Nadal, Roddick, Sharapova Return; Will the Blowouts Continue on Ashe?
by Sean Randall | September 2nd, 2011, 9:51 am
  • 56 Comments

After 24 hours of blowouts on Arthur Ashe center court, things should get a little more interesting today at the US Open, especially on the outer courts.

Yesterday, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic both easily advanced, hardly breaking sweats against Dudi Sela and Carlos Berlocq, respectively.

“I have been playing this well for a while this year,” Djokovic said after crushing the hapless Carlos Berlocq 6-0, 6-0, 6-2. “I’ve played some matches when I’ve felt like I can’t miss a ball. Any athlete or tennis player will tell you when you’re playing perfectly, everything seems so good and you’re so happy. That’s exactly where you want your game to be, at the highest possible level. I’m working hard each day and this is a tournament where I want to perform my best. I’m not underestimating any opponent and I’m taking seriously every match I play.”

Marin Cilic also posted a surprisingly easy win over Bernard Tomic. JW Tsonga, Mardy Fish, Tomas Berdych and Ivo Karlovic were also winners.

In the match of the day, birthday boy Gael Monfils was outlasted by former No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero. The Spaniard, who lost Andy Roddick in the 2003 US Open final, was the fitter man taking out the Frenchman in nearly five hours 7-6, 5-7, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4.

“For me it is a fantastic victory,” Ferrero said. “I played with injuries the whole year and now this will give me confidence to go forward in the tournament.”

Said Monfils, who did his fair share of diving around the court during the loss, “I think some things just switch off in my mind. I just see the ball and I’m like, ‘Well, you have to do it’, and then I dive. Every time you’re like, ‘Oh, no’. I know the dive is so good for two seconds. Then you’re like, ‘Oh, @!#%’, it’s still hard.”

With this top guys coming through we are set up for some tasty weekend matches with Federer v. Cilic, Djokovic v. Nikolay Davydenko and Tsonga v. Fernando Verdasco.

But today should also be good. James Blake will try to keep his record perfect against David Ferrer, and I give him a real good chance to upset the Spaniard who is coming off a hand injury.

I think Andy Murray will get tested a little by Robin Haase. If the Dutchman can make it through the match injury-free I think he can and will keep it close.

A trio of former champions are also in action. Nadal, who was out of sorts in his opener, has Nicolas Mahut. Juan Martin Del Potro collides with countryman Diego Junqueira and tonight Jack Sock makes his big match debut against fellow Nebraskan Andy Roddick.

In what could be the best match, veterans David Nalbandian and Ivan Ljubicic lock up with a likely spot on the line to play Nadal on Sunday.

As for the women, the blonde Marias, Sharapova and Kirilenko, are on Ashe along with countrywoman Vera Zvonareva.

Tennis Channel again has coverage at 11am with ESPN2 taking over at 1pm.

US OPEN FRIDAY SCHEDULE
Arthur Ashe Stadium 11:00 AM Start Time
Anabel Medina Garrigues (ESP)[30] v. Vera Zvonareva (RUS)[2]
Not Before:1:00 PM
Flavia Pennetta (ITA)[26] v. Maria Sharapova (RUS)[3]
Nicolas Mahut (FRA) v. Rafael Nadal (ESP)[2]
Arthur Ashe Stadium 7:00 PM Start Time
Christina McHale (USA) v. Maria Kirilenko (RUS)[25]
Andy Roddick (USA)[21] v. Jack Sock (USA)

Louis Armstrong Stadium 11:00 AM Start Time
Monica Niculescu (ROU) v. Lucie Safarova (CZE)[27]
Robby Ginepri (USA) v. John Isner (USA)[28]
Robin Haase (NED) v. Andy Murray (GBR)[4]
Nadia Petrova (RUS)[24] v. Samantha Stosur (AUS)[9]

Grandstand 11:00 AM Start Time
Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG)[18] v. Diego Junqueira (ARG)
Shuai Peng (CHN)[13] v. Julia Goerges (GER)[19]
Irina Falconi (USA) v. Sabine Lisicki (GER)[22]
David Ferrer (ESP)[5] v. James Blake (USA)


Also Check Out:
The US Open Will Have Two Retractable Roofs Built By 2018
Gael Monfils Says They’ll Be No Party For His 28th Birthday, He Also Doesn’t Want To Play On Ashe
Scheduling Could Further Cramp Nadal’s US Open Hopes; Federer v. Tsonga Tonight
Venus Williams, Mirroring WTA Tour, Fails in Madrid Final to Rezai
Sharapova Sent Off in Warsaw

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56 Comments for Nadal, Roddick, Sharapova Return; Will the Blowouts Continue on Ashe?

