over Roger Federer on the grass at the All England Club in the Olympic final.
"I think a lot of the players will be looking forward to a break after the tournament. It's the last major event of the season. So I want to make sure I leave everything out there on the court.
"Today was by far my best match of the tournament. Hopefully I'll get a good rest in tonight and tomorrow, get pumped and ready for the quarter-finals because you're only a few sets away from maybe competing for a grand slam."
Big-hitting Canadian Raonic belted 14 aces, reaching 140 miles per hour (225 kph) on his first serves and landing 70 percent of them, but could only shake his head at Murray's level of play.
"He was just too good, unfortunately, because I was playing well. Too good."
Next up for Murray will be 12th-seeded Marin Cilic of Croatia, a 7-5, 6-4, 6-0 winner against Kei Nishikori of Japan.
Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska, the women's second seed, became the highest ranked casualty of the tournament when she lost to Roberta Vinci 6-1, 6-4. The Italian will now play doubles partner and best friend Sara Errani after she upset Germany's Angelique Kerber 7-6, 6-3.
Croatia's big-serving Marin Cilic defeated Slovakia's Martin Klizan 7-5, 6-4, 6-0 to secure a place against Murray, who cruised to victory in two hours.
Raonic boasts one of the biggest serves in the game but Murray broke him four times and never once faced a break point on his own serve.
“It's the last major event of the season so I want to make sure I leave everything out there on the court,” Murray said.
“Today was by far my best match of the tournament,” he added.
Paes, Sania exit
Leander Paes and Sania Mirza, along with their respective partners, crashed out of the mixed doubles event of the US Open after losing in the quarterfinals here.
The third-seeded Indo-Russian pair of Paes and Elena Vesnina was stunned by the seventh-seeded Czech duo of Lucie Hradecka and Frantisek Cermak 6-7 (2-7), 5-7.
Sania along with her British partner Colin Fleming also went down in straight sets to fourth seeds Kveta Peschke of Czech Republic and Poland’s Marcin Matkowski.
Unseeded Sania and Fleming failed to match their more fancied opponents in the match to bow out in just 69 minutes, losing 3-6, 5-7.
Results (fourth round): Men’s singles:
3-Andy Murray (Gbr) bt 15-Milos Raonic (Can) 6-4, 6-4, 6-2; 12-Marin Cilic (Cro) bt Martin Klizan (Svk) 7-5, 6-4, 6-0; 1-Roger Federer (Sui) w/o 23-Mardy Fish (US); 6-Tomas Berdych (Cze) bt 11-Nicolas Almagro (Esp) 7-6 (7-4), 6-4, 6-1.
Women’s singles (Quarterfinals):
1-Victoria Azarenka (Bel) beat 7-Samantha Stosur (Aus) 6-1, 4-6, 7-6(5).
Fourth round: 20-Roberta Vinci (Ita) bt 2-Agnieszka Radwanska (Pol) 6-1, 6-4; 10-Sara Errani (Ita) bt 6-Angelique Kerber (Ger) 7-6 (7-5), 6-3; 4-Serena Williams (US) bt Andrea Hlavackova (Cze) 6-0, 6-0; 12-Ana Ivanovic (Srb) bt Tsvetana Pironkova (Bul) 6-0, 6-4.