US Open Draw – Federer Gets Nadal(Again)

[1]Djokovic v Berankis
Becker v Rosol
Kubot v Nieminen
Sousa v [25]Dimitrov]
[24]Paire v Bogomol0v Jr.
Smyczek v Duckworth
Zopp v Granollers
Ram v [16]Fognini

[12]Haas v Mathieu
Lu v Gimeno-Traver
Goffin v Dolgopolov
Mahut v [21]Youzhny
[29]Melzer v Donskoy
Sijsling v Qualifier
Hewitt v Baker
Garcia-Lopez v [6]Del Potro

[3]Murray v Llodra
Hanescu v L.Mayer
Qualifier v Klizan
F.Mayer v [28]Monaco
[20]Seppi v Malisse
Lacko v Qualifier
Kamke v Johnson
Istomin v [15]Almagro

[9]Wawrinka v Stepanek
Blake v Qualifier
Baghdatis v Qualifier
Brands v [17]Anderson
[31]Benneteau v Przysiezny
Stakhovsky v Chardy
Vesely v Kudla
Lorenzi v [5]Berdych

[8]Gasquet v Russell
Qualifier v Qualifier
Struff v Rufin
Bedene v [32]Tursunov
[23]Lopez v Qualifier
De Schepper v Klahn
Andujar v De Bakker
Qualifier v [10]Raonic

[14]Janowicz v Qualifier
Sock v Qualifier
Andrey Kuznetsov v Sela
Cuevas v [18]Tipsarevic
[30]Gulbis v Haider-Maurer
Qualifier v Qualifier
Bautista-Agut v Bellucci
Qualifier v [4]Ferrer

[7]Federer v Zemlja
Giraldo v Berlocq
Zeballos v Mannarino
Pella v [26]Querrey
[19]Robredo v Matosevic
Haase v Qualifier
Ramos v Tomic
Qualifier v [11]Nishikori

[13]Isner v Volandri
Ungur v Monfils
Montanes v Roger-Vasselin
Altamirano v [22]Kohlschreiber
[27]Verdasco v Dodig
Williams v Davydenko
Qualifier v Pospisil
Harrison v [2]Nadal

http://www.usopen.org/en_US/scores/draws/ms/r1s1.html

The much anticipated US Open draw is out and I have to say I like it. The big question for us was in whose quarter Roger will be in, and not for the first time this year he is in Nadal’s quarter. He has already been in Nadal’s quarter in Indian Wells, Wimbledon, and Cincinnati this year. In Indian Wells Roger got comprehensively beaten but I think he had an issue with his back there. He certainly didn’t look up for the battle. At Wimbledon the quarter final never materialized as both players lost before the 3rd round, which should be a reminder that a draw is just a draw and by no means a guarantee of what lies ahead. Finally at Cincinnati they met in the quarter final and they had that very good and closely contested match. Should they meet at the US Open this match will give us a good idea of what to expect, since it’s a similar surface although New York is slightly slower.

Are they rigging the draws for Fedal to meet and thus make more money? Quite possibly given how everything is driven by money and greed. But the way I see it there is no use in running away from your fears. You have to meet them head on. I have already heard the whining from scared Fedfans who are so sick and tired of seeing Nadal in Roger’s quarter. These are the fanatic kind of fan anyway who thinks Roger is the embodiment of perfection. And if he is perfect then beating Nadal, especially on a surface that suits him, should be no problem. So I am not sure why they are whining. The way I see it this is a great opportunity. The US Open is the only slam where they have never met and where Roger has had way more success than Nadal. So really if he is to beat Nadal in a slam again, then New York will be one of the least difficult places for him to do so.

I’m sick of this whole running away business anyway. This massive obstacle that is Nadal. Roger is down 10-21 now in the head-to-head and 2-8 in slams against his main rival, and for someone who is by many considered to be the GOAT I think it is about time for him to beat Nadal again. That is why I say this is a great opportunity. If it was the French Open or Australian Open I wouldn’t be very optimistic. But Roger just lost in a very close match to Nadal at Cincy after his confidence was probably at an all time low. So if there was ever a good opportunity for him to beat Nadal it is at this year’s US Open. If they should meet in the quarter final, which is by no means a certainty yet, there will be no excuses either. If you are the GOAT you can’t just keep losing to your main rival. At some point you have to say enough is enough.

