Monfils Test Nadal in Primetime; Murray in Trouble at US Open
by Sean Randall | September 8th, 2009
  • 183 Comments

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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183 Comments for Monfils Test Nadal in Primetime; Murray in Trouble at US Open

jane Says:

ACK! Have just check scoreboard @ work – margot what’s going on? Has Murray gone on walk-about or has Cilic decided to peak at the right time? Come on Murray – keep fighting!

(I like Cilic but really hope for Murray to do well here)


vared Says:

Cilic is taking it to him, Jane.


jane Says:

vared thanks for the feedback. Have time before class, so can watch scores for a bit. Looks like Murray already a break down in 3rd, not looking good for him just now.


vared Says:

Cilic, great serve, tons of winners, great return of serve.

Chris Fowler just remarked that Murray had the confidence that this title would be his and he, Murray, thought he would end up number one this year.


Just wondering Says:

Bye bye Murray!
Does that mean Nadal will take over the #2 ranking no matter what?


Cindy_Brady Says:

Murray will lose his #2 ranking. I feel foolish for picking him. I knew he was too ugly to go all the way.

*sigh*


vared Says:

Chris, Brad and PMac:They are saying it’s an abysmal effort and he needs to ask himself what went wrong.

Cilic is saying it was really windy on court.


Ty Says:

Wow, the hype machine was at work it seems. Murray just couldn’t compete out there, Cilic was absolutely taking it to him. He looked lost on what exactly he should do.


jane Says:

margot – shame, that. Hope you can continue to enjoy the tournament, and hope, too, Andy M takes this as a learning experience. He’s got time; he’s a young player.

And Cilic apparently played really well (didn’t see it).

—————————-
Cindy – wasn’t it you who chided people for putting down Isner for the way he looks? Sheesh.


PietjeP Says:

Well, where was the fighting spirit of Murray? I didn’t see the first two sets. But he looked flat all the way through the 3rd.

For the buzz of the tournament it’s a shame he is out before the semi’s. But the best player of the day won. So kudos to Cilic; good performance.

Will we get another upset tonight in the Monfils/Rafa match?!


Murray_is_overrated Says:

Murray is gone in straight sets. So much for being world number 2 and the favorite.

He is going to drop to his more-apt number 3 position come Monday.


fadingis Says:

new it, i just had afeeling he waasn´t good inough i thout he´d loose earlyer (murray)cilic gaind my respect.


down 1 and out Says:

sean, i like your blog and comments, but I cannot understand your favour for Monfils. He is funny and enjoying, but you pick him way to many times for what he is worth, LOL, sorry couldn’t resist. ok, Rafa has his health issues, but at 80 %, he should still better him, cheers


fadingis Says:

will rafa take #2?


PietjeP Says:

Rafa will take nr 2 ranking back if he wins tonight. If he loses he will fall just 85 points short.

But; Rafa & Fed have relatively little points to defend after the USO. Murray has a ton of points. So it will only be a matter of time…


Magellan Says:

Lots of tennis intelligentsia picked Murray to win the Open, which I thought was unwise since Fed dusted him off the court in the semis of Cincy. I never had the feeling he was ready to go all the way with this tournament. I like Murray, I like his game, but I just didn’t see it happening this time. Though, to be fair, I did think he’d make the final. I just didn’t see him beating Fed in a best of 5 Grand Slam title match. Never expected him to go out in straights to the likes of Cilic.


FoT Says:

Maybe all the “expectations” got to Murray? Or maybe Murray was looking ahead to holding up the championship trophy? Or…just maybe Cilic really outplayed him!

Cilic was great. Very aggressive. Went for his shots. While Murray was playing too defensive, just pushing the ball back – hoping the opponent would miss. Roger and others have been criticized by saying it – but it’s true. Murray is too defensive. If he wants to hang around the tour for a long time, he needs to make sure his opponents runs more than he does. It wasn’t happening in this match.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Jane said

Cindy – wasn’t it you who chided people for putting down Isner for the way he looks? Sheesh.

Jane you misunderstood. I meant Murray’s game is too ugly to go all the way. Who cares about his facial looks. They don’t hit tennis balls.

I have to say this removes a huge obstacle in Nadal’s way. Not that it will be easy for Nadal but the path is clearer NOW.

This takes the odds up much higher of a Nadal/Federer showdown.

How Exciting!!


steve Says:

Del Potro vs. Cilic will be fun. Lots of big hitting. I pick Del Potro to win.


xmike Says:

lets see for how long that idiot simon reed from eurosport keeps a straight face after murray lost today – still no grand slam title and certainly no number 1 ranking this year! If nadal looses before the final federer is virtually assured to finish the year at number 1 now.


Dory Says:

Cilic is a huge obstacle to defeat if he doesn’t do too many unforced errors. Usually he does but this match he played spectacular. Awesome job Marin!! Murray, there’s always next year to look forward to. Both Andys out of US Open!! One less thorn for the Master. Nearly everyone will be dying again to see Roger vs Nadal in the biggies.


Ty Says:

What’s up with the lull here? When are Tsonga vs Gonzalez going on?


vared Says:

Murray said in his interview he just lost energy. Talking heads comparing him to Safina. Number 2 with no slams.


Ty Says:

How about Brad calling him Ancic at one point and then on the on court interview calling him Marian.


Nemo Says:

Or maybe Del Potro vs Fed or even Nole vs Nadal or Nole vs Del Potro who knows? I like RF, Nole, JMDP’s games very much. I don’t like Nadal, Murray or Roddick’s games/playing style very much.


down 1 and out Says:

vared

totally agree…. he should only have said: “Cilic outplayed me today” , no excuses there for you murray, cheers


margot Says:

Murray got thrashed nothing else to be said.
jane: thanx again 4 your kind words. Yes, Andy is young but he’s got to step forward soon. Do not want title of “Greatest player who never……” for him. All down to Djko now.
veno: this the roller coaster I was talking about. Being a Murray supporter is no easy ride.


