Venus Williams Lone American at US Open; Men Run Marathons
by Staff | September 8th, 2010, 12:20 am

No. 3 seed Venus Williams, the last American standing in the men’s or women’s quarterfinals, improved to 8-0 career against Italy’s Francesca Schiavone, moving into the semifinals on Tuesday at the US Open after a 7-6(5), 6-4 win.
“I’ve played Francesca for so many years,” Venus said in the battle of two 30-year-olds. “There have been times she’s had me down, but fortunately I would come back…I don’t think either of us was able to play our normal game because it was so windy. You end up playing a little safer. But when the stakes were higher, I was able to raise my game.”

In the semifinals the elder Williams sister will face No. 2 seed and defending champion Kim Clijsters, who outlasted Aussie Sam Stosur in three sets in the final women’s night match.

Clijsters blamed the windy conditions for the third set, which was a series of back and forth service breaks.

“For these last 10 days the weather conditions have been really hard, and it’s really hard to get a rhythm out there,” Clijsters told ESPN. “I haven’t been serving well the last weeks and with the wind it just makes it harder.”

Four fourth-round men’s matches were played on Tuesday, including an all-Spanish meeting in No. 1 Rafael Nadal vs. No. 23 Feliciano “F-Lo” Lopez, which due to the number of long matches did not begin until around 11 p.m., and was still being played as of press time.

The winner of the Nadal vs. F-Lo match will meet the possibly spent No. 8 seed Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco, who outlasted fellow Spaniard and No. 10 seed David Ferrer in five sets and almost 4-1/2 hours 7-5, 7-6(8), 3-6, 3-6, 7-6(4).

Nadal commented on the Hot Sauce vs. Ferrer match before taking the court, watching the conclusion of the match in the locker room and feeling conflicted as his two countrymen battled.

“Two great players make a fantastic job, one have to win, one have to lose,” Nadal said.

No. 20 seed Sam Querrey was the last American man standing as of Tuesday, until he was outlasted by No. 25 Stan Wawrinka in a five-set marathon 7-6(9), 6-7(5), 7-5, 4-6, 6-4. Querrey seemed to cramp and run out of gas in the fifth, as Wawrinka struggled with a thigh injury.

“I was pretty sad in the locker room for a little while,” Querrey told reporters. “I mean, I don’t feel that great right now. You know, pretty tired. My body is tired.”

No. 12 seed Mikhail Youzhny of Russia advanced into the quarterfinals on Tuesday after defeating downward-spiraling unseeded Spaniard Tommy Robredo in four sets. Youzhny will next face Wawrinka.

“I play three matches or four matches against Stan, and all matches were different,” Youzhny said. “He have really good backhand, one hand.”

Matches to watch for Wednesday at the US Open are (31) Kaia Kanepi vs. (7) Vera “The Crying Game” Zvonareva, (3) Novak Djokovic vs. (17) Gael “Force” Monfils, (1) Caroline Wozniacki vs. unseeded Slovak Dominika Cibulkova, (2) Roger Federer vs. (5) Robin Soderling, and in doubles Americans (1) Bob/Mike Bryan vs. Spaniards (12) Marcel Granollers/Tommy Robredo, and (2) Liezel Huber/Nadia Petrova vs. the American-Aussie love pair of (5) Lisa Raymond/Rennae Stubbs.

