Some thoughts on today’s remaining matches at the US Open which continues today with quarterfinal play. I think Novak Djokovic and Fernando Verdasco will be an entertaining slugfest, but a slugfest Novak will win.
After losing his first two with the lefty Spaniard, Djokovic has won three straight over Verdasco and I think after destroying Radek Stepanek the other night I think he’ll do in Verdasco this afternoon. Fernando certainly has the game and the power to do damage to Novak, but to consistently do it over five sets is another matter against a quality opponent like the Serb. Plus Novak is a far more complete player than Fernando, so I’m picking Novak in four.
Tonight, Roger Federer meets Robin Soderling for a 12th time. Federer has won 11 straight over the Swede including wins in the last two Slams, and I fully expect Federer to roll again tonight. In 26 sets against the Swiss, Soderling’s managed just one set. One set! That’s a shockingly lopsided number and one I don’t think Robin’s going to be able to turn around this evening. He’s certainly got the ability, but somewhere there’s a built-in mental block for Robin when it comes to playing Federer.
In perhaps the bigger match of the evening – at least for us in the U.S. - the new, fresh face of American tennis Melanie Oudin tries to keep the mojo going against Caroline Wozniacki. The 17-year-old Oudin, who I call a cross between Justine Henin and Lleyton Hewitt, has remarkably and impressively fought her way through four very tough Russians, but tonight she gets a Great Dane who’s coming off a New Haven title and the four wins in Flushing have put her into her first Slam quarterfinal.
Unlike the Russians, Wozniacki is steady and sturdy and I think that will be enough to get her over Oudin. But it should be a tight, nervy affair (what non-Williams match hasn’t been in women’s draw?) but miracle Melanie’s run ends tonight.
And congrats to Yanina Wickmayer (who?) for reaching the women’s semifinals. Anybody pick her at the start of the week, anyone? What a surprise and likely not our last of the tournament.
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