US Open Schedule Out – Top Half Will Play First

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

Hi, folks. The US Open schedule for day 1 is out and the top half will play first, which, of course, means no Roger. Roger will probably play on Tuesday then as there is no Nadal in the draw. That gives Roger one more day of rest after the physically taxing weeks he had in Toronto and Cincy. Even though that means Roger will have a packed schedule from Tuesday onward I definitely think this is for the best. Roger just seems to be in the flow right now and everything is working out for him. Already the draw has worked out very well for him, which is what I’d like to get into in more depth in this post. In my first draw post, I didn’t focus as much on the draw because I didn’t want to look too far ahead as there was too much hype for me about Roger’s apparent easy draw. But since the hype has subsided slightly I want to take a closer look at the draw.

Roger opens his campaign against Matosevic who he played against once before in Brisbane this year and won 6-1, 6-1. Matosevic has been in the top 50 and is a decent player, but he hasn’t been in the greatest form of late. He should be the ideal first round opponent for Roger to get adjusted and settled. I am quite looking forward to seeing how Roger deals with Matosevic after his recent Masters title. Roger must be brimming with confidence and this could get ugly for Matosevic. Should Roger progress he will face Groth or Ramos-Vinolas. Roger have never played Groth and he played Ramos-Vinolas once in the first round of Wimby 2012 and beat him 6-1, 6-1, 6-1. I haven’t seen Groth, but I think he has a big serve which Roger is very good at handling anyway. So really as far as the first two rounds go Roger has the ideal start.

He has an extra day of rest and then shouldn’t have to expend much energy in his first two matches. You’d expect him to win both in straight sets given his recent form. Then Roger’s third round match will probably be on Sunday and there he can face Karlovic who could potentially be tricky. But again Roger is so good at dealing with big servers like we saw in Cincy against Raonic again and should he face Karlovic he could well get another straight set win. The points will be short anyway and it won’t be very physical. Roger could go into the second week without having dropped a set if he keeps his recent form up. If he does that he will still be very fresh for the second week. In the fourth round, he will probably play Bautista-Agut or Fognini, which should be a very comfortable match for him if Roger’s recent form is anything to go by.

There’s that sweet outfit again

Neither player possess any significant weapons and can be overpowered by Roger in quick time. I expect Roger to still be very fresh come quarter finals time. And he needs to be because then he could have a potentially tough match with Dimitrov or Monfils. Even though Roger performed very consistently of late he has had some long three setters in Toronto and Cincy and you never know when he could just be slightly off his best, in which case Dimitrov or Monfils could potentially make things difficult for him. I don’t expect him to lose to either of them, but he doesn’t want to expend too much energy. If he drops one set that would be fine, but five sets could potentially count against him in the semis or final. I’m not even sure who Roger could face in the semis. That third quarter is quite open.

I’d expect Ferrer to get through but what if he gets upset? Then it could be just about anyone. I don’t expect much from Berdych as he has been in dire form of late which again is good fortune for Roger. I guess any one of Cilic, Lopez, and Gulbis also have their chances to make semis. Probably Cilic is the second favorite to make it after Ferrer. Roger owns Ferrer 16-0 now and it’s very hard to see him beat Roger in New York. Cilic could potentially be tough, but again for a semi-final opponent in a slam it has to be considered a pretty damn nice draw. Gulbis can be a danger too, but I don’t expect Roger to lose to any of these if he gets this far. Probably the quarter finals will be Roger’s biggest test before the final, assuming he gets there. That brings us to the top half of the draw.

The top half is much tougher than the bottom half. You have Djokovic, Isner, Murray, and Tsonga all in one quarter, and then you have Nishikori and Raonic in the other. I would imagine Raonic will come through in that quarter. In the semis, it is hard to predict who he will face. Most people will say Djokovic, but I am not so sure. He hasn’t looked very good at all in Toronto and Cincy. I know that doesn’t necessarily mean much and that Djokovic could make the final, but for me his chances are about equal with Tsonga and Murray. I wouldn’t even be surprised if he is upset by Isner. Tsonga looked great in Toronto and Murray looked to be on the brink of something good before Roger halted his progress in Cincy. I find that quarter really tough to call and it will make for interesting viewing.

