Saturday, September 10, 2011

US Open Report: Day 13

It was Super Saturday at the US Open today as both the men's and women's semifinals were played today. And it definitely lived up to the hype.

The match of the day was the first match of the day between world no. 1 Novak Djokovic and 5-time US Open champion Roger Federer. Federer had the surprise early edge as he won the first two sets and as we learned at this year's Wimbledon he always wins when he's up two sets in Grand Slams. That streak, however, was broken at Wimbledon by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and that rare loss continued today as Djokovic fought back to win in five classic sets. In fact Federer, outplayed in the 3rd and 4th sets, led in the fifth set 5-3 and served for the match. He had two match points that was wiped away by an amazing forehand winner from Djokovic then an unforced error from Federer. Djokovic then won the next four points to reach the US Open finals again. For Federer, it was yet another tantalizingly close match that he probably should've won, but just didn't.

Defending champion Rafael Nadal had a bit more of a routine time against Andy Murray. Nadal raced to a quick two set lead only for Murray to gut out the third set to extend the match. Unfortunately for him, Nadal was just too focused today as he dismissed Murray 6-2 in the fourth.

Prediction: As a Federer fan, I'm not crushed that he lost, but crushed at how he lost. But neither here nor there since my initial prediction of a Djokovic-Nadal came to be. By their stats alone, I'd probably give the edge to Nadal, but Djokovic has not lost once to Nadal the times they played each other this year, including two matches in Nadal's beloved clay. With that said, I will begrudgingly predict for Novak Djokovic to get his 3rd slam win this year.

The only non-Ashe Stadium match of the day, the women's semifinal between Samantha Stosur and Angelique Kerber, was played first and I admit to not really watching any of it. But with the score of 6-3 2-6 6-2 with Stosur winning, it seems to have been a topsy turvy match where the veteran player was tested but still came out on top.

The other match was between 3-time US Open champion Serena Williams and world no. 1 Caroline Wozniacki and due to the men's matches lasting long, their match didn't start until way after 9pm (with the final tomorrow at 4pm!). Still Serena took it to Wozniacki winning the first set easily and racing to a lead in the second. Serving for the match, however, at 5-3 she was inexplicably broken getting Wozniacki back on serve. Unfortunately for the Dane, Serena played aggressively to break back to win the match.

Prediction: I predicted Serena Williams to reach the finals from day one and here she is. And due to scheduling changes the lone American will try to win America's slam on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. She will also be the favorite in the match despite her sub-20 ranking over the 9th seeded Stosur. Serena's game is just better all around to Stosur's. So Serena will win her 4th US Open title.

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