Roger Federer had no problem advancing to the U.S. Open semifinals after… (Susan Mullane / US Presswire )
Reporting from New York —
Roger Federer won a stress-free men's quarterfinal match at the U.S. Open on Thursday night and then suggested, in the politest way, that the tournament needs to change its signature look.
After his 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 win over 11th-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga that assured Federer a semifinal matchup against top-ranked Novak Djokovic in the semifinals, Federer said the Open's traditional "Super Saturday" concept of two men's semifinals and the women's finals followed by a men's final on Sunday with no rest in between, is not working.
"The Super Saturday I think is just not feasible," Federer said, referring to the normal television-driven Open schedule.
"I'm sure that there have been many finals played here where one player had a huge advantage and I don't think that should be happening before such a huge match here. I just don't think Saturday/Sunday is feasible any longer," Federer said.
Because of rain that cost the tournament almost all play Tuesday and Wednesday, the men's final will be Monday for the fourth straight year, so the men will get an unplanned rest day.
Both men's semifinals and women's semifinals will be Saturday now but Federer was looking to the future.
Serena Williams took her place in the women's final four with a 7-5, 6-1 quarterfinal win over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia and top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki did the same with 6-1, 7-6 (5) win over 10th-seeded Andrea Petkovic, assuring a semifinal matchup between Wozniacki and Williams.
The top-seeded Djokovic made it to the semifinals with a 7-6 (2), 6-7 (3), 6-0, 3-0 (retired) win over 20th-seeded Janko Tipsarevic and sent his season record 62-2.
One of the losses? To Federer in the semifinals of the French Open.
Djokovic was equally unhappy about another Monday ending. "I played finals and finished very late last year on Monday," Djokovic said. He had to go straight from New York to a Davis Cup match and he has the same trouble this year.
"It's just too much, really," Djokovic said. "It's too much." Djokovic criticized the organizers for not having roofs or covers for the courts.
"There are some things that I don't understand," he said. "I really hope people will strongly reconsider."
Two other men's quarterfinals — between second-seeded and defending champion Rafael Nadal and 21st-seeded Andy Roddick and fourth-seeded Andy Murray against 28th-seeded American John Isner — will be Friday.
Both men's semifinals will be Saturday during the day, and the women's semifinals (ninth-seeded Samantha Stosur, who upset second-seeded Vera Zvonareva, 6-3, 6-3, against 107th-ranked Angelique Kerber from Germany is the other) will be Saturday night. The women's final is now set for Sunday and the men's final for Monday.
Williams said she didn't feel she played at her peak level Thursday, especially in the first set. "I tried to move my feet a little better, tried to get pumped up because I felt I wasn't at my best."
After his dissertation about scheduling, Federer offered another bit of honesty. Tsonga had upset him at Wimbledon in a match Federer had led by two sets. Asked whether that match crossed his mind Thursday, Federer said, "A little bit, yeah. Why not? Little flashbacks, you know forehand goes by, serve I can't reach … but I just felt like I had my teeth in the match. Today I felt I made the right decisions."
Now he's expecting the U.S. Open to make some decisions as well.