US Open: Nadal, Azarenka Power into Semis

05 Sep 2013

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Rafael Nadal


Rafael Nadal destroyed fellow Spaniard Tommy Robredo for the loss of just four games as he powered into the US Open semi-finals in New York. Also through to the semis is Victoria Azarenka.

The 2010 champion, seeded second, won 6-0 6-2 6-2 on Arthur Ashe Stadium against the man who had knocked out Roger Federer in the previous round, reports the BBC.

Nadal, 27, goes on to face Richard Gasquet in the semi-finals after the Frenchman earlier beat David Ferrer in five sets.

When the draw was made, Wednesday's night session had promised a first ever showdown between Nadal and Federer at Flushing Meadows.

That prospect ended with Robredo's terrific fourth-round win over the Swiss, but the 31-year-old was unable to muster any sort of challenge against the man currently dominating on hard courts.

Robredo made 22 errors in the first set and, tellingly, as many were officially deemed "forced" as "unforced" in the face of a brutal Nadal onslaught.

He did not help his own cause with some desperately edgy serving, however, and double-faulted to drop serve for the third time after just 18 minutes.

Nadal conceded just five points to his compatriot in a brilliant opening set, and Robredo dumped a forehand into the net to drop serve yet again at the start of the second.

It took 38 minutes, nine games and a rare loose Nadal forehand for Robredo to get on the board, but the 12-time Grand Slam champion simply would not let up and broke once again in game seven to effectively seal the set.

The result was beyond question by now, but Robredo battled on as Nadal's level dipped from the high of that stunning first set, at least giving the 23,000 spectators some competitive action.

A dipping backhand caught out Robredo at the net to earn Nadal the decisive break in game five of the third, and the Majorcan reeled off the last five to reach his fifth US Open semi-final in the form of his life.

Meanwhile, second seed Victoria Azarenka remains on course for a return to the US Open final after beating Daniela Hantuchova in the last eight at Flushing Meadows.

The 2012 runner-up needed only an hour and 16 minutes to win 6-2 6-3 and set up a semi-final meeting with Italy's Flavia Pennetta.

Tags: Sports, World, Featured, US Open, NADAL, Azarenka

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