Friday, September 10, 2010

US Open Quarterfinal Wrap: Fed and Nadal Dominate, Venus and Clijsters to Meet

Rafael Nadal continues to play near perfect tennis at this year's US Open, as the Spaniard crushed his countryman fernando verdasco in Thursday night's opening match. Nadal had yet to drop serve coming into the quarterfinal encounter, and he continued his brilliant serving, holding every game but one. Verdasco played a great first set, jumping out to an early 4-2 lead, but Rafa soon after adapted to the wind and blew the 8th seed off the court 7-5, 6-3, 6-4.

The top seed's opponent in the semis will be a familiar foe, Mikhail Youzhny. who has given Nadal lots of trouble in the past. The Russian earned a 5-set win in a 4-hour plus match against Stanislas Wawrinka. The 12th seeded Youznhy has beaten Rafa on this same stage, 4 years ago in the quarterfinals. Youzhny also defeated Nadal in the Chennai semis 0 and 1 two years ago. Despite having figured out his semifinal opponent's game, Mikhail stands a slight chance, if any, against an on-point Rafa.

Kim Clijsters looked very streaky in a 3-set win over Sam Stosur on Tuesday night, ousting the Australian in a close match 6-4, 5-7 6-3. The win, Clijsters' 19th straight at the Open, sets up a much-anticipated semifinal match-up with 3rd seed Venus Williams.

Venus also didn't look her best in a straight set win over Francesca Schiavone. Fran's high topspin kept the American off balance, but, a 7-0 record, in Williams' favor, against the 6th seed, proved the difference in the 7-6 (5), 6-4 win.

Roger Federer has looked just as good as Rafa through 5 matches, as the Swiss trounced the dangerous Robin Soderling in 3 straight sets on Wednesday night, 6-4, 6-4, 7-5. Despite the swirling winds, gusting up to 35 mph, Federer served beautifully, out-acing Le Sod 18-2. The 2 seed also hit 20 more winners than Soderling, who played a surprisingly defensive match.

Novak Djokovic has also been on a role, reaching his 4th straight US Open semifinal with a routine victory over Gael Monfils, 7-6 (2), 6-1, 6-2. The Djoker has yet to lose a set since his 5-set first round match with Viktor Troicki, and he'll be looking to improve on an 0-3 record against Federer in New York.

Top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki has had yet another beautiful run in the Big Apple, gaining tons of fans along the way. In Wednesday's night match, the Dane comfortably defeated Dominika Cibulkova 2 and 5. Wozzi looked great in the opening set but was challenged in the second, finishing it out to reach the semis.

She'll play Wimbledon finalist Vra Zvonareva, a 2-set winner over 31st-seeded Kaia Kanepi. In the 6-3, 7-5 win, the Russian was the more solid of the two players, hitting 28 errors to Kanepi's 60.

The women's semis will be contested Friday, while the men's is Saturday.

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