After winning the second set, Samantha Stosur raised our hopes that she could finally beat Victoria Azarenka for the first time in their seven meetings, and in the thrilling third set she recovered from 1-3 down to 4-4 and from a devastating 0-4 in the tiebreak to 5-5. But with a nice drop shot, world No.1 Azarenka earned her first match point and finished the job right away, 6-1 4-6 7-6(5).
After just nine minutes of play in the first quarterfinal of the 2012 US Open, top seed Azarenka raced to a 3-0 lead facing the defending champion, against whom she was victorious in straight sets in all their six previous meetings. The rain then started falling and play was suspended for one hour and 17 minutes, but when the match resumed Azarenka just continued where she started and eased through the first set 6-1. The seventh-seeded Stosur was determined to stop the unfavorable tradition and won her first set against Azarenka in 14 tries, when a crucial break in the seventh game of the second set earned her a confidence-boosting win over Azarenka, whose 2012 record on hard surfaces coming into the match was an astonishing 30-2, while at this US Open her scorelines leading up to the quarterfinals look like this: 6-0 6-1, 6-2 6-2, 6-0 6-1, 6-2 6-2. As described in the introduction, Azarenka had the edge in the third set and is now 7-0 career against Stosur.
Azarenka’s semifinal opponent will be either Maria Sharapova or Marion Bartoli, whose quarterfinal is now suspended due to rain. (photo: © Neal Trousdale)