Friday, September 7, 2012

US Open Report: Recapping the Week and Weekend Preview

Today is Ladies Day at the US Open with both semifinals on the schedule. Three of this year's Grand Slam champions are represented as well as French Open finalist Sara Errani who is having just a stellar year. Errani, who took out friend and doubles partner Roberta Vinci in the quarterfinals, will play against Serena Williams who made quick work of 12th seed Ana Ivanovic. In the other match, top seed Victoria Azarenka will face 3rd seed Maria Sharapova. Azarenka is actually playing for the first time since she beat defending champion Samantha Stosur on Tuesday while Sharapova had to come back the next day to gut out a win against the always tricky 11th seed Marion Bartoli. I think Sharapova actually saved set and/or match points or something.

No surprise, but my early tournament predictions were pretty off especially since I overestimated Kim Clijsters' chances and didn't even think about how well the Italians would do. With that said, I'm impressed by my Ivanovic pick to make the quarterfinals and I still think my finalists are the favorites to actually reach that round. Azarenka, however, cannot be counted out. No matter who she meets in the finals though, I just can't see this Serena Williams losing tomorrow night.

As for the men, they get a much-needed break today after some intense and emotional matches the past couple of days. First and foremost, Andy Roddick played his final match losing to 7th seed Juan Martin Del Potro in four sets. Roddick actually won the first set after winning the tiebreak which was delayed overnight due to rain. Del Potro hung in there and stole the second set and it was all she wrote after that. An emotional and teary Roddick addressed the thousands of people in Ashe and millions of tennis fans watching for the last time as a professional tennis player. Del Potro then had the unenviable task of playing the next day against defending champion Novak Djokovic, who won the day before by virtue of Stan Wawrinka retiring. Despite Del Potro's amazing play, Djokovic was just a little better and won in three very entertaining and intense sets.

Not to be outdone, however, was the quarterfinal match between 4th seed David Ferrer and 8th seed Janko Tipsarevic that lasted more than 4.5 hours. I didn't see most of the match, but I heard it had everything including the kitchen sink. The match of course came down to a fifth-set tiebreaker where the Serbian was ahead early only to go down a break and never recover giving Ferrer only his second semifinals appearance at the US Open. Third seed Andy Murray meanwhile had his own drama by getting down a set and two breaks to 12th seed Marin Cilic in the quarterfinals. And yet that was all Murray needed to break Cilic's spirit and winning the odd match in four sets. More shocking was the loss of 5-time US Open champion and top seed Roger Federer to 6th seed Tomas Berdych whose forehand gave the Swiss all he could handle. Berdych was also helped by the rare serving off day for Federer. After the match, it was evident how disappointed Federer was, but it's important to remember for him and his fans alike that this has already been a year full of AWESOME with his 17th Grand Slam at Wimbledon and re-taking the number 1 ranking which he will keep no matter what happens the rest of the tournament.

And so the semifinals are set with Djokovic going against Ferrer and Murray versus Berdych. Pretty insane to think only one Grand Slam champion has made it in. Even crazier to think that this is the first time since the 2004 French Open that neither Federer nor Rafael Nadal have made the semifinals. Prediction-wise I didn't do well at all despite getting five of the eight quarterfinals spot correct. Yes, I predicted Federer to win, but was that so insane especially taking into account his history here and his most recent performances? Djokovic should surely reach the final and be the favorite to win the whole thing while Murray-Berdych is a bit trickier with the Czech leading their H2H and Murray not exactly playing gold-medal tennis out there.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for reading. Feel free to drop me a line. Instead of being Anonymous though, pick a name. Any name would do. Thanks again!