Tuesday, September 6, 2011

US Open Report: Day 8

Rain was forecast to interrupt play as early as 4pm, but apart from a few light sprinkles after midnight, the rain gods largely spared Flushing Meadows making it possible to complete every match scheduled including a match that has the distinction of being the latest starting men's match at the US Open.

So, let's start there. Five-time champion Roger Federer stepped out to a still quite full Arthur Ashe stadium at around 11:50pm to play his fourth round match against Juan Monaco. With breezy conditions and imminent threat of rain, he played majestically losing only three games the whole match. By winning, he reached his 30th consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinal, the most underrated and amazing record not just in tennis, but in all of sports. Federer will next face his recent nemesis Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who valiantly came back from 2 sets to 1 down, taking out 8th seed Mardy Fish in five sets amidst rough conditions. A couple of Serbians joined them as top seed Novak Djokovic and 20th seed Janko Tipsarevic also moved on. Djokovic has not lost a set yet.

Three former Grand Slam champions were ousted today on the women's side as their quarterfinal lineup was completed today. The lone exception, Serena Williams, is also the only slam champion left in the entire draw! She took out 2008 French Open champion Ana Ivanovic. Former US Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova was taken out by top seed Caroline Wozniacki in a tight three hour match while 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone went down to 17th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. The last quarterfinalist is 10th seed Andrea Petkovic who moved on in straight sets.

Quarterfinal Preview
C. Wozniacki vs. N. Li A. Petkovic
S. Williams vs. J. Jankovic A. Pavlyuchenkova
M. Sharapova Flavia Pennetta vs. P. Kvitova A. Kerber
V. Zvonareva vs. S. Stosur

Predictions: Half of my pre-tournament guesses ended up being wrong, but I had higher expectations for those slam champions that fell way too early. That said, I predicted Serena to win the whole thing and none of the other ladies here is making me want to change my mind, so this is hers to lose. The question now is who she could face in the finals and my gut feeling says it'll be the winner of Zvonareva-Stosur with the slight edge to the Russian.

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