PLAYER FIELD IS SET FOR PARTY ROCK OPEN

LAS VEGAS (Sept. 15, 2012) – A strong contingent of young American players heads up a talented international field set to play in the inaugural Party Rock Open being hosted by Redfoo from the hit music group LMFAO Sept. 23-30 at Darling Tennis Center.

Fresh off the US Open where he was a guest in Victoria Azarenka’s box for the ladies’ final, Redfoo and the Party Rock Open will welcome a slew of rising American talent, including teenager Lauren Davis, NCAA Champion Nicole Gibbs, and Pan-Am Games Gold Medalist Irina Falconi.

The women’s USTA Pro Circuit tournament will kick off with singles qualifying on Sunday, Sept. 23, where Redfoo plans to participate in free kids’ tennis clinics as part Cox Kids’ Day from noon to 3 p.m.

Romania’s Edina Gallovits-Hall is the highest ranked played and will likely be top-seeded coming in at No. 114 in the world. She is followed by Portugal’s Michelle Larcher De Brito (No. 120 in the world) and Davis who is currently No. 129. Australia’s
Anastasia Rodionova (No. 130), Falconi (No. 147), and fellow American Alison Riske (No. 150) will all be seeded. Gallovits-Hall and Rodionova both reached the second round of the U.S. Open.

Former USC All-American Maria Sanchez, who has climbed over 500 spots in the world rankings (from 687 to 186) in her rookie season on tour in 2012, will also be featured.

Another notable entry in the main draw is Elena Bovina from Russia. The former WTA World No. 14 ranked player was also a 2002 US Open quarterfinalist

Gibbs, who captured the NCAA women’s singles title in June, is joined by her Stanford teammate, Mallory Burdette. Burdette reached the third round of this year’s U.S. Open as a wild card.

“We are excited about this year’s player field,” tournament co-director Jordan Butler said. “There are a number of up-and-coming players who are going to have bright careers, and many who have already been ranked inside the top 100, so it should be interesting. The field is wide open and it’s a big opportunity for someone to break through.”

Now in its fourth year, the tournament has acted as a stepping stone for some of the top talent in women’s professional tennis. Several players who have competed in Las Vegas since the event was founded in 2009 now find themselves amongst the world’s best, such as current Top 25 player and U.S. Olympian Varvara Lepchenko, the 2010 champion.

The tournament’s official website is www.partyrockopen.com. To learn more about Redfoo and Party Rock Clothing, go to www.partyrockclothing.com.

The Party Rock Open is presented by Nevada Orthopedic & Spine Center, Las Vegas’ premier orthopedics group.

Other sponsors include: USTA-Nevada, CourtThink, LLC, Agent Atleta, Ltd., WG Communications Group, Cox Communications, ESPN 1110 AM, The Point 97.1, 98.5 KLUC, Marty Hennessey Foundation, Solinco strings, Western Cab Company, the law firm of Marquis, Aurbach, and Coffing, www.10sBalls.com, and Perrier water.

Follow along on Twitter @partyrockopen and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/partyrockopen.com.

Tournament Co-Directors: Tyler Weekes tyler@CourtThink.com
Jordan J. Butler, Esq. jordan@agentatleta.com

Tournament Press Contact: Steve Pratt 310.408.4555, Sprattt@aol.com

Tournament Marketing/Sponsorship: Terri Weisbord 702.806.9760 terriwgcommgroup@aol.com

USTA Pro Circuit
With approximately 90 tournaments hosted annually throughout the country and prize money ranging from $10,000 to $100,000, the USTA Pro Circuit is the pathway to the US Open and tour-level competition for aspiring tennis players and a frequent battleground for established professionals. The USTA launched its Pro Circuit 33 years ago to provide players with the opportunity to gain professional ranking points, and it has since grown to become the largest developmental tennis circuit in the world, offering nearly $3 million in prize money. Last year, more than 1,000 men and women from more than 70 countries competed in cities nationwide. Mardy Fish, Maria Sharapova, Andy Roddick, Caroline Wozniacki, John Isner, Victoria Azarenka and Andy Murray are among today’s top stars who began their careers on the USTA Pro Circuit.

