Coverage starts Friday 3pm ET on ESPN
(All times Eastern)
Serena Williams, the world #1, suffered another stunning upset Thursday at the U.S. Open, falling 6-2, 7-6 to Karolina Pliskova, who moves on to her first ever Grand Slam final, while Angelique Kerber advanced to the finals by defeating Caroline Wozniacki 6-4 6-3.
Novak Djokovic  vs. Gael Monfils 
Not before 3pm ET
Novak Djokovic’s luck continued as yet another opponent begged off in the quarterfinals: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga bowed out halfway through the second set. Djokovic’s round 2 foe, Jiri Vesely, walked off without so much as a serve, and in the 3rd round it was Mikhail Youzhny who checked out with an injury after going down 2-4 in the first set. In all, Djokovic has played just 9 sets, winning 8 of them, to reach the semifinals at a Grand Slam event – that’s gotta be some kind of record.
Gael Monfils has actually had to play some tennis to get here, but only the standard minimum, as he’s beaten all five opponents in straight sets, most recently 24-seed Lucas Pouille 6-4, 6-3, 6-3. This is only the second Grand Slam semi of Monfils’ career, and first since 2008 at Roland Garros. Ranked 12th in the world, Monfils has played Djokovic a dozen time and lost every match. The closest Monfils ever came to beating him was at the U.S. Open in in 2005, when he fell 7-5, 4-6, 7-6, 0-6, 7-5.
Stan Wawrinka  vs. Kei Nishikori 
Not before 4:30pm ET
Stan Wawrinka put an end to Juan Martin del Potro’s Cinderella run through the tourney by defeating him 7-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. Wawrinka had a big service advantage, hammering home 10 aces to del Potro’s 3, and 0 double faults to del Potro’s 8. This is Wawrinka’s third semifinal at the U.S. Open in the past four years. Wawrinka has the edge over Nishikori 3-2 lifetime, but Nishikori won their last match, at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Canada earlier this year, 7-6 6-1.
Kei Nishikori beat Andy Murray on Wednesday for just the second time in 9 tries by a score of 1-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, 7-5. Murray had been up by a set and a break when play was interrupted by rain, giving Nishikori 30 minutes to collect himself while the newly installed roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium was closed. This is just the second time Nishikori, the world #7, has reached the semis at a Grand Slam, the previous being at Flushing Meadows in 2014.
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