Daniil Medvedev battled through a thigh injury to reach the semi-finals of the US Open with an absorbing 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 3-6 6-1 win over Stan Wawrinka.

Russian fifth seed Medvedev has been consistently booed by the crowds at Flushing Meadows after appearing to give a middle-finger gesture to the fans during his third-round victory against Feliciano Lopez.

Medvedev has thrived in his role of tournament villain and was jeered again upon entering Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York on Tuesday.

However, after his exploits against Wawrinka, Medvedev is deserving of more admirers than dissenters and he was treated to a warm ovation as he knocked out Novak Djokovic's conqueror.

His performance while fighting an issue with his left thigh, on which he received considerable strapping in the first set, was one of craft, intelligence and considerable grit.

Medvedev was full value for his victory and will now have three days to nurse his thigh before meeting Roger Federer or Grigor Dimitrov for a place in the final.

He struck for the first break of serve in the opening game of the match and it was not until Wawrinka produced a tremendous forehand to bring up three break-back points that parity was restored.

Both players then held from 0-30 down to set up a captivating tie-break dictated by Medvedev, moving Wawrinka round the court with a combination of drop shots that barely edged over the net and backhand lobs that sent the Swiss scampering back to the baseline.

Wawrinka, however, won four straight points from 5-2 down to bring up set point but he failed to take it and handed Medvedev the opener when a return went long.

The 2016 champion then ballooned a forehand long to give Medvedev a break for a 3-1 lead in the second.

Despite being obviously hindered by his thigh, Medvedev did not face a break point in the second, his ploy of focusing his energy on his own service games rather than Wawrinka's paying dividends. 

However, he was immediately under pressure in the third, as a pair of double faults handed the chance for Wawrinka to take a 2-0 lead that he snaffled instantly.

Even with his injury, Medvedev showed remarkable character. In a mammoth ninth game, Wawrinka spurned a set point with a dreadful forehand unforced error and saw another go begging as Medvedev forced him to save four break points before a return into the net halved the deficit.

However, Wawrinka's first service game of the fourth was a disappointing one and Medvedev took full advantage, breaking to love as his 34-year-old opponent netted a backhand volley.

From there all the momentum was with Medvedev and he refused to let it slip, wrapping up a hugely impressive display in fitting fashion with a perfectly placed lob.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Daniil Medvedev [5] bt Stan Wawrinka [23] 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 3-6 6-1

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Medvedev – 36/36
Wawrinka – 38/38

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Medvedev – 11/12
Wawrinka – 10/4

BREAK POINTS WON
Medvedev – 4/8
Wawrinka – 2/8

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Medvedev – 60
Wawrinka – 65

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Medvedev – 73/58
Wawrinka – 78/38

TOTAL POINTS
Medvedev – 126
Wawrinka – 114

Elina Svitolina progressed to the US Open semi-finals for the first time after extending her unbeaten record over Johanna Konta with a 6-4 6-4 win.

In a match of two remarkably similar sets inside Arthur Ashe Stadium, Svitolina came out on top to improve her career record against Konta to 5-0 and, in the process, become the first Ukrainian woman to reach the last four at Flushing Meadows.

The fifth seed – who also made the last four at Wimbledon this year – did drop her serve twice but was otherwise impressive in a contest that spanned one hour and 40 minutes.

Both players were cautious in the early stages before the contest sparked into life with a run of three successive service breaks from the fifth game onwards.

Svitolina grabbed the first of them courtesy of a backhand that was too much for her opponent to deal with, only to then let the advantage slip immediately.

However, Konta paid the price for two backhand errors, allowing Svitolina to edge ahead once again at 4-3.

This time she did not let her rival rally, fighting hard to save a break point in the eighth game. A Konta hold forced Svitolina to serve out for the opener, a task she duly achieved when converting her second set point.

The second set followed the same pattern as the first, the duo once again holding for the first four games before a trio of breaks.

As before, Svitolina moved 4-3 up and, while unable to take two match-point opportunities that arrived on Konta's serve, she sealed the victory at the third attempt on her own serve.