Sloane Stars On The Grandstand

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Eighteen year-old Sloane Stephens has a plan for this year. It has nothing to do with tennis, but what to do after she returns to her native Los Angeles.

“Now I know for sure when I get home after the season’s over I’m getting a car,” she said after disposing of23rd seed Shahar Pe’er in the second round, 6-1 7-6(4).  “That’s the only thing I’m really looking forward to now.”

And what kind of car?

“I don’t know,” she answered.  “That’s a big question.  My mom wants me to get a truck.  I want to get a small car.  It’s very confusing.”

What’s not confusing is the run this young girl is having here in Flushing Meadows. Along with Christina McHale and Irina Falconi, Stephens is one of the young American girls making some noise during the first week and hoping it will continue as Labor Day Weekend heats up.

“I don’t even think about it,” she said.  Fun fact: Christina, Irina, and myself are all in the third round of the US Open and playing the PanAm Games together.”

That’s Stephens for you. This girl is smart, engaging with a mind going a million miles a minute. She likes to talk in a very plain speak to the 15 reporters in the interview room after her match. There’s no intimidation or at least she doesn’t think there should be.

“I think it’s pretty cool, just like talking to normal people,” she said.  “It’s not like you guys are a bunch of aliens sitting there and I should be like, Oh, my God, freaking out.

“It’s definitely fine for me.  Should I be scared or something?”

That’s not inexperience talking. This girl is fearless. She doesn’t care if she’s facing a ranked player on the court or a bunch of cynical reporters in an interview room.

And Pe’er learned that today. Stephens played aggressively and attacked the Israeli star. She said she definitely likes to hit the ball “I don’t know where that came from,” she said. “But it happens.  Comes off pretty hard, I think, sometimes.”

Outside of the courts, Stephens is an avid Tweeter on her Twitter account. She sends inspirational messages to her followers such as, “There’s no need to rush. If something is meant to be, it will happen. In the right time, with the right person, for the best reason.” And, “Happiness is not a goal, but a decision. Life is 1% what happens to you and 99% how you react to it.”

“I just see something, I’m like, Wow, everyone should read this,” she said.  “It’s not really like, Oh, I’m like trying to get people to like do certain stuff or anything.  It’s like, Oh, I saw that.  I thought it was cool.”

Other than that, Stephen’s also helps take care of her 13 year-old brother, someone she drives around and picks up from school.

And all of this came after moving back to Los Angeles after living in Florida for a few years.

“L.A. is an awesome place,” she said.  “I have a little brother, so I try to spend as much time with him as possible.  He’s been playing baseball.

“L.A. gets tricky for us because there’s a lot of traffic and I don’t like to drive.  It’s kind of hard.  But definitely L.A. and Florida are two different places.  It’s just what you like basically, what we’re in the mood for.”

And yes, she is buying a car even with a disdain for driving.

“See, the thing is, I don’t like traffic,” Stephens said.  “It’s very hard for me to drive in traffic.  And my brother is the most annoying person to have in the car when you’re driving.

“Seriously, he’ll be like, Why aren’t you honking?  What are you doing?  Get in that lane.  I’ll be like, Can you stop?  I need to focus.  He’ll be reaching over to honk the horn.  It’s crazy.  He’ll have to sit in the backseat when I get the car.”

Yet, that’s going to have to wait. Right now Stephens has a third round match against former World No. 1 Ana Ivanovic and she wants a bump up in venue after winning today on the Grandstand.

“Maybe we’ll be on a bigger court,” she said.  “Maybe we’ll be on Armstrong.  I’ve got to work my way up.  Today I almost got Ashe by default and I didn’t want it.”

One step at a time, and if she does win, Stephens said to expect some sort of special celebration by her like the American flag waving by Falconi yesterday.

“Everyone has to have their own special thing that they do,” she said.  “So she does the American flag.  Hopefully Christina will give us something tomorrow to work with.  Then the next day I’ll give you guys something.”

