March 22, 2018

US OPEN 2015: Simona Halep Defeats Victoria Azarenka in Quarterfinals

Romanian professional tennis player Simona Halep celebrates reaching US Open 2015 Semifinals Romanian professional tennis player Simona Halep celebrates reaching US Open 2015 Semifinals Photo Credit: Reuters

Halep Reaches US Open Semi-Finals after Beating Azarenka 6-3, 4-6, 6-4

Today, I had the opportunity to watch the US OEPN 2015 quarterfinals match between second seed Romanian Simona Halep and No. 20 seed Belarusian Victoria Azarenka in the USTA’s President’s Box.

This was not my first time in a president’s suite as on two occasions, I’ve watched New York Yankees games in New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner’s box. The interior of Steinbrenner’s box reminded me of a large lounge area flanked by baseball memorabilia. On the contrary, the USTA’s President’s Suite had the feeling of a modern luxury hotel restaurant with two levels; restaurant upstairs and lounge on the main level.

A wall of glass doors led to outdoor seating to watch Halep and Azarenka play with or sans cocktail in hand. Scattered around the lounge were TV monitors to watch the match inside, and from some seating areas inside you could watch the match on the same outside Jumbotrons as the fans in the stands.

This was the third career meeting between the two tennis players, with Victoria Azarenka leading 2-0 over Simona Halep, the world’s No. 2 player. A highly motivated Halep was on a mission but seemed to be in danger as 26-year-old Azarenka came into the third set with momentum after winning the second in impressive style.

But, the rain gods had a different strategy. A rain delay took the players off the court for an hour and 25 minutes and while the players stayed dry, the guests in the President’s Suite had more of an opportunity to mingle.

USTA President Katrina Adams floated from group to group, talking and taking pictures. Actress Dawnn Lewis (A Different World), as beautiful as ever, took us back to how she met President Adams and got involved in tennis.

With the rain delay over, Halep and Azarenka returned. A revived Halep put away Azarenka and won the quarterfinals 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, and is now on her way to the US Open semi-finals for the first time.

"I got behind the baseline in the second set and had to do a lot of running,” Halep said. “That break helped me. Thanks, God, for raining,"

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