I’ve emerged from meeting this afternoon to see that Andy Murray is down a set and a break at the moment to Marin Cilic. A surprise, somewhat. Cilic is playing on borrowed time having overcome a two-set hole to Jesse Levine in the second round so he should be playing loose.
Cilic has never reached a Slam quarterfinal and if he can do it here all the better. With a big, powerful game Cilic can hurt Murray especially if the Scot is plays passively by feeding balls in the middle of the court, waist high. But we are still early and once the pressure shifts to Cilic to close it out anything is possible.
Also ongoing at the moment is another 6-foot-6, 20-year-old giant Juan Martin Del Potro who is having his way with former US Open finalist Juan Carlos Ferrero. DelPo’s already up two sets and a break and I still love his chances to get to the final here, regardless of Murray.
The big match comes later this evening when I think the American viewing public will be fully introduced to my man Gael Monfils who takes on Rafael Nadal. Rafa’s ailing so I’m picking Monfils to pull the upset tonight. I think Gael’s got too much game, too much firepower and if Rafa’s not serving at 100% the Frenchman should be able to jump all over Nadal’s serve.
For the sake of the match I do hope Rafa’s is healthy but based on what I’ve seen I doubt he’s 100% so Monfils is my pick.
Also today Jo-Wilfried Tsonga test Fernando Gonzalez in a battle of two guys who enjoyed Australian Open excellence. I picked Gonzo at the start to reach the semifinals and he’s still my pick to do it. But it’s going to tough affair and assuming Rafa’s is injured, it’s probably the best match of the day.
As for the women, if not for Serena Williams they’d be handing the US Open trophy to Kim Clijsters Saturday night. There’s really no one else left that’s going to beat her outside of Serena. Clijsters hammered on Li Na earlier this afternoon and if Serena dispenses of Flavia Pennetta tonight, which I think will happen, we’ll get that semifinal showdown on Friday.
The other semi will feature the winner of Wickmayer-K. Bondarenko and Wozniacki-Oudin. I’m going to pick Bondarenko to meet Wozniacki. I know Melanie Oudin has had quite a run, but there’s no more Russians left in the draw and I think Wozniacki is steady enough and above all can mentally handle the match and the occasion of playing under the lights to get the win.
Meanwhile, I see now Cilic is 4-1 up as Murray is in deep trouble.
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