Next up will either be Serena Williams or Wang Qiang, who meet later on Tuesday in their last-eight tie.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Elina Svitolina [5] bt Johanna Konta [16] 6-4 6-4

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Svitolina - 16/13
Konta – 24/25

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Svitolina – 4/0
Konta – 3/1

BREAK POINTS WON
Svitolina – 4/8
Konta – 2/3

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Svitolina - 57
Konta - 64

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Svitolina - 62/60
Konta – 59/48

TOTAL POINTS
Svitolina - 71
Konta - 62

Naomi Osaka saw her US Open title defence ended on Monday, as defeats for two home hopes left Serena Williams as the last remaining American.

Osaka had looked in tremendous form in her third-round win over Coco Gauff, when few would have bet against her in the fourth round against Belinda Bencic at Flushing Meadows.

However, the Japanese star – who will be deposed as world number one by Ashleigh Barty following the grand slam – was beaten by Bencic for the third time this year.

Meanwhile, the incredible runs of Taylor Townsend and Kristie Ahn were stopped by Bianca Andreescu and Elise Mertens respectively, with Williams the sole hope for home singles glory as she chases a record-equalling 24th major.

 

BENCIC SCORES OSAKA HAT-TRICK

Bencic went into her match with Osaka having defeated her at Indian Wells and Madrid, and completed the hat-trick with a 7-5 6-4 victory on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Prior to going on court, Swiss 13th seed Bencic did not appreciate the difference in the significance of the occasion, but conceded it hit her after the match.

"Before the match, I didn't think it was different [to her two previous wins over Osaka]. After the match, it definitely felt different," she told a media conference. 

"I just came with the same mentality like I played her before and just really focused on the game and not about the hype or the occasion, the stadium and the round.

"After the match, it feels definitely different. It feels like this was the most important one."

 

GOERGES NO MATCH FOR VEKIC MOMENTUM

Donna Vekic was match point down against Julia Goerges but produced a remarkable fightback to reach her first grand slam quarter-final.

The Croatian 23rd seed came through 6-7 (5-7) 7-5 6-3 in two hours, 43 minutes and knew she had the edge after saving the match.

"I think I definitely had the momentum on my side after second set," she said. "I knew she was going to be thinking about her match point.

"I'm happy that I could break her and then serve it out."


ANDREESCU SILENCES HOME CROWD

Townsend's career has been revitalised by her performance in New York, coming through qualifying before beating Wimbledon champion Simona Halep en route to the fourth round.

However, Townsend finally ran out of steam against Andreescu – the 19-year-old willing her way to a 6-1 4-6 6-2 victory to extend her best performance at a major into the last eight.

Andreescu did so in front of a vociferous home crowd that was predictably pro-Townsend, and admitted it was difficult to tune out the supporters who stayed around late into the New York night.

"It wasn't easy but I heard some Canadian fans, which is nice in tougher moments," said Andreescu. "I tried not to pay attention to that but it's hard when it's everyone. I'm glad with how I managed to keep my cool.

Ahn, who defeated former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in the third round, hit 25 unforced errors in slumping to a 6-1 6-1 loss to 25th seed Mertens.

The wildcard will break into the top 100 on the back of her exploits, though, and said of her ascension: "It's crazy. It's not like all encompassing euphoric as you think it will be.

"Maybe it's because in years past I've hyped it up so much. Right now, like, it feels good. At the same time it's like I want more versus I think in 2017 I would have, like, thrown a party for making top 100."

The start of the second week at the US Open was marked by the return of the rain, but it did not dampen anyone's spirits at Flushing Meadows.

Play on the outside courts was severely delayed as competitors endured a long wait for the weather to clear.

However, the rain was welcomed by one player, who progressed into the last eight with a stunning win.

Omnisport's man on the ground, Nicholas McGee, provides the details in our daily diary from New York.

 

RAIN, RAIN HOORAY?

While the inclement weather was certainly not welcomed by fans, or by players not lucky enough to be playing on show courts, Belinda Bencic was thrilled to see the heavens open.

Bencic knocked out defending champion Naomi Osaka 7-5 6-4 under the roof at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The Swiss said the indoor feel provided by playing with the roof closed was a significant factor in her being able to get the better of the world number one.