Mindy Says:

I felt that Cilic could give Murray trouble, but I didn’t think I dare say it and risk the wrath of Murray fans. However, I certainly didn’t think it would play out the way that it did. I watched the whole match and Cilic played very well. He seemed to have a great strategy and was aggressive and had an answer for every Murray shot. Murray seemed to be somewhat lethargic. He just didn’t seem to have his normal energy. Cilic was able to dictate play throughout the match. I am surprised that Cilic was able to beat Murray in straight sets.

I was amazed that many here were picking Murray over Del Potro. I have been keeping an eye on him and this guy is playing some of his best tennis. I didn’t think he was ready to win his first grand slam, but the way he is playing right now, it would not be a surprise to see him in the final. I thought he had a great shot at defeating Murray, but now he will play Cilic. I don’t know that Cilic will be able to do it again.

I have no idea why Sean loves Monfils so much. This “my man” stuff really gets on my nerves. What on earth is so great about him? He is one of those guys who is full of theatrics, always playing to the crowd, so I expect a circus with the night crowd at the Open. If Rafa didn’t have this stomach problem, I would expect him to win hands down. Now I am concerned. With Murray out, Rafa can regain the #2 ranking with a win over Monfils. I would love to see him do it.

I was not pleased to hear Murray say that it was his bad play that cost him the match. Sorry, Murray, I saw the whole thing and the guy outplayed you fair and square. There is nothing wrong with giving credit when you are just beaten, plain and simple. Maybe now Murray will just keep quiet about being #1 and concentrate on working to improve his game. He has not done much at the grand slams this year, in spite of all the hype. I still am a believer in less talk off the court and doing it with your racket on the court. To come out as flat as he did and look so out of it and have Cilic just running him around the court, should give him something to think about.


huh Says:

Actually Cilic destroyed Murray’s energy through his higher power.


Allmuscleandnoskill Says:

Rafa fans will be quick now to justify even if he loses since he’s “injured” now again..this time a different injury. Why does he push himself to the limit so much then?


huh Says:

The sooner Murray realises that he was over-powered by the talented attacking Cilic, the better for him. I hope Murray adopts some attacking-@$$ game instead of his current @$$ style.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Mindy,

I like the fact that players “trash talk” off the court. It only makes them look that much more foolish when they lose, especially when they are not supposed to.

Call it KARMA


down 1 and out Says:

Mindy
great comment, you put everything right o the point, congrats


down 1 and out Says:

mindy,

should read….. right to the point, lol


funches Says:

This column, which was also linked here last week, nailed Murray’s potential problem in grand slams.

http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-22652-Pro-Tennis-Examiner~y2009m9d3-Experts-be-damned-Murray-wont-beat-Federer-at-US-Open


steve Says:

Why is ESPN re-showing Oudin’s last match instead of the Tsonga-Gonzalez match? This is extremely annoying.


Veno Says:

Margot says: “veno: this the roller coaster I was talking about. Being a Murray supporter is no easy ride.”

I know Margot. Keep your head high, he’ll get the job done I am sure.

And think ’08 and the roller coaster ride I and my fellow Fed fans had :)


Veno Says:

Gonzo just gave his racket to a supporter!!!!!!!!
Hahahahahahaha


Unbelievable Says:

I don’t believe this. They’re not showing Tsonga-Gonzalez match live. Can I shoot someone?


Mindy Says:

Allmuscleandnoskill,

I see by your username that you are obviously not a Rafa fan. Your comment also makes that perfectly clear. People have gotten on me for jumping on anyone who criticizes Rafa, but we Rafa fans are few and far between here and someone has to defend him. I will take on that challenge.

First, Rafa never, ever makes any excuses when he loses. Unlike Murray, he can accept when someone plays better than he does. If he loses, there will be no excuses. He will accept the loss with the same grace, class and poise with which he accepts his victories. If you have watched him at all, you would know that by now.

Rafa made a mistake trying to play through his knee injury. He knows it and has taken responsibility for it. So give the guy a break, for heaven’s sake! He called for the trainer when he felt something in his stomach. He got prompt medical attention. He didn’t just try to play through the pain. Everyone knows that Rafa never calls the trainer and takes a medical time out. But he realized that he needed it. This is also a good sign.

Rafa will do his best as always. I will be cheering for him to regain the #2 ranking with all my heart.

Cindy,

I couldn’t agree with you more! That is why it’s better to keep quiet! But some do not seem to understand the psychology of sport. You never want to give your opponent more motivation and incentive to beat you.

Count me as one who is also annoyed that we are not seeing the Tsonga/Gonzales match. What on earth is going on with ESPN?


Ty Says:

Nice move by Gonzo… as the crowd was already getting on him about throwing his racket.


Ty Says:

Allmusclenoskill:

You can’t actually believe this irrational username to be accurate? I’m no Rafa fan but, really? Really? No skill?


Ty Says:

Looks like Gonzo is already going away… can we get one competitive match on the mens side please.


Allmuscleandnoskill Says:

Okay sorry certainly Rafa has tremendous talent but his victories are more hard work than skill. He doesn’t play freely and naturally, works too hard. He pushes himself too much. He shouldn’t chase every ball so much or else he might hurt himself even bad one day.


Dan Martin Says:

I did another radio interview today with 980 AM WONE in Ohio. They asked me about Oudin, Roddick, I was interviewed right as Cilic won the match so I mentioned that, they asked me for my picks to win the event (Serena and JMDP is what I said on air so don’t make me cry for you Argentina!”). They asked if the U.S. had any good prospects coming up on the men’s side, and I was honest. I said Querrey had a great Summer but maybe overplayed, but then again may not be of the level of Soderling even if he skipped New Haven. I said Isner has to be talked about but that he is not very maneuverable and that in tennis it is hard to see someone winning a lot of titles without more court coverage. So I said maybe we have some solid juniors but no one is really going to be a top 5 type player anytime soon so fans of U.S. born players better A. appreciate Roddick for being a true contender and B. hope Roddick stays in the game for another 5 years.


Ty Says:

I believe this match is proving that when Tsonga is on he can make almost any player look like a spectator out there. Just such a big game.

Dan:
Yeah you’re probably right about American prospects. I still am skeptical on both Querrey and Isner. I am proud of Querrey’s hard work but just don’t think he has the natural talent of say JMDP or Cilic.


