Nadal, Gasquet, Azarenka and Pennetta Advance 9/5/13
NEW YORK - Rafael Nadal (rah-fay-ehl nah-DAHL') remains unbeaten in hard-court matches this year after advancing to the U.S. Open semifinals.
The second-seeded Nadal made quick work of Tommy Robredo (roh-BREH'-doh), beating the 19th seed 6-love, 6-2, 6-2. Nadal is 20-0 on hard courts and two match victories away from his 13th major championship.
The Spaniard hasn't lost since the opening round at Wimbledon and has dropped just one set in this tournament: a first-set tiebreaker in the fourth round.
Nadal next faces eighth seed Richard Gasquet (gas-KAY'), who had been 1-8 all-time against fourth seed David Ferrer (dah-VEED' feh-REHR') before beating the Spaniard 6-3, 6-1, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3.
Women's second seed Victoria Azarenka is the only 20-something to reach the U.S. Open semifinals.
Azarenka lost her first service game in both sets and still managed to post a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Daniela Hantuchova (han-too-KOH'-vah). Next up for Azarenka is unseeded Flavia Pennetta, who's a Grand Slam semifinalist for the first time after breezing through a 6-4, 6-1 win against 10th seed Roberta Vinci.
Azarenka and top seed Serena Williams are one match victory away from meeting in the finals. Azarenka is the only person to beat Williams twice this year, including a victory in the final of a U.S. Open tuneup tournament in Cincinnati last month.
Williams faces fifth seed Li Na (lee nah) in the semis.