Roger looked calm but confident in his presser

 For Roger’s sake, it would probably be the best if Djokovic does not make the final. But then again it would give him the opportunity to reverse the Wimby final result. I just think Murray or Tsonga would be slightly less dangerous, simply because Djokovic is a better player. Whatever the case may be Roger couldn’t have asked for a better draw and it does look like he might well win #18 here. It is an exciting time for Fedfans and how special it would be if Roger lifts the trophy in about two weeks from now. But we have to remember that Roger still has to make the final, and whoever waits there will probably be battle hardened given the draw while Roger could lack a serious challenge. I am just happy with the current situation and Roger seems relaxed and at peace too. Everything is going well for him with his new family, new coach, and new racquet.

I have said plenty of times that the new low of 2013 could well be what propels Roger to a new high and that it was necessary if Roger was gonna win #18. It sure would be amazing if Roger wins a sixth US Open and hold the record for most US Open titles all by himself. That would be unbelievable, not to mention that he would be in the running to return to the top spot of the rankings. But between Roger and that new high stands an abyss of two weeks of the toughest opposition in world tennis which he first has to cross.

Good luck champ!

 

Roger’s pre-tournament presser: 

http://www.usopen.org/en_US/news/interviews/2014-08-23/201408231408824319349.html

Update: Somehow I completely forgot about Stan. Even though he has been horribly inconsistent since winning the Australian Open it is not out of the question that he can make semis or final even. He certainly has the ability to do so, but it’s unlikely given his lack of consistency of late.

Posted in Grand Slams, US Open.

50 Comments

  1. Should Roger get to the final he will also be battle hardened. Monfils and Dimitrov are in great form lately and should he get past them, then both Ferrer or Cilic would be just the right kind of preparation for a final.

    [Reply]

    Vily Reply:

    Yep, Ferrer pushes Roger and that is always a good trst for him. The quarters will be tricky! I agree… Let’s see what happens. But I do have faith. Roger may lose a set or two along the way but that’s ok as long he keeps winning.

    I would be shocked if Djokovhc makes it to the finals. Murray has really played well lately..

    Allez Roger!

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  2. There always seem to be upsets at the USO, if only because the top players have put in a lot more time on the court by this time of year, and their bodies are starting to show some wear.

    But this year I think that the young guns are starting to press, and that there’s a lot more parity among the top 20 or so players than in the past decade.

    So I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a few more upsets this time around… which just makes it harder to foresee the end from the beginning.

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  3. This is a positive draw for Federer there is no doubt. However I am keeping my own expectations down. I remember in 2012 with Nadal out, feeling like Federer, surging after wins in Wimbledon and Cinncinati (and a silver rat the Olympics) would be on his way to at least the final. But then Berdych showed up and beat him in 4. Even worse I think that year Federer’s 4th round opponent, Fish, couldn’t play, so Federer had extra rest. I hope Ruan is right and Berdych won’t make it to the semis…he always has Federer’s number. Big serve, big flat groundstrokes…

    [Reply]

    Vily Reply:

    I think that in 2012, the Olympics took a lot out of Roger, both physically and mentally. I admit that it was a great opportunity but I feel that this year it is even a bigger opportunity for him…

    He hasn’t wasted time doing exhos or any events. All I have seen is him practicing and spending time with the family which is the right approach. I am sure he knows that this is a huge chance. Even if he faces Djokovic again, he’ll savor this opportunity… He’ll not let another Grand Slam Final go by without him getting the win… So I am confident.. Obviously we’ll have to see how it goes the first week and obviously match by match. What I am most looking forward to again is Great Serving from him and easy service holds. When that happens, everything else follows…

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Good comment Vily. No doubt that stretch in 2012 took a lot out of Fed. The fact that he didn’t win Wimby this time around is exactly the reason that I believe in his chances this year in NY. When he won Wimby in 2012 it was a big emotional release for him and then like you noted the Olympics was another very emotionally draining event for him. This year there was no release and no Olympics. It’s a very different situation. I think at Wimbledon he proved how hungry he was with that 4th set comeback but the stars weren’t aligned, whereas in 2012 it was. Now it feels like there is unfinished business, and the draw and everything has lined up for Roger in NY. It just feels like this is the time.

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    Joe Reply:

    Berdych is a tough match-up for Roger, no doubt.

    But IMHO Roger makes the matches harder than they need to be by trying to match Berdych strength for strength when he doesn’t have to. For example, in matches I’ve seen, I’ve had the impression that Roger tries to serve too hard, and end up playing a lot of points on his second serve. Then Berdych’s physical strength is even more apparent and effective. And he doesn’t need to serve as hard as Berdych anyway.

