These are hard times for the top seeds on the hard courts at the 2014 U.S. Open. Day 7 saw a pair of notable players get bounced from the tournament much earlier than expected.
No. 10 Caroline Wozniacki defeated No. 5 Maria Sharapova in three sets, while No. 26 Gilles Simon stunned No. 4 David Ferrer 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, 6-3.
It's readily apparent that no seeding is safe in New York, New York. Day 7 featured a full slate of action outside of the two major upsets in the singles tournaments. Let's take a look at the final scores from the men's and women's draw on Sunday.
|No. 2 Roger Federer||Marcel Granollers||4-6, 6-1, 6-1, 6-1|
|No. 26 Gilles Simon||No. 4 David Ferrer||6-3, 3-6, 6-1, 6-3|
|No. 6 Tomas Berdych||Teymuraz Gabashvili||6-3, 6-2, 6-4|
|No. 20 Gael Monfils||No. 12 Richard Gasquet||6-4, 6-2, 6-2|
|No. 14 Marin Cilic||No. 18 Kevin Anderson||6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4|
|Dominic Thiem||No. 19 Feliciano Lopez||6-4, 6-2, 6-3|
|No. 17 Ricardo Bautista Agut||Adrian Mannarino||7-5, 6-2, 6-3|
|No. 7 Grigor Dimitrov||David Goffin||0-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-1|
|No. 13 Sara Errani||Mirjana Lucic-Baroni||3-6, 6-2, 6-0|
|No. 10 Caroline Wozniacki||No. 5 Maria Sharapova||6-4, 2-6, 6-2|
|Shuai Peng||No. 14 Lucie Safarova||6-3, 6-4|
|Belinda Bencic||No. 9 Jelena Jankovic||7-6 (8), 6-3|
The most notable matchup on Day 8 is No. 9 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. No. 8 Andy Murray. Both players have seen their stock dip in recent months, but Tsonga looks to be returning to consistent top-10 form after his victory at the 2014 Rogers Cup. Murray is still the favorite, but an upset isn't out of the question here.
In the women's bracket, which is now almost completely bereft of the usual favorites after Sharapova's loss, look for the matchup between No. 7 Eugenie Bouchard and No. 17 Ekaterina Makarova. Bouchard is aware that just because she has one of the top seeds, it doesn't mean she can take any match for granted.
"There are so many good players, it just shows even if you’re a top-eight seed or a top-four seed, you’re not guaranteed to make your seed. Every match is just so, so tough," she said, via a report from the Canadian Press (h/t The Vancouver Sun).
Day 7 Recap
Wozniacki, a former world No. 1, was superb in her win over Sharapova. She moved fluidly all around the court and was able to take advantage of Sharpova's mistakes when they came. L'Equipe's Carole Bouchard liked what she saw from the lanky Dane:
Pity to lose Sharapova so soon in a Grand Slam but the joy of Wozniacki is great to see. Comes back from so far. And is playing great.— Carole Bouchard (@carole_bouchard) August 31, 2014
Wozniacki's upset over Sharapova wasn't the only shocking result in the women's draw on Day 7. Shuai Peng upended No. 14 Lucie Safarova, winning in straight sets. Peng utilized a number of well-placed serves to keep Safarova off balance, and ended the match with nine aces.
Belinda Bencic also knocked off No. 9 Jelena Jankovic in straight sets in the night session. No. 13 Sara Errani made sure there was at least some semblance of order on the women's side when she knocked off Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in three sets.
On the men's side, Simon's win over Ferrer was indeed shocking for most observers, but the Frenchman himself was perhaps the most surprised of all.
Simon also noted, via Meyers, that he hadn't even won so much as a set against Ferrer in their previous six meetings.
Roger Federer looked lost in his first set against Marcel Granollers. The eminent Swiss maestro found himself down five sets to two early on, but a rain and lightning delay allowed him to regroup and eventually stave off an upset.
Grantland's Brian Phillips played up the chaos caused by the weather delay:
Total systems failure at the US Open. Federer is playing Jankovic on Court 17. Dimitrov on Ashe playing ping-pong against himself.— Brian Phillips (@runofplay) August 31, 2014
When their match resumed in night play, it was all Federer. He utterly dominated Granollers, winning 14 of the 18 sets played after the delay.
Granollers tried everything against Federer, including playing up at the net, which, as the U.S. Open's official Twitter account notes, didn't go too well for him:
Grigor Dimitrov had his own set to forget in his victory over Belgium's David Goffin. He didn't win a single game in the first set, but he came roaring back to go 6-3, 6-4, 6-1 and fight on to the next round of play.
No. 14 Marin Cilic needed four sets to see off No. 18 Kevin Anderson, while Dominic Thiem scored a straight-set upset over No. 19 Feliciano Lopez.
Federer has an excellent shot at reaching the semifinals with the way this tournament is set up. He could run into the young Dimitrov in the quarterfinals, which should be an exciting display of the old guard versus the new, should things break just the right way.
This tournament has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is definitely some very serious parity in women's tennis, which makes any Grand Slam a must-watch event. However, the diluted field leaves No. 1 Serena Williams with a fantastic opportunity to take her third straight U.S. Open.
All stats courtesy of USOpen.org unless otherwise noted.