Von Says:

jane: Don’t you remember Brady saying that davy and Murray are the ‘fugliest’ in looks, and Safina braks mirrors?


Joe W Says:

Wow – just caught the headlines but not the match. Before Cincy, I had Murray winning the USO. After Cincy, said its 2010 before anyone besides Fed or Rafa wins a major in 09. Still staying with that prediction…

Dan, no way Juan Martin wins. With Murray out and Rafa hurt, this is Fed’s tourney to lose, even with his eratic play. I’ve also got Cljisters over Me-rena.


Von Says:

Veno: I posted to you on the other thread and thanks a lot.


Dan Martin Says:

I like what Querrey has done but it is hard for me to see him in the light of JMDP, Cilic, or even Chardy etc. I think Querrey can be a steady top 25 player and maybe if he maxes out points on US events that aren’t 1000 series he can even be a “hard court specialist” and sneak into the top 15 or even top 10 now and then without being one of the 10 best players on the planet. Isner has a huge gift in generally being able to hold serve but he needs a slice backhand with some bite to hit when he does not have time to hit the two handed shot and he needs more than that drop volley. He has soft hands, but knifing a few volleys would make the dropper work even better.


Mindy Says:

I wanted to come back here and give my respect and condolences to the Murray fans. I hope that my earlier post was not too upsetting. I just had to call the match as I saw it. I don’t know Murray’s game all that well, but even I could see that he just seemed off. Combine that with inspired play from Cilic and you have a huge upset. I know that it’s never easy when your favorite goes down unexpectedly. I thought Cilic could give Murray trouble, but I didn’t think he could beat him. He just played some fantastic tennis and didn’t lose his focus and concentration.

I didn’t realize until after Murray lost that Rafa could regain the #2 ranking with a win tonight over Monfils. It’s not like I wanted or even expected Murray to lose. I don’t have anything against him, but I do think he just should forget about the rankings and concentrate on his game. He certainly has the talent to win a grand slam. I believe that things happen for a reason. If Murray is the player that I think he is, then he will come out of this stronger and better.

Take heart, Murray fans. Your guy is young and will have many more chances.


jimbojones Says:

I don’t get the Monfils love. He plays like a pusher. He’s got a good serve and is really quick, but he plays like a pusher. LaMonf is more like LaPush. No way Rafa ever loses an important match to Monfils until Monfils plays with more aggression.


vared Says:

Brad Gilbert picks Djokovic over Verdasco. Kiss of death? lol


jimbojones Says:

Nole – Hot Sauce is a great match most anticipated quarterfinal now that Murray and Wolverine’s taller brother won’t happen


Mindy Says:

I think Nole is playing some of his best tennis right now. But I would never count out Verdasco. This could be a really great match. I think Nole really wants this after having a rather mediocre record since winning the 2008 AO.

jimbojones,

Thank you for your comments about Monfils. I don’t get the love for him, either. I like the “pusher” thing. What exactly does that mean? I am curious. I don’t see a lot of Monfils, thank goodness, so I am not that familiar with his game. I know he can be dangerous and can be full of theatrics and histrionics, which I really dislike.


Graham Says:

Murray needs to go away and work on his offensive game. If he doesnt do it soon it really will become too late.

You do not win Grand Slam events in Tennis by just waiting for errors. On the set points Murray had he just did nothing with the ball. When he attempts to hit the ball with pace on his forehand he loses all control.

He needs to go into the smaller events and play attacking tennis in every single match – even if playing someone he could beat playing passively. Because that is the way his game will develop. I get the impression up until now in his career Murray has only cared about winning – the development of his game has been secondary. Now its been proven that his game does not work then he needs to go and have a rethink. I hope he isnt so stubborn that he keeps doing the same thing over and over next year.

Maybe he needs to sack some of those yes-men in his camp and get a decent coach in


i am it Says:

go gonzu ! one more set.


i love fed Says:

“I don’t believe that either Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer actually believes that they can beat Murray at the moment.”
Simon Reed


Giner Says:

This result doesn’t surprise me. Murray gets way too much hype. The talent is limitless, but the cold hard reality is that he’s only made one GS final in his career.

I don’t think he’s overrated, but I think he is overhyped. And I also think it’s the big stage that’s getting to him. He has no trouble at all winning Masters 1000s.

In the beginning of the tournament I picked a rematch of last year’s final, with Fed repeating, though Murray having a realistic chance to win. But I also said it wouldn’t surprise me if Murray didn’t reach the final since he was upset by players he was favoured to beat in the other 3 slams.

This just makes it Federer’s to lose, like at the other 3 slams. He’s been fortunate in that his biggest threats get upset before he has to face them. Not his fault one bit, but he is lucky, no question.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Bravo Gonzalez!

Good win!


Tennisfan Says:

Only American television would replay their own countries players matches from the previous days when other important matches are on live (re: oedin during Tsonga:Gonzalez match) … whats with that? … TSN should buy the feed from Eurosport coverage so that Canadians can watch the matches as they occur …

… Delpo playing very well … looks like a Federer / Delpo final ….


fadingis Says:

i don`t know who that simon guy is but he dosen´t seem to know much about tennis or to have seen how federer beat murray in cincy, i think that fed at this point feels confident too beat anyone exept nadal in clay


fadingis Says:

i don`t know who that simon guy is but he dosen´t seem to know much about tennis or to have seen how federer beat murray in cincy, i think that fed at this point feels confident too beat anyone exept nadal on clay


i love fed Says:

Until he wins a grand slam by beating either of those players he doesn’t and shouldn’t be classified with them. Djokovic has done more than Murray.


Veno Says:

RALLY OF THE YEAR!!!!!!!!!


Cindy_Brady Says:

Nadal doesn’t look right to me. Monfils is moving fantastic. An upset could be brewing.


i am it Says:

don’t nobody bring bad luck to my rafa. rafa is slowly getting into the match. monfils won the first but that ain’t mean much. it’s 5-set match. long way to go. he can win.


jimbojones Says:

La Monf is not aggressive enough to win unless Rafa is really debilitated.


i am it Says:

monfils has not won the first set yet.


jane Says:

I am missing everything – just got home to find out now that Tsonga is out! I see Rafa is his usual fight-back self, though!


i am it Says:

rafa gets the break and the set is still in play.


jimbojones Says:

Mindy a pusher is a player who just puts the ball in play but does not really hit the ball. Monfils just massages the ball around the court except for on his serve. He needs to step into the court more and hit through the ball. The defensive skills are great, but at his height he should not be on the defensive so often.


