Eugenie Bouchard wilts in fourth round

Seventh-seeded Canadian Eugenie Bouchard (center) needed a medical timeout and ice packs on a scorching day in New York. Eduardo Munoz/Reuters
Eduardo Munoz/REUTERS
Seventh-seeded Canadian Eugenie Bouchard (center) needed a medical timeout and ice packs on a scorching day in New York.

NEW YORK — Wilting in high heat and humidity Monday, Eugenie Bouchard became the latest top woman to lose at the US Open, ending her streak of making the semifinals at each Grand Slam tournament this year.

The seventh-seeded Bouchard, the runner-up at Wimbledon in July, needed a medical timeout and was beaten, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, by 17th-seeded Ekaterina Makarova.

In muggy air with temperature in the high 80s, a trainer checked Bouchard’s blood pressure and rubbed plastic bags of ice on her shoulders, arms, and legs during the changeover after the second set’s fifth game.


When action resumed, the 20-year-old Canadian got broken right away to trail, 4-2. She broke Makarova and pulled even, but was broken at love in the final game to end it.

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‘‘I definitely felt a lot of outside expectations and pressure to win matches. I felt more like it’s normal if I win and it’s a bit more of a disaster when I lose,’’ Bouchard said. ‘‘But that’s something that I need to block out.’’

Asked what went through her mind during Bouchard’s medical break, Makarova smiled.

‘‘Well, actually, I thought, ‘Thanks,’ because I also was tired,’’ Makarova said with a smile. ‘‘It was really [helpful] for me also.’’

It’s not the first time Bouchard has been affected by heat, saying it happened at last year’s U.S. Open, too, and as a junior at the Australian Open.


‘‘Once in a while, I get a little bit light-headed,’’ Bouchard said. ‘‘That’s what happens.’’

Bouchard’s loss means that for the first time since 1977, eight different women will have filled the eight finalist slots at a season’s Grand Slam tournaments:

 Li Na beat Dominika Cibulkova at the Australian Open in January; Li didn’t even enter the US Open because of a knee injury, while Cibulkova was stunned by 15-year-old American CiCi Bellis in the first round.

 Maria Sharapova edged Simona Halep at the French Open in June; Sharapova lost to Caroline Wozniacki in the fourth round in New York, and Halep went out in the third round against qualifier Mirjana Lucic-Baroni.

 Petra Kvitova defeated Bouchard at Wimbledon in July; Kvitova departed in the third round in Flushing Meadows against 145th-ranked qualifier Aleksandra Krunic. Her surprising run was ended by two-time US Open runner-up Victoria Azarenka.


The 16th-seeded Azarenka won four of the last five games to edge Krunic, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Krunic was trying to become the first qualifier since 1981 to reach the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows.

‘‘Aleksandra played some amazing tennis, really. She has a great future,’’ said Azarenka, who lost to Williams in the 2012 and 2013 US Open finals.

While Makarova is into the US Open quarterfinals for the second year in a row, Bouchard’s early-for-her major exit certainly fits with the way things have gone the past eight days. Of the top 10 seeded women, only two remain: No. 1 Serena Williams and No. 10 Wozniacki.

‘‘It’s never easy to play somebody you don’t know. But she played really well and stepped it up. I just tried to stay positive and tried to fight and do anything I can to really turn the match around and really stay in the moment,’’ Azarenka said. ‘‘I felt like I had to start to play more aggressive and come in and take chances. And I think in important moments I did that well.’’

She certainly did, pushing forward to win nine of 10 points at the net in the third set of the fourth-round match.

Azarenka was down 3-2 in that set, but broke to go ahead 4-3 with a backhand winner down the line off one of Krunic’s many attempted drop shots.

The varied game played by Krunic, a 21-year-old from Serbia, worked wonders earlier in the tournament, when she used her mix of spins and speeds to eliminate Kvitova in the third round, and 27th-seeded Madison Keys in the second.

‘‘I didn’t expect such a good effort from myself. . . . I enjoyed the moment and I tried to stay in the moment as much as I could,’’ Krunic said.

Williams got to her first Grand Slam quarterfinal of 2014 by overwhelming 50th-ranked Kaia Kanepi, 6-3, 6-3, winning her first 12 service points with the help of five aces.

Through four matches, Williams, 32, has lost only 17 games — the eighth time she’s made it to the US Open quarterfinals dropping that many or fewer.

