Rain Pushes Back U.S. Open Matches

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It's a soggy day nine of the U.S. Open. Michele Norris talks with tennis writer Doug Robson about the winners and losers so far, and who's left standing.

MICHELE NORRIS, host: It's a soggy day nine at the U.S. Open, so Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal and Andy Roddick, among others, will have to wait out the rains.

We're joined from Flushing Meadows by Douglas Robson. He covers tennis for USA Today. He joins us at the filing center there in Queens. Welcome back to the program.

DOUGLAS ROBSON: Thank you, nice to be here.

NORRIS: So when will the day's games be played or will they even be played today?

ROBSON: No, there's going to be no tennis today. They've canceled the day and night sessions, so they're going to have to back up the schedule and try to get it going tomorrow. But the forecast is not very promising and this kind of thing can really wreak havoc at a tennis tournament.

NORRIS: So we have no choice but to talk about the games yesterday, and let's start with the women. Serena Williams moved on to the quarterfinals and so did Caroline Wozniacki. On TV, Serena seemed to play with a vengeance. And Wozniacki, though it took her three sets, seemed like a cat who was almost toying with her prey. That's what it looked like at least on television. Tell us what you saw there in Queens.

ROBSON: Caroline Wozniacki comes in as the number one player in the world. She is criticized for not having a great forehand, for having a suspect serve. But you saw in a gutsy performance against a very tough player, Kuznetsova, that she can toy with even with the best of them. She changed her tactics midway through the second set. She was down a set, down 4-1.

And by the end of the match, you know, Kuznetsova looked like she was slogging through mud. She was sweating. She couldn't keep the ball in the court and Wozniacki looked fresh as a daisy, looked like she could go a couple more sets and she even said so afterwards.

NORRIS: And Serena, even with all these injuries, has come back extremely strong. I mean, she just had two foot surgeries.

ROBSON: Yes, Serena's march through the draw here has a sense of inevitability about it. She is focused. She's locked in. You know, there were times in Serena's career when it felt like she wasn't sure if she wanted to be a tennis player. She dabbled in acting. She dabbled in the red carpet scene.

But she had these two foot surgeries. She had these medical setbacks, a pulmonary embolism, blood clots. She had a hematoma surgery in her stomach. Her third-round opponent, Victoria Azarenka, said it was painful to play her. And her next opponent in her last round, Ana Ivanovic, just talked about how intimidating it is to see her across the net.

NORRIS: So let's talk about the men's side. If you're interested in that play, you had to stay up really late.

ROBSON: You did. Roger Federer took the court close to midnight last night. But he was completely unperturbed. You know, he's the consummate pro. He went out there, he took care of business. He completely dismantled his opponent. And afterwards, he said, you know, no big deal. You know, I know people pay a lot of money to sit in these seats. I'm an entertainer. You know, he gets it and he's looking sharp.

NORRIS: One of the things that really stands out here is the strength of the U.S. men. They're doing much better than expected.

ROBSON: They are, indeed. We had four men reach the fourth round here for the first time since 2003 - Andy Roddick, Mardy Fish, who bowed out yesterday, John Isner, the 6-10 cannon fire server, and Donald Young, a young 22-year-old. He now seems to be sort of taking his talent to the next level. And it's really nice to see the U.S. men having a nice run here in New York.

NORRIS: Douglas Robson, good to talk to you. Thanks so much.

ROBSON: Nice to be here.

NORRIS: Douglas Robson writes about tennis for USA Today.

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