Three Things To Watch: Day 7
Francesca Schiavone can reach the U.S. Open quarterfinals for the second time with a victory Sunday over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. (AP)
SI.com’s daily menu of must-see happenings at the U.S. Open (all times Eastern).
• Ana Ivanovic vs. No. 2 Kim Clijsters (Arthur Ashe Stadium, 11 a.m.): The reluctance to buy in when it's come to Ivanovic's modest resurgence over the past week is more than understandable, but there's no denying her propers any longer if she can put down Clijsters, the defending champion who's emerged as the popular favorite here. The Belgian is 23-1 in her past four U.S. Open appearances (including 2010) and enters Sunday's match on a 17-match winning streak. Meanwhile, Ivanvoic is trying for her first appearance in a Grand Slam quarterfinal since the 2008 French Open, where she captured her first and only major title and capped a rapid ascent to No. 1. We should know early whether Ivanovic is up for the challenge of Clijsters' steady power-baseline assault.
• No. 6 Francesca Schiavone vs. No. 20 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (Louis Armstrong Stadium, 11 a.m.): With Justine Henin sidelined, Schiavone may boast the most artful game of anyone on tour. At this year's French Open, she became the oldest first-time Grand Slam winner since 1969 ... but proceeded to go just 3-6 in her next six events. The lone teenager remaining in the women's draw, Pavlyuchenkova is a seasoned 19-year-old with three junior major titles under her belt who's yet to drop a set in three matches here. The prototypical Russian power-baseliner, she gives Sunday's third-rounder an attractive contrast of styles.
• No. 12 Mikhail Youzhny vs. No. 18 John Isner (Arthur Ashe Stadium, 7 p.m.): An ankle injury nearly kept Isner out of this year's Open, but he's shown no signs of immobility in victories over Frederico Gil and Marco Chiudinelli. The 6-foot-10 Greensboro, N.C., native has spoken repeatedly about escaping from the shadow of that 11-hour match at Wimbledon, and a career-best Round of 16 berth would be major progress toward that goal. Youzhny, 28, is a former top-10 player who made the semifinals here in 2006 (where he lost to Andy Roddick in four). Others to watch: No. 31 David Nalbandian vs. No. 8 Fernando Verdasco (Grandstand, 11 a.m.); No. 23 Feliciano Lopez vs. Sergiy Stakhovsky (Grandstand, second match); No. 4 Andy Murray vs. No. 25 Stanislas Wawrinka (Louis Armstrong Stadium, third match); No. 5 Samantha Stosur vs. No. 12 Elena Dementieva (Arthur Ashe Stadium, last match).