I do believe Roger can do it but he will have to learn from his previous matches with Nadal and what happened in Cincy. Once he is in control he must keep his foot on the side of Nadal’s face and push it harder and harder into the ground. And should Nadal fight back he can’t let it unsettle him. He must play every point on its merit and stay completely in the moment. Anyway enough of Fedal which like I said is by no means a certainty yet. Both players could lose before the quarters. Roger’s form has been inconsistent of late to say the least while Nadal’s has been the opposite. That doesn’t mean Nadal will make the quarters for sure either. He has Isner to deal with in the 4th round and can he keep his recent form up? Knowing Nadal I would say without a doubt, but you never know. Although Nadal remains a big obstacle for Roger, there are several reasons why I like this draw.

It’s on…

First of all Roger together with Murray has the weakest 1/8th of the draw. Having seen his inspired form in Cincy I don’t see anyone who should really bother him in his section. It is really ideal for him to get some more matches and wins under his belt before a potential match with Nadal. Even though he played well in Cincy, Roger has lacked matches of late and every win will give him that little added confidence. First is Zemlja, then Berlocq/Giraldo, then it looks like it could be Querrey, and finally Robredo or Nishikori. Nishikori is the highest ranked player in Roger’s section but he has been struggling of late. So really Roger could not have asked for a better section. After losing in the 2nd round of Wimbledon and having his quarter final streak broken, the first objective at the US Open should be to get back into the quarter final of a slam.

After Gstaad I never even thought that would be possible. Fedfans have pretty short memories. A quarter final would already be a triumph after what has transpired of late. Anything more would basically be a bonus. Having said that, I do like the way Roger played at Cincy and because of that I would like to see him go a bit further. The other thing that I like about this draw is that should Roger defeat Nadal, things open up for him. He will have to face Gasquet or Ferrer in the semis probably, which would be like a day of rest compared to the other semis. In the top half you have Djokovic, Murray, Berdych, and Del Potro. That is really the tough half to be in. Djokovic would have to contend with Del Potro in the quarters while Murray would have to contend with Berdych. And should they win they would have to contend with each other.

Whoever gets to the final in the top half could be tired, whereas if Roger gets past Nadal he should be pretty fresh for the final. Nadal is currently the favorite for the title, but he has only won the title once in his entire career, and it is by no means a given that he will win it again. Should Roger beat him, Roger would become a strong favorite for the title himself. Finally beating Nadal again at a slam would be a huge shot in the arm for him and he will then believe that he can win a 6th US Open. So hopefully you now understand why I like his draw. Roger has four rounds ahead now where he can fine tune his game for the quarter finals. Should he play Nadal it would be like the final before the final. The winner would basically be the favorite for the title. Nadal remains a huge obstacle but the incentive to beat him is huge too, namely a much needed win over his main rival and a likely record 6th US Open crown…

Posted in Uncategorized.

38 Comments

  1. Well posted, Ru-an. I am happy Roger has a decent draw and as you rightly said, no point in running away from the Nadal problem. One of your readers in the previous post (can’t remember the name) said it best that ‘he should want to face Nadal.’ Yes it’s time to put his foot down and elevate his game to heights that Nadal can’t reach. If and when the inevitable clash takes place in New York. I am hoping, for all the right reasons, that it will be a day long remembered.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Good comment from you as usual Grumpy. I think ‘decent’ is spot on for his draw. Nadal is a big obstacle but once he gets past that it could easily be his 6th US Open title. I think we have reached an important stage in the Fedal rivalry. Roger desperately needs a win over his rival, and a win in a slam at that. We need to be optimistic and believe it is possible. What a monumental victory it would be…

    [Reply]

  2. Great post Ruan,

    It’s good to hear that you’re looking forward to another Fedal match – so am I.

    One small point I’d like to add is that I think playing Nadal earlier in a tournament (i.e. QF in this case) is actually a slight plus for Roger, as Nadal seems to be tireless at the end of a tournament (you know my thoughts about why). Roger is often a little bit low on fuel near the end of a tough seven-week tournament.

    I also think that Cincy actually helped Roger’s fitness, where his back injury had prevented him from getting in peak shape before. There’s nothing like competition to get you in peak condition.

