Wozniacki survives, reaches quarterfinals - NBC Sports

Wozniacki survives, reaches quarterfinals
Top seed rallies from set, break down to beat Kuznetsova
AFP - Getty Images
Caroline Wozniacki celebrates after beating Svetlana Kuznetsova during their U.S. Open fourth-round match on Monday.
September 5, 2011, 11:09 pm

Top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki came back from a set and a break down Monday night to beat Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-7 (6), 7-5, 6-1 in a U.S. Open match that lasted 3 hours, 2 minutes.

Wozniacki was trailing 4-1 in the second set when she began her comeback and kept alive her hopes of winning her first Grand Slam title.

She did it in her typical fashion, by chasing down balls, making fewer mistakes and winning lots of long points. She finished with 26 unforced errors compared to 78 for the 17th-seeded Kuznetsova, a two-time major champion.

With Roger Federer and Juan Monaco waiting for the women's match to end before they could start theirs, Wozniacki capitalized on her fifth match point at 11:29 p.m.

Wozniacki plays No. 10 Andrea Petkovic in the quartrfinals.

In other action, Serena Williams fought off the wind, along with brief flurries of effectiveness from her opponent, to advance to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open on Monday with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Ana Ivanovic.

Williams closed out the match with four straight serves that Ivanovic couldn't get back - clocked at between 99 and 111 mph in a blustery Arthur Ashe Stadium that had both players fighting with their tosses and topspin all day.

"I didn't even go for winners at any point," said Williams, who hit only 16. "I just tried to get it over because it was so windy. It was definitely tough."

Seeded only 28th after missing big chunks of the last two years with injuries to her foot, Williams nonetheless improved to 16-0 this year on hardcourt. She has yet to drop a set at the U.S. Open and now finds herself in her first Grand Slam quarterfinal since last year at Wimbledon, when she won her 13th major title.

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With each win at Flushing Meadows, she makes a stronger case that the "28" before her name at this tournament is only a number. When healthy, she might be the best in the world.

"I don't know if I'm the best or not," she said. "I believe I am and I think a lot of other girls, women in the locker room, believe they are, too, as they should. I don't think anyone should go out and say that they're not."

No. 16 Ivanovic, the 2008 French Open champion and a one-time world No. 1, is on the rebound after a slide down the rankings into the 60s. At times against Williams, flashes of the old Ivanovic showed, especially when she drew back to 3-3 in the first set after dropping the first three games in eight minutes.

Taking the ball early, unafraid to step inside the baseline to return Williams' second serves, Ivanovic was the aggressor during that portion and in parts of the second set when she tried, unsuccessfully, to make up the break she lost in the first game.

But she couldn't overcome eight double faults, including three while serving at 3-4 in the first set, and didn't have an answer for Williams who was less aggressive (16 winners to 20 for Ivanovic), but more consistent (14 unforced errors to 29) and also had more bite on her serve (nine aces).

"My serve broke down a little more than hers," Ivanovic said. "I still created lots of opportunities and I felt I was stepping up a lot and I just felt that was the biggest difference today."

Next up for Williams is No. 17 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who made it to her second Grand Slam quarterfinal with a 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 win over former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone.

The three-set match included 16 service breaks over 31 games and, appropriately enough, ended when Pavlyuchenkova hit a forehand winner on match point to break Schiavone's serve for the ninth time. The players combined for 21 double-faults.

"I'm going to say that I don't want to go out there and enjoy just being on center court playing against Serena," Pavlyuchenkova said. "I would like to do well, try to fight, and with my effort, I'll try to beat her."

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