The Women’s U.S. Open has garnered a great deal of hype with its superstars and unlikely heroines and I can’t wait to see more grunting, biceps bulging and matching tennis ensemble-wearing among the final best of the best female tennis players.
Tuesday night, Caroline Wozniacki defeated 17-year-old Melanie Oudin in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open. Oudin has already gained celeb status for climbing from her 70th rank, and had been hailed as the “Teen Queen” from Georgia.
Oudin, who stands at just 5’6,” has toppled Russian greats Elena Dementieva, No. 1 Maria Sharapova and, most recently Nadia Petrova. After being overpowered by Petrova in the first set, it was Oudin who forced Petrova to fault and crack under pressure.
The Post describes Petrova’s fate as “pounded into submission by a teenager.” You all can mull that statement over for a second. Good? OK, moving on.
At 19 years old, No. 9 Caroline Wozniacki from Denmark is also a teenager, but was the underdog of the match. Her shocking defeat of two-time champion, 6th seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova secured her a spot against Oudin.
Oudin and Wozniacki
Nicknamed “Sunshine,” Wozniacki was up against unwavering and fervent support for America’s favorite teen tennis star and, before playing, she said that she hoped “someone from the crowd will cheer for her.” Luckily, they did and she probably didn’t even need it.
It was kind of like a Miley Cyrus vs. Taylor Swift battle of the teeny boppers for the crown of Teen Queen. Not that I’m minimizing their tennis prowess — they’re undoubtedly talented and powerful — it’s just kind of funny.
Now, Wozniacki will be up against Yanina Wickmayer in the semi-finals.
Sports critics were saying Ukrainian Kateryna Bondarenko had an edge over Belgian Wickmayer in quarterinals because of her slightly more extensive experience and skill level. Bondarenko is 23 and Wickmayer is 19, giving Bondarenko the age advantage. Both are considered long-shots to make it to the finals, but are not going to pass up the chance to play in the U.S. Open.
After crushing her competition, Daniela Hantuchova, and advancing to the quarterfinals, No. 2 seed Williams did it again and secured her spot in the semifinals, following her Tuesday win over No.10 Flavia Pennetta. Against Hantuchova, Williams was “>ruthless” in her 6-2 6-0 victory, winning 10 straight games in 64 minutes, without losing a set.
Storming into the quarterfinals, Williams faced off against her Italian competitor, Pennetta, and defeated her with a score of 6-4, 6-5, bringing her personal record in this season’s Grand Slam singles matches to 23-1. Pretty freaking impressive.
Next up, Williams faces Kim Clijsters in the semis.
Wild card Clijsters shocked everyone after taking respite in 2007 due to injuries and a desire to start a family. Her comeback in 2009 has been exciting and surprising to watch as she now advances to the semifinals against Serena Williams. With her 18-month-old daughter, Jada, watching from the sidelines, Clijsters defeated 18th seeded Li Na in a 6-2, 6-4 upset victory. She also squashed hopes of the Williams sisters meeting in the final, as she dominated Venus in an earlier round.
Everyone from tennis superstar Roger Federer, to ordinary citizens are calling the 26-year-old player’s return a “beautiful story” that’s an inspiration to working moms all over. Aw. But in all seriousness, she rocks. I don’t know who to root for! The Williams/Clijsters showdown should be a nail-biter.
Will you be watching the semi-finals this weekend?