Nadal v. Murray Highlight Start of Australian Open Quarterfinals
by Sean Randall | January 25th, 2010, 8:59 pm
  • 181 Comments

We nearly had our “dream” Final 8 on the men’s side at the Australian Open tennis. The only spoiler – if you can even label him such – was Marin Cilic who in a mild upset knocked out Juan Martin Del Potro a couple nights ago.

Cilic later tonight (or today) plays Andy Roddick in what is still a great matchup in the first quarterfinal. Then this morning, set your alarms and/or adjust your sleep schedule accordingly for super showdown Rafael Nadal v. Andy Murray chapter 10.

Tomorrow we’ll have two more terrific tests with Roger Federer v. Nikolay Davydenko and Novak Djokovic and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga ready to rumble.

First to today’s contests.

Andy Roddick v. Marin Cilic
Had Roddick not gone five sets with Fernando Gonzalez and had he not appeared to have aggravate his knee, I would be quick to take Roddick in this one, especially with Cilic having to expend a lot of energy to reach this point – he’s won two five set matches and four-setter.

Head-to-head, Roddick and Cilic split their prior meetings but they haven’t played in over 18 months, so there’s not much to draw from the past.

Matchup-wise, Roddick gets the clear edge in experience, fitness and of course serve, though Cilic can bang ‘em in. Beyond that it’s pretty even. Roddick’s long had one of the biggest forehands in the game, but under Larry Stafanki he seems content to just sit in rallies rather than go for broke as he did when he won his only Slam at the 2003 US Open. Therefore I give the edge to Cilic in terms of firepower off the ground.

But Cilic has never been to a Slam semifinal and at this stage, if Roddick’s knee is ok I think he’ll get enough balls back to allow Cilic to self destruct. And Cilic also has to be feeling something from those long matches he’s played in the last three rounds. My pick here is a shaky one, Roddick in four.

Andy Murray v. Rafael Nadal
Never in recent years has a pre-semifinal Grand Slam match carried so much weight as this clash of the two of the best does. In my mind, this match could really set the tone for the rest of the season for both players and for the tour as a whole. It could be a match that we look back upon as a turning point or watershed moment for Nadal and Murray.

A lot has been written of how hard Murray has worked to get to this point. He trained furiously over the off season, came to Australia extra early and so far his results have showed a heightened game – he’s the only player yet to drop a set. The Scot excelled in ATP events a year ago but his Slam results came up far short.

Meanwhile, doubts remain for Nadal. How are his knees? Are things all right back home? Has the field figured out how to beat the Spanish Bull? Nadal hasn’t won a title since Rome and he has just a single Top 10 victory since beating Novak Djokovic in that memorable Madrid match. But Nadal comes in as the defending champion here with a ton to prove, that he is simply not going away and his best days are not behind him.

Head-to-head, it’s a big edge to Rafa. And it’s no real wonder as Murray’s passive, soft ball game plays right into Rafa’s hands. Nadal’s beaten Murray in seven of nine career meetings including two straight. Murray’s two wins came on hardcourts, but Nadal was bothered by a knee at Rotterdam last year and in the US Open semifinals in 2008, there were issues with the weather.

Their first-ever meeting turned out to be a five-setter won by Nadal as a green Murray ran out of gas 6-1 in the fifth. I expect another long match with nearly the outcome is nearly the same. The court and the moment better suit Rafa, and no one is a better fighter. The pick is Nadal in four.

As for the women, Justine Henin… She’s baaaack…Amazingly scary.


Also Check Out:
Murray Needs Three In Debut At Brisbane, Serena Stomps Stephens, Gets Azarenka Tonight; Tomic In Tune
Roddick v. Verdasco Highlight Thursday in Montreal
2010 Wimbledon TV Schedule – ESPN, NBC
Roger Federer Says He’s Playing His Best Tennis Since Dubai
Grigor Dimitrov Hit Another Spectacular Shot Last Night In Washington [Video]

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181 Comments for Nadal v. Murray Highlight Start of Australian Open Quarterfinals

BigMike Says:

Zheng Jie should smash her opponent, Kirilenko today.. Laver Arena is at 36% capacity at the start of this match.


Sean Randall Says:

I like Maria – to look at – but I agree, Zheng should win this match!


Andrew Miller Says:

I hope Kirilenko wins!

Roddick over Cilic. Roddick has come too far for a let down against Cilic.

