Day 10 of the 2013 U.S. Open will feature matches with some of the biggest underdogs of the tournament, but their respective runs will end at the hands of their opponents.
On the men's side, Spaniard Tommy Robredo has made a valiant run to get to this point after defeating Roger Federer in the fourth round. However, his quarterfinal matchup will prove to be too much to overcome.
For the women, both Italian Flavia Pennetta and Slovak Daniela Hantuchova have made unexpectedly deep runs in the Big Apple. The quarterfinals will present an incredibly tough challenge for both, and it's unlikely they will survive to see the semifinals.
Let's take a look at each of these players' Day 10 matches and why they won't advance beyond that.
Tommy Robredo (vs. No. 2 Rafael Nadal)
Robredo surprised the world when he defeated Federer for the first time in his career, but he will have the unfortunate luck of drawing the hottest player on the planet right now in Nadal.
Nadal owns Robredo in the pair's history with a perfect 6-0 record against his fellow Spaniard, and things don't figure to change after this showdown. The last three times these two have met have all been on hard surfaces, and Nadal has only dropped one set in total.
Robredo also enjoyed an astounding 43 unforced errors from the racket of Federer as well as just two of 16 break points won for the tennis legend.
Nadal won't play as sloppy on Wednesday, thus forcing Robredo to play a perfect match and/or outplay Nadal. That isn't likely to happen for Robredo, so expect Nadal to bury Robredo in what should be a relatively short and easy match for Rafa.
Flavia Pennetta (vs. No. 10 Roberta Vinci)
Fellow Italians Pennetta and Vinci have seen each other eight times throughout their careers with the series tied at four matches apiece. However, Pennetta has yet to beat Vinci on the hard surface after Vinci topped Pennetta in Tokyo back in 2009.
Both have enjoyed a relatively easy road to this spot in the tourney. Vinci has only gone to a third set once in her match with Lucie Safarova, while Pennetta has won each of her matches in straight sets.
This will likely be the closest match of any of the remaining matches on the docket, but Vinci has been slightly more superior than Pennetta in her previous matches on hard courts this year, and she remains the more all-around talented player of the two.
Daniela Hantuchova (vs. No. 2 Victoria Azarenka)
In four total meetings between these two, Hantuchova has been surprisingly successful against one of the best players in the world in Azarenka with a 2-2 split.
In fact, Hantuchova has won two of three meetings on hard courts with Azarenka, but to be fair those wins came back in 2007 and 2011. It's safe to say that Azarenka has improved her game since then and this will be a totally different kind of match for Hantuchova.
Both women have gone to a third set in each of their past two matches in the U.S. Open. However, Azarenka had a much tougher opponent in Ana Ivanovic last time out, while Hantuchova disposed of American Alison Riske.
With all things being equal in the fatigue department, Azarenka is the more talented player, and her victory over Hantuchova on a hard court in straight sets earlier this year is a perfect indication of how this one will go.
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