"I wished it was going to rain, so it rained," Bencic joked at her media conference. "Obviously I wouldn't have any problem playing outdoors as well because the big stadiums are almost indoors. I played on the outside courts, and it's just so different.

"Obviously I prefer playing indoors. I don't know why. It just feels more comfortable and good for me. But definitely such a big stadium and so close, it feels almost as indoors."

 

'MCCOCO' RUN COMES TO AN END

Caty McNally and Coco Gauff have each enjoyed a memorable US Open. McNally took a set off Serena Williams in the second round while 15-year-old Gauff was the story of the first week with her run to the third round and touching on-court joint interview with Osaka after defeat to the Japanese.

The pair also lit up Louis Armstrong with their second-round doubles win over Kveta Peschke and Nicole Melichar on Sunday, but saw their run ended in emphatic fashion by Victoria Azarenka and Ashleigh Barty.

Azarenka and Barty prevailed 6-0 6-1 in just 48 minutes, marking the first defeat for McNally and Gauff as a doubles pairing after winning 22 consecutive sets.

Though the Flushing Meadows experience is over for McNally and Gauff for this year, they intend to keep playing doubles when they can.

"This is only our third tournament together. We play so well together. There's no reason why we would stop," McNally said. "I'm really looking forward to playing with her again. Hopefully our tournament schedules work out soon. Whenever we play the same tournament, we'll play."

Long live McCoco.

 

WHAT'S WEST OF WESTEROS? (GAME OF THRONES SPOILER AHEAD)

That was the question posed by Maisie Williams' character Arya Stark as she set sail for a new adventure at the end of the epic fantasy series.

Judging by Williams' appearance in Queens today, the answer may be Flushing Meadows.

Williams was one of a raft of famous faces in attendance on Monday. Rafael Nadal had Tiger Woods out of his seat on multiple occasions, while Alec Baldwin and Big Bang Theory actor Jim Parsons also took in his win over Marin Cilic.

Whether it was on or off the court, there was star power everywhere you looked on day eight.

Rafael Nadal hopes he and "amazing inspiration" Tiger Woods will be able to play golf and tennis together after getting the 15-time major champion out of his seat and fist pumping during a US Open fourth-round win over Marin Cilic.

Nadal progressed to the quarter-finals with a four-set victory over Cilic at Flushing Meadows on Monday, and delighted the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd with a series of sublime shots in the third and fourth sets.

It was the penultimate point of the match, though, that had Woods celebrating as if he had added to his major tally as Nadal incredibly bent a forehand around the net post to bring up two match points.

The Spaniard spoke about Woods during his on-court interview and later in the post-match media conference he divulged further on his affection for the American, who capped a remarkable comeback from injury to win the Masters in April.

Asked if he saw some of Woods' reactions during the match, Nadal replied: "No, I didn't. I was playing tennis. But good, no? It means a lot to me to have him supporting.

"He's an amazing inspiration, all the things that he [has] accomplished in the sport, the way that he managed to keep fighting that hard.

"[He has] always been an example on the golf course, a real inspiration for me.

"[To] have him supporting and [to] be able to be in touch with him very often is something that I am super happy [for] and I hope one day we can play golf and tennis together."

Nadal will face Diego Schwartzman in the last eight after the 20th seed came from a set down to eliminate sixth seed Alexander Zverev, a result that came as no surprise to the 18-time grand slam champion.

"He is one of the most talented players on our Tour. He has everything, amazing control, amazing speed," Nadal said of Schwartzman. "He has the ability to read very well your shots and to understand very well the game. [It] is not a surprise he is there.

"I know people think that Zverev was favourite before that match. Honestly for me, today, Schwartzman was favourite.

"Schwartzman, I saw him play a couple of matches during this tournament, he was playing great. Sascha played two matches, two or three matches close. Physical issues always I think. The other arrived fresh and playing amazing.

"Sascha fought hard as always. He is going to be a grand slam champion soon I think.

"But today Diego played unbelievable. I need to play my best in the next round to have the chance to be in the semi-finals."