    No one can take victory for granted, not even Roger. But I loved the determination he showed in Cincinnati, and I really like his chances if he can play like that again.

    Best Regards,
    Pryzm

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Right Pryzm. Roger would have learned a lot from that Cincy match and taken a lot of positives from it. Like you say he was still lacking match fitness when he came up against Nadal, and that match coupled with his upcoming 4 matches will be great preparation. He wouldn’t have been as sharp as he could be in that match against Nadal, and could easily have won it was he in better shape. That is why I like his chances at the USO!

    [Reply]

    Susan Reply:

    Great post Ru-an, agree that we can’t be afraid of a Fedal match. I was in Cincy and saw all of Rogers matches, my fear is his back because i saw how it changed his movement. Had seats high enough to see the players from all angles. Roger was so fluid in his first match. Haas match seconf st he started to groan on serve and his game went down. Luckily he pulled off the third. I found it to be special to see Roger and Rafa on court. After the first set i believed Roger could do it in two. Once again his movement wasn’t the same but still a close match. There was a Nadal ball that was clearly out in the third set and many of us were baffled that Roger let it slide and not ask for video. I think anything is possible on any given day and who says Rafa will make it that far or any of the top players. I am surprised that Rafa is playing so well on hard courts and no tape on the knees. He is usually a mess this time of the year. Figure he may be getting the knees drained and then some pain medication. Saw Roger put something small in his mouth before the match started, probably for his back. I don’t worry about the draws for Roger but about his back.

    [Reply]

  3. Well said, Ruan. I too think our man needs to just plough through the draw and then face Nadal on his own terms, if they both get there. I think the first few matches will tell us where Fed’s game and concentration are. As you rightly noted, Fed’s lapses in focus have been his undoing, and hopefully all the prep he’s been doing, and his recovering health, might just give him the hunger he needs.

    Conversely, I also think Nadal doesn’t have any tough/exhausting match-ups before Federer, which is usually what does him and his alleged banged up knees in. In the other half, Nole and Murray will have to play lights out tennis to get into the semis, and then the finals.

    I have a good feeling about this Open, and keeping body parts crossed for the mighty Fed. Let’s hope he brings new aggressive tactics —
    PS. Some tennis chatter is reporting the courts at the US Open to be slightly faster this year —

    [Reply]

  4. Hey, Ru-an!

    I am so happy that you and I agree that this draw is very good for Roger. I think that Roger should want to play Nadal and the fact this potential match would occur at an early stage should benefit him as well. I think it would put less pressure on him knowing that it’s not a Final. I also like that if he wins he’ll get a real shot in the arm that can carry him all the way.

    I can definitely see Roger getting it done. At this point the US Open is Roger’s last stand and I think that he should not run away from this match. I actually feel quite good about his prospects. I think that Roger is on the verge of doing something great in New York. You said that Roger’s best chance of winning a Major this year would be in New York. And now it might actually come to fruition.

    Just think about this:

    If Roger beat Rafa at Cincy and he defended his Titke there it would have been WORSE for him than what happened. He would have stayed at Number 5 while Rafa would still be ranked Number 3.

    Based on today’s draw Roger would meet Rafa in the QFs, (5 vs. 3) then Novak in the SFs (1 vs. 5) and then Murray in the Final (5 vs. 2)

    I think that Roger did very well to lose in the QFs in Cincy because now he’s got only one tough opponent on the road to the Final. It would be absolutely amazing. All he needs is ONE Masterclass performance and he can do it…

    Allez Roger!!!! Come on!!! This is just awesome!!!

    [Reply]

  5. Johnny Mac running his mouth…..again. Why does he do this? http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/21/us-tennis-open-federer-mcenroe-idUSBRE97K1B320130821

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    It’s a jealousy thing.

    [Reply]

    Susan Reply:

    Up until two months ago Roger was the greatest now he says Nadal is. He always ran his mouth, it’s who he is. I ran into his brother Patrick in Cincy and wanted to run into him to slap his face. Maybe next year if i’m lucky.

    [Reply]

    jason Reply:

    Hopefully it will mutate to reverse-jinx thing.

    [Reply]

    jason Reply:

    Oh… and I forgot to say something to that: “YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!”