Nadal over Murray, maybe even in straights.

Davydenko over Federer.

Djokovic over Tsonga.

Roddick over Nadal.
Davydenko over Djokovic.
Roddick over Davydenko. Wins AO. Cries.

Kirilenko over Zheng, then loses to Henin
Azarenka (yikes!) over Serena, then loses to Venus, who beats Li.
Venus over Henin. Wins AO. Smiles!

And there you have it…Roddick gets his 2nd slams and Venus takes out another vet on the comeback train.


Andrew Miller Says:

wishful thinking, yes. impossible, probably. improbable, the reality.


tenisbebe Says:

Good analysis Sean Randall. And Maria is definitely a hottie. Zheng has been too solid from the back thus far and Maria needs to mix it up more and get her out of her groove.


Von Says:

Andrew: Have you heard anything about Roddick’s knee? He didn’t show up for practice today. during his match with Gonzo, it seemed as though he tweaked it a bit, and I noticed that his level of play began dropping thereafter. I’m just wondering if it will be a problem for him tonight.


jane Says:

Andrew, I like the way you break it down! Especially like this part:

Male winner: “Wins AO. Cries.”

Female winner: “Wins AO. Smiles!”

Why not (a) pick against the grain, and (b) buck some stereotypes while you’re at it!

Good post AM. (Smiles).


Andrew Miller Says:

Yikes. Von if Roddick’s knee is not in good shape, look for Roddick to force the issue by serving bigger early. If it’s too much, we may be looking at Roddick quitting the match (which he almost never does – it’s rare).


Von Says:

Andrew: I’m hoping that his knee will be alright and he wouldn’t have to retire. OY. He’ll have to bring on surf ‘n turf to win. Just blast 145 MPH serves.


O-Kerr Says:

Someone said on the other thread something like: Champions find a way to win against all odds, and losers look for excuses.
I agree one of the champions will prove again.


sar Says:

Von, I haven’t heard anything but I hope Roddick will be alright and think he will win.


Sean Randall Says:

According to the website, Federer will play Davydenko in the afternoon (in the heat?). I wonder if that’s what Federer wanted. I wonder how fit Nikolay really is.


been there Says:

Jane & Andrew:
“Andrew, I like the way you break it down! Especially like this part:

Male winner: “Wins AO. Cries.”

Female winner: “Wins AO. Smiles!””

LOL!!! hahahaha. Hadn’t noticed that. How true..th women are rarely emotional…even the loser, not even balancing tears. lol.


jane Says:

It’ll be late afternoon Sean, so it shouldn’t be that bad. And Fed and Davy are coming off nights. Actually, not sure if you read Davy’s presser after the Verdasco match, but I think he said he prefers playing in the day – or at least to keep it consistent, and he’d played all day matches until last night.


Ben Pronin Says:

“and in the US Open semifinals in 2008, there were issues with the weather.”

That’s not why Murray won that match. He was more fresh compared to the sizzling hot Nadal who won just about everything in his path before slowing down a bit in that match.

There were weather issues at the Indian Wells final last year. That wasn’t a tennis match, as far as I’m concerned, it was an experience match. Nadal showed he’s leagues above Murray in mental toughness and experience, but was that ever a question? Murray won’t let himself lose in straight sets, and neither will Nadal.


sar Says:

Doesn’t Fed prefer day to night also?


jane Says:

Sean, here’s the excerpt from Davy’s presser last night to which I was referring:

“Q. Would you like to play at night, the night session?

NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: I don’t know, because I need to wait all day. Really, for me, all four matches I played day session. I like to play now day session. In Doha I play night session. Night was like 6:00, 7:00, it was already dark and play every day the same.

Same situation be better. That’s was, I don’t know if I play against Hewitt or Federer it be night session.”

——————————————–
sar,

I don’t know if Fed prefers day or night, but often he’s been scheduled first on in the day during slams, so that might suggest he prefers day. Not sure?


Kimmi Says:

YES, Roddick / cilic on court! Game On.


sar Says:

Jane, I read someplace that Fed requests days. I’m surprised to see Novak on Rod Laver. LOL I think he was only there once.


Kimmi Says:

sar..qtr final onwards all matches (women,men) in Rod laver.


