Wed, Sep 04, 2013 - Page 20 News List

Robredo stuns Federer, Nadal triumphs

UNEXPECTED RUN:In the women’s singles, Daniela Hantuchova advanced to the quarter-finals for the first time in more than a decade by defeating Alison Riske

Reuters, NEW YORK

Hantuchova had to wait another day before learning who her opponent would be after the fourth-round match between Victoria Azarenka and Ana Ivanovic was postponed until yesterday because of the foul weather.

However, it is already guaranteed that Italy will have a semi-finalist after Flavia Pennetta and Roberta Vinci won their fourth-round matches to face each other in a quarter-final.

Vinci beat yet another Italian, Camila Giorgi, 6-4, 6-2 in just over an hour, escaping before the US National Tennis Center was drenched by a thunderstorm that sent players and spectators running for cover.

Tournament officials were again forced to cancel dozens of matches, before Pennetta returned to finish off in-form Romanian Simona Halep 6-2, 7-6 (7/3).

Pennetta has lost in the quarter-finals on three previous occasions and desperately wants to make it through to the semi-finals for the first time.

She said achieving her goal would come at a heavy price because Vinci is one of her closest friends.

“I think it’s going to be just a really tough match for both of us,” Pennetta said. “We know each other really well... 20 years or more, because we live almost in the same place, just 35, 45km [away].”

A late bloomer, Vinci has hit her peak at an age when a lot of professional players begin to slow down.

The 30-year-old won just one singles match at the US Open between 2001 and 2010, but in the past year and a half she has made it to the fourth round or better in five of the past six majors, reaching a career-high ranking of 11th.

She has also won three Grand Slam doubles titles, to share the world No. 1 ranking with Sara Errani.

“I know that I’m not young, but I’m enjoying playing,” Vinci said. “I have a high ranking, so I’m happy, and I try to stay focused every single day.”

New York’s fickle weather has been a major talking point at the US Open for years, with each of the last five men’s finals spilling into a third week because of rain delays.

For years, US Tennis Association officials balked at the idea of building a roof because of the enormous cost of covering Arthur Ashe Stadium, but they have finally relented, announcing two weeks ago that they would commence a massive renovation program, which would include a roof, by 2016 at the earliest.

This story has been viewed 1422 times.

Comments will be moderated. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned.

TOP top