Rafael Nadal moved into the US Open quarter-finals as Alexander Zverev again fell short on Monday.

Nadal dropped his first set of the tournament before proving too good for 2014 champion Marin Cilic in New York.

The Spanish great will be hard to stop in the bottom half of the draw, with Zverev again unable to make the most of a chance at a major.

 

NADAL GETS THE JOB DONE

Nadal faced his toughest test yet before overcoming Cilic 6-3 3-6 6-1 6-2 after two hours, 48 minutes.

The 18-time grand slam champion is well-placed to reach his fifth decider at Flushing Meadows after running away from Cilic.

Nadal hit 37 winners and 26 unforced errors, breaking Cilic six times in another impressive display.

ZVEREV FALLS BEFORE QUARTERS AGAIN

Zverev's wait for a true breakthrough at a grand slam goes on after a 3-6 6-2 6-4 6-3 loss to Diego Schwartzman, who will face Nadal.

The German has made just two major quarter-finals – at the French Open in 2018 and 2019 – and suffered his second fourth-round loss at a major this year.

Zverev played five-setters in the opening two rounds and was pushed to four in the third.

"I had some things that were bothering me because of the fall I had two days ago," he told a news conference after his loss. "I couldn't practice freely yesterday. Warm-up was tough today. My right hip and my back is very swollen because of the fall.

"But other than that, fatigue... obviously it was very tough matches, but I feel fine."

 

MONFILS, BERRETTINI SET UP SURPRISE QUARTER-FINAL

Gael Monfils needed just 86 minutes to thrash Pablo Andujar 6-1 6-2 6-2 and reach his fourth US Open quarter-final.

The 2016 semi-finalist is 2-6 in last-eight clashes at majors, but has a huge opportunity against 23-year-old Italian Matteo Berrettini.

"I play great tennis here, very great tennis. I always say that I love the atmosphere. I love the energy. The energy is very important," Monfils said.

"Every stadium I go, definitely those stadium here in New York are one of the best for my game and for my personality.

"I feel very comfortable, so I think that's why I play always great tennis here."

Berrettini moved into his first grand slam quarter-final thanks to a surprise 6-1 6-4 7-6 (8-6) victory over Andrey Rublev.

Rafael Nadal recovered from a second-set blip to progress to the quarter-finals of the US Open in style with victory over Marin Cilic.

Nadal needed to play just two matches to reach the fourth round and won each of them in straight sets, with Cilic presenting his first real challenge of the tournament.

However, Nadal's hugely impressive reaction after dropping the second set was that of a player still somehow operating at the peak of his incredible physical powers.

Cilic faded rapidly following a supreme third set from Nadal, who secured a 6-3 3-6 6-1 6-2 triumph in two hours, 48 minutes, booking a quarter-final with Diego Schwartzman.

Nadal began a run of three successive breaks in the fourth game, the key blow coming two games later as a superb flicked forehand gave him the initiative once more after Cilic had struck back.

Cilic fired wide on the return to give the Spaniard the opening set but the Croatian was a different animal in the second, pairing his unwavering ambition with accurate groundstrokes and deftness at the net.

He broke for a 3-1 lead as Nadal looped a mishit backhand long, an error that proved enough for Cilic to become the first player to take a set off the 18-time grand slam champion in the tournament.

Cilic's squaring of the match only served to fuel Nadal, however, and the world number two broke in the fourth game of the third in astonishing fashion.

Nadal twice attempted to lob Cilic and, after the Croatian met the second with a desperate smash, unleashed a cross-court backhand to bring up three break points, with the 2014 champion double-faulting on the first.

Another double fault gave Nadal a chance for the double break, which he took emphatically with a scintillating forehand down the line that had him jumping for joy in celebration.

The set was secured as Cilic went long on a return and it was clear the end was nigh when he sent down another double fault in the opening game of the fourth.

