Sunday, August 31, 2014 9:21 pm
Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki sent Maria Sharapova packing at the US Open on Sunday, reaching the quarter-finals with a 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 win over the five-time Grand Slam champion.
Sharapova, the reigning French Open champion and winner at Flushing Meadows in 2006, took a 5-2 record over the Dane into the fourth-round clash on a steamy Arthur Ashe Stadium court.
Three of those victories had come since Wozniacki last beat her in 2011.
Tenth-seeded Wozniacki, the 2009 US Open runner-up, will face 13th-seeded Italian Sara Errani for a place in the semi-finals.
Errani had beaten in three sets the 32 year old, Croatian Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, the final set being a bagel.
In the men’s event, French star, Gilles Simon, sent packing David Ferrer, the 32 year-old Spaniard.
Once hailed as the bloodhound and bulldozer of men’s tennis, David Ferrer may as well have been the man who wasn’t there.
Widely regarded as one of the finest players never to have won a major, Ferrer has had the misfortune to be plying his trade in the same era as Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
Now, after suffering his earliest US Open exit for five years courtesy of a 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, 6-3 defeat by Gilles Simon on Sunday, even the super-fit Ferrer was feeling the pace.
As his third round match slipped away against a player he had previously defeated five times in six meetings, Ferrer wilted in the heat and humidity, leaning on the backboard of the Louis Armstrong court, feeling his side and occasionally gasping for air.
“It was tough match today. There was a lot of humidity, very sunny, and it was not easy for me. I was not good with my fitness,” said Ferrer, a two-time semi-finalist in 2007 and 2012.
“But it’s one match of my career. Don’t worry.”
Despite attempting to shrug off his latest setback, signs of Ferrer’s decline were obvious at Wimbledon where his streak of 10 straight Grand Slam quarter-finals was ended in the second round by Russia’s Andrey Kuznetsov. That was his earliest loss at any major since 2010.
He made the quarter-finals this year at the Australian and French Opens where, in 2013, he had been a semi-finalist and runner-up respectively.
That Roland Garros final defeat to Nadal saw him win just eight games.