After two days of rain troubled the US Open organizers and fans, women’s quarterfinals finally took place and we have our final four: Serena Williams, Caroline Wozniacki, Angelique Kerber and Samantha Stosur. Semifinals will be played on Saturday.
Serena Williams (28) vs. Caroline Wozniacki (1)
This semifinal will be especially interesting because it is an encounter of a supposed deserved No.1 and real No.1. Wozniacki has to win this one if she wants to prove all the doubters in her game wrong, this is a perfect opportunity to do so. Since Wozniacki overtook the top position in the rankings from Serena, the two haven’t clashed, but in their last and only two meetings in 2009, Williams won.
Serena is yet to lose a set at the tournament. The quarterfinal with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova featured six breaks of serve in the beginning before Serena got on track and in the 12th game broke the Russian to take the first set. In the second set Williams lost just three points on her serve and ended the match with her sixth ace. Final score: 7-5 6-1.
Wozniacki advanced with a 6-1 7-6(5) win over Andrea Petkovic. Wozniacki let a 5-3 lead in the second set slip and ended up playing a tiebreak, in which Petkovic made five unforced errors and spoiled the comeback.
Samantha Stosur (9) vs. Angelique Kerber
How many people would name the 92-ranked Kerber a potential US Open semifinalist before the tournament started? The German exited all the three previous 2011 Grand Slams in the first round and her best Grand Slam results were two third round appearances – at Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2010, the year in which she played her one and only WTA final at Bogota.
Kerber reached the semifinals with a hard-fought 6-4 4-6 6-3 victory over world No.25 Flavia Pennetta, which followed her wins over Monica Niculescu, Alla Kudyavtseva, Agnieszka Radwanska and Lauren Davis.
One thing that was endangering Stosur’s quarterfinal form was the fact that she played two very demanding matches in previous rounds. Her third round against Nadia Petrova was the longest women’s singles match at the US Open (it lasted three hours and 16 minutes) and in the following round against Maria Kirilenko Stosur played another historic match which will stay in WTA archives as an encounter with the longest women’s tiebreak in Grand Slam history (that match lasted almost three hours).
However, Stosur extended her epic run and stormed past last year’s US Open runner-up Vera Zvonareva 6-3 6-3. It is Stosur’s eighth straight win over the Russian. Actually, Stosur is the only player who has defeated Zvonareva eight times in a row.
The 2011 US Open semifinal will be the first meeting of Stosur and Kerber. photos: © Neal Trousdale)