    XD XD

    [Reply]

    Vily Reply:

    I actually think that McEnroe’s comments are not all unwarranted. Roger is lucky that the draw played out the way it did. Obviously he was gonna have to play at least two of the top 3 guys in succession. He is lucky that he only has to play Nadal and not Murray and of Djokovic back to back. He only has to play only one if these two guys in the final. It’s not going to be easy but I think Roger will be very hungry at this year’s US Open. He has done very well here over the years. The match of the tournament will decide the outcome of the tournament. I don’t think that if Fed goes all the way to the Final he’ll let anyone take away the trophy away from him. Djokovic and Murray and Delpo are certainly hungry as well but Roger will want to set the record straight should he get that far. I believe that he can…

    [Reply]

  6. As much as I’d like Roger to reach the US QF and defeat his nemesis, I don’t want to be carried away either by Roger’s excellent performance at Cincinnati. One sallow doesn’t make a summer.
    If we look at the variables that are commonly used in the assessment of a players’s chances against another player, the odds don’t look that positive for Roger.
    1) Recent form of both: Nadal’s form is excellent while Roger’s form was less, but is rising now.
    2) Respective results at the US Open during 2008-2012 period: downward trend for Roger Federer (Win, F, SF,SF,QF) against upward trend for Rafael Nadal (SF,SF,Win,F,-);
    3) Overall H2H between Federer-Nadal on outdoor HC: 7-2 in Nadal’s favor !
    4) Difficulty of reaching the QF: more or less even for both players.
    I think Katyani is right or at least “close to right” when she says that 2013 is Nadal’s year and not Roger’s year.
    Roger said himself that he considered 2013 as a transition year, not as a year to realize certain goals in terms of results.
    Therefore, due allowances being made, a Federer-victory could rather be qualified as an upset than something to expect in a reasonable way in my view.

    [Reply]

  7. As I expected, Federer will meet Nadal in quarters if both win their matches!! I doubt Federer can beat Nadal but if that happens, I can assure 3 things from here –
    1. Federer will win the US Open & will be on a run of form.
    2. Nadal’s run will end here and his season of titles will be over.
    3. Federer will beat any other player in the final unless he loses focus after the SF.

    That said, Nadal’s run has to end at some point. It can’t go on and on. Just like Madrid 2009, I feel Federer can beat him here and win over him again in a slam match. 1st strike tennis, keeping the points short and serving well has to be the main points over which he has to focus. Nadal isnt a machine and he ll automatically give away a few break chances like he usually does vs Federer. And yes, the most important thing is even if Nadal takes away the 1st set, no need for Federer to press the panic button. He ll just need to be mentally strong to beat nadal. Federer has dominated nadal almost in 80% of his matches but has been fragile in those matches to put him off. And facing him in a QF is better than a semi. Nadal is quite easily beatable till the QF and he becomes a difficult player to beat only after the QF. Lets believe in our Roger Federer, to barely write him off & fearing Nadal would be an insult to the GOAT Federer. I’m quite happy with the draw & lets pray to God to give our tennis God Federer some needed luck and believe he can win. And lets be optimistic and I hope there are no pessimistic thoughts amongst us Federer fans!!

    [Reply]

    Vily Reply:

    I am cautiously optimistic about the Nadal match. In fact, I am quite eager for it. I think that Roger is on the verge of causing an upset like he did at 2011 French Open. If he does it here, hopefully he’ll run into Ferrer who would be ideal (even though a lot people are projecting Raonic, Gulbis and Janowitz to make the SF). These would be more difficult to take care off. I just hope that if Roger does beat Rafa, he’ll have enough in the rank to get to that Final and there just go ALL OUT for #18.

    Will see how it’ll play out but I like the Roger will play Rafa first, that way, if he loses we won’t be so heavily invested emotionally while if he wins we can really start getting behind him to go all the way! :-) )

    [Reply]

    Jiten Reply:

    Who says Nadal isn’t machine? He is the epitome of the proper definition of a machine. Nobody can play tennis “playstationlike” better than Rafa. I can guarantee that this machine is well oiled as well although I have no idea where the oil comes from! No guessing that.

    And we should not be too overenthusiastic about extrapolating Fed’s performance in Cincy towards US open. Take one match at a time. Even if he reaches the QF, that itself will be a good result considering the fact that except Rome, he has performed worse everywhere except AO. The only hope I have for Fed is “like the great run for Dopal cannot continue forever, the worst run for Fed also cannot continue forever”. Come on Champ. You can definitely do it.