Cilic was eventually able to stem a run of nine successive Nadal games to avoid a bagel, but he was powerless to stop the three-time US Open winner taking another step towards a prospective final with Roger Federer, providing one final flourish with a glorious forehand around the net post in the decisive game.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Rafael Nadal [2] bt Marin Cilic [22] 6-3 3-6 6-1 6-2

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Nadal – 37/26
Cilic – 33/40

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Nadal – 11/6
Cilic – 10/5

BREAK POINTS WON
Nadal – 6/11
Cilic – 2/3

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Nadal – 57
Cilic – 66

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Nadal – 83/48
Cilic – 59/46

TOTAL POINTS
Nadal – 109
Cilic – 86

Belinda Bencic's previous experience as a top-10 player gave her belief she could ascend the rankings of the sport again after seeing her career derailed by injury.

Bencic reached the last eight of the US Open on Monday as he produced a magnificent display to beat defending champion Naomi Osaka 7-5 6-4.

The Swiss was ranked seventh in the world in 2016, but a succession of injury problems saw her drop to 312th by the time she returned in September 2017.

However, Bencic has worked her way back into the world's top 20 and now plays good friend Donna Vekic for a place in the semi-finals.

Asked about her experiences between her previous Flushing Meadows quarter-final in 2014 and her straight-sets defeat of Osaka, Bencic told a media conference: "Yeah, it's been a long way since then [2014], for sure.

"People always think I'm a little bit older than I actually am, because I've been here since 16, 17. I think definitely it was a good time. I learned so many things. I think everyone expected [me] to go just up. That's not how tennis goes.

"I think all true athletes have to overcome obstacles, injuries, just tough times. I think it made me a stronger person, better player.

"Of course, there were times when you're injured you wonder if you can play at this level again. Then I also believed if I'm going to get back and healthy, I can play on this level, because I proved it so many times. It was just about being consistent and if it was going to be enough.

"I think it helps when the belief is there, when you know you can be top 10. So when you have been there, you know that your way is working. So I think that helped me a lot through these injuries."

Asked about her improvement in New York, Bencic added: "I think just generally I think the mental part is just really important.

"In these top-50 players, everyone can play very good tennis, so it's not about who can hit a better backhand or who can hit a better forehand.

"I think it's definitely about the mentality, how you go to the court, how you approach, if you have fear or if you're playing freely."

In Vekic, Bencic will be playing an opponent who has endured similar struggles, having won her first WTA title at the age of 17 but then finding grand slam success difficult to come by.

"I think it means a lot, because she was also very good [at] 16, 17 won her first WTA title," Bencic said of Vekic. "Then it was, you know, the pressure and some injuries, some difficult times.

"Now we're both back. It feels very nice. I'm very happy for her. But definitely I want to win. But still I think it will be great that one of us will be in semi-final."

Alexander Zverev was unable to pull off another five-set victory at the US Open as an error-strewn performance condemned him to a fourth-round loss to Diego Schwartzman marked by an umpiring controversy.

Zverev won the first set at Arthur Ashe Stadium in straightforward fashion but fell victim to a tremendous comeback from Schwartzman, who progressed to his second quarter-final in three years at Flushing Meadows.

Schwartzman came through 3-6 6-2 6-4 6-3 in over three hours, demonstrating devastating power off both wings and great touch at the net in a superb showing.

By contrast, Zverev's display was well below the standard that has seen him become established as one of the best young talents on the ATP Tour.

The 22-year-old has yet to make the breakthrough most expect of him, and his defeat on Monday owed to 65 unforced errors and 17 double faults.

Zverev was also docked a point that cost him the seventh game of the fourth set, allowing Schwartzman to go up 5-2, after being assessed a second code violation, the German left furious having claimed he did not hear the first.

Schwartzman wrapped up the win with a rasping forehand and will play either Rafael Nadal or Marin Cilic next.

On the prospect of playing Nadal, he told ESPN: "He's my friend, it's always great to play against him in quarter-finals of grand slams."

Naomi Osaka has not always dealt with defeat as well as she did at the US Open on Monday.

Her post-match news conferences following losses at Roland Garros and Wimbledon were much different affairs to the laid back discussion she had with the media after her fourth-round straight-sets loss to Belinda Bencic.

