May 24, 2013
Azarenka, Ferrer advance at rain-hit US Open
Victoria Azarenka survived a ferocious comeback from defending champion Sam Stosur to reach the US Open semi-finals, as the remnants of Hurricane Isaac played havoc with the schedule and left organisers juggling with a backlog.
Only two of six singles matches were completed due to rain, forcing tournament officials to reschedule the remaining four for Wednesday in the hope they can finish the year's last grand slam on time.
However, the prospects are bleak with more showers forecast in the 'Big Apple' for the rest of the week.
Azarenka traded blows with Stosur for nearly two and a half hours on a blustery Arthur Ashe Stadium court to beat the foul weather and her opponent in a 6-1 4-6 7-6 thriller.
The world number one will play either Maria Sharapova or Marion Bartoli in Friday's semi-finals and will remain atop the world rankings regardless of how much further she goes in the tournament.
"It means a lot, but it's nothing like lifting a trophy," said Azarenka. "I definitely don't want to stop. I really want it bad."
While the defeat was disappointing for Stosur, the big-hitting Australian was satisfied to have proved that her surprise win here last year was no fluke.
"That proves to me that I am capable of doing it," she said. "To have another showing here at the Open like this, it for sure gives me confidence to think that maybe one day I can do it again."
The only other match that went the distance saw Spain's David Ferrer defeat Richard Gasquet of France 7-5 7-6 6-4 in the fourth round.
The match took almost eight hours to complete as the heavens opened up and drenched Flushing Meadows. Three other men's fourth round matches were suspended in the first set.
Defending men's champion Novak Djokovic was leading Stanislas Wawrinka 2-0, while 2003 winner Andy Roddick and Juan Martin Del Potro, the 2009 U.S. Open champion, had played one point of their tiebreaker. Janko Tipsarevic was 5-2 up against Philipp Kohlschreiber.
In the women's quarter-finals, Bartoli grabbed an early 4-0 lead against Sharapova, one of six former U.S. Open champions still in contention.