The 2012 US Open enters the business end of the tournament, with quarter final berths and valuable ranking points at stake for the top men and women professionals. Big names like Roger Federer and Andy Murray, from the men's half of the draw, will be in action on Day Eight. They will be joined on court by former World No 1, fourth seed and hometown girl Serena Williams, who will play her singles fourth round encounter in the evening, against the Czech Republic's Andrea Hlavackova.
The last day of the first week of the 2012 US Open started with a routine win for second seed and men's singles defending champion Novak Djokovic. The Serbian turned what could have been a difficult game, against 31st seed Julien Benneteau of France, into 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 stroll.
That was followed by a slightly more drawn-out win for 20th seed and crowd favourite Andy Roddick of the US, who fought his way past Fabio Fognini of Italy, 7-5, 7-6(1), 4-6, 6-4, in what will be his last appearance at Flushing Meadows; Roddick, 30, has announced his retirement from the sport.
Also in action on the day were women's top seeds Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, Maria Sharapova of Russia and Samantha Stosur of Australia.
Azarenka, the top seed and World No 1 Belarusian, claimed a routine 6-2, 6-2 win over Georgian Anna Tatishvili in her fourth round match, to set up a quarter final clash with the big-hitting Stosur. The seventh seeded Australian, who is also the defending champion, was pushed a little in her match against British teenager Laura Robson, but came through 6-4, 6-4. Meanwhile, Sharapova was forced to three sets against compatriot and 19th seed Nadia Petrova; the third seed won 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 and will now play 11th seed Marion Bartoli of France in her quarter final.
The three biggest matches of the day will undoubtedly be the ones involving Federer, Murray and Williams, as the trio look to book their places in the quarter finals. All three will play their games in the Arthur Ashe Stadium, with the men's games scheduled for late evening starts. Aside from these three, there will also be a number of other critical fourth round games and the quarter final line-up for the women's half of the draw should be settled today.
The action starts at 4 pm with 12th seed Ana Ivanovic of Serbia taking on unseeded Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova in the Arthur Ashe Stadium. Ivanovic, should she go through, will play the winner of the fourth round match between Williams and Hlavackova, which will start at 6 pm at the earliest.
The morning session in the Arthur Ashe Stadium concludes with Federer's fourth round match against American Mardy Fish; expect there to be plenty of home support for the 23rd seed. The men will not take to the courts before 7.30 pm.
The evening session will start, at midnight with a women's doubles third round match, featuring the unseeded American pair of Venus and Serena Williams against the fourth seeds, Maria Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova of Russia.
That will be followed by Andy Murray's fourth round match against 15th seeded Canadian Milos Raonic. Murray, who is in Federer's half of the draw, could face either 12th seed Marin Cilic or unseeded Martin Klizan of Slovakia (the pair will play the last match of the day in the Louis Armstrong Stadium) in the quarter final.
Over in the Louis Armstrong Stadium, the first match will be a men's fourth round encounter between 11th seed Nicolas Almagro of Spain and sixth seeded Czech Tomas Berdych; the game will start at 4 pm. The winner of this game will play either Federer or Fish in the quarter final.
The Almagro-Berdych game will be followed (not before 5.30 pm) by a women's singles fourth round game between sixth seed Angelique Kerber of Germany and the 10th seeded Sara Errani of Italy. Also in the Louis Armstrong Stadium is a women's singles fourth round match between second seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland and 20th seed Roberta Vinci of Italy.
Where to Watch Live:
You can follow all the action live, from 4 pm on Sky Sports 2 and Sky Sports HD 2. You can also catch all the scores and updates, in real time, from the tournament's official Web site.