Thursday, September 9, 2010

US Open Report: Day 10

The wind yet again troubled the players today especially since all of the single matches were held in Arthur Ashe stadium where the wind seems to have a mind of its own. While all of the players found the wind annoying, the top players persevered.

Wimbledon finalist and 7th seed Vera Zvonareva reached her first US Open semifinals beating 32nd seed Kaia Kanepi in straight sets. Zvonareva easily won the first set, but both players could not take a foothold in the second set, both committing errors after errors. In the end it was Kanepi's 60th error that gave the only Russian in the top ten the match. The match between 17th seed Gael Monfils and 3rd seed Novak Djokovic looked to be a blockbuster match, but the more experienced Djokovic tamed the Frenchman in straight sets, giving up only 3 games in the last two sets. After Monfils lost the first-set tiebreaker, he got more desperate hitting a ton of unpractical shots that put him out of position while Djokovic just handled the crazy conditions much better.

The wind got even gustier at the start of the Caroline Wozniacki-Dominika Cibulkova match. Both players lost their serves early trying to adjust to the windy conditions. Wozniacki was able to adjust more quickly and won the first set in no time. It was a closer affair in the second set getting to 5-5. Unfortunately for Cibulkova, she lost her serve in the 11th game and Wozniacki had a chance to serve it out. Cibulkova fought back and had break point, but Wozniacki saved that and won the next two point to win the match and reach her second consecutive US Open semifinals.

Last time they played, 5th seed Robin Soderling defeated 5-time US Open champion Roger Federer in the French Open quarterfinals to end Federer's semifinals streak in majors. So for Federer, this was a revenge match and he more than anyone today really used the wind to his advantage. Though he was broken twice, Federer was relatively superb during his service games garnering 18 aces to Soderling's measly 2. It was the Swede who was clearly agitated with the wind unable to hit his usual array of winners. With Federer already up 2 sets, Soderling had a chance to serve out the third set at 5-3 only for Federer to break him and win the next three games for a straight-set win. Federer is the only other player in the tournament other than Rafael Nadal to not have lost a set.

Men's First and Women's Second Semifinal Preview: Djokovic is a dangerous opponent for Federer, but the numbers speak for themselves. Federer leads their H2H 10-5 and has won all four of their matches at the US Open with Djokovic managing to only win ONE set. With that said, Djokovic has improved as the tournament progressed, but it's probably NOT enough to take out the 5-time US Open winner. As for Wozniacki-Zvonareva, it's actually more of a toss-up than one would think. Their H2H is 2-2 overall and 1-1 this year. Wozniacki is the better player at the moment, so the edge goes to the top seed.

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