Something to look forward to.

 

 

LAS VEGAS ATHLETE MANAGEMENT COMPANY SIGNS TOP AMERICAN WOMEN’S TENNIS PROSPECT VARVARA LEPCHENKO

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (Feb. 17, 2011) – A new athlete management company based in Las Vegas has announced the signing of professional tennis player Varvara Lepchenko, the No. 74 ranked player in the world.

Agent Atleta’s Jordan J. Butler will represent the 24-year-old Lepchenko, who is coming off the most successful season of her career in which she enjoyed wins over several former and current Top 50 players, including Julia Goerges, Melanie Oudin, Sorana Cirstea, and Mirjana Lucic.  She finished 2010 with fifteen straight victories on the USTA Pro Circuit, capturing three consecutive titles.  Lepchenko has ten ITF career titles to her credit.

Lepchenko was born in Tashkent, Soviet Union (now Uzbekistan), and currently resides in Allentown, PA.  She has been competing under a U.S. designation for the past several years and expects to obtain her U.S. citizenship this coming fall.  It is anticipated that the left-handed Lepchenko will be a candidate for the U.S. Fed Cup Team – there are currently only four Americans ahead of Lepchenko in the WTA world rankings.  Lepchenko recently expressed her desire to compete for her adopted country via her Twitter account (@varunchik1).

“Varvara is a great person and a very talented player who is beginning to hit her stride as a professional,” said Butler.  “Given her strong work ethic and inherent drive to succeed, her best years are clearly ahead of her.  Agent Atleta is ecstatic to represent Varvara’s career interests.”

Lepchenko is coached by her father, Peter Lepchenko.  She trains periodically at the USTA National Training Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.  Her next major WTA Tour event comes at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells next month where she has been entered in the main draw.

About Agent Atleta Ltd.

Agent Atleta Ltd. is an athlete management company based in Las Vegas, Nevada, emphasizing comprehensive representation of professional tennis players.  Agent Atleta literally means “Athlete Agent,” the technically correct term for “sports agent,” as the agent represents the athlete as opposed to the sport.

Agent Atleta’s managing member, Jordan J. Butler, is a certified athlete agent, licensed attorney, and a member of the Sports Lawyers Association and the ABA Forum on Entertainment and Sports Law.  Mr. Butler has a diverse tennis background as a former nationally ranked junior and Division I college tennis player; freelance tennis journalist; and current co-director of the Lexus of Las Vegas Open, a $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit event.

Agent Atleta also counts American Julia Cohen amongst its clients.  Cohen turned professional in 2010 following a stellar junior and college career.  She is currently ranked No. 161 in the WTA world rankings.

Marino Stops Bartoli in Her Tracks

Montreal, September 16, 2010 – Rebecca Marino (Vancouver, BC) achieved another milestone in her young
career on Wednesday night at the Bell Challenge in Quebec City, a $220,000 WTA Tour event.

Just two weeks removed from the playing the biggest match of her life on Arthur Ashe Stadium against Venus
Williams in the second round of the U.S. Open, Marino is making headlines again after ousting world no. 14
Marion Bartoli of France 6-1, 6-3 to reach her first WTA quarter-final. The win is also her first over a Top 20
player.

“This was one of the best matches of my life,” Marino said. “She’s the highest-ranked player I’ve ever beaten. I want to be playing at this level, competing against – and winning – against these players. I have put a lot of work in and maybe this is a reward for that.”

Marino served 10 aces and lost only 18 points on serve in the 75 minute match. The 19-year-old also broke
Bartoli’s serve four times in six attempts. She will face American Bethanie Mattek-Sands in Friday’s quarterfinals.

With the victory, Marino becomes only the second Canadian to beat a Top 15 player in the last 10 years.
Aleksandra Wozniak has accomplished the feat four times in that span.

“Rebecca gave me absolutely no chance,” Bartoli remarked after the match. “If she plays like that every day she can be Top 20, Top 10 even. I felt she could put the ball wherever she wanted to and I had no chance to win the match with her playing like that. She served well; there was so much pressure for me to hold my serve.”

