After their quarterfinal match Wednesday, either Victoria Azarenka or Simona Halep will have experienced their best result at major this year.
Azarenka, the No. 20 seed, is looking to return to a major semifinal for the first time since the 2013 US Open, when she lost to Serena Williams in the final. Among some observers, the Belarusian, now healthy after missing much of last year with injuries, has been the favorite to face Williams in this year's women's final.
Halep, the No. 2 seed, is trying to reach her first semifinal in New York. She had a breakthrough year at majors in 2014, reaching a quarterfinal in Australia, the final in Roland Garros and a semifinal at Wimbledon. But even that year, the Romanian made only the third round in Flushing Meadows. This is her first time advancing past the fourth round here.
So far, Azarenka has looked healthy and appears to be returning to her 2013 self, when she also won her second Australian Open. Halep has not backed down, either, though. She has dropped only one set and fought back from a set down in the fourth round to beat Sabine Lisicki, the No. 24 seed.
Which player can best take care of their serve might determine who advances to their first major semifinal of the year. During this year's US Open, Halep leads all women with 23 break points won; Azarenka is tied for sixth with 20.