Djokovic rises to Dolgopolov challenge


Alexandr Dolgopolov Jnr came closer to taking a set off Novak Djokovic than any other player here at the US Open last night but in the end the 22-year-old Ukrainian went the way of the three men who had gone before him at the final Grand Slam tournament of the year. Djokovic won 7-6, 6-4, 6-2 to secure an all-Serbian quarter-final against Janko Tipsarevic.

Dolgopolov, one of the game's most unpredictable players, kept surprising Djokovic in the first set. The world No 23 made the first break to lead 3-2, only to drop his own serve in the following game, and pushed Djokovic all the way in a remarkable tie-break. The Ukrainian led 4-0, trailed 4-5 and had three set points before Djokovic converted his sixth to win 16-14. When Djokovic returned to his chair he could barely stop smiling. The world No 1 had few problems thereafter in reaching his tenth successive Grand Slam quarter-final and completing his 61st win in 63 matches this year. Tipsarevic, who has lost both his previous meetings with his compatriot, reached his first Grand Slam quarter-final by beating Juan Carlos Ferrero, 7-5, 6-7, 7-5, 6-2.

Serena Williams moved within three wins of crowning her comeback from illness and injury by taking the title here when she beat Ana Ivanovic 6-3, 6-4. The 29-year-old American will next play Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. The Russian reached her second Grand Slam quarter-final of the year with a 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Francesca Schiavone in a match that featured 16 breaks of serve. Vera Zvonareva, the world No 2, will attempt to end a run of seven consecutive defeats against Sam Stosur when she faces the Australian in the quarter-finals today.

Britain's Jamie Delgado and Jonathan Marray could not follow Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins into the doubles quarter-finals, losing 6-7, 6-2, 6-3 to Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski.