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Serena Williams

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September 3, 2013 | By Diane Pucin
NEW YORK -- Li Na, the women's fifth seed, became the first U.S. Open women's semifinalist with her 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-2 win over 24th-seeded Ekaterina Makarova of Russia. Li would play Serena Williams in the semifinals if top-seeded Williams beats 18th-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain tonight.   This will be Li's first U.S. Open semifinal appearance. She said she will watch Williams' match tonight while "lying down on the bed with some chips. " Li, 31, is also the first China-born woman to make it to the U.S. Open semifinals.
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SPORTS
September 3, 2013 | By Diane Pucin
NEW YORK - It took Serena Williams 19 minutes to win the first set of her U.S. Open quarterfinal match against 18th-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro on the Spaniard's 25th birthday. The second set wasn't much better for Suarez Navarro, who received an occasional gifted point but not too many as Williams moved into the semifinals with a 6-0, 6-0 win in Arthur Ashe Stadium on Tuesday night. The match lasted 52 minutes. In a semifinal scheduled for Friday, Williams will face fifth-seeded Li Na, who became the first Chinese player to make the Open semifinals.
SPORTS
September 3, 2013 | By Diane Pucin
NEW YORK---Second-seeded Victoria Azarenka stayed on track to reach the U.S. Open finals Tuesday morning with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 comeback win over 13th-seeded Ana Ivanovic in a fourth-round match. All the other women who play Tuesday are in quarterfinal matches, but it was decided Monday when it rained during the day that this match would be pushed back a day. Later tonight top-seeded Serena Williams will play 18th-seeded Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro. Azarenka and Ivanovic both struggled to hold serve and tried other ways to win points, especially employing the drop shot.
SPORTS
September 1, 2013 | By Diane Pucin
NEW YORK - Serena Williams advanced to the U.S. Open quarterfinals for the 11th time with an emphatic 6-4, 6-1 win over 20-year-old fellow American Sloane Stephens. Stephens is considered heir to Williams' spot at the top of tennis. Stephens came to the Open seeded 15th and with a win over the top-seeded and top-ranked Williams earlier this year at the first Grand Slam tournament, the Australian Open. This fourth-round match, Williams said, "felt a lot bigger. Thanks, Sloane.
SPORTS
August 31, 2013 | By Diane Pucin
NEW YORK - John Isner had played long and late Thursday to pull out a physically taxing four-set win over flashy Frenchman Gael Monfils, 7-5, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (4) at the U.S. Open. The New York crowd had firmly planted itself on the side of the Frenchman, chanting Monfils' name and standing when he would take a tumble, get up and hit a winner. On Saturday, Isner got another chance against 22nd-seeded Philipp Kohlschreiber, a more subdued German who had upset Isner in the third round here last year.
SPORTS
August 31, 2013 | By Diane Pucin
NEW YORK - They're professionals and have been playing tennis since they were very young. They know how to hit forehands and backhands, serves and maybe even volleys. They're at the top of their game and playing in a grand slam tournament. So what's left to learn? It's a fact that the best tennis players in the world still need coaching. Technique can be adjusted, attitude can be sharpened. And gaining even the slightest competitive advantage can make a meaningful difference.
SPORTS
August 30, 2013 | By Diane Pucin
NEW YORK - Sloane Stephens did her part. She took all the space away from fellow American Jamie Hampton, commanded the court with her ferocious forehand and never let down for a moment. Stephens needed only 63 minutes to beat the 23rd-seeded Hampton, 6-1, 6-3, on Friday and reach the fourth round at the U.S. Open for the first time. Serena Williams' chance to do her part didn't arrive until much later Friday night and into Saturday morning. She didn't get on court to start warming up until 11:35 p.m. EDT, after 2001 U.S. Open champ Lleyton Hewitt took 4 hours 3 minutes to upset sixth-seeded Juan Martin del Potro, the 2009 champion, 6-4, 5-7, 3-6, 7-6 (2)
SPORTS
August 30, 2013 | By Diane Pucin
NEW YORK---Sloane Stephens, who upset Serena Williams at the Australian Open earlier this year, seems headed for a rematch. Stephens, seeded 15th at the U.S. Open, dominated fellow American Jamie Hampton and won 6-1, 6-3 over the 23rd-seeded Hampton. Williams had been hampered by a sprained ankle when she lost to Stephens in the Australian Open quarterfinals 3-6, 7-5, 6-4. Stephens ended a 20-match Williams winning streak with that victory and the two haven't been chummy since then.
SPORTS
August 29, 2013 | By Diane Pucin
NEW YORK---Top seed and defending champion Serena Williams took a hard fall in her second-round match but had no other troubles in beating Galina Voskoboeva 6-3, 6-0 at the U.S. Open. Fourth-seeded Sara Errani of Italy wasn't so lucky. Errani lost to fellow Italian Flavia Pennetta 6-3, 6-0, and afterward seemed distraught and in tears, speaking about the pressure of being so highly seeded and expected to reach the semifinals. "The worst for me is to find the way, because sometimes there are difficult things because you never have been at this place.
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