Marino’s compatriots Stéphanie Dubois (Laval, QC) and Valérie Tétreault (St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, QC) will
attempt to join her in the final eight when they take over Centre Court tonight at PEPS on the campus of Laval University for their second round matches. Tétreault will begin proceedings during Thursday’s evening session against American Christina McHale followed by Dubois who will take on another American in Alexa Glatch. Both Canadians upset seeded players in their opening matches.

For all of the latest news and results from the Bell Challenge, visit the tournament’s official website
www.challengebell.com.

Dubois, Marino and Tétreault will headline an impressive player field at the $50,000 Saguenay National Bank
Challenger which is set to get underway on Saturday in Saguenay with the qualifying rounds.

About Tennis Canada
Founded in 1890, Tennis Canada is a non-profit, national sport association responsible for leading the growth, promotion and showcasing of tennis in Canada. Tennis Canada owns and operates two of the premier events on the ATP and Sony Ericsson WTA Tours; Rogers Cup men’s and women’s events that rotate annually between Rexall Centre in Toronto and Uniprix Stadium in Montreal. In addition, Tennis Canada owns and operates six professional ITF sanctioned events and financially supports six other professional tournaments in Canada.

Tennis Canada operates national training centres at the Centre of Excellence in Toronto and at Uniprix Stadium in Montreal. Tennis Canada is a proud member of the International Tennis Federation, the Canadian Olympic Committee, the Canadian Paralympics Committee and the International Wheelchair Tennis Association, and serves to administer, sponsor and select the teams for Davis Cup, Fed Cup, the Olympic Games and all wheelchair, junior and senior national teams. Tennis Canada invests its surplus into tennis development. For more information on Tennis Canada please visit our Web site at: www.tenniscanada.com.

Edberg, Courier, Safin, and Chang Headline Field at Grand Cayman

NEW YORK, September 13, 2010 – InsideOut Sports & Entertainment today announced that Stefan Edberg, Jim Courier, Marat Safin and Michael Chang will headline the field at the 2010 The Residences at the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman Legends Championships to be held November 5-7 in Grand Cayman. Former U.S. Davis Cup standouts Aaron Krickstein and Jimmy Arias will round out the six-player field at the fourth event on the 2010 Champions Series, the U.S.-based global tennis circuit for champion tennis players age 30 and over.

This year’s tournament will also feature for the first time a multi-day pro-am experience that will be combined with the world class tennis competition to create an exclusive tennis destination happening. All six competing pros will participate in the pro-am tournament that will see the legends playing matches and enjoying meals and social time with participating amateurs over multiple days. Tennis fans interested in participating in the pro-am with the legends can find ticket, travel and tournament information by visiting www.ChampionsSeriesTennis.com.

Edberg, Courier, Safin and Chang have combined to win 13 major singles titles, with Edberg, Courier and Safin having achieved the world’s No. 1 ranking and Chang reaching a career-high ranking of No. 2. The event will be played on red clay courts in a single-knockout format event with each player vying for a first-prize paycheck of $45,000 and ranking points that determine the year-end No. 1 ranked player on the Champions Series circuit.

In the opening quarterfinal match at 7 pm on November 5, Chang will play Krickstein, followed by Courier taking on Arias. On Saturday, November 6, starting at 2 pm, the winner of the Chang-Krickstein match will play Safin while the winner of the Courier-Arias match will play Edberg. The schedule of play on Sunday, November 7 will feature the third-place match between the two losing semifinalists starting at 1 pm followed by the championship match.

“It’s hard to think of any place more relaxing and beautiful to see and compete with some of the greatest legends in tennis than this event at The Residences at the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman,” said Jon Venison, co-founding partner of InsideOut Sports & Entertainment and the Champions Series tennis circuit. “We have assembled the best field ever in Grand Cayman with three former No. 1 players and a former world No. 2 who have combined to win two Wimbledon titles, three US Open titles, three French Open titles and five Australian Open titles. We are also especially excited about our expanded pro-am and hospitality offerings where fans can have the ultimate tennis fantasy experience that they will remember and talk about the rest of their lives.”

