Serena defeats Stephens to make QFs at US Open, Radwanska out

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Play got underway on Sunday with everyone wondering if there would be more shock exits. The fans did not have long to wait, as 18th seed Carla Suarez Navarro (Player Profile) got the better of 8th seed Angelique Kerber (Player Profile). Playing on Louis Armstrong in their first ever meeting, the Spaniard showed her magnificent one handed backhand, while the German produced great forehand winners. Suarez Navarro led 4-2 in the first set before Kerber broke back and went on to take the set 6-4. The Spaniard took full advantage of Kerber’s errors in the second set, taking a 5-0 lead before closing it at 6-3 to force a decider. After a 10 minute heat rule break, the great tennis just got better and better in the third set. After three service breaks, Suarez Navarro served for the set at 5-4. But Suarez Navarro played a howler and Kerber broke back to level. The Spaniard broke once more to force a breaker, which she ran away with at 7-3.

In the most anticipated match of the day, top seed Serena Williams (Player Profile) took revenge against Sloane Stephens (Player Profile) who had beaten her in the quarters in Melbourne earlier this year. The first set was close, with Stephens showing remarkable calm and Williams keeping her yells and fist pumps to a minimum. After a break each, Williams took the set 6-4. She swept aside the American number 2 in the second set, taking it 6-1.

5th seed Na Li (Player Profile) played 9th seed Jelena Jankovic (Player Profile) on Arthur Ashe in one of the night matches. Jankovic had won their last three meetings, so Li had something to prove. She stormed to 3-0 and 5-2 leads before taking the set 6-3 with a spectacular display of sublime tennis – Li at her best. She then completely dominated Jankovic in the second set, allowing her just one game before sealing it at 6-1.

The next shock defeat came in another night match, when 24th seed Ekaterina Makarova (Player Profile) pulled off the biggest of them all when she defeated 3rd seed Agnieszka Radwanska (Player Profile) on Louis Armstrong. When Makarova is on form she can beat the very best in the game, but she is somewhat of a streak player, while Radwanska is a model of consistency. Aga had won their three previous meetings without losing a set. The Pole took a 4-0 lead in the first set but Makarova, who was stronger, more aggressive and more accurate reeled off eight games in a row to take the first set 6-4 and lead 2-0 in the second. Aga then won three games, but Makarova did the same and got to 5-4 first. She then held her nerve and served out to love to take the set 6-4. The key to this match was Aga’s 27 unforced errors to her 18 winners, while Makarova had a much better 22/28 ratio.

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