Tennis Server ATP/WTA Pro Tennis Showcase - US Open 2010 - Below Par - Djokovic, Monfils, Wozniacki, Cibulkova, Federer, Soderling, Zvonareva, Kanepi
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September 8, 2010

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US Open 2010, Flushing Meadows, NY, USA
September 8, 2010
Editorial by Jane Voigt.

Jane Voigt Photo
Jane Voigt

Below Par
 
September 8, 2010 -- Players baked under intense sun, heat and humidity the first week of The U. S. Open. Hurricane Earl then skirted by with promises of relief. But what it deposited in its wake was wind. And it just hasn't stopped.
 
Stanislaus Wawrinka and Sam Querrey showed fans what wind does to your tennis game. Both were affected from the shifting gusts. From one end of the giant arena wind came from behind, pushing balls like a tailwind on jets. From the other end, they rallied against the wind.
 
Their games, which they'd polished for the last major of the year, were on hold. They shifted gears and survived, Wawrinka (#25 seed) playing the odds and the wind better than the American.
 
Vera Zvonareva and Kaia Kanepi rocked and rolled with the wind today, too, during their quarterfinal match on Arthur Ashe Stadium. Neither woman really hit her stride. They tried their best, one point at a time. But the more seasoned player -- Zvonareva -- maintained a better average game than Kanepi, winning 63 75.
 
For that she was rewarded a berth in the semifinals at the 2010 U. S. Open -- her first.
 
"I had to find the right balance between patience and watching the ball," Zvonareva said to Brad Gilbert on court moments after her win.
 
Gael Monfils and Novak Djokovic were also treated to the swirling energy on Ashe, in their quarterfinal match. Djokovic (#3 seed) might have been thrown by conditions early on, but he adapted.
 
Monfils (#17 seed), on the other hand, floundered. He didn't have a strategy; he didn't seem to think about what he did, after initially breaking Novak early in the first set. However, he couldn't put enough on the ball to pressure Djokovic, and when he did, the balls flew. Monfils fed balls back to the center of the court where Djokovic stood contentedly controlling everything.
 
Djokovic won the last sixteen out of twenty-one games, securing his third consecutive spot in the semifinals of the U. S. Open.
 
Experience had won out in both of these matches.
 
Zvonareva (#7 seed) and Kanepi (#31 seed) were playing in their first-ever quarterfinal match at the U. S. Open. There were nerves, of course, as they worked toward the common goal.
 
The match was riddled with breaks of serve and unforced errors. Kanepi wracked up 60 unforced errors to 18 winners. She double faulted 9 times and threw them in at ill-timed moments -- when she was about to break back, again, or close a game.
 
"I couldn't find my rhythm or control the ball," Kanepi said in her press conference. "And, Vera played very well."
 
Kanepi rushed from point to point, and acted annoyed and impatient. However, when her first serve hit its mark the Estonia woman hammered flat, deep groundstrokes at Zvonareva, successfully running her from one side of the court to the other.
 
Zvonareva quickly smartened up to Kanepi's one-dimensional strategy. The Russian kept the ball in play. She didn't have to do anything else, really, especially in the first set.
 
The match entertained fans with extended points and escalating squeals, though. One such point had 27 rallies.
 
Zvonareva showed tenacity under extremely adverse conditions. She also showed maturity, which in the past has been under examination. Last year in her quarterfinal match against Flavia Pennetta, Zvonareva had the biggest meltdown of the tournament.
 
Up comfortably in the last set, Zvonareva opened the door to Pennetta. The Italian upped her level of competition to the thrill of fans in Louis Armstrong Stadium while the air leaked from Zvonareva sails. She skidded and fell at one point and proceeded to rip off the strapping on her legs. She whaled on it, hitting herself repeatedly in the thigh as she sat there. She cried from frustration. She lost the match.
 
The Zvonareva who won today certainly had matured. She easily could have had similar tantrums given the conditions and occasion. But she had moved on and was rightfully rewarded.
 
Gael Monfils was excited for his moment on the big stage of Arthur Ashe Stadium, he told the press yesterday. He was honored.
 
The gifted man with explosive energy and breath-taking athleticism looked as if he'd dropped his shenanigans, from the look of earlier rounds. He shelved the histrionics, chest thumping, and rally cries. He concentrated, controlling his tendencies to distract himself from the match at hand.
 
He lasted five difficult sets against qualifier Robbie Kendrick, in the first round. Took care of Igor Andreev in the second. Put an end to Janko Tipsarevic's high from defeating Andy Roddick, in the third. Then, defeated his friend Richard Gasquet next, in straight sets.
 
On paper no one gave Monfils the edge in this match. Only if he contained himself and played lights-out tennis would he have pushed Djokovic aside. But the windy conditions, plus the inability to produce an alternative strategy, killed off any possibility of mounting a comeback after losing the first set tiebreak.
 
"I tried to stay focused," Djokovic said after his victory. "These were the worse conditions of the tournament, so far."
 
Djokovic's masterful ground game was spot on, even in the wind. Later in the match, he successfully approached the net and volleyed winners, as Monfils stood ten feet behind the baseline.
 
Both players produced more unforced errors, than winners. However, Djokovic won 69% of points on his first serve and a robust 50% of points off his second serve. Enough to win 76 (2) 61 62.
 