One of the few glitches for Williams came when she tried to serve for the match at 5-2 in the second set.

She double-faulted twice to hand over a break to Kanepi, who promptly converted it with a backhand winner down the line.

After breaking back to win, Williams acknowledged feeling a bit of pressure to make up for her showings at the year’s other majors — fourth round at the Australian Open, second round at the French Open, and third round at Wimbledon.

‘‘I think I felt it in my service game,’’ Williams said. ‘‘I'm like, ‘Can I please make it to a Grand Slam quarters this year?’ ’’

Next for Williams in her pursuit of a third straight US Open title and 18th Grand Slam championship is 11th-seeded Flavia Pennetta, who beat 29th-seeded Casey Dellacqua, 7-5, 6-2.

Pennetta, a semifinalist a year ago, has lost all five previous meetings against Williams.

‘‘You cannot invent something. I mean, you just have to play your tennis,’’ Pennetta said. ‘‘Of course, she’s better than me, but if I still believe I can beat her, maybe if she doesn’t have a good day, I can do that.’’

The top-seeded man, Novak Djokovic, played mostly mistake-free tennis, making only 19 unforced errors and facing only two break points — both saved — in a 6-1, 7-5, 6-4 victory over 22d-seeded Philipp Kohlschreiber.

In a fourth-round men’s match Monday night, No. 3 Stan Wawrinka brushed off a tumble into the stands and beat No. 16 Tommy Robredo 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (9-7), 6-2.

Robredo had a chance to serve out the first set and had two set points in the third, but Wawrinka rallied both times, and then dominated the final set.

‘‘That’s why I'm normally so strong, because I know that I have [a] few lives,’’ Wawrinka said. ‘‘Even if I can feel really bad, I always find solution how to get better, how to relax physically, and at the end I was feeling good.’’

Leading 4-3 in the third, Wawrinka chased after Robredo’s winner and realized he was about to crash into the barrier behind the sideline. Wawrinka hurdled it and landed on some spectators.

The Australian Open champ crouched and rotated his right leg but seemed to move well. The trainer had already been working on that leg during changeovers.

‘‘It was quite a bad fall,’’ he said. ‘‘But I'm lucky I didn’t have any big problem with that. I was already struggling physically, so was nothing from the fall.’’

Djokovic, the 2011 US Open champion, earned a spot in the quarterfinals for the eighth year in a row — and at a 22d consecutive Grand Slam tournament overall.

The last time Djokovic was eliminated before the quarterfinals at a major was a third-round loss to Kohlschreiber at the 2009 French Open.

Asked to explain that consistency, Djokovic said, ‘‘I love the sport and I play it with a lot of passion.’’ He then did a dance for the crowd at Louis Armstrong Stadium.

Djokovic now meets No. 8 Andy Murray, who got past No. 9 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 7-5, 7-5, 6-4, in 2 hours, 35 minutes

Both of Murray’s Grand Slam titles came via victories over Djokovic, in the finals of the US Open in 2012 and of Wimbledon in 2013.

Tsonga had three break points to go up, 3-0, in the final set, but Murray fought them off to swing the momentum. He promptly broke in the next game to get the set back on serve, and then closed out the match with another break.

‘‘The first two sets were very long, tough sets, mentally very draining,’’ Murray said in an on-court interview. ‘‘Glad to get through.’’

It was a tough draw for both players — and gets even tougher for Murray. He and Djokovic have met five times in major tournaments, with four coming in the finals; the other was a semi.

Tsonga rolled into the US Open full of confidence after beating Djokovic, Murray, and Roger Federer in Toronto to win the title. His 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 6-4 victory over Murray in early August was the type of match the two-time major champion had been losing since back surgery late last year.

‘‘Tennis, it’s never a straight line. It’s always like this,’’ Tsonga said, tracing peaks and valleys with his hand. ‘‘So today it was like this maybe at the wrong moment.’’

Murray hasn’t reached a final at any level since becoming the first British man in 77 years to win Wimbledon in July 2013.

He beat Djokovic to clinch that title and also defeated him at the 2012 US Open for the first Grand Slam championship by a British man in 76 years.

''It’s still obviously a long way from trying to win the tournament,’’ Murray said, ‘‘but it’s only nine sets now, three matches. . . . Maybe five, six days away from potentially winning another Grand Slam.’’