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.