Wozniacki outlasts Sharapova
NEW YORK (AP):Caroline Wozniacki trusts her stamina so much that she plans to return to New York in two months to run a marathon.
Maria Sharapova, usually the one wearing down opponents in the third set, surely couldn't keep up on a steamy Sunday at the U.S. Open. Wozniacki won 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 in two hours, 37 minutes to get back to her first Grand Slam quarter-final in more than two years - and get back in the headlines for reasons other than her personal life.
"The season for me has been a little bit up and down," she said in quite an understatement, "and it's so nice to kind of start feeling like I'm playing the way I want to."
Because of the heat, the players received a 10-minute break before the final set; Sharapova returned to the court late, arguing with the chair umpire after receiving a time violation warning. Perhaps sensing that she was fresher than the five-time major champion, Wozniacki later complained that Sharapova was dawdling between points.
Her tardiness seemed to swing the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd's support squarely in Wozniacki's favour. When the 10th-seeded Dane broke Sharapova at love to go up 3-1 in the final set, she got a standing ovation from the fans and waved her arms to egg them on. Sharapova had appeared to hit a winner three times on that game's final point, only for Wozniacki to somehow chase down the ball. Finally, Sharapova hit a volley into the net.
Wozniacki's defensive style is faulted as the reason that the former top-ranked player has made only one major final. She mixed in just enough aggression in the final set yesterday to keep the pressure on Sharapova.
"She's very good at getting a lot of balls back and making you hit another one," Sharapova said. "In the end, I went for a little too much."
She insisted the conditions didn't bother her. Sharapova had been 17-6 in three-set matches this year, including her come-from-behind second-round victory here.
The fifth-seeded Sharapova's loss leaves No. 1 Serena Williams as the only woman remaining of the top six.
Unlike the women's draw, the men's side didn't lose a top-10 player until yesterday, when fourth-seeded David Ferrer was upset by Gilles Simon in the third round. Simon won 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, 6-3 to set up a meeting with 14th-seeded Marin Cilic, who beat Kevin Anderson.
Wozniacki will next face 13th-seeded Sara Errani, who ended the run of qualifier Mirjana Lucic-Baroni with a 6-3, 2-6, 6-0 victory.