To be eligible to compete on the Champions Series, players must have reached at least a major singles final, been ranked in the top five in the world or played singles on a championship Davis Cup team. Courier finished the 2009 season as the top-ranked player on the Champions Series, followed by Pete Sampras and Todd Martin. Courier won the 2009 edition of The Residences At the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman Legends Championships beating Arias 6-4, 6-2 in the final.

Earlier this year on the Champions Series circuit, former U.S. and Wimbledon finalist Mark Philippoussis defeated John McEnroe in May to win the Staples Champions Cup in Boston and take over the No. 1 Champions Series ranking. Former French Open semifinalist Fernando Meligeni of Brazil was the surprise winner of the opening event on the 2010 Champions Series, winning the title in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil by defeating Philippoussis in the final in March.

CHAMPIONS SERIES VIDEO FOOTAGE

The Champions Series video page features exclusive behind the scenes footage of events and candid player chats. Videos can be seen at http://m1e.net/c?117624092-/xeeD7URGaYks%405702273-YNkZFDwhedoxU

BECOME A FAN OF THE CHAMPIONS SERIES ON FACEBOOK & FOLLOW US ON TWITTER facebook.com/championsseriestennis | twitter.com/cs_tennis

CHAMPIONS SERIES WEBSITE:

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InsideOut Sports + Entertainment is a New York City-based independent producer of proprietary events and promotions founded in 2004 by former world No. 1 and Hall of Fame tennis player Jim Courier and former SFX and Clear Channel executive Jon Venison. In 2005, InsideOut launched its signature property, the Champions Series tennis circuit, a collection of tournaments featuring the greatest names in tennis over the age of 30. In addition, InsideOut produces many other successful events including “Legendary Night” exhibitions, charity events, corporate outings and tennis fantasy camps such as the annual “Ultimate Fantasy Camp”. Through 2009, InsideOut Sports + Entertainment events have raised over $4 million for charity. For more information, please log on to www.InsideOutSE.com or www.ChampionsSeriesTennis.com or follow on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Dinara Just Like Marat

There’s no denying Dinara Safina’s talent. At 23, the younger sister of former Grand Slam champion Marat Safin has accomplished plenty, joining older brother as the only siblings to ever reach No.1 in the world.

Despite holding the top spot after finishing runner-up at the first two grand slams (Australian, French), the enigmatic Safina has fizzled lately with a poor second half this season that’s included a blowout Wimbledon semifinal defeat in which she got only a game off Venus Williams and a third round U.S. Open exit at the hands of unheralded Czech Petra Kvitova to conclude a disappointing stay in New York.

Though it’s been a breakthrough year in terms of rankings and reaching her first ever major finals, something seems to be missing. After another disappointment at the upset marred Pan Pacific Open, falling to unknown qualifier Chang Kai-Chen in three sets, Safina continues to receive heavy criticism for something she can’t control. When she became the 19th women’s top ranked player on April 20, it was due to hard work.

Not long ago, the second ever female Russian to hit No.1 (joined Maria Sharapova) was ranked just outside the Top 15 when she upset seven-time slam winner Justine Henin in a French tuneup, sending the Belgian to retirement. Two and a half years later, the 27 year-old saw that it was possible to return thanks to countrywoman Kim Clijsters’ impressive run claiming her second Open earlier this month with triumphs over both Williams sisters, completing it with a straight set victory over current No.5 riser Caroline Wozniacki.

So, Safina’s path to winning that elusive major just got tougher. She certainly hits one of the biggest balls on the WTA Tour. But thus far, her struggle to gain worldwide respect reminds us too much of Marat, who’s hanging it up later this year. Sadly, one of the game’s most gifted players on the ATP is burnt out at 29. While that’s an age when many in tennis call it quits, one ponders how many more majors he could’ve won if he’d put his mind to it.