Mike Says:

Blake ferrer should be on ashe imo
roddick sock on armstrong


jane Says:

Per your post’s question, Sean, Delpo is producing another blowout by the looks of it…

I can see your point, Mike, given that Ferrer is a top ten player and James a very much loved New Yorker. But Roddick/Sock is an all-American. Mind you, Jack Sock is ranked 500-and-something, but he did win the USO as a junior. I can see both sides of this scheduling decision.


jane Says:

Go Gulbis! :)


RZ Says:

Um, Zvonareva is blonde too.


RZ Says:

Never mind, I read that wrong and skipped the word “Marias”


jane Says:

Hmm, Sharapova in trouble against Pennetta??


Dory Says:

Waiting for the more interesting matches to start (Murray, Nadal and Ferrer).


Dory Says:

Too bad Nadal and Murray matches are going to start at the same time. I will be watching Murray in that case as Haase can trouble him if he plays well.


mem Says:

this is off topic, but interesting!

so i guess it’s true, novak is really getting married in october and murray is slated to be the best man. i certainly read novak wrong in that department. if someone had asked me if i thought he would marry at this particular stage in his career considering the emergence of his history-making success, i would have said, NO WAY!

check it out:

http://asia.eurosport.com/tennis/us-open/2009/murray-to-be-best-man_sto2932944/story.shtml


jane Says:

^ yeah mem: stu already posted this link on the other thread: http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2011-09-01/7845.php#comment-222461

However, we (margot, stu and I) are wondering if it’s true, rather doubting its veracity. After all, lots of things are printed that are untrue. Anyhow, we’ll see.

——————————————-
Dang, looks like Gulbis has lost the plot! : /

Go Pospisl!! :)


Grand Slam Says:

First, I think Nole getting maried in October is just a media fabrication to distract readers from the “egg story”! Second, Nole fans mentioned that Murray should be Nole’s best man because they are good friends, and because they believe in a Nole-Andy final at the US Open and one of them winnng no matter what as well as starting to split the tennis wealth among them from this point on!!!! In other words, Nole fans were just being sarcastic but the media took that sarcasm to the next level and invented the story about the marriage and the story about Andy being his best man!!!!! Chill none of that is happening anytime soon.


mem Says:

jane,

i’m late catching up! i don’t believe everything i read. matter of fact, i hardly believe anything i hear or read in tennis unless the player confirms it himself or unless undeniable proof is provided. it might sound cynical but i put very little and i mean very little trust in what commentators, sportswriters, etc. say. they all tell us only what they want us to hear. most of them, if not all, are subjective disguising themselves as objective.

that said, if novak IS getting married, i have a gut feeling, it might be more to it than meets the eye. just a feeling! regardless, it’s all about what works for him.


Lou Says:

Nole is the real champ. Ever wondered how the transformation of the guy who was a no favorite in uso 2010 and now the biggest favorite in uso 2011- have alook at it yourself:
Novak Djokovic- US Open 2010 and 2011- A Complete Turnaround! http://bit.ly/qVQRcJ


jane Says:

mem. I agree: i like to hear it from the “horse’s mouth” so to speak.

Lou, I enjoyed your analysis: the serve is very much improved and a key aspect indeed.

Yay Pospisl takes the first set. I would be amazing if he made the upset. Young is really putting in a great effort versus Wawa too.

Maria is in a battle today; this one could get away from her.


jane Says:

Oops, meant to say “it” would be amazing; “I” wouldn’t be amazing, I might be amazed, but Pospisl would be amazing. ;)

It’s only one break still but it’s looking really dicey for Marai.

Murray’s broken, but I think Hasse can maybe challenge for a set or so and then Muzza will hit his stride. Fingers crossed – go Murray!

Also, go Ernests, please force a fifth and give it the old college try?


jane Says:

ah, so sad: Maria lost. : / But congrats to Pennetta; she really hung in there with Sharpie the whole way through.

Lisicki is cruising, meanwhile.

Murray was in a spot of bother but has broken back to take it to a tiebreak. Come on! Gulbis fighting to stay in the match, in a fourth set tiebreak with Muller.

nalby is leading ljuby; Wawa up a break in the fifth.


jane Says:

Gulbis is out. : (
Pospisl and F-Lo now level a set apiece. : /
Young breaks back in the fifth but is broken again. : /
Muzza loses set one in tense tiebreak. >: (
Rafa is coming on :)
Nalby wins first set. :)
Simon in battle with G-Lo, go Gilles. :)
Melzer/Kuni going 5.

Arrrrgh can’t keep track of all the matches and have to go imminently. Tape, tape tape…


jane Says:

:((((( Am not officially worried about Muzza. margot cheer loudly, have to go out.


Grand Slam Says:

Common Andy!!!!!!! Are you planning on giving this one away?????? Wake up!!!!!!!! I’m pulling for you man!!!!!!! I thought I would see you in the finals??????!!!!!!


jane Says:

^ oops meant am “NOW” officially worried about Muzza (Freudian slip)…


Wheeler Says:

Murray Mulchandani is going to lose.


