US Open Day 4 + 5: Murray Rallies Past Mannarino, Fognini Trolls Nadal in Five

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

  • Highlights

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttNJUZdFcp4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NfY1V35cHMw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zV5_9Kq7D20

The is in your court.

Posted in Grand Slams, US Open.

8 Comments

  1. Hi Ru-an, I didn’t watch it too but Damn, this is crazy. Karma, my friend. Nadull coming full circle. #vamos!

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/rafael-nadal-loses-us-open-fabio-fognini-italy-new-york/

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Haha yes, it never gets old. This one was quite special too given it was the first time Nadal lost from 2-0 up. Shame I missed it but still loving the result. And your prediction has to be safe now. No big title for Nadal in 2015! Well played.

    [Reply]

    Ben chia Reply:

    Nadull took forever to serve at 4-4, but the fog responded by being super cool and casual. Like he didn’t a shit about nadull abusing the timing. To rub it in, each time fog hit an amazing return, he acted like it was “normal”. THAT had to rub nadull the wrong way! Imagine what went tbrough his head in the final moment… Nadull worst year ever continues to slide. Has fog cracked the code? I usually don’t rub it in, but watching fog cooly brush nadull off like a fly was f***ing hilarious, no? :-)

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    ‘I usually don’t rub it in’

    :)) Look, it’s just karma. At times, I want to feel sorry for him but then I remember all the torture he inflicted on you, me, tennis fans all over the world, and opponents. All the relentless pushing and retrieving that is so disgustingly negative. And let’s not forget the relentless gamesmanship either. Now he is getting routinely pummeled by opponents who just hit him off the court with superior ball-striking because his invincible aura has forever been destroyed, mainly thanks to the anti-Nadull. All hail king Djoker!

    [Reply]

    Matt Reply:

    Well said, Ru-an.

    [Reply]

  2. Ruan I guess you meant Nadal made quarters as if he reached semis he would have had to beat Djokovic in the quarter final. ;-)

    Fognini is a real talent. If he is a little serious about himself and doesn’t clown like he does usually he can win a slam or atleast reach a slam final. He has great potential, some of his shots were excellent and effortless.

    The Federer Kohlscreiber match was good. Federer had off games in the 3rd set and Kohli played quite aggressive but Federer broke when it mattered and didn’t allow him to get control of the set.

    I doubt Murray will beat Wawrinka in this form. Wawrinka might reach semis this time and may even make the final if his groundstrokes are consistently good

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yes, that was a mistake I meant quarters Hari. Thanks for the correction. Federer lost his serve to love twice, but on both the following games Kohly served two double faults. If he wasn’t such a mental midget he could actually have made this close or even have won the match. This is why I didn’t take the first two rounds seriously. Federer dropping serve to love twice already shows us the difference between Cincy and the USO.

    [Reply]

    Hari Reply:

    Agreed entirely but Kohli returned well actually. He may not be a great returner but he was very very aggressive. That does pay off sometimes and that was the reason he got broken twice. But I agree, Federer was not even close to his best. Infact at one point he just had 43% first serves for the 3rd set alone.

    But I believe it’s better he falters here rather than the upcoming matches. For all we know, he peaked too early in the Wimbledon and didn’t sustain the semi final performance in the final. So I don’t mind any such hiccup. And his elimination in the US Open from the last 3 years has mainly been due to an off day, so we should not be surprised if he has an off day again.

    [Reply]

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