Sean Randall Says:

My point with Federer-Davydenko, maybe Fed thinks he can wear Davy down better in the daytime. Just hypothetical assuming the at 28, Davydenko won’t recover that well from five sets over Verdasco.


sar Says:

Don’t know if I will watch the whole Cilic Roddick match or the Nadal match. May tape them and get some shut eye.


Kimmi Says:

Cilic too many errors at important moment here..


Kimo Says:

Is it me or is Roddick not serving bombs today?


Ben Pronin Says:

Does anyone else feel like they’re just drawing pictures when they have to zoom in that much to show that ball wasn’t that far out. I mean does Cilic really have hawk eyes or did he get lucky there?

So Carillo and Enberg (my 2 least favorite commentators) somewhat cleared up why Roddick doesn’t serve 155mph anymore. But what about Isner and Karlovic? If Roddick can do it, why can’t they at least hit 150?


Ben Pronin Says:

I might be slow to this realization but now I see why Roddick’s volleys have been bugging me. He doesn’t punch them enough. He just makes sure to get it in. Obviously it’s not always easy to put away a volley but sometimes Roddick comes in from a defensive position and ends up playing a defensive volley.


tenisbebe Says:

Kimo – you may have missed it but we discussed the dropping of the mph/kmh of Andy’s serve on another thread. He is focusing on placement, kick and therefore upping his 1st service percentage. Apparently he has been able to up it by 10% over the past year. And therefore his team must feel the trade off is worth it.


Von Says:

Sar: Roddick seems to be alright. Thanks, for your good vibes. I hope he will win also.


Ben Pronin Says:

That’s funny, Roddick beat Federer to winning at least one title for 10 straight years.


Von Says:

Kimo: From the other thread: Let’s just say, you’re not always right, but seldom wrong. Hence, we will agree on some things. LOL.


tenisbebe Says:

Ben – the problem with having Carillo and Enberg together is that they are both color commentators so they tend to say the same type of things – Enberg really bugs me.

Re: Andy’s volley – it is and has always been an awkward shot imo. Definitely not a natural shot for him.


Von Says:

I look forward to the day when Enberg will correctly pronounce Nadal’s name! ha ha.


tenisbebe Says:

Ben says: “Roddick beat Federer to winning..” what does this mean? Do you mean Roddick beat Federer to keep/prevent him from winning at least one title each year?


Kimo Says:

tenisbebe said:

“Apparently he has been able to up it by 10% over the past year. And therefore his team must feel the trade off is worth it.”

tenisbebe, I’m not sure I agree with his team. He was at his best when he was serving hardest, but maybe they did it for his longevity.


Kimmi Says:

7 games Cilic already double digits UEs..hmmm


Kimo Says:

I love slicing contests :)


tenisbebe Says:

Yes Kimo, I think that was the point, longevity. (ex: In baseball, a pitcher can’t maintain a 100 mph fastball late into his career and must develop changeup pitchs). Also, when some players (Fed) would begin to get a good read on his serve, he didn’t have other serves to go to, just the bomb. And now he does.


Kimmi Says:

If cilic is not opening his shoulders because of Roddick slice then how did he beat Murray? murray plays a lot of slice too…


Ben Pronin Says:

Andy’s volleys used to be atrocious but he’s improved a lot over the years. But besides technique, there’s also strategy that goes into rushing the net.

Carillo and Enberg…


Ben Pronin Says:

I don’t mean Roddick beat Federer in a match, I mean he did it before him.


Kimo Says:

tenisbebe, well, as long as he can still hit bombs in clutch situations, I’m happy.


tenisbebe Says:

Andy is not giving him the pace he feeds off of.


tenisbebe Says:

Von – did you see those Aussie Roddick fans? They had a sign(s) that read “ROD OUR GOD”. That is hilarious!!


Von Says:

Kimo & tenisbebe: I think Roddick has 3 go to serves with the same ball toss. In prior years, his ball toss was easy to read, but under Stefanki, roddick has learnt to use the same toss, but serve in different directions.


Von Says:

tenisbebe: no I didn’t see the signs.

Did you see that bad call on Andy’s ace down the T, and Ramos, did not over-rule? sheesh.


tenisbebe Says:

Ben: “I don’t mean Roddick beat Federer in a match, I mean he did it before him.” I’m sorry but I still don’t understand what you are saying here. Great point there at 0-15.


jane Says:

Close match so far. Set point for Andy…

Von, I too hate the way Enberg says Na-Doll!! And he just said “Andy’s leading 1-love” – Er, what? Is 1-love a score during a set? Am I missing something?


tenisbebe Says:

Von – I did see the replay but I don’t blame Ramos – that ball is traveling just too fast for the naked eye to see when it’s that close to the line. Andy blew his challenges too early. Shame.


