NEW YORK – 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, sure couldn’t keep up on a steamy Sunday at the U.S. Open.
Wozniacki won 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 in 2 hours, 37 minutes to get back to her first Grand Slam quarterfinal 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 favor. When the 10th-seeded Dane broke Sharapova at love to go up 3-1 in the final set, she got a standing ovation 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 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 Sunday to keep the pressure on Sharapova.
Recently, Wozniacki was best known for her engagement to golfer Rory McIlroy – then getting dumped in after wedding invitations had gone out.
Federer wins in four
Roger Federer regrouped after a fortuitously timed rain delay to move into the fourth round.
The second-seeded Federer was a game from losing the first set to Marcel Granollers in the third round when play was stopped because of lightning. After they returned to the court two hours later, Granollers won the set, but Federer dominated the rest of the way in a 4-6, 6-1, 6-1, 6-1 victory.
Williams sisters move on
Venus and Serena Williams easily advanced to the women’s doubles quarterfinals, beating the 12th-seeded Spanish team of Garbine Muguruza and Carla Suarez-Navarro 6-1, 6-0.
The sisters are bidding for their 14th Grand Slam doubles title, but first at Flushing Meadows since 2009.
Bencic, 17, in quarters
With mentor Martina Hingis cheering from the stands, 17-year-old Belinda Bencic became the youngest U.S. Open quarterfinalist since Hingis herself in 1997.
Playing on Arthur Ashe Stadium, ninth-seeded Jelena Jankovic was far more rattled than an opponent 12 years her junior. Bencic won 7-6 (6), 6-3.
“I think she had all the pressure because she needed to win,” Bencic said. “I could just enjoy.”
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