Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Defending champion Clijsters to play Venus Williams in U.S. Open semifinals

It wasn't pretty, but defending champion Kim Clijsters prevailed tonight in a wind-swept, error-filled 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 quarterfinal match against Sam Stosur at the U.S. Open. Clijsters, the tournament's 2nd seed, had a lot of trouble with her serve, double-faulting eight times. For half of the match, Stosur was unable to hit a volley. There were fifteen breaks of serve, including all of Stosur's games in the final set. Clijsters made 36 unforced errors, and Stosur made 43.

Stosur's second set revival seemed to come out of nowhere, and she fought her way through the same way she did against Elena Dementieva in the round of 16. In that match, however, she was able to sustain a higher level of play, and she also had some help from a flustered Dementieva in the tiebreak. Tonight, she was able to break Clijsters in the third set, even though she couldn't hold her own serve. Clijsters, however, in her second career, has become better at closing big matches, and she was able to put a favorable end (with an ace) to an unfavorable contest.

This is the first time that 5th seed Stosur has advanced beyond the second round of the U.S. Open. Clijsters is now on a 19-match U.S. Open winning streak. She own the U.S. Open in 2005 and 2009, with the latter win coming shortly after she came back from retirement from pro tennis.

In the meantime, two-time champion Venus Williams, who--prior to arriving in Flushing Meadows--had not played since Wimbledon, made her way to the semifinals with a 7-6, 6-4 win over French Open champion Francesca Schiavone. The first set was very competitive, with Schiavone coming back from a 0-4 deficit in the tiebreak. Both sets were fun to watch because both women are such great movers and volleyers. But they, too, had to deal with the wind, and Williams committed nine double faults. There were mis-hit volleys and flying tennis balls. Schiavone hit with her signature spin, but the wind pulled even some of those shots outside the court. She threw in plenty of slices, but Williams was ready for her, and utilized her aggression to outplay the 6th seed.

Williams, who is seeded 3rd at the tournament, will play Clijsters in the semfinals. Last year, they met in the round of 16, and Clijsters won, with the odd score of 6-0, 0-6, 6-4. There is some indication that the wind may let up by Friday. Williams and Clijsters will play on Arthur Ashe Court, however, which is somewhat windy, even under normal conditions.

11 comments:

AndyD said...

Let's be honest - Stosur choked but Clijsters did what she had to, to win. That's experience but with better self-belief, Stosur would have won in straight sets.

TennisAce said...

All of a sudden Venus is being asked about being America's last great hope. Really now. Through 5 rounds she was never asked this question, especially when the American women and men were dropping like flies, now all of a sudden she is being asked whether she is America's last great hope. I love her answer to the question.

As for Clijsters, can you say crowd savvy. Already she is talking about the crowd favouring Venus, knowing very well that that is not going to happen and putting it out there in the minds of fickle folks, that yeah, even though Venus is American, you can cheer for me, the underdog. Good going Model of Decency. Yeah, that is the name that they are now using for her. Model of Decency.

Clearly, no one read the article that was done on Venus or saw the emotion that overcame Shahar when she spoke about how what Venus did for her during her Dubai struggles aided her. Nope,it is Clijsters, the Model of Decency.

Shahar said that Venus was the only player on the Tour who spoke up for her. Imagine that.

Diane said...

I agree with the first part, Andy, but I don't think thee would have been two sets, under almost any circumstance.

Karen, don't even get me started on the tour's missing spine. I have only so much time and space :)

Many players not from the country where the major is played do that "I know they'll cheer for her/him" thing. It's such a tired old strategy.

I can turn off of the sound (often a good idea, anyway), and know what a lot of players (and especially Belgian ones) are saying--without even bothering to read their lips.

svente said...

TennisAce- about the Dubai "incident." A few days ago when Venus and Shahar were playing each other the story sort of came up... Mary Carillo talked about Peer's visa nonsense in 2009, a backlash, and then that Peer was able to play in 2010. Great right? But what she forgot to mention was Venus' comments on the matter. Interesting that.

TennisAce said...

svente, it is so obvious it makes no sense. For a player to stand up in an award ceremony in a hostile environment where the heads of state are gathered and delivered a message in the way that Venus delivered it said more to me than Andy Roddick jumping on the bandwagon and declaring that he would not be playing.

Perhaps Roddick should take his awareness and apply it to the officials that he continues to abuse for all the world to see without offering an apology and without being penalised or called on the carpet for it.

How is it worse what Dubai did in humiliating Shahar for not allowing her to play than it was for Roddick to turn to a crowd on national tv and tell them "stay in school kids or you may just become an umpire"

As for Carillo, I used to respect her as a proponent for equality in all areas of life but she has shown during the last year that for her equality only applies when it is popular to do so.

Diane said...

I don't think Roddic "jumped on a bandwagon." He was the only one who stayed away from Dubai.

For the record, that line about the umpires is one Roddick has been using for years. He has no inner editor, I'm afraid, even after all these years.

At least he doesn't use sexual verbal assault like one of his countrymen did. (Did you ever notice how Agassi apologized for insulting LBGT people, but he has yet to apologize for his vile treatment of female officials?)

Anonymous said...

Venus will not only play aganist Kim, she will be playing aganist the crowd and the wind too! Everyone wants a Kim vs. Caro final, aka the mommy and the sunshine smile. Yes, and just becauuse your American you don't have to root for an American! But in the eye's of this 53 year old American, it would be nice to get some crowd support not just from her box!

Diane said...

That reminds me--someone called a recent Ivanovic-Clijsters match "Ms. Happy vs. Mrs. Happy."

Anon, make sure you read Ravi Ubha's latest piece on ESPN's website.

Anonymous said...

Simply ωant tо sаy уouг artiсle iѕ aѕ аstounding.
The сlarity in your post is just еxсellent anԁ
i сan asѕume you're an expert on this subject. Well with your permission let me to grab your RSS feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please carry on the enjoyable work.

Here is my web page quick loans

Anonymous said...

It is perfect time to make some ρlans foг the future and іt is time to be happy.
I've read this post and if I could I desire to suggest you few interesting things or advice. Perhaps you can write next articles referring to this article. I desire to read more things about it!

Review my webpage :: small loans

Anonymous said...

If some οne wishes еxpert vіew regаrding blogging anԁ site-building thеn і suggest him/her tο pay a
quiсk visit this web sіte, Keеp uρ the pleаѕant job.


Нere is my hοmеpage :: payday loans