Wozniacki, Sharapova set up showdown at US Open
Top seed Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark will play former champion Maria Sharapova of Russia in the fourth round of the US Open after both scored runaway straight-set victories on Saturday.sports Updated: Sep 05, 2010 16:32 IST
Top seed Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark will play former champion Maria Sharapova of Russia in the fourth round of the US Open after both scored runaway straight-set victories on Saturday.
Wozniacki defeated Chan Yung-Jan of Taiwan 6-1, 6-0 and has lost just three games in her three outings to date - the least at the US Open since Chris Evert dropped only two at the same stage in 1976.
It is also the fewest conceded in reaching the last 16 at any Grand Slam since Mary Pierce at Roland Garros in 1994. Pierce also dropped three games.
Sharapova, who won here in 2006, swatted aside American wildcard Beatrice Capra 6-0, 6-0 to underline her credentials for the title.
The 20-year-old Wozniacki and Sharapova, who is three years older, have played twice previously, each time in 2008, with Sharapova winning both in straight sets.
But since then, the Russian has struggled with injuries and Wozniacki has risen from promising newcomer to being ranked second in the world behind Serena Williams.
Wozniacki, who has won three of the last four WTA tournaments and is 17-1 in games since Wimbledon, made light of the windy conditions.
"It was tough for both of us as it was pretty windy, but I kind of thought it was fun. It was a little bit different," she said.
On playing Sharapova she said: "She is a good player, a tough match up. But I will take today and tomorrow off and we will see what happens on Monday."
Sharapova agreed the conditions had been "as tough as you can get."
"Experience definitely helps but when you play someone on a good run (Capra), coming up and eager, sometime they can be the most damgerous opponents."
Wozniacki, she said was "playing the best tennis of her career and has been a finalist here.
"It will be tough and I am looking forward to it."
But if Wozniacki and Sharapova lived up to their favorites' tags, the same could not be said of fourth seed Jelena Jankovic of Serbia, who screamed in frustration as the blustery conditions blew her normally solid game off course.
The Serb lost 6-2, 7-6 (7/1) to Kaia Kanepi of Estonia, the 31st seed who will next play Yanina Wickmayer.
The 15th seed from Belgium saved a match point in the final set tie-breaker thanks to a double fault from her opponent before edging past Swiss veteran Patty Schnyder 7-6 (7/5), 3-6, 7-6 (8/6).
It was a crushing end to the tournament for Jankovic, runner-up here to Serena Williams in 2008 and a former world number one, but who has yet to win a Grand Slam title.
She struggled past her first two rounds and was immediately out of sorts against Kanepi due to the gusting winds that swirled around Flushing Meadows in the wake of Hurricane Earl, which passed by on Friday.
Jankovic said that the conditions had been near to intolerable, but Kanepi countered that they had been the same for both players.
"I got a lot of points off Jelena because of the wind and she got a lot off me because of the wind. It was the same for both of us but it was very difficult to play in and I don't think it made for a nice match."
One player who went through to the last 16 and who was not bothered by the wind was Andrea Petkovic of Germany. Her opponent, China's last hope Peng Shuai, withdrew from the tournament with a right elbow injury.
Petkova will next take on Wimbledon runner-up Vera Zvonareva, who defeated Alexandra Dulgheru of Romania 6-2, 7-6 (7/2).
Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia, meanwhile, swept past Lourdes Dominguez Lino of Spain 6-0, 6-1 and will go up against the champion here in 2004, Svetlana Kuznetsova.
The Russian 11th seed saw off compatriot Maria Kirilenko 6-3, 6-4 in the final match of the night session.