The world seemed to echo the question posed by ESPN’s Brad Gilbert to Novak Djokovic when he interviewed the world number 1, asking “What in the world is going on?”
“You tell me. I don’t know, really” is the exact state of affairs for the tennis community in the US Open 2016 as players, seeded, unseeded and wildcards, retire as frequent as matchsticks fall like dominoes. As many expect the US Open to be a show of high-class tennis and exemplary skills, so far the tournament has failed to deliver. After nearly 8 pull-outs due to injuries and unscheduled retirements, the US Open seems on route to repeating a fiasco from its edition in 2011.
Novak Djokovic has so far played only a total of 9 sets, spending a mere 6hrs 26mins on the court. He is through to the last four for the 10th consecutive year as he starts to deliver on his injuries. Noel benefitted from his 2nd round walkover of Jiří Veselý, his count Czech opponent who had defeated Djokovic in their lone meeting. The Djoker’s combined a total of only 2 full matches out of a potential 6 to reach the SFs after Mikhail Youzhny and Tsonga both pull out, owing to injuries.
“I’m in the semi-finals, so that’s what matters for me the most, to be able to play as well as I did in the fourth round and today in the quarter-finals for at least a couple of sets,” said Djokovic in a news conference post match. In a startling revelation of facts, the average time spent by players on court has been much lower than the other GSs from this year;
6hr 24 min (1 hr 17 min per round)
9hr 56 min (1hr 51 min per round)
13hr 2 min (2 hr 36 min per round)
14hr 47min (2hr 57 min per round)
Players like Tomas Berdych and Roger Federer, who’ve both competed in the last 4’s of the Open, had already pulled out of the tourney prior to the beginning, stating multiple health and fitness issues. Yet another phase now famous at the Open is Berdych’s statement “I will need to take some time off to recover fully but I know that I will get back as strong as ever.”, quite effectively summing up the injury-prone Open.
In the women’s section, Angelique Kerber benefitted from Roberta Vinci’s false serves as she climbs up the ladder to tackle Williams from the number 1 spot. She will now face Caroline Wozniacki who had an easy job subduing her opponent, Anastasija Sevastova with 6-0 6-2 as the latter injured her right ankle and subsequently gave up the game. Wozniacki’s had a troubled year as she battled various injuries.