Ben Pronin Says:

Tenisbebe, by winning Brisbane a couple of weeks ago, Roddick has won at least 1 title in each of the last 10 years. As of right now, Federer has not a title in 2010, therefore he’s only won at least 1 title 9 years in a row, so far, stopping at 2009. Call me crazy but I’m pretty sure Federer is going to win at least one title in 2010 which will mean he will also have won at least 1 title in each of the last 10 years. As of right now, Roddick holds that record while Federer doesn’t.


tenisbebe Says:

Jane – Dick is probably too busy drooling over Sharapova’s picture instead of playing attention to the score…..


Sean Randall Says:

Both guys missing opps. Cilic with a couple more here.

At least Roddick’s knee is of no issue.


tenisbebe Says:

Ben – gotcha. A small victory for Roddick over Federer I suppose…..


Kimmi Says:

Cilic breaks..


tenisbebe Says:

Dammit. Roddick moved away from his game plan of not giving Cilic pace and he’s broken!


Andrew Miller Says:

Roddick a little spooked. Some clean play by Cilic.


Kimo Says:

Gotta go to work now. Bye everyone.


Andrew Miller Says:

Unfortunate third point with Cilic serving. Also: GREAT SLICE BY RODDICK. That shot has become a real weapon for him.


tenisbebe Says:

DF from Cilic. OK Andy, break back.


Kimmi Says:

Breaks back..very tense from Cilic. tie breaker


tenisbebe Says:

Woo hoo!! Andy breaks back! Shaky game there from Marin. Tiebreak.


jane Says:

Andy got the break back – tiebreaker. Seems the right way to end this set.

Bye-bye Kimo.


Ben Pronin Says:

Roddick, going for winners, missing? That’s what happens when you play so patiently for so long.


Andrew Miller Says:

So: is the argument that Roddick sacrificed power to become a more complete player and consistent ball striker? I wonder how Cilic gets Roddick’s serve back – it must be less formidable.


Andrew Miller Says:

Man, this match is making me nervous. it’s too nerve wrecking watching Blake and Roddick.


tenisbebe Says:

ok – back on serve. God Enberg, please shut up.


Kimmi Says:

I now see Cilic problems..too many errors


Andrew Miller Says:

Gosh. I was waiting for one of the famous Roddick forehands on that point that put Cilic up 4-3. THis is nerve wrecking. it makes me have more appreciation for Federer.


tenisbebe Says:

Kimmi – on the FH side.


tenisbebe Says:

Andrew – they haven’t played in a while and it’s been very cat and mouse so far.


Kimmi Says:

Cilic !!


Andrew Miller Says:

Roddick should kick himself. Bad tiebreak from both players. Roddick should have owned it.


jane Says:

Very close set: not much separating these two at all. In that final deciding point, Andy was ripping his shots, but as people have pointed out, Cilic kind of feeds off that.

Cilic is a great player, gotta say.

Andy is too, though.

Oops – trainer coming to see Andy, presumably re: knee? They’re chatting but Andy’s pointing at his shoulder. Ah crap. Hope he’s okay!! : (


Andrew Miller Says:

tenisbebe – do you see Roddick playing the volley more in the 2nd set? I dont think rallying with Cilic is a great idea and his movement seems to be exploitable. Roddick’s got more tools, I think he should use them this 2nd set.


steve Says:

This is a very cerebral match so far. Both players are being very patient, using a lot of slice, and waiting for their chances.

But very high-quality stuff.


jane Says:

Gilbert is going on about Andy shortening points, being bolder, as we were all talking about earlier. Cilic is a risk taker. Errors 24, winners 19.


Gannu Says:

Roddikc having some shoulder injury… oh God.. just doesnt want this to happen..


Ben Pronin Says:

This is just depressing. I hate seeing players play so well and work so hard to be deterred by stupid injuries. I hope a massage is all Roddick’s gonna need for that shoulder.