No American men in the quarterfinals at the US Open for the second straight year, ouch…Only one American quarterfinalist this year at a Slam, Andy Roddick at the Aussie Open…Venus Williams responding to being told that Francesca Schiavone said Venus doesn’t like playing her: “I like seeing my name next to her name. I’m good with that.”…Venus Williams’ book, “Come to Win: Business Leaders, Artists, Doctors and Other Visionaries on How Sports Can Help You Top Your Profession,” debuted at No. 5 last week on the New York Times best seller list…’s tennis writer Jon Wertheim on the women playing a best-of-five final at the Slams: “Amen. I could go for that. Nothing worse than a 65-minute women’s final. But again, asking the women to play best-of-five just ain’t gonna happen.” — Really? Raise your hand if you want to see a three-hour women’s final, comprised of athletes not used to playing that long?…Now it’s tour qualifying or USTA Pro Circuit/Challenger events for Melanie Oudin. No more tour wildcards for her until the WTA Tour rolls back around to the U.S. in February 2011 at Memphis…S.L. Price writing for “Last week, in a column in The New York Times, Richard [Williams] leveled another racial broadside at the pro tennis tour, saying that some unnamed tennis authorities, scared that blacks will “take over tennis like they did football and basketball and baseball,” don’t want another Venus or Serena to emerge. “Institutions that could help blacks refuse,” he said. “I think they drive blacks away from tennis.” Never mind that the USTA offered phenom Donald Young all manner of training camps, practice partners and coaching, or that, with U.S. tennis facing a talent drought, promoters, agents and marketers would throw parades if a great black player were to emerge…”…Martina Hingis is throwing out the tease again about making a comeback in doubles only: “I’ve been asked here and there, with Lindsay [Davenport],” Hingis told reporters at the US Open on Tuesday. “But she wanted to come back too soon and I wasn’t ready for that. Then she won in Stanford…I don’t know, I couldn’t say right now, it’s always maybes. I need to find a partner first and commit to really wanting to do it. I really enjoyed playing TeamTennis, playing singles and doubles, and the doubles felt really good.” — Tease! Just get Anna Kournikova on board and get the Spice Girls train rolling again…Greg Rusedski on countryman Andy Murray, writing for The Mirror: “He needs someone who can shield him and someone who he is going to respect and trust, and who is going to call the shots properly. A month ago Stanislas Wawrinka hired Peter Lundgren who helped [Roger] Federer and Marat Safin win Grand Slams. His tactics were spot on and that is what Murray needs. The British No. 1 has got to make a decision, but there are not many top coaches available 20 to 25 weeks a year.” — Maybe…Greg Rusedski is available! He could teach Murray that one-handed backhand that looked like he dislocated his elbow every time he hit the ball.

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61 Comments for Venus Williams Lone American at US Open; Men Run Marathons

guy Says:

it’s a very scary world where williams family members publish books.

if blacks are so hard done by, how about building some courts and providing free coaching in black neighbourhoods…or perhaps serena and venus need the money for some more of those diamond tattoos.

margot Says:

Well, I think women should play best of 5 at slams. Of course they should if they want equal pay, it’s 2010 not 1810, no reason not to. Now I hear all u guys groaning about LONGER, DULLER matches, but it might stop endless, endless, baseline rallies cos they have to shorten the points. Of course Serena and Venus would still win everything…;)

madmax Says:


serena and venus do enough with their money. They have opened schools in Africa for black children with a poor level of education – They are not mean with their money.

dari Says:

I think “staff”, you should stay away from any comments about race in tennis and so should the bloggers. It’s asking for troible, and it will always make you look bad. Keep it outta here.
You ought to raise the quality of articles and notes as well.

Kimberly Says:

Dari-agreed, this is a pleasant blog. Why inject race into it.

guy Says:

well whether people like it or not, race is an issue in tennis because the williams family make it an issue.

guy Says:


it’s not how much money you give away, or how many vanity projects you do, it’s how much you give in proportion to what you have. if the williams want to complain about how hard done by black people are in america, then put some real money on the table. otherwise they should keep their mouths shut and go buy some more bling.

sonic Says:

For the first time in my life i have some respect for Fernando Verdasco. To come back like that after botching so badly in the first two sets…kudos Fernando, now if only he’d grow a proper nose.

Stars still shining for Nadal, his QF opponent will be rather tired after todays heroics. It wasn’t only a 5 setter, it was a brutal 5 setter. Wawrinka is already in tatters. should he make the SF i doubt he can perform. Youzhny’s serve on the other hand is not enough to trouble Rafa.

And with such a lackluster name in top half SF as an opponent, Rafa is bound to play the first match on saturday, get some extra rest.

Worst case scenario, Djokovic and Federer play a 5 setter on saturday night, finish at midnight and the winner is dead on arrival on sunday final.

