This was better from Roger. It was a test that needed to be passed. Roger was break points down early in the match but held on to take a 2-1 lead. He then proceeded to break which was enough to bag him the first set. In the second set Cilic had a break point early on but missed an overhead which he really should have made. I thought that would really cost him, but at 4-5 Roger was facing two set points on his serve and Cilic capitalized. All of a sudden it was all squared again. In the third set Roger broke in the first game which was just what the doctor ordered, but then got broken right back. A break is only a break once you hold serve, and Cilic was right back in it. He was playing well and I was starting to get nervous. I knew this was a big moment for Roger. If he got broken and lost the second set I thought he would have lost.
We know fighting from behind is not one of Roger’s stronger qualities. He is at his best when the match is on his racquet and is in control of things. I like what I saw from Roger in the third set. He looked like he really wanted it, and it paid off. He got the break to take a 5-4 lead and then served out the set. The third set was really the crucial set of the match. When he won that the fourth set was basically a formality, as he broke twice to take it. I thought Cilic played really well and this was a confidence booster for Roger. Roger still has a long way to go before he can win this title, especially being so up and down of late. But I would like to be a bit more optimistic and say that there is at least a chance now. There is nothing wrong with dreaming. If he wins the US Open it would really be the ultimate.
He would become the first player to win a slam for 9 consecutive years and he would then be on an incredible 17 slams. He would also become the first man in the open era to win 6 US Opens. But lets get back to the reality on the ground. Roger now faces Monaco, which should be a much more comfortable opponent for him than Cilic. He could use an easy match before a potentially very tough quarter final against Tsonga or Fish. No match is easy of course, but I don’t see how Monaco can be much of a threat to him. He has played Monaco twice before and won on both occasions. I think Roger should be able to win in straight sets, or at most four sets. It is nice to know that Roger’s quarter final streak will probably remain in tact. His next test will really come in the quarters where he will either face Tsonga or Fish, who both had straight set wins as well.
It is hard to call who will win that one. It may be better for Roger if Fish wins, given the last two losses Roger have suffered to Tsonga, but at the same time if he plays Tsonga it will give him a chance for some revenge. I know most Fedfans want Fish to win, but I guess I am different. A win over Tsonga would be very sweet and Roger can’t think like most Fedfans anyway. If he wants to win a slam he shouldn’t be trying to avoid certain players. To win a slam you want to be the best player in the draw. Elsewhere in the draw Berdych withdrew which makes the draw for Djokovic slightly easier. But Berdych would hardly have troubled him anyway. Nadal won today against an over the hill Nalbandian and now faces Muller. That is a pretty lame draw for him as usual. In the quarters he will face either Ferrer or Roddick.
Both Ferrer and Roddick have struggled with injuries of late, but the winner may be able to trouble Nadal, as Nadal is struggling himself. He did not impress against Nalbandian and hasn’t impressed since Wimbledon. I’m hoping Murray can make can make semis as he will have a chance to take out Nadal, given the form Nadal is in. Del Potro also lost against Simon today. I have been disappointed with Del Potro during the American hard court season. After his long lay off last year he was quickly coming back to the top of the game and I expected he would really catch fire during his favorite hard court season. But it has not materialized. Against Simon he disappointed again as he had 3 set points in the fourth set and should have at least forced a deciding set. Well lets hope Murray can at least take advantage and make semis.