Photo of the Day

All Clear – Cilic Healthy And Ready To Defend

Marin Cilic

Last year Marin Cilic surprised most of the tennis world by winning the US Open, whilst charting a route through Tomas Berdych, Roger Federer and Kei Nishikori. This year he may have surprised tennis again by not winning another title since—or even advancing to a final. A few months of that drought can be attributed to the cloud of a shoulder injury that now appears to have cleared. And that timing is good, as his path to the semifinals also is relatively clear, with Novak Djokovic being the only other Top 10 player left in the top half of the men’s draw. Cilic’s 6-3, 2-6, 7-6, 6-1 Sunday victory over Jérémy Chardy brings him into the quarterfinals, where he’ll face No. 19 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Photo: Chris Nicholson, www.PhotographingTennis.com

Here Again – Warinka Returns To Familiar Fourth Round

Stan Wawrinka

Stan Wawrinka is no stranger to the second week of the US Open, and the two will be reacquainted again this year after his 6–3, 7–6, 6–4 Saturday win over Ruben Bemelmans. Wawrinka advanced to the fourth round for the fourth straight year, and for the seventh time overall in 11 US Open appearances. His next foe is American Donald Young, who fought back from 0-2 to win in the fifth set for the second time in the tournament. “He’s a tough player,” Warinka says. “He’s improved a lot—especially his attitude on the court. He’s fighting way more, he’s always trying. He will try to get the crowd with him, so it’s going to be, for sure, a great match to play.”

Photo: Chris Nicholson, www.PhotographingTennis.com

Jimmy Project – With New Help, Bouchard Advancing

Eugenie Bouchard

In only her third appearance at the US Open, Canadian Eugenie Bouchard has become a fan favorite, evidenced by the spirited crowd support she received on Armstrong Stadium in Thursday’s 7-6, 4-6, 6-3 win over Dominika Cibulkova. Bouchard now advances to the Round of 16, tying for her best US Open result so far in her young career. The 21-year-old attributes some of that success to recently working with a fan favorite from a previous generation, former champion Jimmy Connors. “He has so much experience, obviously. Just hearing his stories and listening to him speak, I obviously respect him so much,” she says. “The fact that he told me he truly believes in me reminded me, ‘Hey, I need to believe in myself as well.’ He’s definitely helped me in my time of need.”

Photo: Chris Nicholson, www.PhotographingTennis.com

Heat-Beaten – Sock Succumbs To Summer

Jack Sock

No. 2 American men’s tennis player Jack Sock stepped foot on the Grandstand Thursday to chase balls with Ruben Bemelmans. Unfortunately he needed other feet to walk him off. Despite a 1-0 record against the Belgian, Sock succumbed to the unrelenting late-summer heat, collapsing on court while leading 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 1-2. In a statement released later, Sock said, “Playing in the US Open is the biggest and most important moment of the season for me, so having to retire from my match today is extremely disappointing. I want to thank everyone for their support and can’t wait to be back next year.”

Photo: Chris Nicholson, www.PhotographingTennis.com

Feeling the Love – NYC Crowd Lifts Nadal

Rafael Nadal

Two-time US Open champion Rafael Nadal, who hasn’t lost a match in Flushing since the 2011 final, made a rare appearance in the more intimate Armstrong Stadium on Wednesday, where he faced Argentinian Diego Schwartzman. The smaller setting didn’t stifle the capacity crowd, who cheered the 14-time Grand Slam singles champion to a 7-6, 6-3, 7-5 win. “I feel that love, I feel that energy—I’ve always felt that energy when I’m playing in New York,” Nadal said after the match. “For me it’s the biggest satisfaction possible to feel the support of the crowd and the people, because that means a lot to me.”

Photo: Chris Nicholson, www.PhotographingTennis.com

Debut Spoiler – Woz Dispatches Loeb

Caroline Wozniaki

Day 2 of the US Open featured a tour veteran versus a brand new pro, as No. 4 Caroline Wozniacki spoiled Jamie Loeb’s main draw debut, 6-2, 6-0. The 2015 tournament marks Wozniacki’s ninth main draw appearance versus Loeb’s first. Loeb is a wildcard guest of the USTA due to her recent NCAA singles championship for the University of North Carolina. Despite the relatively easy win, Wozniacki had encouraging words for the WTA Tour rookie. “It’s not easy to be playing your first professional match, and especially being out there in the US Open first round playing me on Arthur Ashe Stadium. I think that can be pretty intimidating altogether,” Wozniacki said. “I think she did well. She has a lot of potential. … I’m sure we will see a lot of her in the future.”

Photo: Chris Nicholson, www.PhotographingTennis.com

Bright Lights – Serena Seeking The Slam

Arthur Ashe Stadium - Opening Night, 2015

The new roof structure couldn’t keep the biggest star from shining into Arthur Ashe Stadium last night, as Serena Williams launched her final leg of pursuing tennis’ first Grand Slam in nearly three decades. She made the first step look easy, dispatching an injured Vitalia Diatchenko 6-0, 2-0, ret. The win is her 29th straight in Grand Slam singles draws, dating back to the first round of the 2014 US Open.

Photo: Chris Nicholson, www.PhotographingTennis.com