Week two of the 2013 US Open Tennis Championships brought early departures for both Roger Federer and defending US Open Champion Andy Murray, while Stanislas Wawrinka and Richard Gasquet achieved career milestones. Bob and Mike Bryans’ stab at history was blocked by Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek, while the Czech Republic’s Andrea Hlavackova managed to win two US Open titles. Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka would win their way to a rematch of last year’s Final, while 2010 Champion Rafael Nadal and 2011 Champion Novak Djokovic would play each other for the third time in a US Open title match. Here’s a review of week two, in pictures…(all photos courtesy of the USTA)
Week-2 started with rain, and we were only able to complete one Day Session match on Arthur Ashe Stadium: Hantuchova over Riske 6,3, 5-7, 6-2. The rain pushed Roger Federer’s 4th-round match to Louis Armstrong Stadium, where Spain’s Tommy Robredo took-out the five-time US Open champ in straight sets: 7-6(3), 6-3, 6-4. For the first time since 2002, Roger Federer did not appear in a Grand Slam Final during the calendar year; and his ranking dropped to #6 in the world.
Stan Wawrinka continued to earn fans in New York with a 4-set upset of Tomas Berdych: 3-6, 6-1, 7-6(6), 6-2. And Mikhail Youzhny kept on winning, ending Lleyton’s Hewitt run at the US Open in the 4th-round: 6-3, 3-6, 6-7(3), 6-4, 7-5.
She upset fellow Italian Sara Errani in the 1st-round, ousted 2005 Champ Svetlana Kuznetsova in the 2nd, and Simona Halep in the 3rd. Flavia Pennetta then took-out countrywoman Roberta Vinci in the 4th: 6-4, 6-1. Needless to say, she’s back from wrist surgery. And in his first-ever Grand Slam quarterfinal, Richard Gasquet defeated 2012 Semifinalist David Ferrer in five sets: 6-3, 6-1, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3.
Bob and Mike Bryan were two match-wins away from winning all four Grand Slam titles in 2013. But the defending US Open champions saw their run end in the Semifinals, with a loss to Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek: 6-3, 3-6, 4-6. Looking for his first Grand Slam Semifinal appearance, Stan Wawrinka’s amazing US Open run continued with a three-set win over the defending champion, Andy Murray: 6-4, 6-3, 6-2. Stan easily became the favorite underdog to win it all in the Big Apple.
The Czech Republic’s Andrea Hlavackova would have a busy Friday. She and doubles partner Lucie Hradecka would have to play Venus and Serena Williams in the final match on Ashe, AFTER Andrea won the US Open Mixed Doubles Title with partner Max Mirnyi 7-6(5), 6-3 over American Abigail Spears and Mexico’s Santiago Gonzalez. — Flavia Pennetta’s comeback run at the US Open ended in the Semifinals versus Victoria Azarenka 6-4, 6-2. — Serena Williams continued to dominate all-comers with an easy defeat of 2008 French Open Champ, Na Li 6-0, 6-3. — Andrea Hlavackova pulled off a remarkable win with partner Lucie Hradecka over Venus and Serena Williams 6-4, 6-2…advancing to the US Open Womens Doubles Final, on the same day she won the Mixed Doubles Championship.
Semifinal Saturday didn’t disappoint, as Stan Warinka took 2011 US Open Champ Novak Djokovic to five sets in the first match. With New York heavily favoring the Swiss, Novak managed to pull-out the win 2-6, 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. Djokovic advanced to his fourth consecutive US Open Final. — In his first Grand Slam Semifinal appearance, Richard Gasquet had few answers for 2010 US Open Champ Rafael Nadal. Nadal wasted no time on the court, taking-down the Frenchman in three-sets: 6-4, 7-6(1), 6-2. — Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka lost the first set, but managed to come-back and win the US Open Womens Doubles Title over Australia’s Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua: 6-7(4), 6-1, 6-4. Needless to say, it was a remarkable Open for Hlavackova, winning two Grand Slam titles in one tournament.
After taking down the Bryans, Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek were on a mission – demolishing Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares in the Mens Doubles Championship Match: 6-1, 6-3. — And in a rematch of the 2012 US Open Final, Victoria Azarenka saved match point to force a third set, but couldn’t put together a winning strategy down the stretch. Serena Williams owned Vika again at the Open: 7-5, 6-7(6), 6-1 – capturing her fifth US Open title; the 17th Grand Slam Singles Title of her career. Having won the US Open Series, Serena earned an additional $1-million for a total of $3.6-million.
One match. The Men’s Singles Final. A rematch of the 2010 US Open won by Rafael Nadal – and the 2011 US Open won by Novak Djokovic. Nadal’s endurance won him the match, as Novak gambled, going for more shots. Rafa won his second US Open title 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 over Djokovic, and is now right on Novak’s heels to overtake the World #1 ranking. Having won the US Open Series, Rafa also earned an additional $1-million for a total of $3.6-million.