Chasing her 24th Grand Slam title, Serena Williams will face Victoria Azarenka in the semifinals of the US Open. While everyone around her boasts of unblemished records, the No. 3 seed has actually dropped a set each in every match she has played, to in form competitors. It is testament to her strength of will that she emerged victorious every time.
Even yesterday, her quarterfinal match against Tsvetana Pironkova, Serena won after being a set down, rallying back for the victory.
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Her opponent in the semis will be Azarenka, a player who herself returned to the Tour after having a son, and struggling to play regularly because of a custody battle with her former partner.
The Belarusian showed exceptional skills and displayed a fine game in the quarterfinal against Elise Mertens, absolutely dominating the Belgian 6-1, 6-0 in a match that lasted just 64 minutes.
Victoria Azarenka is now aiming to make it to the third career final at the US Open but to do that she will have to defeat Serena, her conqueror both times she got to that stage.
“I love playing against Serena,” Azarenka said. “I think we have one of the best matches — at least that I played in my career — against her. We always played on big stages. It was a lot of big fights. She's one of the players who push me to the limit, who makes me better.”
Thiem Demolishes De Minaur
Second seed Dominic Thiem crushed Alex de Minaur 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 in just 2hr 4min at the Arthur Ashe Stadium to qualify for the semifinals.
"I had a great feeling from the first moment on," Thiem, who is aiming for his first Grand Slam title at Flushing Meadows. said "My feeling was that first set, especially until I broke him for the second time, was really intense, very long rallies. The first and second set second I guess it looks way easier on the scoresheet than it was actually," he added.
The 27-year-old Thiem hit 11 aces to de Minaur’s one, and was dominant through the match.
The Austrian won 83 percent of first-serve points, while de Minaur, who had reached his first-ever Grand Slam quarter-final, only won 49 percent. Thiem will now go up against last year’s finalist, Daniil Medvedev to make it to Sunday's final.
Aussie Commentator Slammed
Former tennis player and now, commentator Rennae Stubbs was called out for an “appalling” question she asked Naomi Osaka and the Black Lives Matter protest she has been a part of at all of her US Open.
Fourth-seeded Osaka's sharp serving and superior return game were on display as she defeated Shelby Rogers 6-3, 6-4 in one hour and 20 minutes to progress to the semis.
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But it isn’t just Osaka’s game that have ben in focus at the Grand Slam, with the masks she has been wearing in support of Black Lives Matter a matter of conversation amongst many. On Wednesday, Osaka was seen wearing a mask with George Floyd’s name on it prior to and after her match on court.
In the post match interview Stubbs told Osaka that she has been constantly “trying to guess what name is going to be on the masks every single day” and asked for a hint on which person’s name she would have on her mask next, prompting criticism that she had turned a social statement into a fashion parade.
Osaka to her credit responded calmly saying she wasn’t working to a schedule and what she what she wore depended on “a feeling” when she wore a mask. Stubbs’ question was labelled “appalling” and “insensitive” on social media.
The former player defended herself and said she “meant well” and wanted to raise awareness about racial injustice when she brought it up.
“Of course I meant well, the parents of these victims are so thankful that Naomi is doing this,” Stubbs wrote on Twitter after the backlash. “We even have them on video talking about it. I think the victims would love to know we are NOT FORGETTING THEIR NAMES! I would never disparage them! If u know me u would know that.”
Medvedev Defeats Childhood Pal
Daniil Medvedev is now a step closer to replicating — and perhaps even bettering it — his 2019 US Open performance, beating childhood friend, Andrey Rublev in a 7-6(6) 6-3 7-6(5) victory.
Medvedev was aggressive from the start, the only real moment of concern coming when he summoned a trainer on court to treat an injury. Regardless, he battled through and got through two tough tiebreaks to seal the match. He is yet to drop a set in the tournament.
With Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal missing, and Novak Djokovic disqualified, Medvedev displayed through his game why he is considered among the favourites to win in New York.
“I felt like I could get in trouble so I was very happy with the win,” Medvedev said. “One point decided two sets so it was a tough match.”
Wheelchair Tennis Starts Today
The 2020 US Open Open wheelchair event commences today. The men’s and women’s singles quarterfinals and the first of three days of round-robin matches in the quad singles will start later today.
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The men’s and women’s doubles semifinals will take place on Friday, and the women’s singles final and the men’s and quad doubles finals will be held on Saturday. The matches will also resume on Sunday and will have the men’s and quad singles finals as well as the
The United States Tennis Association, when it was planning the US Open had initially left out the wheelchair tennis from the calendar, but later apologised after being called out as discriminatory for not addressing the sport at all.
Among the contenders is World No.3 Alfie Hewett one of three former champions in the men’s singles field alongside world No.1 Shingo Kunieda of Japan and world No.6 Stephane Houdet of France. Hewett has beaten both of them in the last two finals.
In the women’s singles, World No.5 Jordanne Whiley is one of three former champions vying for this year’s title, alongside world No.1 Diede de Groot, the champion for the past two years.
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