Kerber, Monfils reach US Open semis
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.