September 5, 2013

U.S. Open: Nadal's 'best match' this year

Rafael Nadal had a bum knee last year but shows an overpowering game in a win over Tommy Robredo.

The Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

Rafael Nadal
click image to enlarge

Rafael Nadal of Spain is all focus as he returns a shot against Tommy Robredo at the U.S. Open in New York on Wednesday. Nadal, advancing to the semifinals, won 6-0, 6-2, 6-2.

The Associated Press

THURSDAY'S QUARTERFINALS

Men

No. 1 Novak Djokovic vs. No. 21 Mikhail Youzhny

No. 3 Andy Murray vs. No. 9 Stanislas Wawrinka

TELEVISION: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tennis Channel; noon to 6 p.m., 8 to 11 p.m., ESPN

When Nadal was told about that, he smiled broadly.

"Yeah, I think I lost 6-4 in the third," Nadal said. "Yeah, I remember."

The other two men's quarterfinals are Thursday, with No. 1 Novak Djokovic against No. 21 Mikhail Youzhny, and No. 3 Andy Murray against No. 9 Stanislas Wawrinka. Murray beat Djokovic in last year's U.S. Open final.

In the women's semifinals Friday, No. 1 Serena Williams faces No. 5 Li Na, and No. 2 Victoria Azarenka plays unseeded Flavia Pennetta.

Azarenka and Pennetta won their quarterfinals Wednesday.

Azarenka, a two-time Australian Open champion and last year's runner-up to Williams at Flushing Meadows, eliminated 48th-ranked Daniela Hantuchova, 6-2, 6-3.

The 83rd-ranked Pennetta, who missed the 2012 U.S. Open because of right wrist surgery, reached her first Grand Slam semifinal with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over 10th-seeded Roberta Vinci.

Pennetta spoke Wednesday about sitting at her parents' place in Italy, watching on TV as the U.S. Open went on without her. She was asked whether, at the time, she could have imagined playing at this level 12 months later.

"I hoped so. It's what I hoped for at the start of this year, to be honest. It didn't happen as easily or as quickly as I'd hoped," she said. "But I definitely hoped."

 

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