Skorocel Says:

Dory: „Both Andys out of US Open!! One less thorn for the Master.“

Yeah, and one obstacle less for the BIGGEST thorn to once again prickle the Master’s feet ;-)


jimbojones Says:

Monfils has to win this set as he was in a winning position.


i am it Says:

as long as rafa keeps the point short he is in a good shape. avoid long rallies with monfils. this is an odd position to be for rafa but he’s gotta do it.


Giner Says:

Gilles Simon is a pusher. At least he was when I saw him play Monfils in Melb.


jimbojones Says:

I think Rafa beats Monfils but long points could inflict damage for the QF, SF and Final rounds.


i am it Says:

monfils’ strokes are firing like bullets tonight.


jimbojones Says:

Giner and Gilles Simon is under 6′ and weighs nothing. Monfils should play offense and then let his excellent defense be icing for him. I’d like to see him make that leap forward, but I am not sure Monfils is ready to give up the defense first game plan that made him the #1 junior in the world.


i am it Says:

monfils is muttering 1000 things inaudibly. funny.
that got him mini break in the tie.


i am it Says:

rafa better steal a couple.


jimbojones Says:

I hope I am wrong as I love seeing a player make a breakthrough – Allez LaMonf


Skorocel Says:

Uff, that was a big FH mistake from Nadal! Could very well cost him the set…


Skorocel Says:

And it did… First set to Monfils!


i am it Says:

ok monfils takes the first set. not a biggie.


steve Says:

I expected Monfils to lose it when he dropped serve, but he played an excellent tiebreak. Gutsy to come in and make a drop volley after forcing Nadal out of position.


i am it Says:

they both strip for a sec. little eye candy for ladies.


i am it Says:

rafa cannot go like murray cuz he is rafa. what i am saying is he’s gotta hit winners. not just get the ball back into play. that’d be suicidal.


jane Says:

Monfils is zoning and he is dangerous when he’s zoning, kinda like Tsonga. The two are similar in a number of ways – exciting and excitable, but also moody, able to go way off the boil; extremely talented and athletic, but also injury-prone.

Rafa needs to look to end points quicker – these long rallies won’t do his body any favors. Monfils is trying to push him back but Rafa needs to not concede the baseline.

Rafa having a way tougher time holding…

I think Monfils may start spraying more errors, and at that point momentum will shift. But…you never know. That’s what one might’ve thought about Cilic, and yet it didn’t happen by the sounds of it.

————————————

I like both Tsonga & Gonza, so am happy for Fernando anyhow. He’s a veteran who can play out of his skull sometimes. Nice to see him win big now and again.

———————————–

Verdasco could very well beat Djoko, and please don’t call me a pessimist for saying that – 50/50! :) Verdasco looked great in the 2 sets I saw versus Isner. The tall man had no chance there! Hotsauce dictated.


i am it Says:

monfils has been playing as effectively as cilic was earlier in the afternoon. rafa has to be extremely careful. yes j, rafa has to shorten points. not only for the sake of his body but also because long rallies have gone to monfils.


i am it Says:

i have never seen monfils play this good. he has been in the zone so far.


i am it Says:

rafa finally breaks mofo. i liked rafa tennis tarantula.


vared Says:

Does Verdasco have a back issue? four tough sets.


i am it Says:

shoot monfils breaks back. that was one of the craziest points i have ever seen.


Skorocel Says:

2 or 3 easy UEs and a narrowly missed FH winner – and Monfils is back on track in the 2nd set… Careful Rafa!


sensationalsafin Says:

Monfils is the dumbest tennis player I’ve ever scene. I’m finding it so hard to root for him. He plays tennis as if though he’s brain dead. I’d rather Nadal win just because he’s a smart guy. This is unreal.


i am it Says:

i want rafa to win but i’m beginning to lose hope.


i am it Says:

as far as i know monfils is playing smarter tennis than rafa.


rose Says:

omg guys this game is making scream..nadal playing good but making a lot of unforced errors and monfils is plays well ..good serve so far…but im really rooting for rafa..come on rafa..wwow this kid makes tennis look so good ..


Ty Says:

Jeezhus… what a brutal game to break from Nadal. Monfils looks toasted already.


rose Says:

i agree with you Ty..monfil looks like he is going to collapse


i am it Says:

ok let me say this if monfils can sustain the intensity he will win the match. but he may not be able to if he is tired out.


Skorocel Says:

Well, that was a VERY important break from Nadal. 5-3 and serving for the 2nd set!

P.S. Is it only me who thinks Monfils is starting to tire?


Ty Says:

i am it: Have you watched the last two games? Rafa is sustaining the intensity much better IMO than Monfils. Monfils has to start shortening the points more often if he is going to have a chance.


Ty Says:

Last three points are a good example :P


rose Says:

wwwwww..will monfil break back?..


i am it Says:

if rafa can tire monfils out, that may be one strategy to win. the smarter strategy was to hit winners and shorten the points. rafa is trying to do the former.


rose Says:

yesss..great effort from nadal ..he still has it .


sensationalsafin Says:

Nadal is just playing crummy. Too many UEs. But Monfils should go for his shots more. He just keeps playing to the middle. Wtf is he thinking? Nothing probs. You can’t beat Nadal by outrallying him. Just ask this one dude who’s played him a few times, I think his name is Roger or something.


i am it Says:

there are some signs rafa’s dumb strategy is working and monfils looks a bit fatigued.


Daniel Says:

Wow, this is the greatest defense match ever!! 25-30 shot per point several times. Amazing!


Skorocel Says:

Well, at last Nadal gets that 2nd set!


i am it Says:

actually monfils won 1st set by playing long rallies. in the first set whenever the rally was long the point would go to monfils.
but that is gradually shifting to rafa.


