Kastles At US Open: News Update

Serena To Face Wozniacki in Semifinals; Leander Injured and Withdraws

Serena Williams experiencing the sweet feel of victory at US Open 2011 in The Big Apple.

Two days after her originally scheduled match-up with #17 seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, three-time champion Serena Williams found her groove on Arthur Ashe stadium court. She defeated the 20-year-old Russian, 7-5, 6-1, to reach her sixth semifinal at Flushing Meadows.

Both players struggled to find a rhythm for the first half of the opening set. Through six games neither player was able to hold serve. Seeded #28, Serena ended this patten in the next game with a love hold to lead for the first time 4-3. She told reporters that two days of indoor practice may have affected her form.

"Maybe that had something to do with it," said Williams. "Indoors I think is a little faster."

Both players' level of play picked up from there, but Serena was the more consistent. Not to be outdone, in the final game of the first set, Pavlyuchenkova, who was appearing in her first US Open quarterfinal, hit a crosscourt backhand that skimmed the line to get to her advantage. Serena went on to win three straight points to take the first set in 49 minutes.

Winning 83 percent of her serve, Serena dominated the second set. She converted two breaks of serve to move ahead 5-1 early. A well played forehand volley set up two match points, followed with an ace to close out the match and claim the victory in just 75 minutes.

This is the second win against the Russian for Serena, the first coming in 2010 at the French Open.

In a big semifinal match, now rescheduled for Saturday night at 8 PM, Serena will take on #1 seeded Caroline Wozniacki, who despite being No. 1 in the world has yet to win a Grand Slam title. Wozniacki defeated Germany's Andrea Petkovic 6-1 7-6 on Court 13 after being moved from the Louis Armstrong Stadium which was still wet after two days of torrential rain.

Tune into CBS on tonight (Saturday) or at USOpen.org to access a live stream as Serena battles her way to the finals!

Leander receiving courtside treatment for a back Injury during the second set tiebreak of his quarterfinal men's doubles match.

The Kastles Leander Paes, who was scheduled to compete on Thursday in both the quarterfinals of men's doubles and the semifinals of mixed doubles, had a very disappointing afternoon as a sudden injury robbed him of two golden opportunities to add to his 12 Grand Slam titles.

Fighting hard with some momentum after winning the first point of the second set tiebreaker on their opponents serve, Leander hurt his back. The trainer was called on court and tried to fix the injury during a long medical timeout but Leander could barely serve nor move. He and partner Mahesh Bhupathi gave a valiant effort to compete but had no chance given Leander's immobility and they were knocked out by the #6 seeded Polish duo, Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4), in just short of two hours. It was very disappointing for the fourth seeded Indian pair who were playing at a very high level all tournament and were the heavy favorites to win the title as the highest seeded team left in the draw.

Unfortunately, the injury forced Leander and mixed doubles partner Elena Vesnina to withdraw from their semifinal match later in the afternoon against the surprising young American team of Jack Sock and Melanie Oudin. Leander and Vesnina were also the strong favorites to win the mixed doubles title as the highest seeded and most accomplished team left in the draw.

While it did not seem that it was a long-term serious injury, there was no update on Leander's condition as of Thursday night.

For revised US Open Schedule visit usopen.org.

Photos and storyline courtesy of WashingtonKastles.com.