Zvonareva's Russian dinner partner? Matt Damon

BY foxsports • September 11, 2010

Vera Zvonareva didn't give her opponent any openings in beating top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki in the semifinals of the U.S. Open.

She was just as stingy with a reporter after Friday's victory.

Asked which single fellow Russian player she'd choose to go to dinner with - and No. 12 Mikhail Youzhny, in Saturday's men's semifinals would have to be considered a candidate - Zvonareva wasn't going to play favorites.

After initially evading the question, Zvonareva finally revealed an answer: ''I'll pick Matt Damon.''

''He might be Russian in his next movie,'' she explained.


FRIENDS NOT FOES: The India-Pakistan pairing of Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi in the men's doubles final proved how the common language of tennis can bridge international tensions. There was also a China-Taiwan team in the women's doubles semis.

Taiwan's Chan Yung-jan and China's Zheng Jie, seeded seventh, lost 6-3, 6-2 to second-seeded Liezel Huber and Nadia Petrova on Friday. The two joined forces in February.

Taiwan and China split amid civil war in 1949 and the mainland still claims the island as part of its territory. It has threatened to attack if democratic Taiwan moves to make its de facto independence permanent.

But Chan and Zheng said people in their countries didn't consider the pairing unusual.

''I think they're happy to see us play together because everyone knows her already,'' the 21-year-old Chan said, ''so when we play together everyone was so excited and looking forward to it.''

The 27-year-old Zheng won two Grand Slam doubles titles in 2006 with countrywoman Yan Zi.


SOMETHING TO SING: Along with filling out their names, addresses and cell phone numbers, players were asked to give U.S. Open officials a list of their three favorite songs when they filled out their player admission forms. The idea was to play the songs over the sound systems during breaks, in much the same way many baseball players have their favorites piped in when they come to the plate.

Out of the 114 responses, the three most popular songs were: ''Dynamite,'' by Taio Cruz, ''Not Afraid'' by Eminem and ''Empire State of Mind,'' by Jay-Z.

A 115th e-mail arrived late in the week, this one from the Pakistan-India doubles team of Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi - the ''Indo-Pak Express,'' which lost a close one to the Bryan brothers in the men's final Friday. On their list: ''I Got A Feeling,'' by The Black Eyed Peas and ''Jai Ho,'' from the movie ''Slumdog Millionaire.''


NET CORDS: ESPN reached a 10-year extension with the Australian Open that will keep the first major of the year on the network through 2021. ESPN has televised the Australian Open since 1984, the network's longest uninterrupted pro-sports programming relationship. ... The Tennis Industry Association announced it was inducting Billie Jean King into its Hall of Fame. King has received a Presidential Medal of Freedom and has the U.S. Tennis Association in Flushing Meadows named after her. ... Wheelchair player Esther Vergeer extended her record winning streak to 395 matches with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Jiske Griffioen in the semifinals. She'll play Daniela di Toro in the final. ... The USTA said it will present live 3-D streaming of Saturday's women's final on USOpen.org.

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