The action is getting better by the day at the 2014 U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows.
On the men's side, the favorites have rolled through the early rounds with ease and that continued for the most part on Day 8. But with the fourth round of action came a few marquee matchups between highly-seeded competitors, assuring that we would see our first big names fall.
As for the ladies, the giants have been tumbling since the opening round with No. 2 Simona Halep, No. 3 Petra Kvitova and No. 6 Angelique Kerber all losing early. Serena Williams—the big favorite in any women's Grand Slam event—has remain untouched, but she would be in action again on Day 8.
A pair of matches at Arthur Ashe Stadium are yet to be played, but take a look at how the rest of the draw unfolded on Monday.
|No. 1 Novak Djokovic def. No. 22 Philipp Kohlschreiber||6-1, 7-5, 6-4|
|No. 8 Andy Murray def. No. 9 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga||7-5, 7-5, 6-4|
|No. 3 Stanislas Wawrinka def. No. 16 Tommy Robredo||7-5, 4-6, 7-6(7), 6-2|
|No. 5 Milos Raonic vs. No. 10 Kei Nishikori*||9 p.m. ET|
|No. 1 Serena Williams def. Kaia Kanepi||6-3, 6-3|
|No. 11 Flavia Pennetta def. No. 29 Casey Dellacqua||7-5, 6-2|
|No. 17 Ekaterina Makarova def. No. 7 Eugenie Bouchard||7-6(2), 6-4|
|No. 16 Victoria Azarenka vs. Aleksandra Krunic*||7 p.m. ET|
* Indicates night matches to be played at Arthur Ashe Stadium on ESPN2
Day 9 Bracket
As exciting as some of the action was on Day 8, Tuesday could be even better. The slate of men's fourth-round and women's quarterfinal matches is led by second-seeded legend Roger Federer facing No. 17 Roberto Bautista Agut.
The 33-year-old came to New York with plenty of momentum after winning the Cincinnati Masters, and he's continued it so far. Agut won his first two career titles in 2014 and has posted two straight-set victories in Flushing Meadows, but this is his second ever fourth-round appearance at a Grand Slam.
For a match more likely to go the distance, seventh-seeded Grigor Dimitrov and No. 20 Frenchman Gael Monfils will do battle in a late-afternoon affair at Arthur Ashe.
No. 10 Caroline Wozniacki will try to take her surprise run to the semifinal after upsetting Maria Sharapova over the weekend. She'll face 13th-seeded Sara Errani for a spot in the final four, and told New York Times' Naila-Jean Meyers she hadn't thought much about what laid past Sharapova on the draw.
'The depth of the women’s game now is so high, you know,' said Wozniacki, who was the runner-up at the U.S. Open in 2009, when she was 19. 'The level is high. So it’s never easy. I knew that I had Maria, so that was my task to kind of complete. I didn’t really look further.'
Now that Wozniacki is the highest seed in her half of the draw, she might want to start looking further.
Day 8 Afternoon Recap
Andy Murray was the story at Flushing Meadows on Monday.
In a fourth-round affair that felt more like a Grand Slam semifinal, Murray defeated ninth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight-sets on Monday afternoon. Tsonga had little trouble holding his serve early on, but couldn't take advantage of early leads in the final two sets and Murray pounced on the opportunity to wrap it up in three long sets.
As ESPN Tennis illustrated, it sets up a thrilling quarterfinal between him and Novak Djokovic:
Andy Murray sets up a quarterfinal meeting with Novak Djokovic. This will mark the 21st time the two men have met in an @ATPWorldTour event.— ESPNTennis (@ESPNTennis) September 1, 2014
Serena Williams has watched many of her fellow U.S. Open counterparts stumble and fall in the women's draw, but she just keeps on rolling. The top-seeded American ousted unseeded opponent Kaia Kanepi 6-3, 6-3.
It hasn't been Williams' best year as she looks to wrap up 2014—in fact, Monday marks the first time she has made it to a quarterfinal in a Grand Slam event this calendar year. But she looks set on ending it with another title.
The relief was apparent for the top seed, per Sports Illustrated:
“I finally made a quarterfinal!” yells Serena Williams. Beats Kaia Kanepi 63 63 to make her first Slam QF of the season. Plays Pennetta.— SI Tennis (@SI_Tennis) September 1, 2014
She wasn't the only top seed to take care of business on Day 8. No. 1 Novak Djokovic also strolled past his opponent, defeating No. 22 Philipp Kohlschreiber in straight sets.
The Serbian wrapped up the opening set in a few short minutes, but Kohlschreiber made it a match in the second by taking it to a tiebreak. Although he didn't finish nearly as dominant as he started, the top seed easily rolled on to the quarterfinal.
Djokovic has yet to lose a single set at Flushing Meadows through four matches, but he will need all of the rest he can get. He will face a surging Murray in the quarterfinal, who looked unstoppable Monday against Tsonga and is eyeing his third straight year finishing with a Grand Slam trophy.
While things went well for the top seeds, it continued to get worse for other high-seeded contenders on the women's side. Eugenie Bouchard was ousted in the fourth round in straight sets by Ekaterina Makarova.
Djokovic still has more than enough big names on the men's side to worry him as he approaches the second week of the tournament. But as for Williams, her biggest competition just keeps on biting the dust.