Day 10 at the US Open in New York was a festival filled with top matches as Tuesday was rained out.
In fact, Jelena Jankovic's stunning 6-2 6-1 win in the quarterfinals over Elena Dementieva has been the only completed match that day. The 19th seed from Serbia and Montenegro will enjoy her very first semifinal appearance at a Grand Slam.
The other semis slots were all filled by players who are no strangers to the last stages of a Slam: World No. 1 Amelie Mauresmo made a very quick appearance on Armstrong Court beating young Russian Dinara Safina 6-2 6-3. The top seed is set to meet Maria Sharapova next. The Russian beat fellow tour starlet Tatiana Golovin in a hard fought night-match which featured two tie-breaks 7-6 (4), 7-6 (0).
Justine Henin-Hardenne is just one match away from reaching her fourth consecutive finals at a Grand Slam. The Belgian showed yet another solid display of her game when she downed Lindsay Davenport 6-4 6-4 in front the American's home crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium which is assumed to have been her very last match at the US Open. Asked about if this was her last US Open, Davenport did not make a clear statement: "Twelve months is obviously a long time away, but at this point I have no idea."
The Belgian 2-seed had her back treated in the second set but did not look uncomfortable on court as she continued to hit fast serves and her trademark winners off both sides. Henin-Hardenne will meet Jelena Jankovic next, where she is considered the heavy favourite. The reigning French Open winner will be looking for her second US Open title after her win in 2003.
Roddick is back
Andy Roddick, who won this event in 2003, is also trying to capture a second title in Flushing Meadows. Roddick, who had experienced several frustrating losses during this year which resulted in him falling out of the top ten, seems to have finally found his powerful game again. The American was the best player on the North American continent en route to the last Grand Slam of the year. In case Roddick captures the title he will receive a $2 million paycheck opposed to the $1 million he would receive without having finished first in the US Open Series.
Of course it will not be the money that makes Roddick run after the yellow ball. A win at this year's Open could be the most important title for the 24-year-old, who has obviously struggled tremendously with a lack of self-confidence ever since he lost on his birthday last year to unknown Gilles Muller. The American is still haunted occasionally by that loss, but so far he is looking very impressive.
In the last match of the day Roddick showed a superb performance against fellow former US Open winner Lleyton Hewitt. The American played one of his best matches in his career, dispatching the Australian in less than two hours 6-3 7-5 6-4. Jimmy Connors obviously raised the self-esteem of his protégé a lot as Roddick covered the his side of the court perfectly and even hit several backhand winners down the line, something he always had problems with in the past.
Roddick meets Mikhail Youzhny in the semis. The unseeded Russian surprisingly beat Rafael Nadal 6-3 5-7 7-6 (5) 6-1. After losing the first set, it appeared like the Spaniard would turn the match around when he won the second set and then reached a third set tie-break. However, after dropping that tie-break, it was Youzhny who completely dominated the match. The Russian Davis Cup player has never reached a semifinal at a Grand Slam before.