I’m getting kinda desperate for a good final this year so paranoia is high :)

Farley Says:

I still believe Roger will be the winner, he is unbeatable. It is very clear.

David Says:


Federer will never be dead on arrival. He’s probably just as fit as Nadal and his game doesn’t take nearly as much out of him. Even if he played Djoko five sets (which is pretty unlikely), they’d probably finish at 9:00 after playing for just over 3 hours.

No biggie. He’d be fine for the final.

kimberly Says:

Here is right now what I consider the order of most likely to win to least likely to win

1. Fed
2. Rafa
3. Djoko
4. Soda
5 verdasco
6 wawrinka
7 monfils
8 youzney


Based on the super Saturday scheduling the last 5 years Nadal would play the 2nd semifinal should he beat Verdasco in the quarters because he is the #1 seed. Whoever makes it to the semis on the bottom half of the draw would play the early semifinal.

2005 – Fed #1 seed played 2nd semifinal vs Hewitt

2006 – Fed #1 seed played 1st semifinal vs Davy
This appears to be the exception possibly because they wanted to put Roddick, the American in the prime time match.

2007 – Fed #1 seed played 2nd semifinal vs Davy

2008 – Nadal #1 seed played 2nd semifinal vs Murray. They ended up putting this match on Louis Armstrong early because of rain in the forecast.

2009 – Fed #1 seed played 2nd semifinal vs Djoko

Polo Says:

Kimberly, I think the winner will come from your top three. I would not even consider numbers 4-8. Any of the 3 can be upset by the lower 5 but in the end, the winner will still be one of those 3.

jane Says:

Both Djoko and Fed have difficult matches today; I can’t decide which will be more challenging, maybe Fed’s as Soda has been great at the slams over the past year and a half or so (other than the AO) and he’s more consistent/reliable than Monfils. Still, Fed is 12-1 over Soda so you have to like those odds!! Djoko has a good record versus Gael, too, but their matches are always very close.

I agree with kimberly: Fed is still top fave to win it all. Ravi Ubha at ESPN puts Rafa at the top; here are his thoughts:

Ben Pronin Says:

Does anyone here play tennis at least semi-seriously? Anyone wanna take a stab at an explanation for Nadal’s suddenly Sampras-like serve?

Polo Says:

I don’t feel good about Federer’s chances every time I see Nadal in the line-up. Three or four years ago, Federer for sure. But not now.

andres Says:


Don’t count Verdasco out, at the 2008 AO i think he played a couple of 5 setters and still was able to push Nadal to the limit, he is very fit and now he has the confidence to overcome very tough moments.

Polo Says:

Ben Pronin Says:
Does anyone here play tennis at least semi-seriously? Anyone wanna take a stab at an explanation for Nadal’s suddenly Sampras-like serve?

Practice, determination, talent.

Ben Pronin Says:

Those 3 things don’t account for his sudden booming serve. He’s hitting the fastest serves of his career seemingly out of no where.

kimberly Says:

Polo—i don’t see it outside the top 3 either. I guess the only way I could really see it would be if all three failed to place in the final. Unlikely but figured I would order the others as well. Verdasco and soda are obviously stronger than the bottom 3.

Polo Says:

OK, Ben. I don’t know. If not the combination of those three, magic powers maybe? Voodoo? Pact with the devil?

Gordo Says:

It is interesting how Nadal’s opponents are responding at the start of matches with Rafa how those of Federer’s used to 5 years ago when they played him – defeated before the warm up.

Lopez was flatter than a pancake last night and never looked to be a challenge. In fact he looked downright uncomfortable out there.

Ben – why is Rafa stronger and can he suddenly blast the serves faster? At Wimbledon he was routinely hitting 126 mph, so it has been coming for a while now.

The man is working hard at improving his game, and his serve is one of the areas where he is showing improvement. That’s probably all it is.

A lot of top athletes keep getting better. That’s just the way it is.

What would be a great measuring stick for Nadal’s serve is seeing how Federer responds to it. Then we can see how much better it indeed is.

