The 2013 U.S. Open hits the home stretch Wednesday after the last Round of 16 matches wrapped up Tuesday night.
The last two spots in the women's semifinals are up for grabs and only one of the early favorites is still in action: No. 2 Victoria Azarenka, who was pushed to the brink in her fourth-round match by 13th-seeded Ana Ivanovic. Azarenka will square off against unseeded Daniela Hantuchova, who has already beaten two American Cinderella stories -- Victoria Duval and Alison Riske -- but has yet to face a seeded opponent. They will open evening play on Arthur Ashe at 7 p.m.
Starting play in the afternoon at noon will be two Italians making surprise repeat appearances in the quarterfinals in No. 10 Roberta Vinci and unseeded, 31-year-old Flavia Pennetta,. The two Italians made the quarters last year before each falling. Whoever wins will qualify for her first career Slam semifinal.
The men's quarterfinals start Wednesday after Pennetta-Vinci with No. 8 Richard Gasquet playing No. 4 David Ferrer. Gasquet has always been an enigmatic talent, prone to mental collapses and lapses in focus, but he's playing the best tennis of his career and Ferrer, despite being one of the fittest and most consistent players on tour, is beatable for the Frenchman to make his first U.S. Open semifinal.
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Wrapping up the night session will be second-seeded Rafael Nadal facing his own southern Europe countryman, No. 19 Tommy Robredo. The two couldn't be more familiar with one another, but Nadal is 6-0 in their matches and he's playing the best hard court tennis of his career. This one should be drama-free.