Back in 2000, anything seemed possible with the then 20 year-old destroying Pete Sampras in straights at the Open. Something unheard of. With a great serve and blistering ground strokes that included a deadly backhand, the big man’s future looked very promising. Instead of continuing to win majors, he enjoyed his success a little too much. Perhaps the new lifestyle contributed to him not fulfilling potential.

Though the root of the problem couldn’t really be blamed on partying but rather Safin losing concentration during matches. He was always a tough out making three Australian Open finals. After dropping the first two due to an admitted bout with confidence, he won his second slam in grand fashion by upsetting Roger Federer in a memorable five set semifinal that saw him fight off match point. Fresh off ending the Swiss Maestro’s 26-match win streak over Top 10 foes, he completed it by besting Aussie hometown favorite Lleyton Hewitt in four sets.

Following the impressive run, many including us expected him to get back in contention. However, that never came to fruition with Safin teasing many with his immense skills. Amazingly, he had his best run at Wimbledon in 2008 going all the way to the semis before Federer drove him nuts in three tight sets. That it came with him ranked No.75 was no shock. You never could tell what you were getting from the only Russian man who ever made the Final Four at the All England Club.

Maybe that helps better explain Safina who’s still young enough to have a great career. She can take solace knowing that Marat has a Hall of Fame resume featuring the two slams, two Aussie runner-ups, No.1 ranking and helping their home country Russia win its first ever Davis Cup in 2002 on a stacked team that included former No.1 Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Mikhail Youzhny and Andrei Stoliarov. They also won in 2006 with Safin an integral part winning doubles with Dmitry Tursunov and a singles win over Argentina’s Jose Acasuso.

For the younger Safina, she’s already won 12 titles, reached two slam finals, hit No.1 and won Olympic silver in singles when she fell to countrywoman Elena Dementieva in three tight sets at Beijing. So, her career has hardly been disappointing. If only she could get over the hump and win a slam, it would silence many critics. But hey. We could easily say the same thing for the talented Dementieva and former outspoken No.1 Jelena Jankovic, who’s dipped to No.8.

For the ladies, it’s not easy to win majors when you’re competing with Venus and Serena Williams. If Sharapova returns to form next year, watch out. With Clijsters and Henin back along with Wozniacki looking to take the next step, the women’s game has become much better. Another proven Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova also won her second slam routing Safina at Roland Garros earlier this year. American Melanie Oudin made a name for herself at Flushing Meadows as did German Sabine Lisicki at Wimbledon.

There’s plenty of talent which also includes Russian enigmas Vera Zvonareva and Nadia Petrova, who have big enough games to compete but lack the mental capacity. This is a similar issue Safina’s dealing with as is former 2008 French Open winner Ana Ivanovic, who continued to struggle in a first round loss to Czech Lucie Safarova in which she had 11 double faults. Italian Flavia Pennetta, who reached the Open quarters before falling to Serena also is a good player. So too is 20 year-old Serbian Victoria Azarenka who after a strong start has experienced growing pains which have included temper tantrums.

So much of the battle is the head. Something Safina’s older brother referred to when he conquered Federer down under, terming the big upset a “head battle.” Very little separates the top players on each side. However, sometimes it’s what’s going on upstairs which can determine the outcome. This is also true of sports in general where even the biggest stars such as Alex Rodriguez can struggle under the spotlight. Whether that continues for the Yankee star third baseman on a superb team this October, we’ll know soon enough.

Aside from dealing with confidence issues, there’s also strategy which comes into play in an ultra competitive sport like tennis. Players who can adjust during matches usually have success. That can sometimes require alternating game plans. Something we haven’t seen a whole lot of on the women’s side where a plethora of top ranked players go bigger and bigger 24/7. Even with her injuries, Sharapova’s been a disappointment who should have more than two slams (2004 Wimbledon, 2007 U.S. Open). Power can only take you so far.

Tennis can use players who think outside the box like former No.1 Martina Hingis. Precisely what they’re getting with Clijsters and Henin who can hit with the best of them but also possess great speed and balance which helps create angles. They also aren’t afraid to come to the net to finish points. Something we saw the 19 year-old Dane Wozniacki do in her loss to Clijsters. Another player who closes well is Venus by using her size and athleticism effectively. Younger sis Serena is capable but usually prefers outslugging opponents while playing great D.

