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Azarenka stops Stosur on rain-plagued day

Victoria Azarenka, above, says that during her high-tension win, she kept hoping Samantha Stosur would miss. “But she didn’t.’’

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Victoria Azarenka, above, says that during her high-tension win, she kept hoping Samantha Stosur would miss. “But she didn’t.’’

NEW YORK — In one of the few matches completed at the rain-delayed U.S. Open on Tuesday, Victoria Azarenka ousted defending champion Samantha Stosur 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (7-5) to reach the semifinals for the first time.

She will play the winner of the match between Maria Sharapova and Marion Bartoli, which was pushed to today with Bartoli leading 4-0 in the first set.

All action was ended shortly after 9:30, tabling — among other things — Andy Roddick's retirement. Roddick had just won the first point of the first-set tiebreak against Juan Martin del Potro when showers, which had allowed the completion of only one women's and one men's match all day, closed in again.

David Ferrer completed a 7-5, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4 fourth-round victory over Richard Gasquet, but the Novak Djokovic-Stanislas Wawrinka and Janko Tipsarevic-Philipp Kohlschreiber matches, both moved from their originally scheduled courts in an attempt to accommodate Roddick-del Potro in the night session, had barely begun.

The Roddick match was halted after Roddick went ahead 1-0 in a first-set tiebreaker. The 2003 champion at Flushing Meadows announced last week the U.S. Open will be last tournament of his career.

Ferrer joined Rafael Nadal as the second Spanish player to make the quarterfinals at all four Grand Slams in one year. Nadal, not here in 2012 because of a knee injury, did it in 2008, 2010 and 2011.

Ferrer was leading 4-3 when the rain came. When the match resumed, the players traded games before Ferrer broke serve, winning the fifth match point.

Azarenka, the top seed, was asked what went through her mind as the high-tension, high-quality match stretched into a third-set tiebreaker.

"You don't want to know what I kept telling myself," Azarenka deadpanned. "I would have to beep that, I think."

She went on to offer a cleaned-up version of what her thoughts had been — "Don't be a chicken" — while ensuring that she will retain the No. 1 ranking no matter what happens the rest of this week.

"Definitely I don't want to stop. I really want it bad," Azarenka said of possibly adding a second Grand Slam trophy to the one she earned in January at the Australian Open. "I'm going to do absolutely everything I have, you know, to give it all here."

Stosur never had taken a set off Azarenka in six previous tour meetings, including one match in qualifying. That changed in the second set. But in the end, Azarenka improved to 11-0 in three-setters this season, while Stosur, of Tampa, fell to 9-7.

"I think I'm capable of beating her one day," the seventh-seeded Stosur said. "Just would have liked it to have been today."

Said Azarenka: "She made me play my best tennis. She kept hitting the lines, making those first serves. I kept saying, 'Miss, miss,' but she didn't."

Serving at 5-all in the third, Azarenka faced a break point and responded with a 92 mph ace, her only one of the match.

Asked about that, Azarenka responded: "When did I hit an ace? Did I hit one today, actually?"

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Today's featured matches

Men No. 1 Roger Federer vs. No. 6 Tomas Berdych; No. 3 Andy Murray vs. No. 12 Marin Cilic; No. 7 Juan Martin del Potro vs. No. 20 Andy Roddick, suspended match. Women No. 4 Serena Williams vs. No. 12 Ana Ivanovic; No. 3 Maria Sharapova vs. No. 11 Marion Bartoli, suspended match.

TV: 10:30 a.m., Tennis Channel; noon and 7 p.m., ESPN2

Azarenka stops Stosur on rain-plagued day 09/04/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 4, 2012 11:50pm]

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