Wow.  That is all I can say.  The World’s No.1, Serena Williams, threw down the gauntlet to the other women left in this year’s US Open by stomping on poor Carla Suarez-Navarro 0 and 0.  One would say that Serena was avenging Lauren Davis’ opening day rout by Suarez-Navarro, but I prefer to think that the World’s No. 1 was showing her next opponent, Na Li that she better come prepared or this is what she too will get. 

In other news, Victoria Azarenka survived a spirited challenge from Ana Ivanovic who seems to be finding her 2008 form under the tutelage of the Adidas programme.  I have seen this resurgence before and unfortunately I am not impressed. It is the norm for Ivanovic to make a resurgence whenever she changes her coaching team.  She did so under Nigel Sears, winning her one title at the beginning of their partnership.  Since then she has done nothing.  I am hoping for the sake of her millions of fans that the way she played against Azarenka is a sign of things to come for the rest of the season. 

Today sees the bottom half of the women’s quarter-final.  The matches feature 2 Italians in what should be a battle and Azarenka v 2008 Australian Open semifinalist, Daniela Hantuchova.  
Roberta Vinci vs Flavia Pennetta – Vinci ended the magical run of Giorgi in straight sets rallying from a 4-1 first set deficit to get the job done. Vinci’s backhand slice played a role but she also made another slight adjustment and that was to attack with the forehand getting Giorgi to run. The tactics led to a slew of errors from Giorgi, who had no answers for the tactic. Pennetta defeated Halep, who may have been the favorite to reach the semifinals out of the third quarter, in straight sets for the second time since Wimbledon. Vinci is playing a player from her home country for the third consecutive match while Pennetta is playing her fourth United States Open quarterfinal. The winner of this match will make their first ever career Major semifinal. The key to match is will Vinci’s crafty game be effective against Pennetta.

Daniela Hantuchova vs Victoria Azarenka – Hantuchova ended the surprising run of Riske in three sets. She could not have asked for a better draw beating players (Sanchez, Duval, Glushko and Riske) that you would not see on a consistent basis in WTA tour events. For the second consecutive match, Azarenka had to rally from a set down to win as Cornet and Ivanovic played inspired tennis. However, her “street” fighting mentality kicked in and she was able to keep her run for her 3rd Slam alive. Key to match is can Hantuchova continue her effective serving and shotmaking while Azarenka needs to be efficient on her serve and expose Hantuchova’s mobiity.

Spin’s Picks 

Vinci over Pennetta
Azarenka over Hantuchova 

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