"In Wimbledon I walked out on you guys," Osaka joked. "In Roland Garros, I came straight from the match, so I was all gross and I just wanted to get out of there."

The reason for Osaka's change in reaction to being beaten stems from the events of Saturday in New York, when she won the hearts of sports fans around the world by convincing a tearful Coco Gauff to do a joint on-court interview with her after their third-round clash at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Osaka's sportsmanship and empathy was widely lauded, and the 21-year-old, who saw her title defence and reign as world number one ended by Bencic, believes the tournament and the experience she shared with Gauff has had a transformative effect on her.

"For me, right now I have this feeling of sadness, but I also feel like I have learned so much during this tournament. Honestly, of course I wanted to defend this tournament," she said.

"I feel like the steps that I have taken as a person have been much greater than, like, I would imagine at this point. So I hope that I can keep growing. I know that if I keep working hard, then of course I'll have better results.

"I feel like I'm more chill now. I feel like I grew. I don't feel like I put so much weight on one single match."

Osaka conceded to being surprised by the level of reaction on social media to her touching moment with Gauff, and by the extra support it earned her in the Bencic match.

However, the added backing could not help her overcome her opponent, with Osaka refusing to blame a knee problem for which she took a painkiller after going down a break in the second set.

"It was kind of weird. Yeah, I definitely felt like people were cheering for me more, which I appreciate. Yeah, it was kind of unexpected," she added.

"I hurt my knee in Cincinnati, but it's getting better. I don't want to say that that's the reason that I lost, because I obviously had played, like, three matches before this.

"The knee was a little bit annoying in the movement aspect, but I think that that's something I should have overcome in a way that I either should have started playing more aggressively or just, like, tried to, like, hit at a higher length.

Osaka, who also revealed she has not practiced serving due to being unable to land on her left leg, will have plenty of time to dissect what went wrong against Bencic as she prepares for the Asia swing and the fight for the year-end number one ranking.

However, for now the two-time grand slam champion appears more content to reflect on the many positives from a tournament that has had a greater impact on her personal development than either of those two triumphs.

Belinda Bencic produced a stunning performance to end Naomi Osaka's title defence at the US Open in the fourth round and bring her stint at the top of the world rankings to a close. 

Osaka won plaudits for her class on and off the court in the third round, persuading an emotional Coco Gauff to do a joint interview in front of the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd after her straight-sets win over the 15-year-old American.

As a result she had plenty of backing under the roof of the same arena, but that did not inspire her to victory in the face of a magnificent showing from Bencic.

The Swiss had won her two previous meetings with Osaka, defeating her in Indian Wells and Madrid. Having had the benefit of Anett Kontaveit's withdrawal from her third-round tie, Bencic continued her hoodoo over the Japanese in fine style.

She completed a 7-5 6-4 triumph in one hour and 27 minutes, reaching only her second grand slam quarter-final with a win that ensures Ashleigh Barty will replace Osaka at the top of the WTA rankings.

Bencic quickly hit the ground running and opened up a 2-0 lead in the first set, only for Osaka to reel off three straight games.

Any thought that normal service had been resumed proved misguided, however, and Bencic struck again as she nailed a passing shot to break before wrapping up the set when Osaka returned a serve out wide into the net.

The world number 12 did a tremendous job of extending the rallies and brought up triple break point in the fifth game of the second with another astonishing pass at the end of a remarkable rally.

Osaka subsequently sent down a double fault and then called for the trainer. She carried on but was unable to make the inroads needed to restore parity as Bencic secured arguably the biggest win of her career, celebrating arms aloft as her opponent directed a tame off-balance forehand into the net.

Bencic will next face Donna Vekic, who overcame Julia Goerges in three sets, in a match between two players looking to reach the semi-final of a slam for the first time.

It has been a long road back to the top of men's tennis for Novak Djokovic, which will have made another betrayal by his body sting all the more on Sunday.

What may be even more painful for the world number one, however, is the realisation he could be about to lose ground in the race for his ultimate goal: the all-time record for men's grand slam singles titles.