Daniel Says:

sensationalsafin, I have to agree with you. He should have come to the net way more often to finish the points. He just satay back waiting the ball to kick allowing Nadal more time to regroup.


i am it Says:

rafa won 1 set means he will win the match. early projection: rafa wins in 4.


Skorocel Says:

Seems like that HE system was made in Spain. 1-0 to Nadal and serving!


i am it Says:

3rd set begins with a break for rafa.


Skorocel Says:

sensationalsafin: You’re right. Those “moonballs” which Monfils hits at times are mindboggling! I mean, the guy has a chance to hit a winner – yet he plays it safe… WTF?


i am it Says:

that was it for monfils. now if he tries to hit winner he mishits. he is exhausted to get into long rallies. he has lost power in his shots.
the match is over for monfils.


Skorocel Says:

No signs of that abdomen injury from Nadal yet… The guy runs like a rabbit! Meanwhile, Monfils holds to 1-2.


sensationalsafin Says:

If Nadal wasn’t hampered by injury and didn’t have only a number of matches under his belt, he woulda been up 2 sets to love right now. Monfils’ “strategy” is just unexplainable. After watching how Cilic rocked Murray by going for his shots, it just shocks me to see another player trying to win WITHOUT going for their shots. Monfils should just watch Nadal. As soon as Nadal gets a short ball, BAM, winner. Nadal leaves nothing unpunished. Yet Monfils is just like “I’ll go for a winner later, let’s hit!!”


Skorocel Says:

“I’ll go for a winner later, let’s hit!!”

Ha ha, very nicely said, sensationalsafin!


i am it Says:

monfls is counter-puncher. he is not and can never be a heavy hitter like cilic.
for a counter-puncher to hit a winner he will have to wait and line up the ball.


i am it Says:

monfils has already called his trainer. he might retire?


Ty Says:

I love grand slam tennis, the better player almost always wins.


Blank Says:

Too difficult for Monfils now. Tsonga and Monfils have remained big underachievers for quite some time now.


sensationalsafin Says:

If Monfils is just gonna hit to the middle of the court, why doesn’t he just aim at Nadal? He’d be more likely to win that way.


Dan Martin Says:

15-40 if he breaks back and digs in I will be impressed to see that maturity.


Skorocel Says:

sensationalsafin: Ha ha, do you mean hitting directly at Nadal’s body?


Tennis Vagabond Says:

I don’t think Monfils is a counterpuncher, but I agree with the point that he has to be more aggressive. The problem is, Nadal makes aggressive look like cautious. You have to go for winner after winner to beat Nadal. Monfils is fast, but Nadal is the Energizer Bunny.
With all that’s happpened to, and been said about, both Fed and Nadal, it will be very sweet to end 2009 as we ended 2008, 2007, etc. With Fed and Nadal in the top spots.


Skorocel Says:

Well, as they say, “it ain’t over till it’s over”. Monfils breaks back!


i am it Says:

that was so dumb of nadal to slice and get broken.


Dan Martin Says:

With the 5th set tiebreakers Monfils should resolve himself that he is not going to be broken again and at worst wins 7-6, 3-6, 1-6, 7-6, 7-6 – it may be wishful thinking but if he gears his mind up and believes he can win and that winning is not going to take 36 hours of play he can maybe make a match of it. He has to believe he can win and play with a purpose. Not sure he will ever do that versus Nadal.


Giner Says:

How does Monfils manage to tire himself out after one set of tennis? He is coached by a fitness guru and as far as I know, did not have a tough road to the 4th round.


Dan Martin Says:

I do like that he seems to be mentally still fighting and believing but Nadal is a big mountain to climb 1 set down in the 4th.


Skorocel Says:

The crowd pretty much pro-Monfils as he levels the score to 3 all.


Skorocel Says:

Nadal holds to go 4-3, but I have a feeling as if Monfils is getting his second wind… This match certainly isn’t over yet!


Dan Martin Says:

Or he can collapse down 0-40


Dan Martin Says:

One game to dig in and pull something out of his chapeau or to just say goodbye?


junaid Says:

Nadal break back and going for serving for match


sensationalsafin Says:

I do mean aiming at Nadal’s body. I’m shocked by Monfils. Talk about hot and cold.


sensationalsafin Says:

Cmon Nadal! Pull a Safin :D


junaid Says:

Nadal won this match but actual test will be against Gonzo … i think Nadal have only 20% chance to win against Gonzo……


junaid Says:

match point for nadal


junaid Says:

Great win for Nadal


Daniel Says:

Great win for Nadal! This was the best thing that could have happened to him, he just play himself into form, Nadal form.
Now I am really believing that we’ll get a Fedal atthis year US open.


Dan Martin Says:

Wow he gets 0-15 and then has some terrible misses after doing the hard work of making wonderful saves to stay in points. Strange, but Rafa if healthy ought to beat Gonzo. JMDP vs. Rafa? Cilic vs. Rafa?


jane Says:

Rafa back to #2 – he fought well to tone down the zoning Gael force. And he played great as the match progressed – congrats to Nadal!

Monfils and Tsonga- both flame brightly and then flame out. I like both but it’s a shame this happens with them so much.

been there, done that – hope you’re not too disappointed. But it is indeed exciting to watch Gael when he’s playing well.


sensationalsafin Says:

Idk why the Macintosh brothers are saying Nadal is back. I’d say he entered the Open with a pretty good shot of winning. But idk how he’s supposed to beat Del Potro playing the way he is. He’s not playing THAT well. And Del Potro is just a monster of a presence.

Ok, so, it’s official. If you want a secure profession where you’ll be safe, don’t become a tennis player. Unbelievable. The guy coulda stabbed Nadal with the time he had. Jesus Christ. I’m fuggin shocked beyond words. Unbelievable.

Hell even Gonzo might pose a legite threat to Nadal. But idk, Gonzo seems to lay and egg whenever he plays Nadal nowadays. Oh well, we’ll see. Good on Nadal, he fights so well.


junaid Says:

I think this is great acheivement by Nadal…After returning back after 4 months..this is best result in Grand Slam for any one.. Murray should seek lession from it :P


sensationalsafin Says:

What Fedal final? It’s gonna be a Djokotro final!


blah Says:

JmDp will beat Cilic. (Murray’s passive style is really hurting him even more than I thought it would.) Gonzo has a flat forehand but I think Nadal will attack his backhand and win, and Monfils really pushed Nadal’s game up to high gear.

