U.S. Open 2013: Andy Murray ready for tougher tests

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All eight men’s quarterfinalists are from Europe: Serbia’s Djokovic, Britain’s Murray, Switzerland’s Wawrinka, Russia’s Youzhny on one half of the draw, and Spain’s Nadal, Ferrer and Robredo, along with France’s Gasquet on the other half.

One women’s semifinal matchup was set Tuesday: No. 1 Serena Williams of the United States, the defending champion, against No. 5 Li Na of China, who won the 2011 French Open.

Williams shut out 18th-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain 6-0, 6-0, the first “double bagel” in a quarterfinal at Flushing Meadows since 1989, when 18-time major title winner Martina Navratilova did it to Manuela Maleeva.

“When you play against Serena,” Suarez Navarro said, “you know these things can happen.”

Williams won 53 of 71 points and dominated pretty much every statistical category. The first set took all of 19 minutes. The second was slower, lasting 33 minutes, but no less lopsided.

Williams was asked whether she’d describe her performance as close to flawless.

“Of course not,” the 16-time major champion said with a laugh. “I played good, though. I played really good. I was just more focused than anything. You know, I like to believe there is room for improvement.”

Through five matches, Williams has dropped a total of 13 games. Going back to the start of Wimbledon last year, the 31-year-old American is 96-5 with 13 trophies, including from three of the past five Grand Slam tournaments plus the London Olympics.

“She’s the best player in the sport,” Suarez Navarro said. “When you look at the draw, you don’t want to see Serena there.”

Li needed nearly 2½ hours to get past 24th-seeded Ekaterina Makarova of Russia 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-2 in the quarterfinals.

Heading into their meeting Friday, Li is 1-8 against Williams.

“Tough, tough opponent,” Li said.

 

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