    But with his new racquet and everything else clicking, I think Roger’s attacking game is about as good as it’s ever been (about). His defense may not be its all-time best, but Roger is moving better this year and it’s certainly very good.

    To summarize, I’d say I think Roger can beat Berdych if he doesn’t get caught up in an ego match. If he just throws his unparalleled variety of shots at Berdych he’ll beat him most days.

    Of course we all know that our champ came from a set and a break down to beat Berdych at Dubai this year (coming from behind to beat Djokovic and Stepanek as well). I think that’s the bluepring Roger should use… endless variety, and tremendous tactical energy.

    Best,
    Joe

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Yeah Joe it’s kind of uncertain against Berdych and I agree that Roger is too stubborn against him. But lets be honest what is the chances Berdych makes semis. His tennis has been a joke of late.

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    Joe Reply:

    It surely has Ruan. Is Berdych always this inconsistent? He might be dangerous if he could keep it together.

    But here’s something I couldn’t resist sharing – Berdych’s comments on the Dubai match:

    ‘He’s the greatest player of all time and he’ll never give up and give you anything for free. I knew that and thought I was ready for it, but my execution wasn’t good enough to hold it to the end.’

    I think it’s funny that Berdych said this only a day or so after saying he was glad to play Roger in the finals because he thought he could beat him! This is what I’d call a beat-down by Roger; I think he might be a little bit in Berdych’s head now.

    Best,
    Joe

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Well that just shows you Berdych’s words at the end was empty, given how quickly he changed his story. He knows he can beat Roger but when Roger is at his best he probably still has the edge like in Dubai. That’s because Roger at his best is mentally better than Berdych. So even if Berdych makes the semis I would still give Roger the edge, but Berdych is not making semis. I can almost guarantee that. I can see him losing first round to Hewitt.

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  4. Check out this video on YouTube:

    http://youtu.be/JJBP7tW-5bM

    Awesome Fed Promo for the US Open!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Wow, that’s awesome Vily. You’ve been coming up with some good stuff of late! Cheers and keep ’em coming!

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    That’s a tremendous promo Vily!

    And here’s something I’ve wanted to ask the experts on the forum about:

    I read somewhere (http://rogerfedererthechamp.blogspot.com/2014/07/four-reasons-why-roger-federer-can-win.html) that the USO courts might be playing faster than the Wimbledon grass.

    Could it be so? I wouldn’t mind seeing Roger play in conditions like that! Not that I’ll get to in the same way as Vily of course…

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    Vily Reply:

    Here is another inspirational one. The guy that makes those videos really knows his stuff!!! :-)

    Check out this video on YouTube:

    http://youtu.be/XTLZ8CwcscU

    BEL18VE :-) ))

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  5. The BEL18VE video was made after the Wimbledon Finals. It is really emotional and it pumps you up. :-) The US Open one is just as cool because it’s all about the shotmaking and what Roger is about! :-) ))

    I hope you like them just as much as I did. :-)

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    Dolores Reply:

    Like the BEL18VE video a lot, Vily. Thank You for sharing, hope all you Fedfans will check it out, don’t want to miss it!
    Best,
    Dolores

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Hey Dolores!

    That is certainly an outstanding video (actually I liked them both quite well). :-)

    Did you ever tell us what is going on in your life? I hope everything is going well!

    Best wishes,
    Joe

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Did you have any problems leaving a comment earlier today Joe, or anyone else for that matter? I was trying out a new plugin for spam again.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    No Ruan, the only post I tried to leave was the hello to Dolores above… and now this one, so if this doesn’t get there then I guess we’ll know we have problems. :-)

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    It’s a quiet day on your forum though, isn’t it? It’s a little surprising to me, but I wonder if everyone is trying to wait for two weeks, not inflate expectations, etc. while we all hope for the best, maybe even more than at Wimbledon. Maybe Roger knows his racquet even better now than he did then.

    And I know I don’t know tennis like you and the other experts here, but I said a few posts back that I was worried about Stan and I still am. I think there are a couple of others who could play themselves into shape as the tournament moves into week 2.