To truly be great, a player must always be willing to adjust on the fly. If something’s not working, change it up. How many times do you hear the frustration in Brad Gilbert or Martina Navratilova’s voice? They beat it over and over again and probably shake their heads in disgust at such gifted players not getting the most out of their God given ability.

For Safina, who can implode on the court similarly to emotional brother Marat, she must address this. It will be crucial to her future. She’s plenty good enough to win majors. But it’s taking that next step which will help determine how successful she is.

She seems like a wonderful person with her entertaining brother’s winning personality. So, she knows what’s wrong. It’s how she goes about fixing it that could wind up in even better results.

Kuzy Learns The Value of Sunshine

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Her nickname is “Sunshine” because of her positive disposition and she is one of the more likable up and comers on the tour.

And now, after her three set fourth round win over Svetlana Kuznetsova, 2-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (3), Caroline Wozniacki is going to face Melanie Oudin in one of the more anticipated matches in this US Open.

“I think about just as a great run from both me and Melanie,” said Wozniacki, who made the Quarterfinals in a Grand Slam for the first time in her young career. “I think we’ve played some really good tennis, both of us. I think it’s going to be a great match. I don’t really think about who’s the favorite, who is not.

“I just enjoy playing on the big stadiums with such a huge crowd.”

The 19 year-old from Denmark is actually the favorite due to her No. 9 seeding in the tournament. She is the highest ranked player left after she downed the No. 6 ranked Kuznetsova.

“I feel like I’ve done some really good results this year,” said Wozniacki. “I feel like I’ve done well at the Grand Slams as well. I just lost to some players that were playing better than me that certain day.

“This time I just wanted to try to do my best again. I mean, if someone beats me, they have to play better than me, but I’m not gonna stop fighting, that’s for sure.”

And uch like the puncher she will play on Wednesday, this young up and comer had to comeback in her match against a Russian. After dropping the first set, she fought in the second.

Although she had a number of set points, Kuznetsova was able to come back to force a tiebreaker, which she eventually won after a hard back and fourth extra frame.

“I was just trying to fight for every point,” she said. “Maybe I was a little bit lucky, but that’s what tennis is all about. Sometimes you’re playing amazing and you lose a match, and sometimes you’re a little bit lucky. It’s one point that can change the whole match.”

“I think in the second set I should have played better,” Kuznetsova said. “I mean, I was playing unbelievable. I just hit too many unforced errors and I could not control my emotions. And I wanted it so much, so it was pretty hard to control.

“I was giving her some chances. What was the score in the second set? I don’t know.  First games I had chances to break her, and I was going for too much because everything was going so well.  And I give her chance to come back, to believe that she can do that.

And it did as she had the momentum in the third and even was serving for match, up 5-4, but the former Open Champion came back to force another tiebreak. Three match point and Wozniacki was able to finish her opponent with a beautiful backhand down the line, which Kuznetsova returned into the net.

“Overall I think I lost, like – a credit to her.,” Kuznetsova said. “She beat on the court, and she was putting balls back, but I lost to myself because I did so many unforced errors. These unforced errors, you cannot win against nobody. It’s no chance.

“Yeah, was fighting hard because it’s really what I want.  And I feel like I’m in great shape. Everything was not on my side, and I was doing too many unforced errors, not controlling the situation so much. But I think I played the game smart. I was trying to come to the net. I served better except the unforced errors.”

So now it’s enthusiasm vs. Sunshine as Oudin takes on another ranked player. Yet this time she’s not Russian, but another likable player, who has open surprises of her own.

“[Oudin] is a really good player, Wozniacki said. “She made it this far.  She’s been winning some amazing matches. She’s on a good winning streak. It’s going to be tough, especially also with the whole crowd supporting her. But I’m just going to go out there and enjoy.”

And maybe she can spread a little sunshine a long the way.