- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 6, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) — They are two different players and, at times, it looks as if they’re playing two different games.

There’s the Serena Williams style, filled with intimidation and huge shots. And there’s the way Caroline Wozniacki does it, with great hustle and even better conditioning.

Both players made it through the fourth round of the U.S. Open on Monday and stayed on a path that could collide in the semifinals — Williams with a big-serving 6-3, 6-4 victory over No. 16 Ana Ivanovic and Wozniacki with a 6-7 (6), 7-5, 6-1 win over No. 15 Svetlana Kuznetsova that took 3 hours, 2 minutes.

The 28th-seeded Williams is the only one of the eight women left in the draw who has won a Grand Slam title, which could answer the question of whose style works better in the sport’s biggest events.

But Wozniacki is top-seeded at the U.S. Open and No. 1 in the rankings — tops in a system that rewards consistency more than big moments. By that standard, it is, indeed, hard to find anyone better.

Caroline Wozniacki, of Denmark, returns to Svetlana Kuznetsova, of Russia, in the fourth round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Monday, Sept. 5, 2011, in New York. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Caroline Wozniacki, of Denmark, returns to Svetlana Kuznetsova, of Russia, in the ... more >

“I know I can be out there for hours and hours,” she said. “It’s great to know that, and it’s great to know that it doesn’t matter how long the match takes. I mean, I will not lose because I’m not physically well.”

Knowing that, as well, Kuznetsova pressed throughout and took a 4-1 lead in the second set. But that’s when the party ended for the two-time major champion. She lost 12 of the next 14 games and finished the night with 78 unforced errors on a windy night in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

“She was a wall,” Kuznetsova said. “To break a wall, you cannot hit hard all the time. You have to mix it up. I think I did the right things. I just couldn’t close it up in the right moments.”

Williams had to tone things down a bit for her match, played hours earlier, but also in blustery conditions.

Still, there were two moments that stood out: A key point she won after letting a 3-0 lead slip in the first set, after which she clenched her fist and screamed, “Come On”; and the way she closed out the match, with four straight serves Ivanovic couldn’t return, maxing out at 111 mph.

Not surprisingly, the discussion afterward was whether Williams tries to be intimidating on the court.

“No, I don’t try,” she said. “I just am.”

Roger Federer can be pretty intimidating, as well.

Forced to wait until 11:51 p.m. to start his match, he came out like a man in a hurry, putting away the first set against Juan Monaco in 18 minutes en route to a 6-1, 6-2, 6-0 victory. In the second game of the second set, he served four straight aces — a perfect game, of sorts.

“It’s only a game. Only four points,” he said. “But it’s nice to do it that way instead of having to take 10 minutes.”

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