Gannu Says:

I hope he fights and plays well…


tenisbebe Says:

Andrew – I don’t know. If his shoulder is bothering him maybe, to shorten up the points but his net play has been far from stellar thus far this match. I say, bring out the bomb on your serve and get some free points (if the shoulder allows) & to hell with it.

Okay all I’m off to bed.


Ben Pronin Says:

99% of people have picked Roddick to win in 4 sets. So far he’s more or less on track.


O-Kerr Says:

Slow start but very high class tennis. Impressed with Roddick. He could have won the set had he served a couple of aces. Gotta admire Cilic, a ball-basher playing patiently and strategically.


jane Says:

Yep Andy R got the break, still on track. O-Kerr, I do think Cilic has a little more variety than a straight up “ball basher”; he is pretty decent at net, and he’s been using the slice a fair bit tonight also.

Nite tenisbebe.


Ben Pronin Says:

I can’t remember the last time Roddick gave up mentally. Things are looking grim for the top American.


Kimmi Says:

Andy has been very unfortunate with injuries


O-Kerr Says:

Jane, I did not say Cilic is a straight up “ball basher.” I meant he generally plays aggressively, but he has reduced that tactically tonight, in contrast to his match against Del Potro, when he knew he had to be the aggressor, but today he is letting Roddick do that, and today he is showing more variety, and it is working for him. Different opponent, different tactic. Bob B. is out-smarting Stefanki.


Ben Pronin Says:

2003, players would be lucky to tip Roddick’s cross court inside out forehand. He’s missed more than a couple today.


Kimmi Says:

Do you see Roddick coming back here? I don’t think so


jane Says:

Andy R is ailing. It’s not looking too good for him right now unfortunately. Cilic just may continue the “surprise” semifinalist trend, which has been going for at least 4 years running. (Can’t remember 05 semifinalists but think they were Safin/Fed and Hewitt/Rod? or Agassi? Anyhow not sure if there was a surprise that year.)

Maybe Andy R. can still come back???


been there Says:

Kimmi, you never know with Cilic..he’s prone to playing five setters, even after winning first two sets easily. I put it down to in-experience. So Roddick still has a chance. It’s never over ’till it’s over.

Just one more set Cilic!….keep it together


jane Says:

O-Kerr, apologies, I misinterpreted; thanks for clarifying. Very much agree that Cilic seems to have played tactically smart tonight.


Sean Randall Says:

Not a very good match by either player. With a bum shoulder I don’t see how Roddick recovers from here. As Fowler said on the tube, he’s serving 60% first serves and that’s not good for him.


Sean Randall Says:

I will say if Roddick’s shoulder is Ok then I still give him a chance. Cilic is going to feel the nerves and get tight as he closes in on the finish line.


Kimmi Says:

Been there, he is serving less that 50% too.. Yeah you are right..too many errors


jane Says:

Well Andy R. got a break; can he hold onto it this time? That’s what he needs to do.


junaid Says:

@been there..you are right… Cilic can’t win without 5 sets…Rodick will win next 2 sets and can win match as well


Kimmi Says:

WWOW! Did u see that FH from andy? great pace


Von Says:

I’ve never heard Roddick groan before, which means that’s he’s in a lot of pain. Too, too bad.


jane Says:

Well on the plus side Von, he’s up 3-0 and consolidated his break. But yeah, he grimaced after the ace.


jane Says:

It was a grim ace. Ha ha.


O-Kerr Says:

Sean, Junaid, and been there,
You guys sure can see the future. Cilic is falling apart. Lol. Congrats to Roddick for reaching the semi.
Good night.


O-Kerr Says:

Before I leave, one more time:
Champions win against all odds; losers look for excuses.


Von Says:

jane: You should should your job to stand up comedy. That was a good one. LOL.

Seriously though, Roddick is groaning and grimmacing with each shot.


Kimmi Says:

Cilic needs to concentrate here, opportunity to advance to 1st GS semi….


Sean Randall Says:

If Roddick can somehow push to a fifth, edge to Roddick. Roddick seems to be going for more…


jane Says:

Yeah Sean, those last couple serves were laying the hammer down.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Roddick is acting a bit like a drama queen.


Kimmi Says:

hmmm Cilic..Roddick is playing well but what the hell is he doing ? Roddick should take the adv, and win here


Sean Randall Says:

And Cilic is completely tightening up! Unreal!

If Roddick can keep his shoulder on he should win this.


jane Says:

The pain killers seem to have given Andy a second wind. He’s also just finishing, going for the kill in points. He’s totally changed his strategy now.


