US Open Day 8: Anderson Upsets Murray to Make First Major Quarterfinal

Surprise surprise. Mister Anderson finally broke through on the big stage when he caused a shock upset last night and defeated Murray 7-6(5), 6-3, 6-7(2), 7-6(0). Or shall we call him Neo now? I say shock upset because that would have been the case for most people, but I thought Anderson had a chance after I saw him against Thiem. He was very clutch and dominant in that match.

He had already come close against Djokovic at Wimbledon which is why I thought he could finally make the breakthrough here. It was the first time he made a slam quarterfinal after having made several fourth rounds. So I’m really happy for him that he could finally exorcise those choking demons which he has been battling a lot in his career. It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy either.

I played tennis with him and he was always a nice guy. Too nice probably because he doesn’t have that kind of nasty streak which you need to be a killer. But it’s good that he showed you don’t have to be an asshole to win big matches. I’ve often criticised him in the past because of his lack of killer instinct, and in the second set he was very close to choking again. But I want to make it clear that he did extremely well and that he is also a very nice person.

South Africans tend to mature later compared to other countries due to our culture too. He had to battle a long time with his nerves but he didn’t give up and it finally paid off big time. I always thought he had a game that could do serious damage to the best players, but mentally he was just way too fragile. Now I look forward to seeing where he can go from here. He has a very good serve and a good all round game.

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My name…is Neo’

He is not as naturally talented as Federer for instance, but who is? He can do everything pretty well and moves pretty well for a big guy too. But he has a big game which is a threat to anyone on a good day. It is just a matter of keeping it together mentally. There wasn’t much more Murray could do, other than stopping his usual bitching and crying on the court and being more offensive. But I guess that will never change for Murray.

Anderson was hitting too big and kept Murray under too much pressure until he finally bageled him in the fourth set tie-break. A player with a great offense is always going to defeat that kind of tennis from Murray on a good day. That is the price he pays for his negative, defensive game. Anderson now plays Stan where he leads the head-to-head 4-3. That’s gonna be interesting.

Clearly Anderson likes to play against Stan, but how much does he have left in the tank? It was a pretty brutal battle with Murray and I think he will be flat against Stan. He put everything into not choking another big opportunity away and I think it has taken a lot out of him. At least he will be relieved now and won’t have as much to lose but I think he will be flat and Stan could take advantage.

Or Anderson will win and Federer will have the best possible draw to the final.

  • Elsewhere in the Draw

So like I said Stan won after defeating Young in four sets. He is becoming a danger again and if he defeats Anderson he could move into Stanimal mode which neither Federer nor Djokovic wants. Stan has already made the semis in New York a couple of years ago and gave Djokovic a very tough match. He may be ready to take the next step. Then Gasquet beat Berdych in four sets which I suppose is good fortune for Federer given his history with Berdych.

But I don’t think Berdych was such a big threat and Gasquet may put up tougher resistance than is expected. I don’t think he has a chance to win but if he draws Federer into a long match that won’t help his cause. Federer played Isner of course and won 7-6(0), 7-6(6), 7-5. Isner was a mini-break up in the second tie-break and had a volley that he could have put away and didn’t, but Federer then came up with the goods.

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He hit two very good shots which shut Isner out of the match. That is just how small the margins are and if Isner wanted to win a set he had to do a better job with that volley. In the end a pretty predictable outcome and I see Federer faced 5 break points again. Isner is a poor returner and I am still not convinced about Federer’s service games. Not that Gasquet is a great returner either. Federer may have to wait until the final before he faces a good returner.

Or maybe he won’t have to at all. So far his draw has worked out pretty well and maybe he will play Gasquet/Anderson/Tsonga for the title.

  • The Prediction Game

We still have one match to go in our current round of predictions for the Cilic vs Tsonga match today but it seems quite a few of you have already gotten Federer correct as the winner yesterday as well as the number of sets. I kind of wanted to take the Anderson vs Murray match, but I started my post a bit late and it wouldn’t have given people enough time. So in case that happens again let me pick a match for the quarterfinals in the bottom half so long.

Come to think of it I may as well let you predict for both matches, Federer vs Gasquet and Anderson vs Wawrinka. I’ll update the rankings tomorrow for the current round and then again after the bottom half quarterfinals are concluded. So get cracking!

  • Update

Why there is a big three plus Murray:

  • Highlights

The is in your court.

Posted in Grand Slams, US Open.