    [Reply]

    Hari Reply:

    All agreed about him being very clutch and all but if u see the pattern of Roger-Rafa matches, Roger always gets a ton of break points. That’s why I say he isn’t a machine!! Similarly, he ll get chances that day too if they play!! Agreed with all other points!! Lets believe! You can do it Rogerrrrr

    [Reply]

  8. Great post Ruan ! (AS USUAL !)

    Everybody knows that only RF, Connors and Sampras have 5 Titles at US Open.

    Nevertheless, I don’t think that this is the last word from RF.

    Let’s have a look at some US Open records:

    Finals at US Open

    1. Ivan Lendl #8
    Pete Sampras
    3. Jimmy Connors #7
    4. Andre Agassi #6
    Roger Federer

    Semi-finals at US Open

    1. Jimmy Connors #14
    2. Andre Agassi #10
    3. Ivan Lendl #9
    Pete Sampras
    4. Roger Federer #8

    Match at US Open

    1. Jimmy Connors #97
    2. Andre Agassi #79
    3. Ivan Lendl #73
    4. Pete Sampras #71
    5. John McEnroe #65
    6. Roger Federer #64

    I strongly believe that RF can equal the above records of Connors/ Agassi/ Lendl/ Sampras and win his sixth title at US Open.

    Why am I so optimistic?

    The answer is simple: please look at the following data which indicates RF’s winning percentage at US Open:

    US Open % W–L

    1. Roger Federer 88.89 64–8
    2. Pete Sampras 88.75 71–9
    3. Jimmy Connors 85.09 97–17
    4. Ivan Lendl 84.88 73–13
    5. Novak Djokovic 84.78 39–7

    I rest my case :-)

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thank you Rahan and thanks for the stats!

    [Reply]

  9. Hi Ru-an, greetings to you! Thank You for another well written blog from you. I totally agree with you about Roger being in Nadal’s draw, having to meet him in the quarter final, hopefully will defeat him. Fingers crossed.
    Am very excited for the USOpen to start, most anxious to see Roger play. Know I will be nervous….want him so much to go to the Final and win it. One match at a time….
    Kindly,
    Dolores

    [Reply]

  10. The draw doesn’t matter. There have been tournaments where Federer has lost despite having a soft draw (RG this year) and where he’s won despite having a tough draw (Wimbledon last year, when he downed Djokovic and Murray back-to-back for the title). So it really means nothing.

    If he has to face Nadal, it’s his burden to bear and there’s no point in complaining. Nadal is merely a tennis player whom Federer has to figure out because his usual strategy doesn’t work. There’s nothing mystical about it. Just a tennis problem to be solved.

    Far from being reluctant, I actually think he’s looking forward to squaring off with Nadal at the USO since they’ve never met there.

    The surface means very little in Federer/Nadal matches. Nadal has just beaten Federer on a fast hard court, after all. The only question is whether Federer is confident enough on the day to execute his game plan.

    The level which he produced in Cincinnati was encouraging. He played very deliberately, with purpose and intensity, not hitting blindly, and he almost pulled it off. He just couldn’t keep up his game plan for quite long enough, and it was really only one or two points on which the match turned, kind of like AO 2012. Now that he’s had some more time to get reaccustomed to his old racket, he should have some more confidence.

    If there is a Federer/Nadal QF, I would say that Federer has to get it done in at most four sets. He has only won two five-setters against Nadal, ever. And he will almost surely have to win the first two sets to have a chance–being at one set all against Nadal is a very tough proposition for Federer, even if he wins the first set.

    Djokovic has a losing record in USO finals (1-3) while Murray is 50-50. So Murray might well be the tougher opponent in the final. If he and Djokovic clash, I pick the Scot to come through. But it’s a long way till then.

    One match at a time for Federer. Just try to keep his head down and get through the early rounds without expending too much energy, and into that second week. Then he can worry about Nadal, assuming the Spaniard makes it.

    I think Federer is hungry to win another big title and his game is in good shape. If he just focuses on the tennis, he has a good chance to go far and maybe even win the title if he makes it to the later rounds.

