SAN DIEGO, September 3, 2013 – It took Serena Williams 19 minutes to win her first set over Carla Suarez Navarro in Tuesday’s quarterfinals at the 2013 U.S. Open tennis tournament. The second set took all of 33 minutes. Williams shut out the Spanish player 6-0, 6-0. Wiliams started with an ace and remained that dominant the entire match. If you blinked in relative tennis terms, it was over. Williams is looking every bit like the number one ranked player she is.
Williams will now play fifth ranked Li Na of China in the semifinals on Friday. Na beat Ekaterina Makarova (24) in their quarterfinal match today, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-2.
Novak Djokovic showed why he’s the number one ranked player on the men’s side. He was just as dominating and speedy in his victory over Marcel Granollers of Spain. His straight sets win took just 79 minutes, 6-3. 6-0, 6-0. Djovovic won the last 13 games straight against Granollers.
Granollers may not have had any gas left in the tank after his three-and-a-half hour marathon match against Tim Smyczek two days ago. But Djokovic is hard to beat no matter what the circumstances.
“Today, second and third set have been some of the best tennis that I’ve played on Arthur Ashe in my career,” said Djokovic. He has been in the men’s final the past three years, and he last won in 2011.
“It was something I was wishing to be more aggressive as the tournament progresses and to be able to stay committed to play every point, to win every point, regardless of the score,” said Djokovic.
“Nothing was working for me to even think I could have turned it around,” Granollers said. “He was just too good.”
Djokovic has played less than six hours total so far in the tournament, and he has not dropped a single set.
Djokovic will now play Mikhail Youzhny, who took nearly four hours to beat fan favorite and veteran 2001 U.S. Open champion Lleyton Hewitt of Australia, 6-3, 3-6, 6-7 (3), 6-4, 7-5.
Youzhny may not have a lot left for Djokovic after his victory today. Hewitt was just two points away from winning the match. But the Australian could not close the deal, dropping the last five games to Youzhny in a heartbreaking loss.
“It’s one of the hardest games to win — the last one,” Hewitt said. “I left it all out there. There’s not a whole heap more I could have done.”
Hewitt hadn’t made it to the fourth round since Wimbledon in 2009. He has battled injuries and he’s also fighting off Father Time. When he was asked whether he could see himself still competing at the U.S. Open in three or four years’ time, Hewitt replied “I don’t know, mate. No idea.”
As for facing the powerhouse Serbian, Youzhny said, “First of all, I need to recover after this,” saying it will be “really tough to beat” Djokovic.”But you never know. We will see” said Youzhny.
Andy Murray didn’t have it easy Tuesday night, with numerous stumbles throughout his match with Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan. But he made critical shots count when he needed to, and the defending champion will move on after winning 6-7 (5), 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 on a windy Tuesday night.
Murray said the windy conditions Tuesday night challenged his game. “Might not be that easy to see from the side, but in the court, there was a strong breeze. We were both struggling with the timing, but I thought we played some entertaining points,” Murray said. “Sometimes when it’s very breezy like that, you can get some fun points.”
Murray meets a Swiss player in the quarterfinals, but it’s not the one everyone expected with Roger Federer out of the tournament. Instead, Murray plays ninth seed Stanislas Wawrinka who reached his second U.S. Open quarterfinal by defeating fifth ranked Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (6), 6-2.
It is possible Wawrinka’s wins so far combined with Federer’s defeat by Tommy Robredo of Spain will move Wawrinka up higher in the rankings than his countryman for the first time ever. Federer entered the tournament the number 7 player; Wawrinka sat at number 9.
On Wednesday in the quarterfinals, Rafael Nadal (2) plays fellow Spaniard Tommy Robredo (19), the Federer giant-killer. The third Spanish player remaining for the men, David Ferrer, plays Richard Gasquet of France. For the women, second seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus plays Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia, and Italians Roberta Vinci and Flavia Pennetta face off.
The Tennis Channel airs TV coverage from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET; ESPN2 airs matches from 12 noon to 11 p.m. ET.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She covers the Sweet Science for Communities, along with other news in the sports world. Read Ringside Seat in Communities at Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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