Hey, folks. I don’t have a lot of time for a post so I will try to keep this short and sweet. It’s been another interesting couple of days in New York with plenty of dramas. Here’s what happened.
- Murray Comes from 0-2 Down to Defeat Mannarino
The first big four member who was in trouble was Murray who lost the first two sets 5-7, 4-6 to Mannarino on Thursday. Mannarino lacks serious weapons, but he is nonetheless a talented player who’s been having a good year. He had Murray in serious trouble, but while this has been the slam with probably the most withdrawals in history due to the extreme heat and humidity, Murray quickly pulled himself together and breezed through the last three sets 6-1, 6-3, 6-1.
In doing so, he showed the others players that there is no excuse for not being able to cope with the weather conditions. That said, he has now played nine sets before the third round and that may not help his chances later in the tournament. Federer, on the other hand, had another very efficient 6-1, 6-2, 6-1 win over Darcis. As was the case with Mayer, Darcis was quite pathetic but let’s take nothing away from Federer who looked very good again.
It’s still early days though and although Federer looked very good so far we need to see what he looks like against decent opposition. He plays Kohlschreiber next which may give us a better idea. Federer needs to dominate like he is currently doing to have a chance at winning this slam. He is not known for his fighting abilities and in this heat and at his age it is even more important for him to win quickly.
He’s got to be careful not to peak too early either. Elsewhere in the bottom half Stan and Berdych both continued to look good with straight set wins and so did Thiem. Stan’s draw looks pretty good and it looks like he could well become a serious factor in this slams again. I can see a Stan vs Murray quarterfinal and a Federer vs Berdych one. I can also see Stan defeating Murray and giving Federer a difficult match if not beating him.
Thiem now plays Anderson which I will be looking forward to. Thiem is now one round away from defending his points from last year, but I’m not sure he likes to play against big servers like Anderson. Will be interesting anyway. And finally, our prediction match turned out to be a classic with Hewitt coming all the way back from two sets to love down and serving for the match at 5-4 in the fifth set, only to lose 7-5 in the fifth.
That must have really hurt as his last match at the US Open, but he showed once again what a fighter he is and that he deserves our respect.
- Fognini Comes Back from Two Sets and a Break Down to Defeat Nadal
Wow! I watched he first two sets of this match which Nadal won 6-3, 6-4 and then decided to go to sleep as it was already 5 am. I had given up on the match anyway. Nadal was looking like his old self and I didn’t see any way back for the Fog. So you can imagine my surprise when I woke up this morning and checked the scores. Fognini did the impossible! Not only was he two sets down but also a break in the third!
Just unbelievable. I said in my last post that Nadal could lose this, but from what I saw Nadal was playing a lot better and he is 151-0 in majors when winning the first two sets! So this is yet another new low for Nadal and Fognini leads him 3-1 this year now. This match also showed what an incredible talent Fognini is. He really had no right to win the match after being two sets and a break down, but he did it with some unbelievable shotmaking.
I only saw the game at 4-4 in the fifth set on Youtube and it was simply breathtaking shotmaking from the Fog to break Nadal to love, and then he served out the match for a 3-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 victory. And what a refreshing talent and personality this Fog is. He looks so casual and relaxed out there, almost like he doesn’t care. But then he goes and pulls off one of the most unlikely wins ever probably.
Say what you want about the guy, but he does play some seriously entertaining tennis when he’s on. He now plays Lopez who defeated Raonic in straight sets. Then Djokovic was tested for the first time by Seppi who, of course, defeated Federer in Melbourne this year. Seppi is not to be taken lightly and Djokovic did well in the end to get it done in straight sets, 6-3, 7-5, 7-5. Djokovic was a bit sloppy in the third set.
He should have gotten a second break at 4-2 and 40-15 in the fifth, but played a sloppy drop shot and then got broken back when serving for the match at 5-4 as well. But what makes him so good is his ability to put disappointments behind him and just get on with the job. At 5-5 he broke Seppi right away again and then held serve for the win. It reminded me of the Wimbledon final where he should have won the second set but then just put it behind him and got the job done.
Then Paire continued his good run with a 7-6(3), 6-1, 6-1 drubbing of Robredo while Chardy also had a terrific 7-6(6), 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 win over seventh seed Ferrer. Cilic also survived Kukushkin in five sets and that section with him, Chardy, Paire, and Tsonga is an interesting one. Probably any one of those guys could make the semis. I was actually hoping Nadal would make quarters so that Djokovic can be better tested before the final but I’ll take any Nadal loss.
- The Prediction Game
After a quick glance, it looks like Father Toni and Matt won the previous round who predicted that Tomic would win in four sets and Fognini in five. Well played! For the next two days, I’m gonna go with Anderson vs Thiem and Lopez vs Fognini. Those matches should make you scratch your head for some time!
The is in your court.