September 4, 2013 – US Open fourth rounds and quarter finals
As the herd thins and the pretenders fall back from the contenders, the plot thickens at the Meadows.
Flavia Pennetta and Carla Suarez Navarro are the most unfamiliar names remaining in the draw, but deserve their spots and should be proud of their performances. Serena and Li Na in one semi-final, Li having battled through the toughest bracket in the draw, while Serena has had the most one-sided road – even her match against Sloane Stephens was over-whelming.
Highlight match, if it works out, will be the other semi-final pitting Il professore Roberta Vinci against l’arrogante Victoria Azarenka. It has been several months since Roberta called Vika arrogant and both say the incident is behind them, but that backdrop has everything the Serena-Sloane match-up had, both on and off the court.
Those comments were made in spring of 2013, in the wake of Azarenka’s perceived “injury-time out” win against Stephens at the Australian Open. Vinci and Vika have not played face-to-face since then, and this potential US Open semi-final match-up couldn’t possibly provide a better stage to settle the score.
In their careers Vika is 3-0 against Vinci without dropping a set. She won their last match in Tokyo 2012 in straight sets 6-4 6-2 on the hardcourt.
While rehabbing her shoulder and working out every day, Maria Sharapova has taken this time that she would normally be playing in the Open herself to launch a new social media channel that will amount to highlighting the basics of her day-to-day life available on-line for her fans who can provide their feedback, support and share amongst themselves and with others.
You can link to it here – https://apps.facebook.com/sharapovachannel/
In the Women’s Doubles draw the quarter finals are just about set and the top six seeds take up eight of the spots with the unseeded Williams sisters jockeying for position in the mix as well.
Will the US Open provide a better finish for the tough-luck Aussie team of Dellaqua and Barty? The number 8 seed at the Meadows lost in the finals of the Australian Open and at Wimbledon and could finish the year smartly at a venue comfortable for Australian players.
Meanwhile, Australian open champs Vinci and Errani have been playing solid team-rotation doubles and Wimbledon champs Su-Wei Hsieh and Shuai Peng have showed a great partnership dynamic with clearly defined roles.
Still lurking are the two Russian pairs and the Czechs, while the surprise may turn out to come from the Indian and Chinese pair of Mirza and Jie Zheng who will be playing the defending Wimbledon champs next in one of the quarter finals.
Best match of the day tomorrow could be the opener on the Grandstand starting at 12pm pitting Nadia Petrova and Katarina Srebotnik against Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka.