Seeds survive as wind wreaks havoc on U.S. Open

Sat Sep 4, 2010 5:31pm EDT
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By Julian Linden

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Maria Sharapova and Caroline Wozniacki blew their opponents off the court Saturday at a windy Flushing Meadows to set-up a dream fourth-round meeting at the U.S. Open.

The pair showed no mercy against their lower-ranked rivals and each romped to victory in 73 minutes after near gale force winds produced some farcical moments at the last grand slam of the season.

Sharapova was aced by American Beatrice Capra when she took an undignified swing at a ball that was swept out of her reach by a gust of wind while Wozniacki was gifted a winner after a seemingly harmless forehand bounced and was blown over the head of the perfectly-positioned Chan Yung-Jan and into the stands.

Serving was a lottery with players often forced to re-toss the ball while umbrellas, towels and litter blew onto the court and forced several points to be replayed.

For most of the top players, the blustery conditions made no difference to their results. Roger Federer won in straight sets again, as did his likely quarter-final opponent, Sweden's Robin Soderling.

The lone major casualty was Serbia's Jelena Jankovic, the fourth seed, beaten 6-2 7-6 by Kaia Kanepi of Estonia. On one of her serves, Jankovic only managed to catch the ball with the frame of her racket.

"I had a really hard time hitting the balls," said Jankovic, the highest-seeded player beaten at Flushing Meadows this year. "You hit the ball one direction, it goes another. You're just getting ready to hit the ball and it just moves away from you."

Even Federer struggled to cope with the conditions.   Continued...

<p>Paul-Henri Mathieu (L) of France congratulates Roger Federer of Switzerland during the US Open tennis tournament in New York, September 4, 2010. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi</p>