It should be Federer v.s. Novak and Nadal v.s. JmDp. Those would be fantastic semifinals.


i am it Says:

when a counter-puncher pretends to be a heavy hitter, you have 33 winners to 63 unforced errors.
compare this stat with dePo, soderling, gonzu, and cilic’s stats, the real heavy hitters. that’s the difference.


Skorocel Says:

Boy, was I wrong! Another stupid game from Monfils, and Nadal breaks & then serves it out! LOL Gael!


i am it Says:

rafa is not back. quarter final could be very well the end of his road. if he luckily survives gonzu, which I seriously doubt, he won’t get past dePo or cilic.


Skorocel Says:

sensationalsafin: Why to hype JMDP so much? The guy is still yet to reach a semi of a slam played on hard-court, nor did he win any MS tourney (on any surface), so why all the buzz? In my opinion, Cilic has more than a decent shot to beat him.


Tennisfan Says:

Nadal performance tonight more impressive as the night rolled on. Gonzo will have to be at his very best to have a chance … I think Nadal has a chance to get to the final … but he’ll have to go through Delpo … and he just might …


sensationalsafin Says:

Because everytime I watch Del Potro play I’m incredibly impressed. Imo, his technqiue makes it look like he can miss at any moment, but he never does. His ground game is huge, he moves well, and he’s got a beast of a serve.

Very similar to his next opponent, Cilic. Only difference is experience and the mental game. Del Potro might not be a seasoned veteran, but he’s played several big matches already and I think he’ll overcome Cilic.


junaid Says:

I think both Delpo and Cilic have almost same game… who will show more energy and stemina.. will win the match


Skorocel Says:

“Imo, his technqiue makes it look like he can miss at any moment, but he never does.”

Ha ha, you make me laugh tonight, sensationalsafin :-)


Andrew MIller Says:

Nadal just has more grit. He is less flash than pure competitor.

Watching the first set I thought Monfils was playing unbelievably well – apparently Nadal felt the same thing and said, “Monfils cannot keep this up.”

As for sheer playing, I thought Monfils, if he played at the level of the first set, with more consistency, could win a Grand Slam and even this Grand Slam.


steve Says:

When two grinders get together, the grindier one will win, and that’s what happened with Nadal and Monfils.

Monfils is flaky and can lose concentration for entire games, entire sets. Nadal always has 100% concentration. He makes very few mistakes, the only way to beat him is to outplay him.

I think the Djokovic/Verdasco matchup will be very entertaining. I’m hoping for a five-setter.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Cilic was made to look good by a sub-par Murray. Del Po is the real deal. I believe he will handle Cilic easily.
I think Nadal will beat Gonzo, Rog will beat Soderling, Djok will beat Verdasco.
Should be GREAT semis, GREAT finals.


Skorocel Says:

Just looking back at that recently finished match between Nadal and Monfils, well, I have to say, hats off to the Spaniard! Losing the 1st set in a breaker (especially after coming back from a break deficit) is always tough, but evidently not for this guy! Where the others (including Monfils) collapse mentally, Nadal always remains 100 % focused and just won’t go away… You gotta admire this on him!


Andrew MIller Says:

I think Mr. Martin is right about the current crop of U.S. players – Querrey’s movement must get even better to win a slam and that will be a tall order – far taller than the test that James Blake and Andy Roddick face every Grand Slam (I believe Blake and Roddick are better players at the end of the day, however miserable Blake’s strategy is on court).

However, I think the next generation may surprise – Roddick has led the charge forever now, but there is a crop of players that Roddick will probably still lead in a year or two that will move up the ranks. As Melanie Oudin has proven this tournament, there is a great U.S. player out there, whose time hasnt come yet.

I wish that player could have been Donald Young, but he needs a miracle of an intervention to become a contender!


Skorocel Says:

“Cilic was made to look good by a sub-par Murray.”

LOL! You gotta be kidding here!


steve Says:

“I think this is great acheivement by Nadal…After returning back after 4 months..this is best result in Grand Slam for any one”

Not true. Clijsters was out for over two years and she is in the semifinals, having toppled one former number one and US Open champ along the way :)


sensationalsafin Says:

Yeah as subpar as Murray was, Cilic played great on his own.

About Nadal losing the first set, yeah, he’s really something else. After Monfils was broken in the first set, I was thinking this could turn into another FO QF with the way he played Federer so tough and fell apart after losing the first set TB. Well, I was still kinda right. Just that, he collapsed even after winning the first set TB. And it wasn’t so much his fault as it was Nadal’s for just applying so much pressure.


africanck Says:

Here again we see that Murray does not have the goods in the Slams..he always loses. That is a terrible defeat to a guy is good but not that good Cilic. Look at Nadal he has the goods..I think it might be Nadal Federer again or may Del Potro gets through since he is playing great. Thats why Murray will never make number I he chokes in the Slams and that was a real choke!!! Sorry for you Murray fans..
Also makes Jonny Mac look like an idiot since he predicted one of the two Andy would win..Sorry Jonnny wrong again!!


doc Says:

Murray was up 2 sets. By the time I could get back the match was done but ESPN360 allows one to go back so I picked it up in the 3rd. Cilic did what Roddick did in the Wimby semis. Got ON him early and took advantage of Murray’s ‘overdog’ status which I think Murray hasn’t figured out (yet?) when he gets a close match. Why? He was 0-6 in break opportunities last stat posted. Cilic was 3-6. THAT’s huge and reflects the dynamic of being favored against real tough players which is still pretty new for Murray. The given is that he matched him well off the ground so then it was all mental. Cilic played GREAT with the good leads and in the usually nervous close-out phase. He could be a mentally tougher version of his very talented countryman Ancic. Both games are very similar. He’s younger so perhaps this will be the guy to bust thru (since Goran Ivanisovic) from that land I got to visit in 1998.


junaid Says:

yes steve ..you are right ..but i was talking about Men singles only… you can see career of Hewitt and safin after facing injuries..so its not easy to come again with top guys competition.


tennisontherocks Says:

Happy to see Rafa getting back to #2. He is getting better with each match, has not spent too much time on court, so won’t rule out any possibilities for him right now.


