Monday, September 5, 2011

US Open Report: Days 6 and 7

The American men are doing a fine job disproving that tennis is dead in this country as four of them reach the round of 16s including US Open Series winner Mardy Fish, 2003 champion Andy Roddick, and 28th seed John Isner. But it's the breakthrough of Donald Young that's the big story as he has reached his first Grand Slam fourth round after taking out 24th seed Juan Ignacio Chela in straight sets.

For the women, Serena Williams is the lone American representative and after she took out 4th seed Victoria Azarenka in a ridiculously high-quality match that many people saw as the defacto final, I'm finding it difficult to find anyone who could beat her. Her next opponent is 16th seed Ana Ivanovic who has done well to live up to her current ranking, but going against Serena will be a nearly impossible task. This top half also includes top ranked Caroline Wozniacki and Grand Slam champions Svetlana Kuznetsova and Francesca Schiavone flying under-the-radar.

On Sunday, four women matches took place to book the first quarterfinalists of the tournament. Vera Zvonareva and Sam Stosur managed win against their lower-seeded opponents. It was a bit more complicated for Stosur as she had to recover from losing five match points in the second set tiebreak against Maria Kirilenko. 26th seed Flavia Pennetta was cruising along her match against higher-ranked Shuai Peng until nausea took a hold of her late in the second set. Somehow, she recovered from 1-6 down in the 2nd set tiebreak to finish the match in straight sets. Angelique Kerber is the fourth quarterfinalist.

Joining the four aforemention American men are the top five seeds--Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Andy Murray, and David Ferrer. Nadal and Federer did well to get through tricky third round matches against Marin Cilic and David Nalbandian respectively. Their next matches should be a bit more straightforward. Other notable players to move through are 11th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and 12th seed Gilles Simon. Simon took out 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro in four competitive sets.

And finally, since it's apparently a theme this year, there were two retirements. One by 9th seed Tomas Berdych (vs. Janko Tipsarevic) and 31st seed Marcel Granollers (vs. Juan Carolos Ferrero). Oh and apropos to nothing really, but somehow I'm still alive in both the men's and women's suicide pool.

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