The dazzling US Open run by American teenager Melanie Oudin ended abruptly on Wednesday in a hail of unforced errors, while Roger Federer was tested but marched into his 22nd consecutive Grand Slam semifinal.
Ninth-seeded Dane Caroline Wozniacki was steady, if unspectacular, in defeating the unseeded Oudin 6-2, 6-2 to reach the semifinals of the year's final Grand Slam. “I've had a great run this tournament,” said the 17-year-old Oudin. “I'm a perfectionist, so... losing isn't good enough for me. Today I was a little bit fragile.”
Top seed Federer overcame an inspired comeback effort by Robin Soderling to beat the 25-year-old Swede 6-0, 6-3, 6-7, 7-6, winning the final-set tiebreaker 8-6. “It was so close towards the end,” said Federer, who has beaten Soderling in all 12 career meetings, including at Wimbledon and the French Open this year.
“It's a great relief to come through. He started to play better and better as the match went on. I knew he was going to be tough but the beginning was bit too easy. All of sudden he found his way into the match.”
In the semis, the five-times defending champion will face fourth seed Novak Djokovic, who advanced with a 7-6, 1-6, 7-5, 6-2 victory over Spain's Fernando Verdasco, the 10th seed.
Elsewhere, Belgium's unseeded Yanina Wickmayer dispatched Ukraine's Kateryna Bondarenko 7-5, 6-4 and set up a semi-final encounter with Wozniacki.
But the big news of Day 10 at Flushing Meadows was the quiet elimination of Oudin, the diminutive Georgian who failed to respond to the urging of the 23,000 fans at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Oudin, who beat fourth seed Elena Dementieva and former champion Maria Sharapova en route to the quarter-finals, had 43 unforced errors during the 88-minute match against Wozniacki and only seven winners from her chief weapon, the forehand.
She will now face Wickmayer, Belgium's top-ranked player, who had failed to advance past the first round in five of her six previous career grand slam appearances.