In over 4 years Fed and Rafa have met only 3 times on hard courts – The Australian Open that Rafa won in 5 sets and the 2006 and 2007 Masters Cups that Fed won – both in straight sets.

It sure would/will be nice to have another h2h.

Of course, Nole, Hot Sauce, Wawrinka, Youhzny, Monfils and Soderling all want to spoil that match from happening. Late tomorrow night we will be halfway there in knowing if it is still a possibility.

Tick… tick… tick…

jane Says:

Ben ” He’s hitting the fastest serves of his career seemingly out of no where.”

This is the 2nd or 3rd time I am saying this on these threads since the US Open began, and no one has once commented. I’m fairly certain that Nadal WAS hitting booming serves in Cincy, and perhaps even in Toronto too. Watch his match with Baggy at Cincy. Did he not uncork some big ones there? I am sure of it only I don’t have it taped to go back and check.

I think Nadal has had his sights set on the USO since he won the FO. He said during his on-court interview with J-Mac that he’d see him “at the USO”, not Wimbledon, but the USO. I took that as a statement of determination for some reason.

I am sure Toni and Rafa have been working on his serve since the Wimbledon win if not before. All year Rafa has made more errors than in the past, played generally shorter points, and he is healthy and two slams the richer because of it.

I agree with Polo: “Practice, determination, talent.”

grendel Says:



‘Course, someone’s got to win. And if F wins, a whole load of folk will come out saying: told you so. And if S wins, a whole load of different folk will come out saying: told you so.

Both sets delude themselves. As of now, nobody has the slightest idea who will win – although naturally, you can advance cogent arguments on behalf of either player.

Just seen recent interview with Nick Boltieri. He said the most talented player ever to come under his aegis – and that includes some mighty names – was Marcello Rios. Asked about the future of American tennis, he opined that Ryan Harrison was the real thing. All the shots, a big serve (surely potentially?) and above all Boltieri semed impressed by the fact that he continually comes forward. That’s certainly what amateur enthusiasts like me notice – someone posted the other day they didn’t rate him; we’ll see, I really took to him.

Finally, commenting on the demolition of the young American girl, Boltieri said of Sharapova (from his stable) “she’s as mean as a snake”. He said this with a certain approving relish, it seemed to me.

Ben Pronin Says:

That was my bad, I accidentally posted on the wrong thread.

His overall average first serve is faster than it’s ever been. He’s never averaged 121 before.

super man Says:

i have to check the stats, but i think rafa is going for more on the 1st serve. the speed has gone up but i think his 1st serve % is taking a hit. he is being offensive minded but he is making more double faults and unforced errors but aces and winners are high too.

hitting the serve flat might help fed as he handles pace better than the lefty spin.

people still deluding themselves that it won’t be a fedal final?


Nadal’s average 1st serve speed at the USO so far is 119. At Wimby it was 115.

F-Lo’s average 1st serve speed at the USO this year was 126. At Wimby it was 122.

Wawrinka’s fastest serve at the USO has been 136 so far. At Wimby it was 133.

Querrey’s fastest serve at the USO this year was 140. At Wimby it was 137.

Verdasco’s fastest serve at the USO so far is 139. At Wimby it was 134.

David Says:


Fed-Sod 50-50?!??

You’ve got to be kidding. Past results do indicate future performance :) as long as we’re not talking about stocks.

If it were clay, then maybe I’d give Sod more of a chance, but the fast conditions favor Fed. He’s got the genius hands, the peRFect footwork to handle whatever might come his way on fast courts. Sod basically can’t win points on defense against Roger. He’s got to hit screaming winners for 3 or 4 hours and that’s going to add up to a lot of UEs I would think. The only chance I can see for Sod would be if Roger has a terrible serving day, sort of like what cost him the match last year against Delpo and in the ’09 AO final against Rafa.

stu Says:

David – Gillette or someone should pay you for this! “peRFect shave”…

super man Says:

nelta :

the way they schedule super saturday is according to what match the cbs people think will get the maximum ratings

there is no hard and fast rule, but here are some guidelines

a) american players get greater ratings

b) if no american player then fed is next most popular tennis star in usa.

now let’s see :

2005 – agassi-ginepri was scheduled 2nd, but agassi requested 1st, because he wanted more rest ( having been burnt badly by the 2nd semifinal in 2002)

2006 – roddick-youz match scheduled 2nd because rod is american star.

