NISHIKORI KNOCKS OUT FRUSTRATED MURRAY
Andy Murray admits frustration did play a part in his five-set defeat to Kei Nishikori as the Scot crashed out of the US Open.
Murray was beaten 1-6 6-4 4-6 6-1 7-5 by the Japanese, who capitalised on the world number two’s loss of focus after a series of unusual circumstances in Arthur Ashe Stadium.
First a rain delay, lasting 22 minutes while the roof was closed, turned momentum in Nishikori’s favour and then a loud noise from the stadium’s malfunctioning sound system derailed Murray’s charge.
The second incident was more costly as the noise came during a Murray break point early in the fourth set and umpire Marija Cicak ordered the point to be replayed.
Murray’s anger intensified when Nishikori held and after complaining to both Cicak and tournament referee Wayne McKewen, he proceeded to lose the next seven games in a row.
The 29-year-old’s argument centred on the sound occurring once before in the contest but he claimed play had previously been allowed to continue.
Andy Murray admits his fourth-set row with the umpire distracted him - but he refused to blame it for his defeat https://t.co/IXj4OXmLz3— Eurosport UK (@Eurosport_UK) September 7, 2016
“They stopped the point and I was just curious why that was and that was it,” Murray said.
“(Referee) Wayne McKewen told me that it happened four times during the match that the speakers had gone off like that. I had only heard it one time before, which was on set point in the second set. That was it.
“Did it affect me? Definitely I would say to 4-1. I didn’t play a good game after I got out of the change of ends and then he held pretty comfortably the next game.
“But after that I don’t think so. There was a lot of time after then. I lost my serve a couple of times from positions that when I was up in the game. That was the difference.”
PLISKOVA REACHES FIRST SLAM SEMI
Czech Karolina Pliskova blew past Croatian teenager Ana Konjuh 6-2, 6-2 on Wednesday to reach the US Open semi-finals.
Tenth-seeded Pliskova, who survived a match point in her fourth-round victory over sixth-seeded Venus Williams.
“I’m so excited to be in my first semi-final,” said the 24-year-old, who had failed to make it out of the third round in 17 prior Grand Slam appearances.
Having broken through to the quarters she didn’t waste her opportunity.
With a quick break under her belt in the opening game she was able to swing freely and needed just 57 minutes to subdue Konjuh, who upset fourth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska in the fourth round.
“I think it was the serve,” said Pliskova, who finished off the match with two of her three aces. “My serve was very good today.”
Konjuh said Pliskova was “just too good”.
“Her serve is just too good. She found her rhythm and took the opportunities that I gave her.”
Powerful Pliskova— ESPNTennis (@ESPNTennis) September 7, 2016
The 24-year-old Czech is through to her 1st Major SF with 6-2 6-2 win over Konjuh. #USOpen pic.twitter.com/ygPFyCDIfq
MATCH UNDER INVESTIGATION
The US Open first round match between Russia’s Vitalia Diatchenko and Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland is under investigation for suspicious betting patterns, it was confirmed Wednesday.
The Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) said that a match alert for the August 30 encounter had been received from betting organisations.
“The TIU will assess, make a judgement and take appropriate action on the alert information received and obtained for the first round singles match between Vitalia Diatchenko and Timea Bacsinszky played at the US Open on 30th August,” a spokesman said in a statement released to AFP.
Bacsinszky, the 15th seed, won the match 6-1, 6-1 against the world number 87 from Russia.
The TIU insisted that the setting up of an investigation does not automatically indicate corruption.
“It is important to appreciate that an alert on its own is not evidence of match-fixing,” said the spokesman.
“There are many reasons other than corrupt activity that can explain unusual betting patterns, such as incorrect odds-setting; well-informed betting; player fitness, fatigue and form; playing conditions and personal circumstances.”