No one has talked much about Novak Djokovic, so far. His win today, though, will shift the attention. His consistent three-peat performance into the semifinals is a record he should be proud of. The person who has stopped his pursuit of the title is Roger Federer.
 
Federer defeated Djokovic in his first U. S. Open final in 2007, and in the two semifinals in 2008 and 2009. Djokovic will have to play him again this year, too, as the #2 seed beat a hot Robin Soderling later Wednesday night on a windy Ashe court.
 

 
[3] Novak Djokovic (SRB) {white cap} d [17] Gael Monfils (FRA) 76(2) 61 62
 
Monfils Djokovic Scoreboard US Open 2010 Tennis
Gael Monfils US Open 2010 Tennis
Novak Djokovic US Open 2010 Tennis
Novak Djokovic US Open 2010 Tennis
Gael Monfils US Open 2010 Tennis
Novak Djokovic US Open 2010 Tennis
Novak Djokovic US Open 2010 Tennis
Gael Monfils US Open 2010 Tennis
Novak Djokovic US Open 2010 Tennis
Novak Djokovic US Open 2010 Tennis
Gael Monfils US Open 2010 Tennis
Novak Djokovic US Open 2010 Tennis
Novak Djokovic US Open 2010 Tennis
Novak Djokovic US Open 2010 Tennis
Team Djokovic US Open 2010 Tennis
Gael Monfils US Open 2010 Tennis

 
 
[7] Vera Zvonareva (RUS) d [31] Kaia Kanepi (EST) {nike logo on shirt} 63 75
 
Kanepi Zvonareva Scoreboard US Open 2010 Tennis
Vera Zvonareva US Open 2010 Tennis
Vera Zvonareva US Open 2010 Tennis
Kaia Kanepi US Open 2010 Tennis
Vera Zvonareva US Open 2010 Tennis
Vera Zvonareva US Open 2010 Tennis
Kaia Kanepi US Open 2010 Tennis
Vera Zvonareva US Open 2010 Tennis
Vera Zvonareva US Open 2010 Tennis
Kaia Kanepi US Open 2010 Tennis
Vera Zvonareva US Open 2010 Tennis
Kaia Kanepi US Open 2010 Tennis
Vera Zvonareva US Open 2010 Tennis
Vera Zvonareva US Open 2010 Tennis
Kaia Kanepi US Open 2010 Tennis
Vera Zvonareva US Open 2010 Tennis
Kaia Kanepi US Open 2010 Tennis
Vera Zvonareva US Open 2010 Tennis
Kaia Kanepi US Open 2010 Tennis

 
 
[1] Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) d Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) 62 75
 
Caroline Wozniacki US Open 2010 Tennis
Caroline Wozniacki US Open 2010 Tennis
Caroline Wozniacki US Open 2010 Tennis
Caroline Wozniacki US Open 2010 Tennis
Dominika Cibulkova US Open 2010 Tennis
Dominika Cibulkova US Open 2010 Tennis
Dominika Cibulkova US Open 2010 Tennis
Caroline Wozniacki US Open 2010 Tennis
Caroline Wozniacki US Open 2010 Tennis
Dominika Cibulkova US Open 2010 Tennis
Dominika Cibulkova US Open 2010 Tennis
Dominika Cibulkova US Open 2010 Tennis

 
 
[2] Roger Federer (SUI) d [5] Robin Soderling (SWE) 64 64 75
 
Roger Federer US Open 2010 Tennis
Robin Soderling US Open 2010 Tennis
Robin Soderling US Open 2010 Tennis
Roger Federer US Open 2010 Tennis
Roger Federer US Open 2010 Tennis
Robin Soderling US Open 2010 Tennis
Roger Federer US Open 2010 Tennis
Roger Federer US Open 2010 Tennis
Robin Soderling US Open 2010 Tennis
Roger Federer US Open 2010 Tennis

 
Earlier Coverage from this Event:
 
September 7, 2010 US Open: A Precious Win - Stanislas Wawrinka, Sam Querrey, Venus Williams, Francesca Schiavone
September 6, 2010 US Open: The Important Stuff - Novak Djokovic, Mardy Fish, Robin Soderling, Albert Montanes
September 5, 2010 US Open: Seeing The Light - Rafael Nadal, Gilles Simone, Fernando Verdasco, David Nalbandian, Francesca Schiavone, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
September 4, 2010 US Open: Favorites - Mardy Fish, Arnaud Clement, Maria Sharapova, Beatrice Capra, Jurgen Melzer, Juan Carlos Ferrero
September 3, 2010 US Open: The Virtual U.S. Open - Ryan Harrison, Sergiy Stakhovsky, John Isner, Marco Chiudinelli
September 2, 2010 US Open: Way Below The Radar - Roger Federer, Caroline Wozniacki, Kai-Chen Chang, Andreas Beck, Robin Soderling, Taylor Dent
September 1, 2010 US Open: The Word - Andy Murray, Lukas Lacko, Venus Williams, Rebecca Marino, Gael Monfils, Igor Andreev
August 31, 2010 US Open: What's Age Got To Do With It? Arnaud Clement, Marcos Baghdatis, Novak Djokovic, Mardy Fish, Jan Hajek, Viktor Troicki
August 30, 2010 US Open: And Away We Go - Melanie Oudin, Kim Clijsters, Andy Roddick, Olga Savchuk, Greta Arn, Stephane Robert
August 29, 2010 US Open: Who's In, Who's Out
 

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