Djokovic has made no secret of his desire to beat Roger Federer's leading tally, which stands at 20. However, his retirement due to a left shoulder injury after being thoroughly dismantled by Stan Wawrinka in the fourth round of the US Open has made that challenge even harder.

Through his struggles with an elbow problem, Djokovic saw eight slams go by without him lifting any of them, with six shared between Federer and Nadal.

That set him back significantly in his quest to take Federer's crown as the greatest of all time, and he will know his withdrawal makes it highly likely the Swiss star or Nadal will be collecting the US Open trophy come the end of the second week of proceedings at Flushing Meadows.

Federer and Nadal will be the heavy favourites to contest the final, with the former having the chance to move onto 21 and Nadal the opportunity to pull to within one of him on 19.

Djokovic does not believe this latest setback to be a long-term issue - he plans to play in Tokyo in four weeks' time - and was defiant when asked in his post-match media conference about his dream of catching Federer and Nadal.

"It's a long road ahead hopefully for me," Djokovic said. "I hope I can play for many more years. I'm planning to. I mean, I don't see an end behind the corner at all.

"Now it's a matter of keeping my body and mind in shape and trying to still peak at these kind of events that are majors and that are the most significant in our sport."

However, keeping his body in shape has proven easier said than done for Djokovic. This was his sixth retirement at a slam, albeit his first at the US Open, and at 32 it is easy to question just how long he will be able to remain at the highest level given that record of durability problems in majors.

Barring a breakthrough for Daniil Medvedev or perhaps a continuation of the Wawrinka resurgence in New York this week, Djokovic's task of claiming the slam record will be a more difficult one going into the 2020 season.

Having seen the career of Andy Murray – who is just seven days younger than Djokovic – completely derailed by injury, the Serbian should have an understanding that his time as one of the best in the world can be brought to an end at any moment.

By contrast, he will also be encouraged by the manner in which the now 38-year-old Federer has been able to extend his time as a grand slam champion well beyond the expected twilight of his career.

Federer, though, has been able to achieve that by reducing his playing schedule. The 2019 season was the first in which Federer has played the French Open since 2015 and he has only featured in 10 tournaments all year. 

Djokovic's insistence that he plans to play in Tokyo despite saying he has been in "constant pain" for weeks indicates he believes he can continue to have a very busy schedule and compete in grand slams.

His body is telling him otherwise.

The 16-time major winner is not one for giving up, which is what made his retirement against Wawrinka all the more surprising.

However, unless he accepts shifting to a lighter schedule is the best policy as he moves into his mid-30s, Djokovic may have to resign himself to the prospect of his moving to the top of the major pile never coming to pass.

Stan Wawrinka could see Novak Djokovic was struggling with his shoulder but was still surprised the world number one retired from their fourth-round match at the US Open.

Wawrinka produced a superb performance at Arthur Ashe Stadium, taking the first two sets 6-4 7-5 and leading 2-1 in the third before Djokovic succumbed to his shoulder problem on Sunday.

Djokovic double-faulted to gift Wawrinka a break early in the third set, before which the Serb had received treatment on the shoulder that hindered him in a second-round clash with Juan Ignacio Londero.

That prompted defending champion Djokovic to concede the match, giving Wawrinka a place in the quarter-finals, where he will face Daniil Medvedev.

Asked if he could sense something wrong with Djokovic in a rematch of the 2016 final won by the Swiss, Wawrinka told a media conference: "For me, my sense, I was feeling good on the court. I was playing well.

"The more the match was going, better I was playing, I was hitting really hard the ball. I was feeling great on the court. That's the most important.

"For sure I could see some little thing that he was in trouble. But I was most likely, most of the time, focused on myself because I know how well he can fight.

"I know how well he can come back. Doesn't matter how he's feeling on the court, and that's what I was focusing on."

"Yeah, it was," Wawrinka said when asked if the retirement was a shock. "It's always a surprise, for sure, when you play a champion like him.

"You always expect to play against the best of Novak. I saw he wasn't feeling great, but again, it was a surprise, for sure."

Djokovic was booed by large sections of the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd as he left the court, a turn of events that also had Wawrinka taken aback in New York.

