The first time Daniela Hantuchova reached the U.S. Open quarter-finals she was a teenager. The second time she is 30. The unseeded Slovak defeated American wildcard Alison Riske 6-3 5-7 6-2 on Monday to end an extended absence from the last eight at Flushing Meadows since her loss to Serena Williams in 2002 as a 19-year-old.
In a commendable if not spectacular career,Hantuchova has since reached the world number five ranking,won the Fed Cup,secured the career grand slam in mixed doubles and made the semi-finals of the 2008 Australian Open. And now,having fallen to number 48 in the world,Hantuchova is back where it all started.
It means a lot to me because I love New York, she said. I could live here in one second. I just love the city,its got so much energy,atmosphere. Its the last grand slam of the year and obviously you always want to finish on a high.
The tournament is only starting now for me. It just means the world to me to again be in the quarter-finals.
Flavia Pennetta under friendly fire
Italys Flavia Pennetta desperately wants to make it through to the semi-finals of the US Open for the first time but the prospect has left her with a heavy heart. If she is to achieve her goal,Pennetta will have to do so at the expense of one of her closest friends,Roberta Vinci,with the pair drawn to play each other after winning their fourth round matches on Monday. I think its going to be just a really tough match for both of us, Pennetta said after beating Romanias Simona Halep 6-2 7-6(3). We know each other really well…20 years or more,because we live almost in the same place,just 35,45 kilometres.
Pennetta had to regain her composure after a long rain delay to reach the quarter-finals with a straight-sets win over Halep.