Thursday, September 8, 2011

US Open Report: Day 11

After a tumultuous couple of days where rain interrupted play and players tangled with organizers over scheduling and safety, the sun shone high and bright today allowing for all of the scheduled matches to complete. Of course, even with this good luck the organizers took it up themselves to officially change the schedule putting the women's final on Sunday and, for a fourth year in a row, have the men's final on Monday.

The four matches that needed to finish today were the remaining fourth round men's matches from the bottom half and by 3:15pm, they were done and dusted. The only drama came from court placement of the Andy Roddick-David Ferrer match as there was a crack on their stadium due to the rain. With all of the other show courts taken, they were moved to Court 13 which only had the capacity to hold less than 600 fans. Roddick was able to move through in four sets against Ferrer. In a bit of an upset, fellow American John Isner also move through in four against Gilles Simon. After a tight first set, Rafael Nadal cruised to a straight-sets win against Gilles Muller while Andy Murray easily dispatched the young American Donald Young.

Quarterfinal Preview
N. Djokovic vs. T. Berdych J. Tipsarevic
R. Federer vs. M Fish J. Tsonga
A. Murray vs. J.M. Del Potro J. Isner
R. Nadal vs. D. Ferrer A. Roddick

Predictions: Not shocked to see that the top four seeds were the only picks that came through for me. That said, I also predicted those four to make it into the semifinals and other than a Tsonga upset of Federer, which is more than possible, it'll probably happen. Nadal and Djokovic should still be seen as favorite for the finals.

I wrote the above prediction before Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer played their matches today, but glad to see I was right. Both faced potentially tricky opponents in Janko Tipsarevic and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Tipsarevic played wonderfully for the first two sets giving Djokovic all he could handle. Unfortunately, he couldn't keep up that level of play and had to retire in the fourth set. Federer had a fairly routine match against Tsonga who just never looked comfortable for an extended period of time. They had the night match which was interrupted by rain, but thankfully they were able to resume and finish the match.

For the ladies, Serena Williams started out slow in the first set against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, but after gutting out a win there, she cruised in the second. It was a mirror image for top seed Caroline Wozniacki as she made quick work of Andrea Petkovic in the first only to struggle to close it out in the second. Lower ranked Sam Stosur easily won against 2nd seed Vera Zvonareva, beating her for the 8th straight time. The final match went to surprise semifinalist Angelique Kerber who won in three sets against Flavia Pennetta.

Semifinal Preview
S. Williams vs. C. Wozniacki
S. Stosur vs. A. Kerber

Prediction: Stosur should be glad that she's facing Kerber instead of Pennetta and she should be heavily favored to reach her first US Open final. On paper, Williams is the odds-on favorite to win against Wozniacki and to win the whole thing, but if Wozniacki could beat Serena, that #1 ranking suddenly seems legit, doesn't it? I'm still betting on a Williams-Stosur final though.

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