NEW YORK (AP) - Through a pair of back-and-forth sets, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray put on a display befitting a matchup of past U.S. Open champions.
They tracked down would-be winners and somehow got them back, prolonging points that involved 10 or 20 strokes or more, extended by Djokovic’s slides and splits or Murray’s gifted anticipation. After one 30-shot masterpiece on his way to victory, Djokovic raised his right fist, bellowed, “Come on!” and windmilled his arms to rile up the crowd.
Eventually, the physically demanding action proved too much for a fading Murray, and Djokovic pulled away to win 7-6 (1), 6-7 (1), 6-2, 6-4 and reach the tournament’s semifinals for the eighth consecutive year.
It took a while for him to push out front in a 3-hour, 32-minute match that ended after 1 a.m. Thursday.
Djokovic will next face Kei Nishikori, the first man from Japan to reach the U.S. Open semifinals since Ichiya Kumagae in 1918. Nishikori outlasted third-seeded Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7), 6-7 (5), 6-4.
In the women’s quarterfinals, top-seeded Serena Williams dropped the first three games before quickly turning things around to defeat 11th-seeded Flavia Pennetta of Italy 6-3, 6-2.
Williams, who counts five U.S. Open titles among her 17 Grand Slam trophies, will play 17th-seeded Ekaterina Makarova of Russia in the semifinals.
IRVING, Texas (AP) - Michael Sam’s second chance will be with the Dallas Cowboys.
Coach Jason Garrett said Wednesday that the NFL’s first openly gay player will be added to the Cowboys’ practice roster.
The Cowboys, who are seeking help with their pass rush because of injuries and the offseason release of franchise sacks leader DeMarcus Ware, added Sam four days after he was released by St. Louis when teams had to cut their rosters to 53 players.
Sam isn’t likely to be on the active roster for Sunday’s season opener against San Francisco.
Any team can sign Sam off the Cowboys’ practice squad, but would have to put him on the 53-man roster for a minimum of four weeks.
NEW YORK (AP) - The family of Junior Seau has opted out of a proposed NFL legal settlement with former players over concussion-related injuries.
The family will continue its wrongful death lawsuit against the league. Seau, a star linebacker for 20 seasons who made 11 Pro Bowls, committed suicide in 2012.