I am not surprised by the rollercoaster ride Maria Sharapova and Nadia Petrova took us on in their fourth round match at the 2012 US Open. In my last post about Masha, I said that I could foresee a 1 and 1 win for Sharapova or a 3-set war that could go either way. We saw a little of both. Masha came out a torched Nadia in the first set 6-1. It looked over. But at 4-4 in the second set, Petrova raised her game, winning 4 games in a row to take the second set 6-4 and lead the third 2-0. Sharapova was in serious trouble. But sometimes providence, the tennis gods, smile on a player. The heavens opened and the rain came, allowing Masha to get off the court for 45 minutes and regroup. And she did. Coming back on court, Sharapova upped her 3-set record in 2012 to 11-0 by winning 6 of the next 8 games, finally dismissing Petrova 6-1 4-6 6-4.
With all the attention on other tournament favorites like Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka and Masha, it can sometime get lost that the defending champion Samantha Stosur is still alive and kicking. She did something Kim Clijsters and Li Na could not do at this US Open, stop the Laura Robson upset train. It took nine match points to do it, but ultimately Samantha pulled it out. Her reward, a match with #1 Victoria Azarenka. If she upsets Vika, I think Samantha then grabs the spotlight and makes people start to believe she has a real chance to successfully defend her title.
Singles – Fourth Round
(1) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. Anna Tatishvili (GEO) 62 62
(3) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. (19) Nadia Petrova (RUS) 61 46 64
(11) Marion Bartoli (FRA) d. (5) Petra Kvitova (CZE) 16 62 60
(7) Samantha Stosur (AUS) d. Laura Robson (GBR) 64 64
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