We have a pretty nice line-up in store at the US Open on this Labor Day Monday in the U.S. Week two opens with Gael Monfils v. Mardy Fish followed by Rafael Nadal and Sam Querrey. Later today it Kei Nishikori v. Juan Martin Del Potro and then tonight Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka will slug it out under the lights.
As I write Fish is up a set and a break on Monfils, but I still have to like Gael in this match. Somehow I think he still gets it done provided he doesn’t get injured first with all that diving/sliding he does. Going in I thought that Frenchman’s just too fast, will get too many balls back and has too much firepower for Mardy, and the win will set up a great match with Nadal.
While Monfils and Fish have never played, Querrey did manage a set off Nadal in their only meeting at Cincinnati in 2006, and I think the American can get another set this afternoon. Querrey has the game to match Rafa, but in a best-of-five format and in the heat, it’s a tall task. Nadal should get through for his 42nd win in 43 matches.
Both Del Potro and Nishikori are probably still feeling the effects of their epic five-set triumphs on Saturday. Nishikori is lightning fast and can get a lot of balls back, but Del Potro should be able to overpower the 18-year-old in the end. It won’t be easy as I’m sure the long summer grind has taken a toll on the Argentine.
Wawrinka and Murray have split their six prior meetings but the Scot has won three of four this year. I like Murray tonight in a tough one.
Going back to yesterday, Roger Federer finally showed some life on the hardcourts, and it bodes well for the Swiss looking ahead. But will it be enough to get to the final, we shall see, but I think he’s got some confidence again.
Andy Roddick didn’t play his best, but he still won rather comfortably over Andreas Seppi. His next opponent is Fernando Gonzalez, who despite an ankle injury, is playing some really good ball after a four-set victory over Jarkko Nieminen.
And Novak Djokovic didn’t look especially great last night in a topsy-turvy, breakfest win over Marin Cilic. Luckily he now gets Tommy Robredo, an easy winner over the drained JW Tsonga.
The final four women’s quarterfinalists will be set today and it looks like we’re headed for a Dinara Safina v. Williams sister semi. The other half is shaping up to be between Elena Dementieva and Jelena Jankovic. Happy Labor Day!
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