Federer, Wawrinka seek US Open semi-final spots

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NEW YORK: Roger Federer, trying to become the oldest champion US Open since Ken Rosewall in 1970, looking for a tenth place in semifinals at the hard courts of New York on Wednesday against Frenchman Richard Gasquet.

The 34-year-old Swiss star, winner of a record 17 Grand Slam titles and five crowns men’s US Open, has not dropped a set so far in Flushing Meadows fortnight. World number two Federer, a finalist for the top-ranked Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon two months ago, might have a chance for revenge in a rematch of the US Open end, if you have way championship game Sunday. Federer has dominated the rivalry with Wimbledon semifinalist-12 seeded Gasquet, winning 14 of their 16 games, including the last six in a row and eight competitions on hard courts.

“I’m not sure if I saw Gasquet play well, as it has in the moment,” Federer said. “I like the way he played in Wimbledon. He has a good attitude. He was fighting. Good shot selection. I’m sure they won the trust of Wimbledon. That’s why I expect it to be harder on him than past.

“I feel that this could be one of the toughest Gasquets I played, so I hope it’s difficult.”

Reigning French Open chamption Stanislas Wawrinka will face 15th seed South African Kevin Anderson in the quarterfinals of the men in Arthur Ashe Stadium, with a semifinal berth against Federer and Gasquet at stake.

Defending champion Marin Cilic, Croatia ninth seed, will face Djokovic in the other semifinal Friday.

Fifth seeded Swiss Wawrinka is 3-4 against Anderson, having lost their last four encounters with the big punch native of Johannesburg, who defeated British third seed Andy Murray to reach his first quarter-final blow after going 0- 7 in the last 16 before surprising the Scot.

After completing his Open Era record for futility reach the quarter-finals, Anderson became the first South African in the US Open quarterfinals, and Wayne Ferreira in 1992.

The last of South Africa in a semifinal of the US Open was Johan Kriek in 1980.

Wawrinka, 4-6 in Slam quarter-final, has not played any-50 main enemy in the Open so far.

The Australia Open champion 2014, which was pushed to four sets by American Donald Young in the fourth round, had gone farther than any quarterfinals in the tournament.

“It’s good. I’m losing weight,” Wawrinka said. “It does not affect anything. I feel very fresh. I do not mind at all.”

On the women’s side, second seed Romanian Simona Halep series twice Australia Open champion Victoria Azarenka, the 20th seed from Belarus, in quarterfinal will face.

Fifth-seeded Czech Petra Kvitova Wimbledon champion twice, plays 26th seed Italian Flavia Pennetta in the other.

Top-ranked Serena Williams, trying to complete the first calendar Grand Slam since Steffi Graf in 1988, the Italian Roberta Vinci will meet in a semifinal on Thursday.

Kvitova, who beat Williams May in Madrid clay, has split six career meetings with Pennetta, while Azarenka is Halep 2-0, both wins coming in 2012.

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