Where Have You Gone, Justine? (and Other Burning Questions)

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123917623FLUSHING MEADOWS, N.Y. – Caroline Wozniacki’s miraculous fourth-round comeback against ’04 U.S. Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova should prove a confidence builder as the still-Slamless Dane heads into the quarterfinals against No. 10 seed Andrea Petkovic of Germany.  Her 6-7(6), 7-5, 6-1 triumph showed some real staying power.

“It definitely gives you confidence, “ said the world No. 1.  “I could have been sitting here and been out already, but I’m very proud of what I’ve achieved.”

Critics often question the defensive-minded baseliner’s approach, but it was her mental toughness that played a more important role against her Russian foe on Monday night.

“It’s just your personality and also you get the experience when you play a lot of matches,” explained the ’09 USO runner-up.  “Once you’ve been on tour for a long time, you get the experience. It’s not going to be the first or the last time that I’m going to come back after a match like this.  But it’s not going to be a first or last time that you’re going lose a match like that. It’s sports.”

Wozniacki says she’s put tough losses at Roland Garros and Wimbledon behind her, is fitter than ever and is solely focused in her upcoming quarterfinal.

“Wimbledon and the French Open is in the past already,” she said.  “I’m just looking forward.  I still think I’ve had a great year.  I’m playing good tennis.  I’m happy.  I love playing here in New York.  It’s a great tournament for me.  I love playing out there in the night session, Arthur Ashe, it’s a really great feeling…I know I’m in great shape.  I’m working so hard off the court.  I know I can be out there for hours and hours.  It’s great to know that, and it’s great to know that it doesn’t matter how long the match takes. I will not lose because I’m not physically well.”

RAIN, RAIN, GO AWAY: Heavy rains along the Eastern seaboard washed out the the entire day-night schedule on Tuesday at the U.S. Open.

WORDS TO SPARE: USA Today’s Doug Robson called Donald Young “a phenom bordering on bust with talent to spare and a sparing work ethic.”

I’M NO MAMA’S BOY!: When Rafael Nadal‘s mother came running to his aid when he cramped up in the U.S. Open Media Center, the Spaniard was so embarrassed that he yelled for her to go away.

360 POINTS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE NET: Of his recent rankings climb, Serb Janko Tipsarevic explained, “I’m just now focused.  I’m looking that there is 360 points waiting for me the other side of the net, and I need to beat whoever I need to do it in order to improve that.”

CURIOUS QUESTIONS: After she said she was climbing a mountain at the U.S. Open, Serena Williams was asked, “Is the mountain more like Mt. Everest or is it now more like Henman Hill?

THE NUMBERS

10: Times in the last 12 Grand Slams that an unseeded woman has advanced to the quarterfinals.  Unseeded Angelique Kerber of Germany advanced to meet 26th seed Flavia Pennetta of Italy.

QUOTEBOOK

“The truth is, American tennis is not back, not back by a long shot.” — Greg Bishop, The New York Times

“It’s a terrific story, this American men’s tennis resurgence.  But is it really a resurgence?” — Mark Cannnizzaro, New York Post

“My game is very good when I have nothing in my head.” — Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

“It doesn’t always look pretty.  I’ve won to close to 600 matches.  I promise you, 450 have been of the ugly sort, but that’s what I do well.  I’m not going to apologize for it. ” — Andy Roddick

“You can always just sit around and pray that Pete Sampras or Serena Williams will fall out of the sky, or that Roger Federer will be born in Topeka next time.  Until then, what we can control are the players we have.” — Patrick McEnroe

“I don’t have any more space.  I have a new house in L.A.  I created a karaoke room, so I can’t put trophies in there. The other area, the gentleman’s lounge, is kind of packed with vintage things I got at a flea market, which is really cool.  In Florida, forget it.  Venus and I, there’s just no more space. I would love to keep winning them.  But we’re like, ‘Oh, what are we going to do with this one?'” — Serena Williams on the possibility of accumulating more trophies.

“That might have been the biggest non-Serena forehand I’ve ever seen.” — Brad Gilbert on a Svetlana Kuznetsova groundstroke

“Where have you gone, Justine? Look what you could have done with these girls. You could have done some damage.” — Chris Evert