    But I’m going to think a lot more about Roger serving submlimely, overwhelming opponents with his unmatched variety and making lightning-quick decisions with his incredible insight, playing superbly on these (hopefully faster) US Open courts…

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yeah no comments which is why I wondered if it wasn’t the new plugin. Guess I will have to test again some other time…

    [Reply]

    steve Reply:

    Ru-an, I left a couple comments yesterday, but they seem to have gotten stuck in moderation limbo. Perhaps the plugin had something to do with it.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Ok thanks for the heads up Steve. That’s what I thought was going on because I tried to comment myself later and nothing showed up. And I apologize again about the lost comments. This is getting really annoying.

    [Reply]

    Eric Reply:

    Maybe just quiet because my big mouth is missing :)) )

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Haha well at least you didn’t try to leave a comment because it would not have showed up!

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  6. Good draw for Federer, no doubt… But as someone already said, expectations down… We don’t know how fresh is the swiss after Montreal-Cincinnati, and this is best of 5 sets, on medium paced hard court with high bouncing, a nightmare for him… This is not Cincinnati or indoor… Another big problem, the czech doper Berdych… The target of his career is playing the match of his life winning against Federer and losing to mugs, that’s it… I’m sure that seeing the swiss in his draw will pump him up, knowing that he has a real possibility of making a final, he will pick up his game for sure, like he always does in slams… So watch out, 99% sure that the czech doper will get to the semifinal, trying to upset Federer again, and losing like an idiot to whoever is in the final…

    [Reply]

    Vily Reply:

    I am with Ru-an on this one. Berdych is probably losing in the 1st round and definitely to Ferrer in the QFs if he even gets that far. I am more worried about Monfils and potentially Dimitrov if he starts playing well…

    But if Roger plays well then no worries… I hope he picks up where he left off in Cincinatti..

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    How do you feel about Stan’s chances Vily?

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Too much wrong with this post. Rumor has it the courts have been sped up, there is no evidence that Berdych is a doper, and he is not making semis.

    [Reply]

  7. I have a feeling that if Roger plays his game, Berdych won’t be a problem – one way or the other.

    As Ruan pointed out earlier, one of the most interesting matches of the first round pits Berdych against Hewitt.

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  8. Can’t believe what’s happening. I really don’t like Matosevic. He distracted Roger so deliberately (with someone in Roger’s own box) and it had the exact effect he wanted. Roger may lose this set and that’s not at all what we want.

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  9. Thank God he pulled it off in straights. Roger played pretty well aside from BP conversion. Matosevic just played really well. He played like a third round opponent rather than a first round one. But I seriously don’t like the guy after that. Not cool at all.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    What did he do? Couldn’t watch.

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    Jiten Reply:

    If memory serves me right, in the third set with Fed leading 4-2 with a break up and having couple of more break points, this Matosevic guy looks up at Fed’s box where the great Michael Jordan was sitting. He points his finger at Jordan and yells “I want to be like Mike”. Although, Fed didn’t show any emotion, it broke his rhythm. Matosevic held his serve and the next game Fed got broken which finally led to the tie-breaker. And he was literally toweling after every point with some annoying expression on his face.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Jiten. That’s interesting. A shame that Fed allowed that to break his rhythm. It should have motivated him to play better.

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    Eric Reply:

    Interesting. Fed has said many times that Jordan if he could be any other athlete it would be MJ. Very cool that he was inn Feds box. Sooooo glad to hear roger won. Have been dying to know!!!!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Sorry guys but no post from me today. I am sick again. I haven’t been able to get my immune system back to normal ever since I told someone ‘I never get sick'(which was true). I guess I jinxed myself because I have had this annoying weak immune system/cold ever since. To make things worse I got up at 6 am this morning to watch the tennis and my laptop could not pick up my wifi signal. So not only did my body lose out on a needed extra hour’s sleep, but I hardly caught any of the match. Oh well. Shit happens right?

