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US Open will have a new king: Djokovic leaves and gives up the crown

US Open will have a new king: Djokovic leaves and gives up the crown

A shoulder injury forced Novak Djokovic to leave and run out of chances to revalidate his US Open title, placing Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal as the main candidates for the crown.

The Serbian, who since the beginning of the tournament has manifested pain in his shoulder, abandoned two sets down in the fourth game of the third set with partials of 6-4, 7-5 and 2-1 in favor of the Swiss Stan Wawrinka (23 ), who will face Russian Daniil Medvedev in the quarterfinals.

“It is never the way I want to end a match, I feel sorry for Novak who is a great champion,” Wawrinka said at the end of the match on Sunday night. “I want to maintain my level, I think I am playing good tennis, I am happy to be back.”

“I left the court so of course it hurts,” he said about the injury to his left shoulder that had already manifested itself in the match against Argentine Juan Ignacio Londero. “I will not be the first or the last player to get injured and withdraw from one of the biggest events in the discipline”

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Before that, he did it twice in Wimbledon -in 2007 against Rafael Nadal and 2017 against Czech Tomas Berdych-, two at Roland Garros -2005 against Argentine Guillermo Coria and 2006 with Nadal- and in 2009 in Australia against Andy Roddick.

Meanwhile, Roger Federer and Serena Williams, winners of 20 and 23 Grand Slams respectively, advanced smoothly to the quarterfinals.

Federer needed just 79 minutes to defeat Belgian David Goffin (6-2, 6-2, 6-0), while Williams beat Croatian Petra Martic (6-3, 6-4) in an hour and a half, before celebrating her daughter Olympia’s second birthday.

The Swiss, winner of five US Open, will face Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, while Williams faces Chinese Wang Qiang (18), a new obstacle in his mission to tie Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam titles.

“I was very good, I felt very good out there,” said the Swiss, who may meet his compatriot Wawrinka in the semi-final.

Rafael Nadal, who has three titles in the United States, will seek his place in the quarterfinals on Monday night.

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– Barty and Pliskova out –

Djokovic’s first ball, who opened the game, went to the net: it was a bad prelude to a game that would end with 35 unforced errors for the Serbian, who did not do well, unlike Wawrinka, who showed a solid game with a very effective serve.

The injury to his left shoulder had already raised doubts about his permanence in the tournament, after the match against Argentine Juan Ignacio Londero, in which he twice requested medical attention.

Medvedev for his part came from behind to beat the German Dominik Koepfer 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 and 7-6 (7-2) amid the boos of the public, which was thrown against him from the previous game when he threw a towel at a ball boy and made an obscene gesture to the stands, for which he was also fined $ 9,000.

Qiang eliminated Australian Ashleigh Barty, second in the WTA and winner of Roland Garros, in the first hour. Czech Karolina Pliskova, third seeded, also fell against British Johanna Konta (16), who will face the Ukrainian Elina Svitolina, fifth seeded.

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The Ukrainian, girlfriend of Frenchman Gael Monfils, won in straight sets 7-5, 6-4.

– “Am I that old?” –

In the second set, Serena Williams sprained her ankle and needed time to get medical help.

He was treated quickly and did not affect her play, although she said it “affected her mentally.”

“I come from a hard year of injuries” in the back and knee, he said, assuring that he is now “fine” but will wait until Monday to evaluate his ankle.

Williams, who won her first Grand Slam in New York 20 years ago, advanced to the tournament’s quarterfinals for the 16th time. «’Am I that old?’ That’s the first thing I think about, “he said.

Federer is, for his part, the player with the most appearances in the quarterfinals of Grand Slam tournaments, with 56, 13 of them at the US Open, including this one that will play on Tuesday. Djokovic follows with 45. AFP

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