Ker­ber, Mon­fils reach US Open semis

Fiji Sun - - Sport - Feed­back: leonec@fi­

New York: Ger­man sec­ond seed An­gelique Ker­ber reached the semi-fi­nals of the US Open with a com­pre­hen­sive straight-set win over Ital­ian Roberta Vinci.

Ker­ber, 29, de­feated the 2015 fi­nal­ist 7-5 6-0 and will next face Caro­line Woz­ni­acki or Anas­tasija Sev­as­tova. In the men’s draw, France’s Gael Mon­fils out­played com­pa­triot Lu­cas Pouille in a 6-4 6-3 6-3 win. Mon­fils, seeded 10th, will play fel­low French­man Jo-Wil­fried Tsonga or top seed No­vak Djokovic in the last four.

Bat­tle for top spot

Ker­ber re­mains in with a chance of over­tak­ing Ser­ena Wil­liams as world num­ber one at the end of the tour­na­ment, and she is also on course for a third Grand Slam fi­nal in 2016. Wil­liams, who plays Si­mona Halep, must reach the fi­nal again in New York to have a chance of stay­ing world num­ber one and if she plays Ker­ber, the Amer­i­can would have to win. “When I was a kid I was al­ways dream­ing to be­ing the num­ber one,” said Ker­ber.

“Let’s see. I mean, there are still matches to go. Also, Ser­ena has to play as well very good.” Vinci caused one of the great­est up­sets in ten­nis his­tory when she ended Wil­liams’ cal­en­dar Grand Slam hopes in last year’s semi-fi­nal, but a foot fault on set point all but ended her chal­lenge against Ker­ber.

The Ital­ian, 33, broke Ker­ber’s serve three times in the first set but each time was bro­ken back and Vinci was then called for a foot fault fac­ing set point with a sec­ond serve.

She sar­cas­ti­cally ap­plauded the line judge, be­fore Ker­ber raced through the sec­ond set in 24 min­utes.

Mon­fils dom­i­nates in ‘sec­ond home’

Pouille made 44 un­forced er­rors as the five-set win over Rafael Nadal ap­peared to take its toll on the 22-year-old, with Mon­fils dom­i­nat­ing across three sets. Mon­fils, 30, main­tained his mo­men­tum ei­ther side of a 15-minute rain de­lay to se­cure his first Grand Slam semi-fi­nal ap­pear­ance since the 2008 French Open.

“It’s a court I love,” he told the New York crowd. “I al­ways say that the French is my home, but this one is my sec­ond.” Mon­fils has yet to drop a set in five matches at Flush­ing Mead­ows.

An­gelique Ker­ber.

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