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USTA FL Friday Blog: Serena Bids for US Open Final Today; More

September 6, 2013 08:58 AM
John Isner and his dog Magill
John Isner loves dogs. So much so that he is donating 20 percent of his $113,000 winnings at the US Open to America's VetDogs, a national group that provides service dogs to veterans across the country. "I think that's a very worthy cause, given that these dogs save our soldiers' lives, and, in turn, save American lives," said Isner, who attributed the idea to his mother. Isner decided on the percentage before the tournament began, and lost in the third round to German Philipp Kohlschreiber. "You know, I feel kind of bad that I am not -- that I didn't advance further to give that cause more money," Isner said.

Squeaky-voiced Florida teen Victoria Duval became a sensation during week one of the US Open after qualifying to the main draw and then defeating former US Open champion Sam Stosur. Duval talked about the win and moving from junior tennis to the pro tour in an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno this week.

Victoria Duval on The Tonight Show
Roger Federer set a record at the 2013 US Open, but not the kind you proudly display in a trophy case or on a plaque. The Swiss slid from the No. 1 ranking at this time last year all the way down to No. 7, the quickest slide for a non-injured No. 1 player in the history of the ATP Rankings. "I kind of self-destructed, which is very disappointing," said Federer after losing in straight sets to Tommy Robredo, a player he was 10-0 career against heading into the match. Meanwhile another Swiss not named Roger is into the semis, much to the annoyance of the British media.

Serena Takes to the Court Today in US Open Semifinals; Bryans' Dream Ends

Serena_bastad_2013The women's singles semifinals are featured today when No. 2 Victoria Azarenka takes on unseeded Italian Flavia Pennetta, and defending champion and world No. 1 Serena Williams faces No. 5 seed and former French Open champ Li Na. Serena's match is scheduled for "not before 3:45 p.m." following Azarenka-Pennetta, a "not before 1:45 p.m." start.

Serena brings to a court a 65-4 match record this year, winning her last round 6-0, 6-0 against Carla Suarez Navarro. She has yet to lose a set, dropping an average of under three games per match.

Yesterday in the women's doubles quarterfinals, Serena teamed with sister Venus to defeat No. 1 seeds Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci 6-3, 6-1.

It was sweet revenge for the Williams sisters after losing to the Italian pair in the quarters of this year's Australian Open.

"We're really excited," Serena said. "They beat us the last time we played, they're playing so well and they're the No. 1 team, so we went in there with low expectations, and just trying to have fun."

The Florida sisters in the semifinals will meet No. 5 seeds Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka, who the Williams hold a 5-0 career head-to-head mark over.

"We're shocked we've gotten this far -- it's only our second tournament of the year in doubles, so we're just happy to still be in the tournament and we're just thinking about tomorrow's semifinal," Serena said.

The Williams sisters are 13-1 career in Grand Slam doubles semifinals, and 13-0 in finals. Already into the final are their opponents, No. 8 seeds Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua, who in their semifinal defeated No. 10 seeds Sania Mirza and Zheng Jie 6-2, 6-2. It is the third Slam final of the year for Barty/Dellacqua after losing in championship matches at the Australian Open and Wimbledon.

Radek Stepanek and Leander Paes take a break for a staring contest during their match with the Bryan brothers. 
In men's doubles the top-seeded Bryan brothers saw their dream of becoming the first team in the Open Era (since 1968) to win all four Slams in the same year clipped with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 loss Thursday to Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek in the semifinals.

"As competitors, we hate to lose and we knew what was riding on this match and the opportunity of what we could have accomplished," Bob Bryan said of the pressure. "And then in one sense, it's a little bit of a relief where you get to kind of exhale for the first time in a few months."

And the next time a team will get a shot at winning all four Slams in the same calendar year?

"Realistically, it will probably never happen," Mike Bryan said. "The margins are just so fine in doubles. There are just too many great teams out there and too much can go wrong, and a lot has to go right to be in that position.

"So, we gave it everything we had."

TV_graphicTennis on TV Weekend

12:30-6pm -- US Open, mixed final/women's singles semis, CBS

Noon-6pm -- US Open, men's singles semis/women's doubles final, CBS

12:30-2:30pm -- US Open, men's doubles final, ESPN2
4:30-7pm -- US Open, women's singles final, CBS

5-8pm -- US Open, men's singles final, CBS
The USTA Florida Friday blog is written by USTA Florida Communications Coordinator Rick Vach, former publications editor for the ATP World Tour, editor/publisher of International Tennis and Play Tennis Florida magazine, and award-winning contributor to Tennis Week magazine. Got feedback, want a USTA or tennis-related question answered in the blog, or want to express your opinion? E-mail HERE.






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