2007 – joker-ferru, fed-davy. no american so fed goes 2nd

2008- fed-joker, rafa-murray rafa and murray’s star power beat fed-joker.

2009 – fed-joker’s star power > rafa-potro.

this year given that top half as only one star left in rafa, if fed makes semi, he’s sure to play 2nd. if fed loses to soda, it is a real toss-up.

bottom line : semifinals scheduling is majorly dependent on who cbs thinks will get them most audience. you think uso is highest paid gs for nothing? they try to make a buck on every penny they pay.

jane Says:

Ben, see NELTA’s post at 2:23. Nothing too drastic is going on then. Looks like everyone is banging in slightly faster serves than at Wimbledon. Also it’s not so surprising that a serve can click sometimes. It’s just true. Whether it’s related to a building up of confidence or what-have-you, sometimes players just have fantastic serving performances at one event and then not so much the next.

super man says “he is being offensive minded but he is making more double faults and unforced errors but aces and winners are high too.”


David, I think Soda has a chance at the upset, but what you say about Fed’s superior footwork and Soda’s go-for-broke style potentially breaking down or resulting in many errors makes some sense too. I see the odds more like 60/40 or even 65/35 for Fed, which mean Soda has a good shot but Fed’s the clear favourite.

super man Says:

stu :

peRFect has been used by fed fanatics for a while now. i have seen it a year or so back. so, sorry no cigar for david

Ben Pronin Says:

The only match where Nadal’s percentage took a hit was against Simon, but that was a particularly windy day. Besides that, they’re still in the high 60s like always.

I do like Nelta’s post, though.

super man Says:

fed-sod 50-50? that is so stupid it is not even funny.

i don’t know the most mentally strong player out there but i do know the most mentally retarded poster on this blog – it’s the old psycho-moron from yorkshire.

do keep your head buried in the sand.

super man Says:

yesterday nadal served 61% 1st serves, no?

Ben Pronin Says:


I don’t think that’s because he’s going for more, I think everyone’s serving percentages are taking a hit due to the wind. I mean I know the women are famous for breaking rather than holding, but 15 breaks between Stosur and Clijsters is pretty shocking.

jane Says:

Being always nervous about Djoko’s matches – and especially today against a motivated and revenge seeking Monfils, ack! – I do understand why some Fed fans worry about the Soda match up today and maybe fear the worst. After all, Soda beat him at the FO just a couple of months ago. That said,Fed plays better at the USO, he has a new coach, he’s looked formidable thus far, so that’s why I see the odds as I do.

super man Says:

to add to my post to nelta :

cbs schedules the crowd pulling match 2nd

does nelta’s post mean usopen faster than wimbledon? how do they measure serve speed? what are the average speeds in paris and melbourne?

grendel Says:

I see the little chap that calls itself “super man” and loves to float around words like “moron”, “idiot” and so on because that’s safe on a blog, is taking his hit. Makes the little creep feel tough. If the little chap was to do this in real life amongst real people, the little chap would have it’s little head knocked off, at least in the circles in which I move. But in cyberspace, the little chap is safe to drivel on. Fantasy, I embrace thee….


Let’s talk about something real. Last year, Fed came out all guns blazing against Sod (did the same against delPo actually, but delPo got him in the end) and Sod hung on, and gradually worked his way back in. He just missed forcing a 5th. The momentum was with him, and he was arguably favourite to win that set – but obviously there can be no proof. I don’t really see why it should be any different today. I can easily see Fed winning, I can easily see Sod winning. Probably jane’s 60-40 is more realistic. But a spot of exaggeration never did anyone any harm.

stu Says:

I’m so glad the match is starting so we will have something to talk about :D

David Says:


We just don’t know which Sod is going to show up though. He just has so little margin for error on his ground strokes as we’ve seen in bad losses he’s had this year on hard against Berdych and Nalby and to some real unknown at the Australian Open.

