Caroline Wozniacki's opponent in the U.S. Open semifinals will be Yanina Wickmayer, a young Belgian who may or may not have been insulted by Pam Shriver on ESPN tonight. Given Shriver's penchant for sarcasm and her admission a day or so ago that she didn't know who Wickmayer was, I'm of the opinion that the insult occurred. In interviewing Wozniacki, Shriver, rolling her eyes, said "Your next opponent is (pause) Yanina Wickmayer." The crowd booed her.
There is really no excuse for a commentator to not know who a semifinalist is, no matter strange she may think the draw is. And there is certainly no excuse for making a humiliating comment, even a subtle one, about Wickmayer's success at the Open. Wickmayer is ranked number 50 in the world, yet I didn't hear Shriver make a snide remark about world number 70 Melanie Oudin when she reached the quarterfinals.
I first saw Yanina Wickmayer in Fed Cup competition last year when she defeated both Bondarenko sisters. She's a good hitter with an especially good serve, and she knows how to vary it. She reached the Birmingham final this year, but lost to Kateryna Bondarenko, whom she defeated today in the U.S. Open quarterfinals. Like a lot of youthful big hitters, Wickmayer is inconsistent, and prone to making errors. She is also something of a hothead, which has gotten her into trouble.
On her way to the semifinals, Wickmayer defeated 16th seed Virginie Razzano, Peng Shuai, Sara Errani, Petra Kvitova, and Kateryna Bondarenko.