The U.S. Open schedule for Wednesday consists of two intriguing quarterfinal matchups apiece in both the men's and women's draw.
However, tennis fans won't get to see the highly anticipated possible showdown between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer at Flushing Meadows. Nadal's compatriot and impending opponent, Tommy Robredo, upset the five-time winner of the tournament in straight sets to advance past the round of 16.
Even though Nadal dropped the first set of his previous match, he will still be the prohibitive favorite to reach the semis.
The other men's showdown between No. 4 David Ferrer and No. 8 Richard Gasquet should be more contentious.
As for the women's side, second seed Victoria Azarenka and No. 10 Roberta Vinci face unseeded opponents, and they will play each other in the semifinals if they both win.
Below is a look at the TV schedule for Day 10, followed by analysis and predictions for each of the matches.
Matchups and Predictions (Starting at Noon)
Roberta Vinci (10) vs. Flavia Pennetta
It's been an extremely successful season for Vinci overall, as she's matched or set personal bests with her results in every Grand Slam tournament in addition to two other singles titles.
Vinci has only dropped one set in the tournament thus far, but her fellow Italian Pennetta hasn't dropped any in advancing to this stage, getting by three seeded opponents to do so—including No. 4 Sara Errani in Round 2.
Last year, Pennetta missed the tournament due to a right wrist injury, which is partially what caused her ranking to drop. She is a former top-10 player and a formidable foe to Vinci, having been in three previous U.S. Open quarterfinals.
There is definitely an advantage in terms of power for Pennetta, but the trademark backhand slice that Vinci deploys could force Pennetta into pressing and unforced errors.
These two will likely battle for the full three sets, but look for Pennetta to continue her resurgence and advance to the semifinals in an upset.
Prediction: Pennetta wins—6-3, 2-6, 7-5
David Ferrer (4) vs. Richard Gasquet (8)
Both of these players are extremely fit and capable of wearing down lesser opponents on the grueling hard-court surface.
The pace of Gasquet's groundstrokes is superior, but Ferrer is as gritty as they come, setting this up to likely be the tightest men's match of the day.
It will be interesting to see how Gasquet handles himself after an exhausting five-setter against the big-serving Milos Raonic, who smashed a ridiculous 39 aces. The Frenchman needed to win the final two sets to come away triumphant, and the fourth set included an 11-9 tiebreaker.
Ferrer has dropped a set in each of the past three matches, but has never been in true danger of being knocked out of the tournament.
This is going to be a back-and-forth affair, but Ferrer will prevail for the right to take on Nadal in the semis. A gassed Gasquet will be too fatigued to put up a consistent enough fight to push the match past four sets.
Prediction: Ferrer wins—7-6 (5), 3-6, 7-5, 6-2
Primetime Matchups and Predictions (Starting at 7 p.m.)
Victoria Azarenka (2) vs. Daniela Hantuchova
In defeating Alison Riske in her previous match, the unseeded Hantuchova played brilliant tennis in the decisive third set, winning 13 of 16 first-serve points, 48 percent of return points and hit 15 winners to just five unforced errors.
A similar effort is necessary for Hantuchova to have a chance at beating Azarenka, who herself is coming off a difficult three-set win on Tuesday against Ana Ivanovic.
Azarenka had to battle back from losing the first set, and now must rally herself for the second of back-to-back matches. This one at least falls during the primetime showcase, which gives Azarenka time to recharge.
The big red flag is that Azarenka afforded Ivanovic 13 break points and was broken seven times. Her defensive prowess and returning strength allowed her to break Ivanovic on nine occasions, but it's still necessary to get her service game in form for Hantuchova, who will be going for broke to advance.
Although Azarenka didn't play her best tennis on Thursday, she will find a way to get by in straight sets.
Prediction: Azarenka wins—7-5, 6-3
Rafael Nadal (2) vs. Tommy Robredo (19)
Masters titles in Montreal and Cincinnati preceded the U.S. Open for Nadal, and he's used those trophies as fuel to drive him through the tournament to date.
Cause for concern transpired when Philipp Kohlschreiber took a tiebreaker off Nadal in the opening set during Round 4, but the 12-time Grand Slam champion got off the mat to crush his foe in the next three sets.
Robredo definitely played spoiler to the Federer-Nadal fantasy, so it's unlikely the New York crowd will be in his favor at all.
The win against Federer shouldn't be viewed as significant of a development as it once was, though. Federer seems to be on the decline in the light of the fact that he's won just one singles title in 2013.
Thus, this should be a relatively easy one for Nadal, who has never lost in six prior encounters with Robredo and is the only player not to be broken on serve in the U.S. Open.
Prediction: Nadal wins—6-3, 7-5, 6-1
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