    [Reply]

  11. Hi guys,link the good article about Roger,media and fans speculate,but Roger is very clear about his tennis.Read it if you want,i think its very good.
    All the best at Us open Roger and us fans ..

    http://mobile.nytimes.com/2013/08/25/magazine/roger-federer-can-still-get-his-game-face-on.html?client=ms-google-mmkt&channel=mf-wp-cht-all-1111-14&oq=f&gs_l=mobile-heirloom-serp.1.0.41j0l4.3247.3247.0.4464.2.1.0.1.1.0.194.194.0j1.1.0….0…1c.1.24.mobile-heirloom-serp..0.2.256.OLryfRsGlb4&pagewanted=all&

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Or here http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/25/magazine/roger-federer-can-still-get-his-game-face-on.html?smid=tw-share

    [Reply]

    Vily Reply:

    Make sure to watch the live stream of the ATP Heritage Number 1 Programme. Roger will be in attendance. You can catch it live at 8:20PM EDT on the ATP website!

    http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/Tennis/2013/08/34/Heritage-No1-Celebration.aspx

    Enjoy!

    [Reply]

    Dolores Reply:

    Good read, very long but well worth it.
    Dolores

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I only read the last page Dolores. Nice to see Roger’s attitude. Still enjoying himself out there which is most important.

    [Reply]

  12. Guys,

    I just wanted to share my thoughts on Roger his game. I realize that Roger has started his decline but I think what I mean by his decline and what others do is quite different.

    Roger still has amazing abilities and he hasn’t lost them. What he has lost are two things:

    1. Consistency – Basically the ability to back up or string together one great performance with another. I think that this is tightly connected to:

    2. Recovering Ability – Roger is certainly struggling in this department. Fitness can help somewhat in this area but Age is basically inevitable and the recovering ability will continue to decrease.

    That being said, I will go over this year’s results, specifically at the Grand Slams so that we can see what happened and Roger will need to do in order to have any chance this year at the Open.

    So here we go:

    1. Australian Open – Roger entered the tournament well-rested, in fact with no match play prior to the tournament. Yet, he was amazing in the first 4 rounds, basically winning in straight sets. Then, of course he ran into Tsonga. Knowing, that in order to have any chance to win the title, Roger had to win in straights or in 4 sets. Afterwards, he had to face Murray and Djokovic back to back. It was a daunting task.

    Therefore, when he was forced to play a 5-setter against Tsonga, he pretty much blew his chances at the AO 2013. He subsequently fought valiantly against Murray but the back-to-back 5 setters was too much for him. If he won in straights or in 4 against Tsonga, I think that he was definitely going to make the final this year.

    So these are my thoughts on the AO this year.

    2. French Open 2013 – I am afraid that the trend continues. Roger had a sweet draw. However, everyone expected Roger to get into the QFs with relative ease. However, again Roger messed up by having to fight and win a tight 5-setter against Simon in the 4th round. Basically, after that he was burned and he ran into a hot and fresh Tsonga who basically was not going to let go this time. So, even though Roger knew that if he beat Tsonga he was going to the Finals, that 4th round hurt him.

    3. Wimbledon 2013 – Here really the only explanation I can give is that Roger was shocked by Nadal’s exit as he was last year. The difference is, last year Roger escaped Benneteau. This year, he couldn’t. But the score was VERY respectable 6-7 (5), 7-6 (5), 7-5, 7-6 (5) I mean this is very close. Roger played great so it was just one of those tight losses that could have occurred on many different occasions. As much people may want to read too much into it, unless Roger exits early at this year’s US Open, I won’t pay attention to this.

    Now, the switch of the racquet, the back issue, the two unexpected losses kind of fed into the speculation of Roger’s decline. However, if we just discount these losses, basically Roger did as he could in the tournament since.

    I keep saying that had he lost to HAAS, he would truly be considered to be in a deep hole. However he escaped and he made it to the QFs.

    Nevertheless, by the same token, he did play a very tight 3 setter against Haas. That, by definition, even though gave Roger the much needed confidence, technically it undermined his chances against Nadal.

    Yes, he was confident, but having to play a tight 3 setters back to back without a day of rest was too much. That’s at least my take.

    So, what are the conclusions:

    For the US Open 2013, Roger has to play very clean in the first 4 rounds. It’s kind of like the draw at the French. If Roger wins in straights or has only 1 4th setter (hopefully in the 2nd or 3rd round and not in the 4th) then he’ll be primed for Nadal. However, if he undermines his chances again by having to play a 5 setter in the 4th round before the QF match with Nadal, then he’ll be doomed.

