Missing 'Big Three' means new kind of pressure for last four at US Open

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The perennial challenge for the men's field at any Grand Slam has been taking down one of the dominant 'Big Three', but for those left at this ...

The perennial challenge for the men's field at any Grand Slam has been taking down one of the dominant 'Big Three', but for those left at this year's U.S. Open, it is about tamping down the pressure of playing a semi-final shorn of tennis' titans.

The aggressive, nothing-to-lose mentality a player might adopt as he gazes across the net at Rafa Nadal, Roger Federer or world number one Novak Djokovic no longer applies at Flushing Meadows.With Nadal and Federer both skipping the tournament, Djokovic's sensational exit on Sunday after hitting a line judge in the throat with a ball opened up the field for a younger cohort of players.

"The Novak news shocked us all, and obviously for us younger guys, we see that as a massive opportunity, but we have to put our head down and just do our job and focus on ourselves," said fifth-seed Zverev, who plays Carreno Busta on Friday.

 

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