The U.S. Open women’s quarterfinals are set.
The lone American is Serena Williams, who advanced to her first Grand Slam quarterfinal of the year (and was incredibly happy about it) by defeating Kaia Kanepi 6-3, 6-3. Williams will face 11th seed Flavia Pennetta on Wednesday night in Arthur Ashe Stadium.
On the same side of the bracket, 16th seed Victoria Azarenka will face 17th seed Ekaterina Makarova of Russia. Makarova ousted 7-seed Eugenie Bouchard, 7-6, 6-4, in brutal heat and humidity on Monday afternoon.
“Against Bouchard it’s always tough because she’s running good,” Makarova said in her press conference. “I think it was a really good match, and I’m really happy that in the end of the first and the second set I was a little bit more aggressive.”
Azarenka advanced with a three-set win over Aleksandra Krunic, the young Serbian qualifier who surprised everyone, including herself, as she knocked off 27th seed Madison Keys and 3rd seed Petra Kvitova en route to the fourth round.
“I didn’t expect such a great effort from myself,” Krunic said after the match. “It was very tough, because it was a big court and so many people.” Most of those people seemed to be supporting her, cheering every time she forced a break point. “I was once again surprised with the support of the crowd,” she added. She lost the match, but Krunic accomplished her goal for the year: when rankings come out next week, she is projected to hit a career high 91.
On the other half of the draw, 17-year-old Belinda Bencic will face Peng Shuai of China. Peng knocked out 4-seed Agnieszka Radwanska in the first round and 14-seed Lucie Safarova in the fourth. This is her first time advancing to the quarterfinals.
Bencic has ousted 6-seed Angelique Kerber and 9-seed Jelena Jankovic to get here. She is the youngest quarterfinalist since Martina Hingis – and just so happens to have been coached by Hingis’s mother when she was younger.
Tomorrow night’s primetime women’s match-up is 10-seed Caroline Wozniacki vs. 13-seed Sara Errani. Wozniacki returns to the quarterfinals after notching one of the biggest wins of her career: On Sunday night, the 24-year-old defeated Maria Sharapova under the lights of Ashe, 6-4, 2-6, 6-2. This will be her first Grand Slam quarterfinal since the 2012 Australian Open.
Errani is into the quarterfinal here for the second time. The 27-year-old Italian has won five Grand Slam doubles titles, but is still seeking her first singles title.