Lisicki Goes Down Once Again
The first quarterfinal match of the day was unfortunately cut short when Sabine Lisicki was forced to retire in the fifth game of her match against Serena Williams. It looked like a tight match after a very long second game, where Lisicki finally managed to hold serve. In a twist we’ve seen far too many times from Sabine, she ended up wrong footed on the green clay and tumbled over on her left ankle. At first, things didn’t look so grim. Lisicki called the trainer and had her foot retaped. She took the court again a little shaken but with no sign of a limp, and then suddenly it was over. The sight of a tearful Sabine shaking her opponents hand is becoming all too common. In a true show of sportsmanship, Williams walked over to comfort the young German. Asked what she told Sabine, Serena responded, “I just told her it would be alright. I’m really in an emotional time in my life, so I told her don’t cry because you’re going to make me cry and I was like my eyes are getting watery.
Obviously not the way either player wanted the match to end, Williams nonetheless moves into the semifinals at the Family Circle Cup for the third time. In a rematch of the 2011 US Open final, Williams will play Samantha Stosur, who defeated Serena’s sister Venus later in the day.
Stosur Wins a Double Header and Prevents an All Williams Semifinal
After rain forced the tournament to stop play during the Thursday night session, Samantha Stosur was first up on Friday morning to finish her match against Galina Voskoboeva, which ended going another two sets, basically a full match. Scheduled to play again in the third match of the day, there was little rest for the weary as Stosur had to go one again to play Venus Williams just after Sabine Lisicki retired in the second match of the day. Looking fresh, Stosur captured the first set against Venus. The next two sets weren’t quite as easily, but the US Open champion eventually managed to pull out her second victory of the day. Ever amiable, the Aussie seemed unfazed by the scheduling, “nobody can pick or choose or predict when the rain is going to come. So unfortunately for me I probably got the rough end of it, but that’s the way it goes.” Playing both matches so early in the day could have been a blessing in disguise. Considering she’s due to play Serena Williams at 1pm on Saturday, she will need as much rest as possible, and she had the better part of Friday to prepare.
Stosur’s victory denied fans the anticipated opportunity to see the Williams sisters face off for the 24th time, but something that hasn’t happened since 2009. Easily the biggest draw at the tournament, fans seemed excited by the prospect of watching Venus and Serena play each other. However, if it couldn’t be an all Williams semifinal, this US Open final rematch is a great consolation prize and should be an excellent match, provided Stosur recovers from her busy day.
Safarova Overcomes Zvonareva While Petrova Falters Against Hercog
The top half of the draw has yielded two quasi-surprise semifinalists, Lucie Safarova and Polona Hercog. Safarova easily conquered the No. 4 seed, Vera Zvonareva, 6-3 6-3. At No. 26 in the world, Safarova is just four spots away from her career high. This is her first semifinal of the year, and an excellent opportunity for her to pick up some extra points. She will face Polona Hercog of Slovenia in the semifinals, who easily defeated the 13th seed Nadia Petrova 6-1 6-2. Overall, Safarova has had a good start to the 2012 season, but she has had some bad losses as well, as recently as Miami. Hercog won her first title last season in Bastad and has been on the rise ever since. While Stosur/Williams will obviously be the more anticipated matchup for Saturday’s semifinals, Safarova/Hercog has the potential to be a very interesting match as well.