Wednesday, September 8, 2010

US Open Report: Day 9

It was a long, long day of tennis today. It began with 12th seed Mikhail Youzhny taking out Tommy Robredo in four tight sets. Youzhny will meet the second best Swiss player, Stanislas Wawrinka who went the distance with his match with last American man standing Sam Querrey. The match lasted more than four hours and both men were clearly relieved when it was over.

A couple of Grand Slam champions then took to Arthur Ashe Stadium as Venus Williams and Francesca Schiavone battled it out for the first spot in the semifinals. It was an energetic match mostly due to the Italian's manic play of style. Unfortunately for her, Venus came out on top in two very, very close sets. While this was happening, the first of today's all-Spanish match-up with 8th seed Fernando Verdasco and 10th seed David Ferrer was being played in Louis Armstrong. Ferrer was up 2 sets to love until Verdasco bravely took it to a fifth set where he won in the tie-break with a most dramatic point.

The night session at that point had started over at Ashe Stadium with defending champion Kim Clijsters playing this year's French Open finalist Sam Stosur. Neither player was able to play consistently throughout the match and in fact traded six consecutive breaks of serve in the third set before Clijsters recovered and held serve twice to win her 19th consecutive match at the US Open. The one player who made quick work today was top seed Rafael Nadal who dismissed fellow countryman Feliciano Lopez in straight sets. Nadal looks focused for the one title that eludes him, serving impressively. He is the only player, man or woman, to not have his serve broken.

Men's Quarterfinal Preview: So with those results, we have the eight men to make up the quarterfinalists. It's an impressive list containing the top two Swiss and Spanish players as well as the top Serbian and the top Swede. The second best Russian and French players also make the stacked list of players. The toughest match will be Federer-Soderling with Nadal and Djokovic highly favored in their respective duels with Verdasco and Monfils. A bit of a toss-up is Wawrinka-Youzhny but the Russian should like his chances to reach his second major semifinal appearance with a tired and slightly injured Wawrinka on the other side.

Women's First Semifinal Preview: 2-time US Open champions Venus Williams and Kim Clijsters need to get through each other to have a chance at getting their third US Open title. They met last year in the fourth round, but it was such an odd match (Clijsters won 6-0 0-6 6-4) that it's hard to get anything from that. Clijsters did win Miami this year beating Venus in the finals and it wasn't close at all. Clijsters SHOULD win this, but the streakiness she's shown the past few days are a bit worrisome.

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