Monday, September 02, 2013

2013 US OPEN Day 7: Serena, Li, Nole, Andy Win; Aggie and Angie Upset

The match of the day on Day 7 of the 2013 US Open was the fourth round showdown between the top two American players, World #1 Serena Williams and World #15 Sloane Stephens. It was clear that the defending champion took this match very seriously, and this resulted in an emphatic 6-4 6-1 victory over 20-year-old rival. Even though her serve was not working very well (6 aces and 4 double faults) she still hit one at 125 mph. The key to the match was Serena hitting 22 winners and only 13 unforced errors (compared to Stephens' 15 winners and 29 errors).

I was on grounds of the Billie Jean King United States Tennis Association National Tennis Center, but did not see the Williams-Stephens match because it was in Arthur Ashe Stadium where one basically has to have more money than sense to have good seats.

Instead, I spent most of my time in Louis Armstrong Stadium where I saw a great match between World #8 Angelique Kerber of Germany and Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain. Suarez Navarro won 4-6 6-3 7-6(3). In nearly 3 hours, the two played some incredible rallies (the average rally length was 6 shots and more than three-quarters of rallies were over 4 shots). The longest was 33 shots which was won by Kerber, whose defensive skills are impressive. However, it was the Spaniard who clearly was the aggressor for most of the match (she has a beautiful one-handed backhand that matched up well with Kerber's left-handed forehand) and the two exchanged breaks of serve in the third set multiple times. Suarez Navarro served for the match at 5-4 but then got broken at love and had to hold serve to stay alive at 5-6 and came with two points of losing at 30-all in that game. However, that was as close as Kerber came to winning (despite the score in the second set it really was not close at all--Kerber was down 0-5 at one point). In the tiebreak, Suarez Navarro went up 5-1 and then eventually won the match as a Kerber forehand sailed long at 6-3.

I also saw the end of the Tomas Berdych's straight sets win over Julien Benneteau and also the first set of Mikhail Youzhny's eventual 6-3 6-2 2-6 6-3 win over Tommy Haas. Too bad I didn't remain in my seat because I would have been able to witness World #4 Aggie Radwanska's dismissal by Ekaterina Makarova in straight sets 6-4 6-4.

Today I am going to the tournament again, and will according to the schedule I will probably see the Williams sisters doubles match against Lucie Safarova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, followed by Milos Raonic-Richard Gasquet fighting for a quarterfinal berth. Roger Federer will be playing Tommy Robredo whom he has a 10-0 record against in order to potentially meet Rafael Nadal in their very first meeting at the US Open in a blockbuster quarterfinal.

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