Not a bad US Open for the Swiss is it? I’m sorry that this post comes a bit late but it gives me a chance to report on what has been the biggest upset of the US Open thus far as well. With the draw that Murray had I basically assumed that he would make the semi-finals. But this is what makes this game so great. Nothing is certain. On the other hand Murray is prone to being upset in the slams. Today was another very disappointing performance from the Scot. In the end he couldn’t even hold serve to at least make Wawrinka serve for the match. In all honesty I thought this was probably Murray’s best chance yet to win a slam, although I never called him the favorite. But Murray has just once again proven that he is not slam material. He could possibly win a slam in the future, but compared to Roger and Rafa his mentality is almost a joke.
He just doesn’t bring it in the big moments, and today was more proof of that. Wawrinka on the other hand deserves huge credit. He started off on fire, but faltered when he served for the first set. I stand corrected but I think he was a break down in the second, and then fought his way back into the match. That takes a lot of guts to come back like that when you basically choked away the first set. So all credit to Roger’s fellow Swiss and it’s great to see him finally get a telling win in a slam. It’s not impossible for him to make semi’s now and that would be another big result for him. Stan has always been in Roger’s shadow in Switzerland so I am glad for him. As for Rafa, his draw has just gotten considerably easier. With respect to Stan, I don’t think he has as much of a chance against Rafa as Murray had should he make the semis.
This is big for Rafa. It basically puts him in the final. Nalbandian also lost today who had an outside chance of upsetting Rafa. Rafa now has Lopez in the next round and then another Spaniard in the next round, who he usually owns. And then he could face someone like Wawrinka, Youzhny, or Querry. He is obviously the favorite to make the final now, but when it comes to Rafa at the US Open nothing is quite a certainty either. You just don’t assume he will make the final when he has never been in the final before. Now back to Roger’s match against Mathieu. It was another clinical performance from Roger as he served 13 aces in the wind and served 0 double faults. Given that it was windy conditions makes this even more impressive. Mathieu is a dangerous player so Roger must get a lot of credit for how he handled the Frenchman.
Again the match was completed in under 2 hours and thus far Roger has not been tested in the least. It kind of reminds me of the French Open where Roger cruised all the way to the quarter final and then lost to Soderling. Now before you get all nervous on me, let me just say that I think Roger has a much better chance of winning if he meets Soderling this time. And they almost certainly will meet. I don’t see Soderling losing to Montanes and I don’t see Roger losing to Melzer. But this time Roger is another player. During the clay and grass court seasons he was desperately lacking confidence and that has changed with his strong performances in Toronto and Cincy. Also he is more comfortable on fast hard than clay, while Soderling is probably less comfortable. That said, I’m not underestimating Soderling.
If looks could win grand slams, this would be it (Source)
We all know Soderling is the kind of player that gives Roger problems. Last year they had a very close match, and I expect something similar this year. I don’t mind Roger facing Soderling at all. It’s a great chance to get revenge for that painful loss where he broke Roger’s semi-final run. It could also give him much needed confidence for a possible final with Rafa. These power hitters has been his Achilles heel of late and to get a win back over one of them in a slam will be very satisfying. Not that I don’t think Roger is the favorite if he is to meet Rafa in the final. He must be the favorite simply given their respective records at the US Open. I don’t care how much of a mental edge Rafa has over Roger. We’re talking of an event which Roger has won 5 times and made the final once, while Rafa has never been to the final.
The conditions is faster than any other slam and Rafa is clearly not as confident on it. It is true that Rafa has beefed up his serve, but even that doesn’t make him the favorite. Roger has dealt with much bigger servers with ease in the past. I think if a Fedal final is to happen, it would be the ultimate opportunity for Roger. It would give him a chance to avenge that Wimbledon ’08 and Australian Open ’09 losses, not to mention all those French Open losses. Now that Murray has lost, I want a Fedal final more than anything. Winning a record 6th US Open by beating his nemesis in the final would be the ultimate. Can you see it? If you can dream it you can have it! But we are no there yet. Both Roger and Rafa have a lot of work left to do. With the loss of Murray we are just a small step closer a match of epic proportions…