The US Open women’s semifinal round gets underway this afternoon in Flushing Meadows, New York. Arriving in the final four are defending champion Kim Clijsters, 2009 finalist Caroline Wozniacki, two-time US Open champion Venus Williams and Wimbledon finalist Vera Zvonareva.
The top-seeded and hot-handed Wozniacki is on first at 1:30pm against Zvonareva. The steady Great Dane is on a career-best winning streak of 13 straight matches and she just whipped Zvonareva 63, 62 in the Montreal final last month. Neither player has conceded a set.
“Definitely a match that’s gonna be tough,” Wozniacki said about Zvonareva. “I mean, she’s a really good — she’s playing really well at the moment. She’s playing aggressively, hitting through the ball. Yeah, I’m expecting a match where I really need to play on my best level to win.”
The 30-year-old Venus and Clijsters are scheduled to start not before 3:30pm on Arthur Ashe. Clijsters has won her last 19 matches at the US Open dating all the way back to a 2003 loss to Justine Henin in the final. The two former No. 1s are meeting for a 13th time having split their previous meetings 6-6. But the Belgian has beaten Venus in four straight including in the US Open fourth round last year. She also beat Venus in the Miami final 62, 61 in April.
“I think in some of the previous matches that I’ve played, you know, it obviously — we had some strange matches, as well, I think, last year,” Clijsters said looking ahead to Venus. “But in the third sets, I think a couple of the third sets, it just came down to, yeah, I felt that I was just maybe physically even a little bit stronger than some of those matches, especially here last year. I think, yeah, if I — you know, she’s capable of doing amazing things, and you just have to hang in there and just, you know, push her, and at the same time be aggressive, and, you know, go for shots and try to make her make the errors, as well, by being aggressive. But at the same time, also I’ll have to be ready. I’ll have to be able to move well. I’ll have to retrieve a lot of balls, but at the same time, like I said, be aggressive.”
More tennis notes courtesy of the WTA:
Three of the Top 4 seeds have made it through to SFs for the first time at the US Open since 2006; and the first time at any major since 2009 Wimbledon; it is also the first time since 2009 Wimbledon that the 4 semifinalists have been ranked in Top 10.
Clijsters and Williams are both Grand Slam – and US Open – champions, while Wozniacki and Zvonareva are both Grand Slam runners-up; this is the first time since 2009 Wimbledon that there is no first-time semifinalist in the last four.
Williams and Clijsters are both 2-time US Open champions, Williams in 2000-01 and Clijsters in 2005, 2009; Wozniacki is the only other player to have advanced beyond QF at US Open previously.
Zvonareva is the only player to have already played a Grand Slam SF this year; if she advances to the final, she would become the 2nd player after Serena Williams to advance to 2 Grand Slam finals this year.
Clijsters is on a 19-match winning streak at the US Open, the 6th woman to win 19 or more consecutive matches here in the Open Era.
Williams is playing her 8th US Open SF (4-3 record); only 3 women have reached more than 8 SFs in the Open Era (Evert, Navratilova and Graf).
Wozniacki, Williams, Zvonareva have all advanced to SF without dropping a set. Of these Wozniacki has conceded the fewest games (17) en route; the fewest since Serena Williams dropped 14 in reaching 2002 SF.
There could be a repeat of last year’s final between Clijsters and Wozniacki. The last time that there was a repeat final at the US Open was in 2002 when Serena Williams d. Venus Williams a year after Venus had defeated her in the 2001 final.
Williams has spent the longest on court (7hr, 47 min), Clijsters the shortest at 5h 53min.
Williams is bidding to be the first 30-year-old to reach a Grand Slam final since Mary Pierce at 2005 US Open (RUp); the last player aged 30 or over to win a Grand Slam was Navratilova (33-y-o) at 1990 Wimbledon.
Williams will break the $28m prize money barrier if she reaches SF; Clijsters has passed the $18m prize money barrier here, and Wozniacki $5m; by advancing to SF.
Wozniacki is on a 13-match winning streak heading into SF; only Venus Williams has a longer winning streak in 2010 (15 matches ).
Wozniacki has won a Tour-leading 4 titles this year; Clijsters is the only other player to win 3 or more. Williams has won 2, Zvonareva 1.
Following completion of QF at this year’s US Open, the players projected to be ranked in Top 10 are set, but with 4 of the projected Top 8 still competing, the final order cannot be determined as yet.
Serena Williams will hold on to No.1 after the US Open UNLESS Caroline Wozniacki wins the US Open title.
Venus Williams would rise to No.2 if she won US Open, as would Vera Zvonareva, unless she loses to Williams in the final, when she would finish No.3.
Wozniacki could rank between 1 and 4, while Venus could rank between 2 and 4 depending on final results.
Samantha Stosur is projected to remain at No.6, unless Clijsters wins the title, whereby she would drop to No.7.
Francesca Schiavone is projected to stay at No.7, unless Clijsters reaches final whereby she would drop to No.8.
Kim Clijsters is projected to climb to No.8 by reaching SF and to No.7 if she advances to final; if she successfully defends her US Open title, she is projected to rise to No.4 or if she faces Zvonareva in the final No.5.
Elena Dementieva is projected to return to Top 10 after reaching 4r at US Open at No.10; Li Na will drop out of Top 10.
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