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Oh and check out my FB page where I will be much more active from now on https://www.facebook.com/pages/GOAT-Blog/315717811781560

    [Reply]

    Dolores Reply:

    Chris, agree with your comment about Matosevic, he played some good tennis but on court his behaviour was annoying, dramatizing….so happy Roger could finish in 3 sets, looked great, we all can be proud of Roger. It ia one match at a time.
    Kindly,
    Dolores

    [Reply]

    elizabeth Reply:

    Roger looked good and played well. I also think he lost his focus when he dropped his serve…just shows he looks so cool on the outside but I guess underneath he was slightly annoyed at Matosevic. Just shows how locked in the players need to be because there are very few easy matches.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Hi Elizabeth,

    I didn’t see the match, but maybe Roger is a little bit nervous too? I hope he’s not putting too much pressure on himself for this tournament – but I don’t see how he can avoid feeling some extra pressure in this situation! :-)

    Somewhat ironically, I suppose that even the great draw and his excellent results this year could add to the pressure he feels…

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    It’s inevitable that he will feel some pressure Joe, given his draw and the fact that this may be his last chance to win a slam. But I think in general he is pretty composed and relaxed. It comes with maturity.

    [Reply]

    steve Reply:

    I agree Dolores, Matosevic wasn’t terribly sporting to choose to chat with Michael Jordan while down in the score, but it happens.

    The important thing was that Federer was able to get through in straights. When Matosevic had two chances to potentially break for the third set, Federer served two fantastic games to prevent it. Even down a mini break in the breaker, he didn’t flinch and closed it out.

    He’s in such good form that these things are minor blips. The first match is always tricky because he has to get used to the court and the conditions, he managed that well. Now it’s time for the next opponent!

    [Reply]

    Eric Reply:

    Nice to hear he did so well. Feel better Ru-an!!! FB must be blocked in China, I can’t get on.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Lmao. These Asian countries are weird man they have some stuff blocked in Thailand too.

    [Reply]

    muhammad Reply:

    Hi Eric,you can use webfreer.It works fine enough for fb.I’m in Beijing too and i’m using fb without any problem.

    [Reply]

  10. Hi, Ru-an

    I had trouble posting as well. Anyway! I couldn’t watch the match as well, because I am on a two day vacation with my wife and dog to Lake Placid, NY. Will be back tomorrow though and I am definitely going to watch the QFs live.

    In any cased the score and the timing of the match is a but worrisome but I assume that is because Roger was very distracted.

    Spending time with Michael Jordan is great but for sure it distracted Roger from playing his best. The thing with the last minute switch of the sneakers (which are nice by the way – but seem a bit off. Roger was supposed to play with the black and red) might have added to it as well.. The sneakers are cool and I might buy them but only if Roger wins the title! ;-) ))

    Anyway, the schedule for Roger seems to be:

    Tuesday, Friday, Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Monday!

    Not too bad! However, it seems that Roger will play all the tough opponents.. I sense that he’ll play Dimitrov in the QFs which will be tricky.. Also Groth and Karlovic…potentially Berdych if Ferrer stumbles.

    I also think that Djokovic will rise and make it to the final. As long as Roger makes it to the final as well though (as he should), I’ll still pick him for the title..

    Anyway! As far as Stab, I think that he should do well and actually at least make the QFs and play Raonic there. If he beats Raonic, then he can make semis… I am actually looking forward to what Murray will do. I expect him to do well this tournament and potentially take Djokovic out. At the same time, Murray is a tough cookie himself so we need to be careful what we wish for… But I think that he can push Novak. I’ll be shocked if I don’t see Djokovic – Murray QFs. But maybe Tsonga could be there too.. :-)

    BEL18VE! ;-)

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Hi Vily. I apologize for the comment problem again. Hope you are enjoying your holiday. The think with Jordan didn’t necessarily help, although it could also have inspired Roger. As for the shoes they are ok but the black and pink shoes clearly look better with the black outfit. I’m not too worried about Roger’s opponents before the final, although of course anything could happen. But I’m now worried again about Djokovic. Maybe I have underestimated him and the losses to Tsonga and Robredo could have been a wake up call for him. You just can’t write off a quality player like him no matter what happened before NY. If he makes the final he could do what he did to Roger at Wimbledon…

    [Reply]

    Vily Reply:

    Hey, Ru-an!

    As long as Roger makes the final, I am pretty confident.. even if he faces Djokovic.

    You’ll know that Roger will be THAT much MORE motivated than Novak precisely because he did just lose another close 5 setter at Wimbledon.. But even more than that he will feel a little angry about the Houdini like escape in 2011.

    Roger will be relentless. I just hope to catch some of his 2nd round match (which will be played during the day) against a nasty S&V monster Groth but whatever. Btw I liked how Stan steadied the ship last night. I think that if he plays like this he is a lock for the semis and potentially the finals… Djokovic is a bit scared of him so we’ll see. :-)

    [Reply]

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