US Open Day 9 Preview

Samantha Stosur continues her US Open title defense with a quarterfinal against Victoria Azarenka on Tuesday.

Published September 03, 2012 11:59

US Open Day 9 Preview
Samantha Stosur

NEW YORK, NY, USA - The first two quarterfinals at this year's US Open take to the court on Tuesday, with Victoria Azarenka facing Samantha Stosur and Maria Sharapova meeting Marion Bartoli.

Tuesday, Quarterfinals

Arthur Ashe Stadium
[1] Victoria Azarenka (BLR #1) vs. [7] Samantha Stosur (AUS #7)
 Azarenka leads 6-0
Defending champion Samantha Stosur may have won 11 consecutive matches in New York, but if she is to make it a round dozen she will have to overcome her nemesis, Victoria Azarenka. In six previous meetings - all of which were played on hardcourts - Stosur is yet to pick up a set against Azarenka, whose potent backhand and excellent return have proved particularly potent.

The Belarusian has also been in superb form during the first week, dropping fewer games (10) and breaking serve more times (25) than any other player in the tournament. Her draw, though, has been relatively kind and Stosur will hope to exploit this lack of match toughness out on Ashe.

Like her opponent, Stosur is yet to drop a set and looked good in ending Laura Robson's run in the fourth round. The hot conditions this fortnight have made the Flushing Meadows courts receptive to Stosur's topspin loaded groundstrokes and serve and she will need to utilize these conditions to the maximum if she is to stop the rot against Azarenka.

[3] Maria Sharapova (RUS #3) vs. [11] Marion Bartoli (FRA #11)
Sharapova leads 4-0
Like Stosur, Marion Bartoli is battling against the history books in her quarterfinal against Maria Sharapova, trailing their head-to-head record 4-0. The most recent of these, however, came over two years ago and after her superb upset win over Petra Kvitova in the last round Bartoli is unlikely to be lacking in confidence.

This triumph over one of the most ferocious strikers of a ball on the WTA was ideal preparation for taking on Sharapova, against whom Bartoli will again look to attack the second serve, having dominated Kvitova in this area.

Sharapova, on the other hand, will do what Sharapova does best, by outmaneuvering the Frenchwoman before unleashing her trademark groundstroke winners. Having not lost a match after taking the opening set in over two years, Sharapova is the most dominant of frontrunners and should she get off to a fast start Bartoli will have a tough time catching her.

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