Kimmi Says:

Well, well well..Roddick should play like this always.


Ty Says:

I just want everyone who is a Roddick fan to stop worrying. I initiated a mental pact with Roddick after he lost the second set willing him to win. ANd look at what has happened. He will win, and he will win the tournament.


been there Says:

This is by far one of the worst Cilic melt-downs. hehehe. I expected him to lose focus, but definitely not to this extent! Never over ’till it’s over & all that….but congrats to Roddick. Next up Murray or Rafa.


Eric Says:

Hey guys, dont’ give up on Cilic yet… there’s still another set after this, and he’s going to want to win – just like he did against Del Potro.


jane Says:

Yes, Cilic is in utter meltdown mode. Wowsa. To quote Yeats: “things fall apart; the center cannot hold”. LOL. Well at least he’s not chomping on the bagel Roddick was about to force feed him!


Ty Says:

This match is more over than Tommy Haas’s chances to win a major. Roddick in 5.


Ty Says:

Is it just me… or are all chair umpires like the best looking guys in the world? Do they only hire male models to fill the position?


Gannu Says:

Quite a weird match.. i went off to sleep abt 1hr ago becoz i just couldnt bear to see roddick grimacing and playing thru pain and lose the match in such a bad way..

But wat a turnaround.. he is still some how managing to play through plain.. come on andy.. hope he some escapes this one and gets well soon for the next


Sean Randall Says:

Cilic will play better in the fifth. But mentally I’m not sure if he can gather and compose himself enough to find that gear again.

Experience counts. Roddick has it.


Sean Randall Says:

Cilic will serve first to start the fifth. That’s very important.


Eric Says:

How amazing was that? Coming back from 0-40 to stave off yet another break. I think Cilic can pull this one out.


Gannu Says:

Hope RAndy wins..I just like him a lot after Fedex… He is just my insurance in case fedex loses so that i will atleast continue cheering for him LOL :-)

And after such an amazing come back it would be a heart break to see him lose.. so hope he wins…


Sean Randall Says:

Eric, true. For Cilic, recovering from an 0-40 hole to hold will likely do more for his confidence than just a simple 15 or 30 hold.


minime Says:

you know, it’s quite astounding that it takes an injury for Roddick to finally start hitting some flat forehands instead of seeing those passive moonballs waiting for an error kind of play


steve Says:

Cilic has raised his game in the fifth set twice already in this tournament, and he appears to be doing so again.


jane Says:

OMG Men’s tennis is SO DEEP right now; it is so AWESOME. I mean you had Fed and Rafa ruling the roost, but now players like Davy, Verdasco, Soderling and Roddick are reinvigorated; Murray and Djoko are itching to break through the stranglehold; and Cilic and JMDP are right behind. And don’t forget the flurry of Frenchies with oodles of potential. Wow. Makes slam watching so much fun!


been there Says:

Cilic!!!….it really had to be a 5setter, huh?

I’m happy for now, but I gotta leave for the day, so won’t know the finished result ’till evening. Hope I’ll be happy when I get back…he can still have another round of a melt-down, just at the finish point.

And Roddick’s a fierce competitor. Hold it together…


Eric Says:

Well well well. 4-1.

Here’s why I like Cilic: not only is he a great player – he’s not showing as much variety in this match (in terms of net play, say) as he did vs Del Potro, but he constructs points very well and goes in for the amazing shots – but he has so much guts. Call it mental toughness if you want, but check out that quixotic fightback in the fourth set – down 5-0, he takes a game off Roddick, holds serve, and comes pretty close to breaking Roddick a second time. And here in the fifth he’s charged ahead to a 4-1 lead and is looking great.

As a fellow 21-year old, I understand his inability to close things out quickly (he could have won this in straights without melting down). Sometimes you just need pressure to get stuff done. For me it’s writing papers; for him it’s proving that he is a future top-5 player (and TBH I have higher expectations – I’ve been telling my friends he’s the next Federer since USO, which is obviously a bit premature, but I think Cilic will prove himself a contender for the top spot over the next few years).


jane Says:

Quixotic eh, Eric? Chasing those windmills…but t’s not over yet. He has played a pretty great match; I admire him.


jane Says:

Eric, I see Cilic as a future top spot contender too, in the sense that he has done well at both hard court slams now, he lost to Murray at the French and to Haas at Wimbledon. Eventually, though clay may be his weakest surface, I think he’ll be able to play well on all surfaces. Grass should really suit his game.

