The US Open came to an abrupt end for Fedfans but at least his friend and compatriot is still flying the Swiss flag. It’s not quite as good as having Roger still in it, but it’s still nice to see Stan fulfilling some of the potential he always had. First he upset Berdych 3-6, 6-1, 7-6(6), 6-2 in the 4th round and then he stunned Murray with an easy 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 victory. I watched both matches and Stan was already playing very well against Berdych. So seeing him beat Murray was not all that surprising, but the scoreline was indeed surprising. Murray was not at his best, but had he been Stan would still have won probably. He just played great offensive tennis and never doubted himself. A far cry from Roger’s constant self doubt on the big points against Robredo indeed. Talking of Robredo, Nadal pummeled him 6-0, 6-2, 6-2.
So if anyone was still in doubt as to whether Roger had a chance against Nadal those doubts should be erased now. That result is actually pleasing because it assures me that losing to Robredo was a good thing for Roger. Nadal is looking unstoppable and I am now convinced he will win this title. Murray is gone and I don’t see Djokovic stopping him either. Djokovic himself beat Youzhny 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-0. It was a good win but I don’t think he will be able to hold off Nadal again. It’s not even sure if he can hold off Stan. They had an epic encounter in Melbourne this year which Djokovic won 12-10 in the 5th. Stan will be even more confident than back then, after beating Berdych and Murray back-to-back. Knowing Nadal’s draws I won’t be surprised if Stan does upset Djokovic. That would give Nadal a free run to the title having to face two one-handed backhand opponents back-to-back.
Nadal plays Gasquet in the semis after Gasquet took Ferrer out 6-3, 6-1, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3. I thought after Ferrer came back to level at 2 sets all that he would win for sure, but I was impressed with Gasquet. This is now his 2nd slam semi after he beat Roddick in 5 sets at Wimbledon, and given how much potential he has that is a bit disappointing. But it was nice to see another artistic player like Roger make a deep run in a slam. This is where his run ends though. His chances of beating Nadal is 0%. I’d be shocked if he wins a set. Definitely the Djokovic/Stan semi is the more interesting prospect. Djokovic is the only guy left in the draw that I feel can provide Nadal with any resistance. Yet I can’t help feeling like Nadal has this title all but in the bag. He broke the Djokovic deadlock over him at Montreal and I think if the meet in the US Open final the result will be the same.
There is this unstoppable aura about Nadal. He just takes whatever he wants, and all opposition is crushed. He is a cold, calculated machine. He appears to have no memory. He doesn’t get emotionally scarred. He doesn’t appear to have emotions either. He just keeps pressing forward relentlessly and brushes off all comers and disappointments like they are nothing. His determination and drive is unequaled in the history of our sport. I can see him surpassing Roger’s slam count too. It’s something Fedfans have always feared and it looks likely to become a reality now. Yes it’s a long way to go but there is this sense of inevitability about it. I thought Djokovic would be the savior of Roger’s legacy, but it looks like Nadal has even crushed Djokovic’s will in that French Open semi. He hasn’t been the same player ever since…