Three Things To Watch: Day 12
Venus Williams, who last made the U.S. Open final in 2002, can set an Open Era record for longest span between women's singles final appearances. (AP)
SI.com’s daily menu of must-see happenings at the U.S. Open (all times Eastern).
• No. 1 Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan vs. No. 16 Rohan Bopanna/Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi (Arthur Ashe Stadium, 12 p.m.): By now you've probably heard of India's Bopanna and Pakistan's Qureshi, the unlikely doubles team who have sought to promote peace in their long-at-odds nations through sport. They've risen to prominence in 2010, making the quarters at Wimbledon, winning the title at Jo'burg and logging runner-up finishes at Napoli, Casablanca and Nice. Born 13 days apart in Bangalore and Lahore, they're also trying to organize a match to promote peace between India and Pakistan by using the Wagah border as the net, with Qureshi playing on the Indian side and Bopanna playing on the Pakistan side. They can pen a fairy-tale ending for their breakthrough season today with a victory over the all-time leaders in tour-level doubles titles: the top-seeded Bryan brothers. The finalists have met twice already this summer on the hard-court circuit, with the Bryans winning in L.A., and Bopanna-Qureshi winning in Washington -- the Bryans' most recent defeat. With the United Nations ambassadors for the two countries expected to attend, it could be one of the more memorable moments in recent Grand Slam history.
• No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki vs. No. 7 Vera Zvonareva (Arthur Ashe Stadium, not before 1:30 p.m.): Wozniacki has dropped just 17 games in her methodical run to the semis, the fewest games lost in reaching the last four since Serena Williams conceded 14 in 2002. Thus far, she's more than lived up to her No. 1 seeding, a point of minor controversy entering the tournament given her limited Grand Slam resume. Zvonareva, who turned 26 on Tuesday, is the sport's top-ranked Russian at No. 8. She defeated Yanina Wickmayer, Jelena Jankovic and Kim Clijsters en route to the Wimbledon final, where she bowed to Serena Williams. The mental lapses that undercut her game appear to be a thing of the past, but it might not be enough to halt Wozniacki's momentum in today's first semifinal. • No. 3 Venus Williams vs. No. 2 Kim Clijsters (Arthur Ashe Stadium, not before 3:30 p.m.): On paper, you have to give Clijsters the edge. The defending U.S. Open titlist is on a 19-match winning streak in Flushing Meadows. While the head-to-head series is level at six wins apiece, Clijsters has won the last four dating back to 2005, most recently a 6-2, 6-1 thumping of Venus in this year's Miami final. They met in perhaps the strangest match at last year's U.S. Open, trading bagels before Clijsters took control down the stretch for a 6-0, 0-6, 6-4 victory. But write off Venus at your own peril: She's a two-time U.S. Open champion who seems to be playing her best tennis of the season at the right time.