But can he serve this out??

Roddick will do everything in his power to stop him.


Kimmi Says:

Cilic Ayayai..2 match point..OMG


Kimmi Says:

YES Cilic. Congrats. I really thought he went away. He has the heart. 1st semi. Unbelivable


jane Says:

Great match; very impressive fight from Roddick, all things considered (sorry Von, but the season is young and Rod looked great minus the grimaces).

Congrats to Cilic – what a toughie. He seems to like the 5 setters though. An impressive string of top ten wins – over Nadal, Murray, Roddick, & Delpo, three in slams as well!

Is he in the top ten now? With that win?

And the string of surprise semifinalists at the AO continues…


Kimmi Says:

Too bad for Roddick fans, he played his heart out but it was not meant to be.

But Cilic, just too many 5 setters, how is that possible? A lot of rest is needed. Great come back.


jane Says:

I must say, I like Stefanki’s energy; he was so encouraging to Roddick right until the last point. That’s good to see. He didn’t look discouraged at all.


Ra Says:

This result is quite cathartic for me. I too am impressed with Cilic but nowhere near enough to call him the next Federer. But, Andy… he really showed some smarts to go along with his heart out there today. Sad to see him out, but if it’s injury that ultimately held him down then I’m happier to see him go out to it now than I would be to see him lose in the finals. I hope he’s fully healed at least in time for Wimbledon.

As so many have already said, these are some exciting times in tennis (and, for the first time in so long, I’m at least tentatively including the WTA in that assessment).


jane Says:

Great interview with Roddick, as usual. He basically said that he had mixed feelings, proud of his comeback but of course disappointed. Meanwhile, he also complimented Cilic on his demeanor and on the way he simply does not concede the baseline.


steve Says:

I feel for Roddick, who was hurt and couldn’t play his best, but still fought to the limit. He’ll be back. This is not his best tournament, anyhow.

Cilic has dumped out two US Open champs in a row to get this far. Two very great players.

I don’t get the sense that either Nadal or Murray will pose as much of a test as Cilic’s previous two opponents. Neither of those guys has enough power from the baseline to move Cilic around. He can also handle Murray’s changes of pace; he did very well against Santoro, getting back all those tricky spins and slices with no problems. Not to mention, if it becomes a battle of who’s stronger mentally in the fifth set, Cilic has the edge over Murray.

As for Nadal, he will try to grind down Cilic but the heavy spin won’t bother him. Plus Cilic attacks the net and volleys quite well, which he’ll no doubt do against Nadal.

Does anyone else think the best matches have been the least-hyped ones? Del Potro vs. Blake, Tsonga vs. Almagro, and pretty much every match Cilic has played.


Kimmi Says:

jane..Murray has to win, I also need to sleep but Murray please Murray. this is the only chance and i believe in you.


Ra Says:

jane, yeah, great interview. I don’t feel quite so bad for his loss after hearing it, either, just because he radiated such perspective.

steve, Del Potro vs. Blake and Tsonga vs. Almagro were awesome, no doubt. I imagine that people who didn’t happen to see those matches couldn’t begin to guess how well Blake and Almagro played only to lose (and therefore also have no idea of what Del Potro and Tsonga actually had to produce in order to win).


blah Says:

Cilic is through to semis- now nadal, tsonga, and fed needs to win for me to be spot on in my ao-semis predictions. Hopefully Cilic has enough left in the tank to make it through Nadal. (my cable isnt working right now, which sucks.)


blah Says:

random thought- out of delpo and cilic, I think delpo is better at fo and uso and cilic is better at ao and wimby. Unless they change the surfaces again…


Kimmi Says:

Murray! Does anyone else watching this? Am I the only one who is excited ? C’moon Murray


Ty Says:

Holy crap… I can’t believe my eyes. Two big times players are actually coming out here and are ready to play a big time match and not give it to the other guy. This is some good tennis so far. I hope they both can keep it up.


Ra Says:

Kimmi, you are not the only one watching. This is classic. I’m thinking a lot of us are just too transfixed to post.


blah Says:

Is Murray incapable of hitting his forehand just a bit harder?


Ty Says:

Whoa… they are killing the ball. reminds me of teh Federer Nadal Wimby a couple years ago.