Mindy Says:

Okay, I am trying to write this with tears in my eyes and my hands shaking from all the emotion over Rafa’s unbelievable win tonight! I just wanted to say to those who want to know why I am such a huge fan of Rafa, who want to know why I defend him so passionately – THIS IS WHY!

All you had to do is watch that match and it says it all better than I ever could. If you saw Rafa fighting back and pounding away at Monfils, literally taking the breath out of him, wearing him down, never giving up, pounding his chest! I have never seen Rafa so emotional in a match! Now my Rafa is #2 and he deserves it! After what he has been through, to see him fighting so hard, after being written off, questions about his abdomen, his knees, all of the nonsense, all of the garbage, well he showed everyone!

This one is for you, Sean Randall – MY MAN RAFA WON!!! Did you see my man? Did you see the guy you always sell out? Did you see the guy you always bet against? Yes, you picked Gonzo to win over Rafa in the quarterfinals! Well, after what we all saw, I wouldn’t bet against Rafa! Never!

Sean – keep on picking Rafa’s opponents to beat him, because you are bringing him luck. Keep on doubting him, running him down. He will just show you up every single time. This was the old Rafa! You see one like him once in a generation, if you are lucky! When John McEnroe said – how we have missed you, Rafa – that was when I lost it and I am losing it now all over again. I can’t even type anything. I am hoarse from screaming for Rafa throughout the match.

VAMOS RAFA!!!!


Giner Says:

tennisontherocks Says:

“Happy to see Rafa getting back to #2. He is getting better with each match, has not spent too much time on court, so won’t rule out any possibilities for him right now.”

Greg Rusedski says Nadal can’t win, due to stomache injury.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/more-sport/2009/09/08/rafa-nadal-cannot-win-the-us-open-carrying-a-serious-abdominal-injury-115875-21656367/

But then again, he also expected Murray to be in the semis.


Giner Says:

Mindy I think you’re taking your cheerleading a bit too far. The guy is not invincible. Monfils was as responsible for today’s loss as Rafa was. From the reports here, he got tired after winning the first set and wasn’t able to play at his best level. That’s quite poor coming from a top athlete. Whatever Nadal did to him, he should be able to withstand a bit more punishment than that.

I like his chances against Gonzo. Gonzo thrashed him at AO in 2007, but he got his revenge this year. It’s anyone’s match, but I pick Rafa to win that one. Cilic is beatable too (he will use his experience advantage), but Del Potro is a guy I don’t fancy his chances against.

If he manages to reach the final, Federer (there is no one else in that side of the draw capable of reaching the final) I think is beatable also because he has choked against Nadal in the past when he should have won.

If Nadal loses, I do not believe it has anything to do with the speed of the court surface. That is overrated. I’ve seen parts of matches and it does not look fast at all. The ITF lists it as a medium speed hard court. He’ll get beaten by an aggressive player with lots of firepower who just plays better on the day. Gonzo is capable of beating him, it’s just a matter of whether he can execute.

The stomache doesn’t look too serious based on today’s result. Match fitness-wise, he is ok.

Should be interesting. Whoever makes the semi-final, the key will be playing a short semi to remain fresher for the final, which will be hard because everyone who reaches that stage is a good player. Federer will have the advantage of being first out as usual, so whoever he meets can’t afford to drag out their semi.

I give Djokovic a 25% chance of beating Federer. It will likely be a 4 set win for Feds. Soderling I give a 1% chance of beating him. The question isn’t “can Soderling win the match,” it’s “can he win a set?”. My answer is no. Sorry, but I do not expect Soderling to ever record a career win against Federer.

The way the planets have aligned for him (again), it will be a massive upset if Federer doesn’t win his 6th US Open.


Mindy Says:

Giner,

You are entitled to your opinion and I am entitled to rejoice in a wonderful victory for Rafa. You can try and analyze it any way you want, but you can’t take it away from Rafa. You will certainly not dim my exuberance and joy. It’s been months since I have had anything to cheer about, so I feel I was entitled to let loose. With all of the people always writing Rafa off, hitting him with cheap shots, I think it’s time to focus on why he is so great.

You know, it’s not all in match statistics. It’s also about intangibles. People tend to forget that. It’s about mental toughness, will to win, heart, guts and courage. Rafa is hurting and has been struggling to get back to fighting form. But the guy has no quit in him and that inspires me.

I have watched tennis all my life. I have seen them all – Billie Jean King, who was my idol, Rod Laver, Roy Emerson, Borg, McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Agassi, Sampras, Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova. So I know greatness when I see it. I know many think it’s blasphemy to mention greatness without Federer in that sentence, but I dare to do it. Rafa is only 23 years old and look at what he has accomplished. He’s not done yet, not by a long shot.

I am so proud of him in his comeback effort. Maybe it was a little self-indulgent for this blog, so I will save further cheering for the Rafa forums.

As far as Monfils being as responsible for Rafa’s win, well that’s just not true. Yes, he got tired. Who do you think tired him out? That’s what Rafa does to his opponents. It’s funny, but Rafa was doing a lot of running around too, yet he didn’t get tired. Did you also hear Monfils say that Rafa looks the way he did before his injury?

Why on earth must you persist in refusing to give credit where credit is due? Is it because you are one of those Federer fans who think the sun rises and sets on him? What is it? Because I really think you are missing a big point here. There is something that only the greatest champions can do – win when they are not at their best. Rafa’s sheer will to win got him the win at the 2009 AO. Or do you wish to demean that accomplishment, too? Here he was, after a brutal five set match with Verdasco, on one day’s rest to Fed’s two days, on his weakest surface where he never won, physically hurting and yet he managed to pull off the win. That’s because winning is about more than just who has the best shots, best serve, best technique. It’s about the things you can’t see, can’t put your finger on. That’s what Rafa has and it’s why he can do the impossible.