Michael Says:

So “guy” are you white, black or a scaredy-cat”?

dari Says:

I used to play tennis semi seriously, and still play recreational 3 or so times a week. the suddenness is alarming, and I can’t explain it! moving up and changing the grip would certainly help, especially since moving his grip up would help snap/pronate the wrist , but I also feel like that would be very uncomfortable to make such a drastic move up. the five six inches that he said in the interviews sounds like a TON, I hope I heard wrong.
however, if something WORKS, you get used to the initial discomfort quite quickly!

super man Says:

you senile twit – it’s not fantasy you embraced, it’s lunacy.

grendel Says:

little creep – come over to my country, I’ll meet you anywhere you like, and we’ll see who’s senile. But you’re a fake and a coward, aren’t you?

Kimberly Says:

ben–according to rafa on espn2 he changed his grip TWO DAYS before the start of the tournament and that explains the change.

interesting. I don’t think this will be much of a match. i’m off to the gym.

i am it Says:

Djoko looked careless and fidgety in the 1st 3 games. He missed easy shots from both wings. If the pattern continues, …

Ben Pronin Says:

There is absolutely no way that Nadal used a continental grip on the serve for the first time in his career just 2 days before this year’s US Open. That doesn’t simply explain everything.

super man Says:

did mem teach you that word fake? for your age, you learn quite fast.

ok granpa, i will come to your house and kick your old preachy psycho A$$. you can even call tom for help.

grendel Says:

little creep, find a way we can get in touch, and arrange a meeting.

super man Says:

what will your lazy old A$$ do? kiss my boots?

Ben Pronin Says:

Both of you need to calm down.

dari Says:

Who said this wouldn’t be much of a match?! I’m mad I have to go to class and miss it!

i am it Says:

Djoko did pretty good in the tie breaker. I think he’s found his rhythm by now and has the match under control.
This match is good.

i am it Says:

Rafa has not changed the grip entirely. It is the same grip that he has lowered it to the butt. With the reduction of spin and increment in flatness, the serve has gained about 10 mph more speed, going from his previous average 110 mph to 121 mph, according to him.

grendel Says:

I see. An evasion of course. My son Tom – little creep evidently reads even my long posts – said he was quite annoyed that I had let a psycho like little creep know his name, especially since I had inadvertantly posted my real name a couple of weeks or so ago. He is, of course, much more streetwise about the ways of trolls on the internet – I am afraid I am quite innocent, as befits my age I daresay – and he pointed out to me that creeps like little creep derive great fun from provoking people, and only a fool would play his game. Fully admit to being a fool. I’ve noticed little creep insulting all kinds of people, and they never respond. What a naive clown I am.

My apologies to the people on this site for not being more worldly wise and understanding the ways of trolls like little creep. From now on, I just won’t read anything coming from little creep. little creep – enjoy yourself, but you’ll be effusing in a vacuum.

David Says:

It would have to be so frustrating to be a Djoko fan. I don’t know how Jane does it. He always looks on the verge of physical trouble in any best of five match. He gets pissed off for no reason, even when he’s up a break or two breaks in a set.

He’s obviously a very talented player, but he just doesn’t seem to have it mentally or endurance-wise to be a great champion.

Ben Pronin Says:

Dari same here! I’m following live scores in class right now. It sucks tho cause I love watching Novak beat on pusher Monfils.

stu Says:

David, he’s pissed off because his has planned this brilliant shot in his head but he fails to execute because of the wind!

i am it Says:

Great news for Djoko fans that he is 2 sets up.
The 2nd set was much easier. Monfild was not able to hold a single time, though he took one break.
Now it looks like it is going to be straight set win.

dari Says:

THIS will be the last of the lives scores and checking in for me! It is not polite to play with phone during orgo lab!
Good luck to djoko, for those of you watching i hope for monfils to take a set to continue the excitement. As for tonigjt, gearing up for roger and big sod!

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