"[I'm] always surprised when you play the number one and you hear the fans booing him when he had to retire, that's for sure," he added.

"He's a good friend. I know him really well. He's [an] amazing champion, and if he has to retire, it's not the best for a tennis player to have to leave the court like that."

Wawrinka will likely have the crowd on his side against Medvedev, who has revelled in boos during his last two matches after being seen to direct a middle-finger gesture to the crowd in his third-round meeting with Feliciano Lopez.

Three-time grand slam champion Wawrinka understands how Medvedev can feed off negative energy, saying: "For sure I understand how you can get from any atmosphere. That's why you play.

"I understand the enjoyment of that, not only in positive but also in negative. You always look for something, and that's going to be interesting."

Novak Djokovic revealed he had been in constant pain for weeks after he retired from his US Open fourth-round match with Stan Wawrinka due to a shoulder injury.

Djokovic received massages on his shoulder at several junctures during his second-round meeting with Juan Ignacio Londero at Flushing Meadows.

However, the world number one appeared in much-improved condition in a third-round win over Denis Kudla on Friday, only for the issue to resurface as Wawrinka dictated Sunday's last-16 clash.

Wawrinka claimed the first two sets 6-4 7-5, with Djokovic receiving treatment prior to the third before conceding defeat following a double-fault that gave the Swiss another break of serve for a 2-1 lead.

After his title defence came to an end, Djokovic told a media conference: "The pain was constant for weeks now. Some days higher; some days with less intensity and obviously taking different stuff to kill the pain instantly. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn't.

"[It's] very frustrating. Obviously not the first, not the last player to get injured and to, you know, withdraw from one of the biggest events in sport.

"But obviously I just came off the court, so of course it hurts."

Djokovic was booed off by large sections of the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd upon leaving the court but refused to blame them for doing so.

"Look, I'm not being offended by, you know, [being] mistreated by anybody," he added. "I don't really pay too much attention on that.

"I like to respect others. I hope that others can respect me and my decision.

"I'm sorry for the crowd. Obviously they came to see a full match, and just wasn't to be. That's all it is.

"A lot of people didn't know what's happening, so you cannot blame them. It is what it is."

Novak Djokovic bowed out of the US Open against Stan Wawrinka, while Roger Federer cruised into the quarter-finals on Sunday.

Wawrinka looked in fine form and was two-sets-to-love up when Djokovic, who has been dealing with a shoulder injury, retired on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The world number one and defending champion's exit has opened up the top half of the draw, although Federer is starting to find some better form in New York.

 

DJOKOVIC DEPARTS AMID SHOULDER STRUGGLES

Wawrinka was leading Djokovic 6-4 7-5 2-1 when the Serbian retired, having earlier again received treatment on his left shoulder.

In a rematch of the 2016 final, Wawrinka – then the champion in four sets – looked in good form as he took control of the fourth-round clash.

The Swiss three-time grand slam champion has struggled with injuries in recent years, but seems to be getting close to his best form again.

The quarter-finals at Flushing Meadows add to his run to the last eight at the French Open.

 

FEDERER IN A RUSH

Federer, the five-time champion, needed just 79 minutes to thrash Belgian 15th seed David Goffin 6-2 6-2 6-0.

The 20-time major champion mixed 35 winners with 17 unforced errors in a ruthless victory.

Federer dropped the opening set in the first two rounds, but has now lost just nine games in his past two wins.

MEDVEDEV RUN CONTINUES, DIMITROV RESURGENT

Next up for Wawrinka is Daniil Medvedev, who continued his run with a 3-6 6-3 6-2 7-6 (7-2) win over qualifier Dominik Koepfer.

No player has more wins than the Russian on the ATP Tour this year and Medvedev is still embracing his villain status with the crowd in New York.

His win saw him move into the quarter-finals at a grand slam for the first time, with a tough clash against Wawrinka awaiting him.

Grigor Dimitrov moved into his first US Open quarter-final by beating Alex de Minaur 7-5 6-3 6-4.

The Bulgarian has reached the last eight at majors four times previously, but his clash against Federer will be his first grand slam quarter-final since the 2018 Australian Open.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.