Current World No. 1, Victoria Azarenka of Belarus advanced to the semifinals after dethroning defending champion, Samantha Stosur of Australia 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (5). After a lopsided first set that went in favor of Azarenka, Stosur began to fight back by taking the second set. That was the first time that Stosur won a set against Azarenka, who had beaten her in six previous meetings.
In the third and final set, Stosur started off the tiebreaker flat by trailing 4-0. And although she managed to tie things up at 5-all, Azarenka stopped her momentum with a crucial drop shot. An Azarenka forehand moments later ultimately extinguished Stosur’s comeback.
“She (Stosur) really pushed me to dig deep. We fought really hard. The quality of tennis was really high and it was tense because it could have gone either way,” said Azarenka, who remained unbeaten in three-set matches (11-0) this year and against Stosur as well.
“I think I’m capable of beating her one day,” said the dethroned Stosur. “Just would have liked it to have been today.”
Maria Sharapova is also through to the semifinals by winning against Marion Bartoli of France 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. The World No. 3 from Russian overcame a shaky performance that saw her commit a whopping 35 unforced errors including 11 double-faults at service. Bartoli came out on fire to start the match but the unpredictable rains forced both players to leave the hardcourt at the Ashe Stadium for shelter.
“The rain gave me a few hours to think about things. I came out so flat. She’s (Bartoli) so tough and she was on fire,” said Sharapova, who won the tournament back in 2006.
“I’m so happy to get back to the semi-finals,” added Sharapova, who has not made it past the 4th round of the US Open in the past five years.
Sharapova will face off against Azarenka in what should be an intense Semifinals match. In January this year, Azarenka defeated Sharapova 6-3, 6-0 in the Finals of the 2012 Australian Open to win her first Grand Slam title.
Fresh off winning an Olympic Gold Medal in London, World No. 4 Serena Williams continued her dominating ways by blowing by Ana Ivanovic 6-1, 6-3 in their Quarterfinal match. The three-time US Open Champion is looking to win her third straight tournament since announcing her return to relevancy during her triumph at Wimbledon.
“I think I came out really strong,” said the 14-time grand slam champion.
Adding a little more spice to the tournament has been the entry of No. 10 ranked Sara Errani of Italy, who barged into the Semis by ousting fellow compatriot and doubles partner, Roberta Vinci 6-2, 6-4. Vinci, who is ranked No. 20 in the world, previously eliminated World No. 2, Agnieszka Radwanska in the fourth round 6-1, 6-4. But, that would be the last highlight for her in this tournament as Vinci fell to Errani in their all-Italian Quarterfinal matchup.
“We know each other very well. So, it was also strange to see her on the other side of the net,” said Errani, who is searching for her first Gran Slam title win.
The 25 year old Errani reached the Finals of the French Open this year, but lost to Sharapova 6-3. 6-2.
Errani will square off against the red-hot Serena Williams in the Semifinals.
BALLS SkyCable Channel 34 will air the 2012 US Open Semifinals on September 8 at midnight.