The US Open has a new tennis darling judging from the oncourt reception Caroline Wozniacki received following her three-set defeat of Maria Sharapova in a little under three hours on Sunday at the Arthur Ashe Stadium.
And it isn't just because she's running the New York Marathon in November. She came out of her defensive comfort zone to upset the Russian, and at times – in the latter half of the second set and the third – played some of her finest ever tennis.
Sharapova played well, or at least from 0-3 down in the first set, which she lost 4-6, to 4-0 up in the second, which she eventually won 6-2 after some extremely hard-fought games. Steely, concentrated, resilient, she looked her imperious best.
Dominant in final set
But in the final set, she started to look weary and defeated as the winners vanished and a rejuvenated Wozniacki found her range and belief.
Once the Dane had held to take a 4-1 lead, the result never looked in doubt. Another break of serve then sealed a 6-2 win.
Second favourite to win
Wozniacki will be favourite to beat Italy's Sara Errani in the last eight and now has an excellent chance of making her first grand slam final since 2009.
The bookmakers have accordingly slashed her odds from 14s to 6/1 second favourite behind Serena Williams.