US Open: Stosur, Dementieva advance to last 16
New York: Australian fifth seed Samantha Stosur, this year`s French Open runner-up, advanced to the fourth round of the US Open on Friday by defeating Italy`s 37th-ranked Sara Errani 6-2, 6-3.
Stosur will play Russian 12th seed Elena Dementieva, who ousted Slovakian 24th seed Daniela Hantuchova 7-5, 6-2, for a quarter-final berth. Dementieva is 4-1 lifetime against Stosur, winning all four of their hardcourt matchups.
The 26-year-old from Brisbane won both prior meetings with Errani, including a second-round match last week at New Haven in the final US Open tuneup event where Errani had four match points in a third-set tie-breaker.
"It definitely helped to have a battle like that," Stosur said. "Who knows what it did for the match today but it was nice to get a win and move on."
Stosur achieved her best US Open showing in seven tries simply by reaching the third round and her victory matched her 2006 and 2010 runs to the last 16 in her homeland as her best Grand Slam efforts outside the red clay of Paris.
Stosur became the first Australian woman in 30 years to reach a Grand Slam final, improving upon her 2009 semi-final run at Roland Garros, but dropping the final to Italy`s Francesca Schiavone, a possible US Open semi-final foe.
Despite a right arm injury that kept her out of US Open tune-ups last month at Montreal and Cincinnati, Stosur looked strong in dominating from the start.
Errani and Stosur traded breaks in the second and third games but the Aussie broke for a 4-2 edge by answering a drop shot with an underhand loft shot that caught the backline and broke again to claim the first set in 33 minutes.
Stosur netted a forehand to surrender a break in the fifth game of the second set but answered with a break to 3-3 by nailing a forehand cross-court winner after Errani had saved three prior break points.
Stosur broke again on her fourth break-point chance with a forehand winner for a 5-3 lead and held serve to finish matters after 80 minutes with a backhand down-the-line winner.
Errani, who fell to 0-15 against top-10 players, has never reached the round of 16 at a Grand Slam event.
Dementieva improved to 12-4 in her rivalry with Hantuchova, whose win by retirement this year at Dubai snapped a five-year, five-match losing streak.
Dementieva, the 2004 US and French Open runner-up in her best Grand Slam showings, had a run of 46 consecutive Grand Slam appearances snapped when she missed Wimbledon with a left calf injury but was on form from the start.
Hantuchova, sporting a bandage on her upper right leg, served for the first set but Dementieva broke back to pull within 5-4 and again to seize a 6-5 edge then held to win the set after 56 minutes when the Slovak hit a forehand wide.
"I was trying to find my rhythm out there and I finally did late in the first set. That was the key to the match," Dementieva said. "In the second set I was more comfortable."
Dementieva won all six of her break-point chances, taking full advantage of Hantuchova`s 33 unforced errors.