24 Comments

  1. Wow, nice to know that you played tennis with Anderson, Ru-an. Had you come across his choking abilities then itself? :))
    Anyways, a great win for him and your description of Murray is quite apt. Unlike Djoker, who uses his frustration and takes it positively, Murray beats himself down quite often. It’s remarkable that he has achieved so much despite having such attitude. Just think about how much more he could have achieved if only he had been more positive!

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    Nakul Reply:

    Crappy media calls him an “unknown” South African
    http://m.news24.com/sport24/Tennis/USOpen/Dear-CNN-meet-Kevin-Anderson-20150908

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Incompetent.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Well, I never played a match against him. We just stayed at a hotel together and trained a bit. He was always hard working and professional as you’d expect. Can’t believe how well he has done actually. He won some Futures in SA that I played, but I never thought he’d be where he is today. Shows you what hard work and desire can do.

    You are so right about Murray. It is remarkable what he’s achieved with his negative body language and tennis. And he is very talented. And also very true about Djokovic. He releases his anger and feels better afterwards. He is unbelievably good at staying in the moment and not letting the past distract him.

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  2. Tsonga is tanking in the second set. Why I would rarely ever pick that guy in a big match. Besides, Cilic has too much to prove, is just a better (younger) player. Awful stuff.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Good stuff from Cilic.

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    Matt Reply:

    I would not want to play Cilic at this point. Peaking. 20+ aces. I hope Djokovic spanks him.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    You are still very convinced he will win. I hope for your sake he does.

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    jason Reply:

    But given the 5-set match, won’t it presumably be advantageous for any of his opponent, Matt? So far Cilic has played two 5-set matches by now, and he had 4-set match(es?) too. In all likelihood, he will have little left in the tank — not unlike the Fog after crushing Nadal, who got straight-setted afterwards.

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    Matt Reply:

    Advantageous to Cilic opponents because of his fatigue from long matches? I don’t see that as a huge factor. The scheduling has been altered so they have an extra days rest before SF an F, I think, plus he’s only 26 and lastly I’d rather have form right now than a a ton of rest. Cilic is a handful at this point. ~30 aces. Has been tested, etc.

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  3. Would love to see Tsonga win this. But wanting and predicting are two different things.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Lol. Into a 5th we go!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Cilic pulled it off, but it was close. Not a fan but good effort after last year.

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    Matt Reply:

    Great match. Tsonga made him earn it. You probably have your own spin on this next one, but Djikovic needs a nice dominant win here, imo. Looking forward to this.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Me too. Tried to nap during the Williams’ match but I my sleeping pattern is too fucked up by now :)) Check out the video I just added to my post. It’s funny.

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    Matt Reply:

    Ha ha! Unreal. Great footage. That needs to go viral.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I know it’s funny, but he really needs to get his act together. That’s quite pathetic for a pro tennis player. It looks like he was trying to intimidate Anderson. That makes me respect him even less.

    Djokovic looks in ominous form. 3-0.

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    Matt Reply:

    He did but that 2nd set. . .Couple of quick sets here to wrap this up.

    Murray is a basket case. I’ve never seen the extended closeup rant, but his baseline antics tell the same story. Piss poor class. His two majors make me sick…for a few reasons.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Yeah, he had that pass to break back at 3-5. But as usual he is extremely good at recovery. Just back at it now at 4-1.

    Lol @ Murray comment. He really is quite insane. Reminds me a lot of my tennis days. And the majors annoy me too.

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    Matt Reply:

    This is a great match for Novak. Winning with out his A game and this TB is definitive, strong. Might have found something here in this 4th. Good news for the Djoker camp. Lopez is no pushover.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Yeah, again Djok wasn’t clinical enough. Had that pass to break back in the second set. And yet in the first set he was playing perfect tennis. Maybe he is still building up to his peak like at Wimby. I think we may see an improved perf vs Cilic. Either way there is room for improvement. If he played like in the first set throughout it would have been straight sets but then he dropped his level again at the start of the second. Gotta give credit to Lopez as well who like RBA played damn well.

    It’s into the SF anyway. Time to clean up that game some more.

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    Nambi Reply:

    Novak did same after 2nd set (i am guessing as its in his language), but difference is outcome with Murray I am not sure what he getting out of it where as Novak let that out and move on…

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  4. Federer Average 1st serve speed 114 mph
    Isner Average 2nd serve speed 115 mph

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Crazy Rahan. Must be why Federer didn’t use the Sabr and shows you what would happen if the other players teed off on their second serves when they see him coming.

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