Friday, September 11, 2015

U.S. Open women's semis postponed by rain

Simona Halep, shown after winning the BNP
Paribas Open at Indian Wells in March, will
play Flavia Pennetta in the U.S. Open semi-
finals. Photo by Paul Bauman
   This won't be a problem for much longer.
   The U.S. Open women's semifinals, scheduled for Thursday, were postponed until today by rain.
   A retractable roof is being constructed over Arthur Ashe Stadium as part of a $500 million-plus renovation of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. The roof is scheduled to be completed in time for next year's U.S. Open.
   Both the men's and women's semis are set for today, when a high of 83 degrees (28.3 Celsius) with 60 percent humidity and a 10 percent chance of rain is forecast.
   No. 2 seed Simona Halep of Romania will meet No. 26 Flavia Pennetta of Italy at 8 a.m. California time (ESPN), followed by No. 1 Serena Williams against unseeded Roberta Vinci of Italy.
   The men's semis will start at 2 p.m. (ESPN) with No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia facing No. 9 Marin Cilic, the defending champion from Croatia. Then No. 2 Roger Federer will play his Swiss Davis Cup teammate, fifth-seeded Stan Wawrinka.
   Pennetta is 3-1 against Halep, but Halep won the last meeting 6-3, 7-5 in the round of 16 at Miami in April. Williams has never lost a set in four matches against Vinci.
  Williams is two victories from completing the first calendar-year Grand Slam since Steffi Graf in 1988. Vinci will play in her first major singles semifinal, but she owns a career Grand Slam in women's doubles.
   Djokovic, the 2011 U.S. Open champion, is 13-0 against Cilic. Federer, a five-time titlist at Flushing Meadows (2004-08), is 16-3 against Wawrinka. They have split their two matches this year, both on clay.
   Halep, who will turn 24 on Sept. 27, is the only women's semifinalist under 30. Williams will be 34 on Sept. 26, Pennetta is 33, and Vinci is 32.
   Federer, 34, is the only men's semifinalist who has not lost a set in the tournament.
   Northern California connection -- Unseeded Americans Steve Johnson and Sam Querrey, a San Francisco native living in Las Vegas, held a match point but lost to eighth-seeded Jamie Murray of Great Britain and John Peers of Australia 6-4, 6-7 (2), 7-6 (7) in the men's doubles semifinals.
   Johnson and Querrey ousted top-seeded Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan in a first-round matchup of native Californians. The 37-year-old Bryan twins played at Stanford in 1997 and 1998, leading the Cardinal to the NCAA team title each year.
   Murray, Andy's older brother, and Peers reached their second straight Grand Slam final. They lost to Jean-Julien Rojer of the Netherlands and Horia Tecau of Romania at Wimbledon.
   In the boys doubles quarterfinals, wild cards Vasil Kirkov of Tampa, Fla., and Sam Riffice of Roseville in the Sacramento area fell to Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece and Louis Wessels of Germany 6-3, 6-2.
   In the quarterfinals of the eight-man American Collegiate Invitational, second-seeded Mackenzie McDonald, a UCLA junior from Piedmont in the San Francisco Bay Area, defeated Notre Dame senior Quentin Monaghan 6-1, 6-4. Monaghan reached the semifinals of the NCAA Singles Championships in Waco, Texas, in May.
   Cal junior Maegan Manasse lost to third-seeded Lauren Herring, a senior at Georgia last season, 7-6 (6), 6-1 in the quarterfinals of the eight-woman American Collegiate Invitational.    

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