    If he plays clean, and then even have to play a 5 set EPIC in the QFs against Nadal, it will BE OK because then he won’t have to face neither of the tough guys (Berdych, Delpo, Murray and Djokovic) at least until the FINAL.

    It basically depends on how Roger manages his first week and how he saves his energy. That will be key.

    I think that if ROger is fresh he can definitely play a Masterclass match. Then after that he can rest and then push for the finish.

    This season he had chances of doing that but he kept undermining himself by having to play tight matches earlier than expected. I hope that this won’t happen at the US Open. Let’s hope for a great start and smooth first week for our champ!

    :-) )

    [Reply]

  13. “But the score was VERY respectable 6-7 (5), 7-6 (5), 7-5, 7-6 (5) “…

    Very close, indeed, I remember the statistics on points: 161 vs. 162.

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  14. I agree with you, Susan. I’ve watched Roger play live a few years now. You can tell when his back becomes an issue. He seems to want to hide it from his opponents. His movement becomes restrictive esp to the forehand side. It’s a shame people don’t realize how much this has affected his game. If his body holds up, I like his chances going deep into the tournament. A relaxed body and he can swing away and hit some of those awesome shots we all love to witness.

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  15. It’s the back, guys. Can it hold up 7 matches, best of 5? Good draws, Nadal, history, form, etc etc, all these don’t really matter for roger for this last slam of the year. It’s all about the back. If it holds, roger walks away with no. 18. Its gonna be as simple as that for roger for this USO.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Not so sure it’s that simple Veronica. He’s back has been ok in the past but could he could not get past Nadal.

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    Veronica Reply:

    Yeah Ruan but mostly it’s on clay and slow hard that he couldn’t beat Nadal even when his back was 100 percent. On fast hc, he does well against Nadal and USO is fast hc. So if his back is absolutely 100 percent, he has a good chance. I still think that his back decides his results this USO. I don’t think it is a hundred percent despite what he said. Like sue said, roger does not like the competition to think he is not fit.

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  16. I agree that it’s really the back that will need to hold up. I trust Roger when he says that he absolutely has no pain right now. I just hope that it will hold while his confidence goes up. I have some good news to share:

    Here’s the schedule for the US Open on Monday! Roger is playing at night! :-) Can you believe it? Serena #1 player in the world opening the night session, followed by Roger – the number 7 player in the world It just shows that everybody loves ROGER in New York! :-) ))

    http://www.usopen.org/en_US/scores/schedule/index.html?promo=sumscores

    Also, here’s a video interview prior to the Tournament. He looks good. He clearly wants to do well. :-) )

    http://www.usopen.org/en_US/video/2013-08-24/0140b1d1040000000de1.html?promo=right_rail

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  17. I don’t completely agree that Roger always tells the truth about his back or any injury for that matter. He has said he doesn’t want it to be an excuse. He also doesn’t want the field to think he is less fit.
    Roger wants to play the game he loves, compete…he enjoys playing Nadal. And he loves the travel, and all the rest of it. It’s the media that distorts everything.
    Not surprised he is on centre court. He sells the most tickets of anyone.

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  18. Hi, guys! I just listened to all the pre-tournament interviews.

    I am not sure about you but it seems to me that Nadal is really pumped about this US Open. He is really hungry. If Roger was to play him right now, he’d probably lose.

    That being said, in a weeks time and 4 rounds, hopefully Roger will get his confidence to the place where it needs to be In order to win.

    I liked that Rafa admitted that he had two close matches in the last two weeks (the Djokovic match in Montreal and the Federer match in Cincy. He said that anybody could have won these matches and that it might happen. The one thing about Nadal is that he always states the truth when it comes to what he sees.

    Murray just didn’t seem like he will win. He just doesn’t seem motivated enough. Novak sounded motivated. Roger sounded motivated but I could sense a tiny bit of hesitation, which obviously is to be expected because he doesn’t have enough matches under his belt. His first couple of rounds will be a way for him to get into the tournament. I think that after the first couple of rounds and some much needed straight set victories, Roger will be back to his old self. By the 4th round, I expect Roger to be in full flight and to be ready for his match of the tournament.

    :-)

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