Sharapova and Wozniacki face glamour match

Their third-round matches yesterday were hardly the best of advertisements for women's tennis, but when Maria Sharapova and Caroline Wozniacki meet here tomorrow it will be one of the most eagerly anticipated contests so far at this year's US Open.

Having brushed aside their opponents for a combined loss of one game – Sharapova crushed Beatrice Capra of the United States 6-0 6-0 while Wozniacki beat Yung-Jan Chan of Taiwan 6-1 6-0 – the 23-year-old Russian and the 20-year-old Dane will now concentrate their energies on a battle between two of the players most fancied to win the title next weekend. Sharapova has won their only two previous meetings, both in 2008, but the two women have gone in very different directions in the last two years.

Wozniacki, the runner-up here 12 months ago, has been on fire this summer. Since losing in the fourth round at Wimbledon she has lost only once in 19 matches and won titles in Copenhagen, Montreal and New Haven. And if she wins here she will replace Serena Williams at the top of the world rankings.

Sharapova, the world No 17, has been rebuilding her career since undergoing shoulder surgery. It has been a long haul, but the 2006 US Open champion has looked good of late. In her two tournaments since Wimbledon she reached the final at both Stanford and Cincinnati, losing to Victoria Azarenka and Kim Clijsters respectively.

Sharapova dropped a set to Jarmila Groth in the first round here, but never looked in any danger against Capra, an 18-year-old who had never played a match at tour level before last week.

Wozniacki's one fear against Sharapova might be that she was barely tested in the first week. The Dane has dropped a total of three games in her first three matches.

"I think the next match will be a totally different match," Wozniacki said. "When we go out there, we both have a 50 per cent chance of winning. I just need to get those percentages for me."

Sharapova appreciates the size of her task. "She can run all day and gets a lot of balls back and makes you hit tons of balls," the Russian said. "She changes the pace really well and gets her opponents off-balance. She does many things well. That's why she's at the top of the game."

A match between two of the game's most glamorous women is sure to see hordes of photographers descend on the court. Asked whether she had ever regarded Sharapova as a player she would like to emulate in terms of her image, Wozniacki said she had looked more to Anna Kournikova.

"I definitely wanted to be like her," Wozniacki said. "I thought she was very pretty. She was handling everything really nicely. You saw her everywhere in the commercials."

Jelena Jankovic, who made her only appearance in a Grand Slam final when she lost to Serena Williams here two years ago, was beaten 6-2 7-6 in the third round by the Estonian Kaia Kanepi.

The 25-year-old Serb blamed the tricky conditions, with the unforced error count – 41 by Jankovic and 37 by Kanepi – acting as evidence of the havoc left by Hurricane Earl, which has been sweeping up America's east coast.

"The wind was really tough," Jankovic said. "I had a really hard time hitting the balls. They were going all over the place."

Meanwhile Jankovic's fellow Serb, Ana Ivanovic, has failed to reach the quarter-finals of her last nine Grand Slam tournaments, but there are signs that the former world No 1 is returning to the form that saw her win the French Open two years ago.

Ivanovic made the semi- finals in Cincinnati last month, has climbed back to No 40 in the world rankings from a five-year low at No 65 two months ago and has not dropped a set in the first three rounds here.

Today, however, Ivanovic faces the toughest possible task when she comes up against Clijsters, who is the defending champion here.

Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own