I am too happy to let anyone get me down. I didn’t even bother to answer some of the cheap shots from one person here who I know is not a Rafa fan. I am thrilled right now. I just want to savor this win and look forward to Rafa’s quarterfinal match with Gonzo. He better bring his “A” game and maybe something else. He’s going to need it.

I am exhausted and done for tonight.


Skorocel Says:

Giner said: „Monfils was as responsible for today’s loss as Rafa was. From the reports here, he got tired after winning the first set and wasn’t able to play at his best level. That’s quite poor coming from a top athlete. Whatever Nadal did to him, he should be able to withstand a bit more punishment than that.“

Yep, that’s quite poor. But who cares if Monfils was ill, running on one leg, or poisoned? Who the hell cares? That’s his problem, not Nadal’s. I mean, whenever this French guy plays (or better said, whenever you watch him play and then read all these comments), he just can’t be 100 % fit. Whether it’s his wrist, his knees, his butt, his this or that, the guy just can’t be ready. WTF? He’s a professional athlete, isn’t he?


Ezorra Says:

As far as I’m concerned, Giner has always given Nadal the credit he deserves. In fact, if I’m not mistaken, he is one of the Nadal fans but not the fanatic one.

Ps: I am Nadal fan too but I don’t see anything he/she writes has crossed the border.


Giner Says:

Mindy,

“Why on earth must you persist in refusing to give credit where credit is due? Is it because you are one of those Federer fans who think the sun rises and sets on him? What is it?”

Far from it. Believe me. I just think you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. You make it sound like he can’t lose and his game is perfect. He can, and it’s not.

“This one is for you, Sean Randall – MY MAN RAFA WON!!! Did you see my man? Did you see the guy you always sell out? Did you see the guy you always bet against? Yes, you picked Gonzo to win over Rafa in the quarterfinals! Well, after what we all saw, I wouldn’t bet against Rafa! Never! Sean – keep on picking Rafa’s opponents to beat him, because you are bringing him luck. Keep on doubting him, running him down. He will just show you up every single time.”

It’s not going to happen every single time. Sorry but it won’t. This was a good win, but not his biggest. The Wimbledon and AO finals that he won were his most significant. This is just Monfils in the 4th round. You’re entitled to be jubilant about it but winning the final would justify it more. There will be more to cheer when he beats somebody better and who doesn’t run out of steam as fast as he. To be honest, him beating Murray would have probably made me as ecstatic as it made you.

If you’re that excited about a 4th round win, I can’t imagine how you’ll be if he wins the final. I hope it happens for you. He put a smile on my face too once or twice. It’s a nice feeling, because I totally did not expect him to win the AO final.

However, when you put these kind of expectations on a player, you really are setting yourself up for disappointment. Losing hurts most when winning means everything. Look at Federer’s tears to see what really lies beneath that veneer.

I presume you’re new here to mistake me for a Fed fan. I always did like and admire Fed, moreso in his earlier days, but never really worshipped him.

Nadal, Murray and co owe a lot to Federer for raising the bar, making them improve their own game to compete with him.

This is still Federer’s to lose.


been there, done that Says:

Jane says:
“been there, done that – hope you’re not too disappointed. But it is indeed exciting to watch Gael when he’s playing well.”

I tell you, after so many losses, my tennis-heart is now turned into stone. lol. His coach will have to work hard to keep the flames burning bright for 5 full sets! My man Monfils!!!! As for Tsonga, let’s just say he displayed the classic french-syndrome as you’ve described @11.50pm.

One fine day, these frenchies will deliver. my fortune-teller crystal balls tell me it’s happening in 2010:) For now, I focuss my tennis-energy on JMDP’s success.


Mindy Says:

Giner,

At no time have I said that I expect Rafa to win the Open. I am just trying to take it one match at a time and stay in the moment. There were just too many unknowns with Rafa coming into this tournament. I knew he wouldn’t be in peak form for the tournament, but my hope was that if he could survive the early rounds, then he might play his way into the tournament. His abdominal injury has only made it even more difficult to have expectations. There were a lot of ominous reports about that injury being worse than originally thought. I even heard rumors of Rafa withdrawing. So I approached last night’s match with a lot of trepidation and anxiety. I had no idea what to expect. But to see him finally looking like the old Rafa, playing so well and being more emotional and motivated than ever, was just a joy. I am happy to see Rafa win. That’s all I want.

I am not setting myself up for disappointment, because I never said or even implied that Rafa would win here. It’s the commentators and analysts who keep pointing out that Rafa could complete the career grand slam with a win here. I wish they would just shup up about it already. They are the one setting expectations way too high. It’s just the sheer pleasure of seeing Rafa play well and win. That’s all.

I have lived too long to be foolish enough to raise my expectations too high. I think Rafa has a good chance to beat Gonzo and get into the semis. That would be a great result. I also know that there are no sure things in a grand slam. It would appear that some think we should just forego the formalities of competition and award the trophy to Federer. It doesn’t work that way. I believe that Federer is the odds on favorite to win, but a sure thing? No way. You just never know what can happen in a grand slam. Honestly, a week ago would anyone here have predicted that both Murray and Roddick would be gone and Rafa would still be here?

I appreciate your concern, but I will be fine. I am being realistic regarding Rafa’s chances here. What you read was an expression of absolute exuberance at seeing Rafa playing like his old self. That is enough for me.


Giner Says:

OK, my apologies. Good luck, I hope he does well.

Fed is the odds on favourite and while anything ‘can’ happen in a slam, I don’t expect it to because well.. look at the 20 or so GS finals he’s been in. No one has been able to beat him except Rafa, and unless Rafa is in the final (which would give us an even match) it’s safe to say that based on past history, an upset is not on the way. Fed hasn’t given me any reason to believe that he will lose a final to anyone else.

Against Rafa he could lose if he is off. A lot will depend on what happens Saturday. Cilic and Del Potro have almost zero chance of beating Feds barring a miracle (e.g. injury, stabbing, struck by lightning, etc..).

If Rafa does manage to win the Open (and we really are getting ahead of ourselves here) it would seriously change the conversation though, about Rafa’s ability to play on hard courts especially, and the speed of the US Open courts (not so quick anymore if he wins right?). There wouldn’t be much left to pick on.

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