Kimmi Says:

Yes Murray..1st set in the bag. C’moon dont let go. C’mooon


Daniel Says:

blah,

Murray has more winerfs from both wings then Nadal. In fact Nada didn’t made a single forehand winer so far.


Ty Says:

Here’s hoping for 4 more sets of this stuff. Will check in later.


Sean Randall Says:

I guess sleep is out of the question now.


Sean Randall Says:

Very strong first set from Murray. He’s playing well and coming out firing. That’s the strategy he should be using all the time!


blah Says:

nadal should stay away from murray’s backhand.


Kimmi Says:

Nadal is determined here..murray don’t let go! c’mon


Ra Says:

I’m picking Rafa even after the first set. Of course I’m biased by the fact that I’m rooting for him, but I think we are going to find out that he’s still sporting a fitness level superior to Murray’s. Ultimately, I feel that he will be able to maintain intensity and strategize as the match goes on, whereas I think Murray will not be able to maintain the performance level he would need to win. But I’ve been wrong before (a lot)…


margot Says:

Hi Kimmi! Yes, I’m here but, in fact, I can hardly watch! Andy is taking the ball so early and his second serve is so much better, but Rafa NEVER gives up! It’s gonna be a tough one.
Come on Andy!


Ra Says:

Also, I’d like to shout out to all the committed (and potentially committable) EST fans who stay up all night for the AO. Word.


Kimmi Says:

margot, lets hope. fingers crossed


Ra Says:

Hey, does anyone happen to know what time the final will take place? Is it a day or a night session?


Kimmi Says:

I hope this break is not going to take the rhythm off murray, he is going to serve next


margot Says:

kimmi: across the miles, our fingers are touching and mightily crossed!


rose Says:

what a match so far..both players playing great but murray has the edge right now..
@Ra..men AO final is usually night time


Ra Says:

Thank you so much, rose, I appreciate it. Also, that’s a relief because I’m likely to be loading a moving truck during the day section.


Kimmi Says:

Nadal breaks…too much sitting down for murray..C’mon


rose Says:

no prob buddy..hopefully this 2010 AO final is as excited as last year’s final :)


Kimmi Says:

Murray breaks right back..C’mon. now hold


rose Says:

Murray second serve is outstanding today ..this will make him win this match besides nadal not being able to convert some many break points and murray breaking ridht back after been broken ..put him is a great place.. Murray can easily break him again and go 2 sets to none


Sean Randall Says:

This doesn’t look good for Rafa right now. Murray’s really taking it too him.


rose Says:

Watching this match on ESPN2 and all the commentators just love Murray.. i like them both players but i hate when the commentators take sides and are bias about players on the court..


Ra Says:

Obvious statement time: This match is where it’s at.


Kimmi Says:

Murray..yeeeeeeeeesss Margot, I am not too ahead of myself but Murray is 2sets up.


margot Says:

Kimmi!!! Wheeeeee!! No, Never, never count Rafa out and let’s keep everything crossed but WOW!!!


Kimmi Says:

I am crossed margot. Everything crossed. C’mooon


rose Says:

semifinal murray vs cilic…Nadal not playing bad but he just cant step it up a notch in big points something he used to do all the time before. Go murray ..i hope he doesnt shock and finally gets his first grand slam.


Kimmi Says:

MTO..what happened to rafa? murray please concentrate.


Kimmi Says:

Not looking good for Rafa but Murray..please dont lose concentration


Daniel Says:

What is wrong with the defending AO champion that retires in quarter finals in the next year?!


Kimmi Says:

Nadal retire, too bad…hmmmm! but murray played very well. we should give him credit.

CONGRATULATIONS MURRAY. 1st Semi in AO


Ra Says:

Aw, this is awful…

Congratulations to Murray and his fans. He played brilliantly tonight and earned his victory.

Poor Rafa.


margot Says:

What an anti-climax, so sorry for Rafa and his fans. But for two magic sets Andy stood tall and beat him!
Come on!


Sean Randall Says:

Tough way to end. I feel bad for Rafa.


tennisfansince76 Says:

wow i felt for Rafa. Even though I normally root against him. I know what it is like when your body lets you down. hopefully he can come back strong the rest of the year. he should take time off. no rotterdam or dubai. get thru Indian wells and Miami and then dominate on clay.

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