Although the drama that highlighted that last few days of the U.S. Open was noticeably absent on Wednesday, the quality of play certainly wasn't lacking.
Victoria Azarenka and Flavia Pennetta both looked highly impressive in their straight-set victories to advance to the semifinals, while Rafael Nadal nearly did his best Serena Williams impression, looking absolutely transcendent in his domination of compatriot Tommy Robredo.
The best singles match of the day belonged to Richard Gasquet and David Ferrer, who fought back and fourth to an entertaining five-set battle before the Frenchman broke through to his first Grand Slam semifinal in just over six years.
Here's a look at Day 10's scores from the top courts:
|Women's Singles||Quarterfinals||Flavia Pennetta||(10) Roberta Vinci||6-4, 6-1|
|Men's Singles||Quarterfinals||(8) Richard Gasquet||(4) David Ferrer||6-3, 6-1, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3|
|Women's Singles||Quarterfinals||(2) Victoria Azarenka||Daniela Hantuchova||6-2, 6-3|
|Men's Singles||Quarterfinals||(2) Rafael Nadal||(19) Tommy Robredo||6-0, 6-2, 6-2|
|Men's Doubles||Quarterfinals||(10) Ivan Dodig / Marcelo Melo||(16) Treat Huey / Dominic Inglot||7-5, 6-3|
|Women's Doubles||Quarterfinals||(10) Sania Mirza / Jie Zheng||(4) Su-Wei Hsieh / Shuai Peng||6-7, 7-6(5)|
|Mixed Doubles||Semifinals||Abigail Spears / Santiago Gonzalez||(5) Anabel Medina Garrigues / Bruno Soares||6-3, 6-1|
|Women's Doubles||3||Serena Williams / Venus Williams||(11) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova / Lucie Safarova||6-1, 7-6(3)|
Pennetta, Azarenka and Nadal Advance With One-Sided Victories
Pennetta, the 31-year-old Italian, was making her fourth quarterfinal appearance at the U.S. Open in the last six years, but she had never made it to the semis.
She changed that in emphatic fashion, taking out her countrywoman and No. 10 seed Roberta Vinci in straight sets:
Pennetta, who is currently ranked 83rd in the world, hit three aces, won 77 percent of the first serves she got in and hit 23 winners to just 17 unforced errors. She has now amazingly won four straight matches over ranked opponents in straight sets.
Her semifinal matchup may prove to be a little more difficult, though, as she'll face World No. 2 Victoria Azarenka, who got back on track Wednesday after shaky performances in the third and fourth rounds.
The 24-year-old Belarusian crushed former No. 5 Daniela Hantuchova in straight sets, dropping just five games:
She wasn't overly aggressive, hitting just one ace and 17 winners (both less than Hantuchova), but she handled the Slovakian's serve brilliantly, winning an astounding 33 of 52 (63 percent) return points.
On the men's side, the red-hot Nadal followed in the ladies' footsteps, dropping an opening-set bagel on his former doubles partner before cruising to an easy straight-set victory over the man who took out Roger Federer:
Nadal will face Gasquet in the semis, and if he continues to exhibit this kind of speed and defense combined with his devastating forehand, it's hard to imagine him losing.
Gasquet Goes Five Sets Again
Less than 48 hours after outlasting Milos Raonic in five thrilling sets, many wondered how Gasquet would hold up both mentally and physically against No. 4 seed David Ferrer.
As it turns out, pretty dang well.
The No. 8 seed won the first two sets in convincing fashion, taking care of the noticeably frustrated Spaniard in a mere 70 total minutes.
Ferrer showed tremendous resolve and fought back by winning the next two sets, but Gasquet regained his confidence and prevailed in the fifth.
Gasquet hasn't made it this far since Wimbledon in 2007, but he's going to need some kind of special magic to make it to the final, as even he admitted he hasn't beat Nadal since he was 13:
Unfortunately for him, it sounds as though Nadal hasn't forgotten that moment:
Interview (abbrv): "Do you remember playing Richard Gasquet when you were 13 years old?" Nadal: "Yes, I lost 6-4 in the 3rd." Come. On.— Pete Kavanaugh (@petekavanaugh) September 5, 2013
Either way, it's going to be a fun semifinal with both men playing at a very high level.