Grand Slam Says:

Two sets down, three to go, because I really expect Andy to make it competitive from this point on!!!!!! Common!!!!!


Skeezerweezer Says:

Murray has developed FH chicken-wing-itis, wtf? Time to switch shirts, ya know, the that says ” bring me confidence”


margot Says:

Terrible, terrible from Andy:( Am beginning to wonder if he’s got this virus that’s going round.
Haase is good but not that good. Andy’s UE count is horrendous! :(


margot Says:

Andy thought “best man” was a joke at his expense, always coming second to Nole.
Judging by this, second would be very good :(


Grand Slam Says:

I agree Margot, but all credit to Haase he’s been firing that forehand and looking good!!!!! Seems like Murray cannot find answers and there seems to have a mental block cannot thing clearly on the court!!!!! Common Mr. Murray!!!!! Wake up!!!!!


Grand Slam Says:

Now Break!!!!!!As I type he does it with a great BH!


margot Says:

Grand Slam, where have you been hiding yourself? It’s a tortuous business being a Murray nut!


Grand Slam Says:

I guess busy with life!!!! Anyway seems like Andy is back in business! I just wish he stops being so hard on himself!!!! He consumes so much of his energy just getting upset over nothing!!!!!


Kimmi Says:

Go muzza. lets hope Haase is done in this set too.

More upsets on the ladies..sharapova!!


Skeezerweezer Says:

Great turnaround by Andy. Found that FH form…


Kimmi Says:

Muzza made it hard for himself but lets hope there is no repeat. seriously, a performance like this against a top player wont cut it


Skeezerweezer Says:

Hoping this Ferrer-Blake match is a classic. Looks like a great Friday nite of tennis at NY :)


Eric Says:

hot DAMN! Go Haase!!!!


Eric Says:

Touched by the hand of some god…


margot Says:

Wow! That was some fifth set! The commentators said Haas was “unplayable” some of the time so well done Andy for coming through the fire :) What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
Way past my bed time but at least going to bed happy:)


Kimberly Says:

haase took rafa to five at wimbledon so no shame for murray as long as he came thru.

great win for donald young. i am away at my moms for the weekend (and have a beach cabana for two days so i hope rafa gets a night match, as he always loses when i am on the beach) Can someone post a link to the bracket site?

too depressed about sharapova to comment in any meaningful way other than 12 double faults and 60 unforced errors.


Eric Says:

Haase has got to be one of the most under-performing players on the tour. He now has a whole shelf of these close scrapes with sustained excellence – the match with Rafa at Wimby 2010 that Kimberly mentions, but also several more this year, I don’t quite recall them all at the moment – but simply never delivers. He has outstanding striking skills; his biggest weaknesses have been mediocre court coverage (although that was not in evidence today), wild inconsistency, and perhaps not the best shot _selection_ all the time. But he has possibly the very best overhead I’ve ever seen (did you guys see that amazing backwards, hit 5-seconds-earlier-than-expected smash? crazy stuff) and also has a great serve and blah blah blah. Haase is great. He just needs to deliver. Today we almost saw that, but we also saw that his biggest weakness of all – “mental” – is still there as he dropped his two opening service games in the 5th set after long, grueling battles… you’ve gotta win those, man.


Ben Pronin Says:

I’m happy for Young and I was rooting for him throughout the match but I’m pretty sure Wawrinka tanked the match.


jane Says:

Phew, phew, phew! Just checked scores and so relieved for Murray! Also I am happy for Donald Young too. Very sad for James Blake, though :( And for Pospisl, though his winning was a looooooooong shot.


Nina Says:

My favorite matches so far…

Monfils – Ferrero
Nadal – Gobulev
Murray – Haase
Falla – Troicki

Very entertaining USO 2011, great. A lot of 5 set epics already.

Nole in cruising mode, Nadal starts to be scary again, haven’t seen Fed yet, Muzza seems, well, just Muzza, very up and down.


Kimmi Says:

this young guy sock can make a name for himself tonight..just few games but he seem to be of a great talent.


Kimmi Says:

just watching penetta vs sharapova..that last game sharapova DF twice..she has to do something about that serve. That is a big problem in her game…


jane Says:

^ Totally Kimmi: she collapsed after fighting back from a breack down. I really thought at that point she was going to win it. : /

Was rooting for Petrova, too, but it looks like Stosur has evened things up in the 3rd set.

Jack Sock won the USO juniors, but he hasn’t been able to do much yet at the pro-level; his ranking is still in the 500s. He has some time, but by next year, at 19, he should probably be able to go deeper in some ATP events.


Kimmi Says:

stosur wins!! entually! thanks got she wins..no more upsets please. Though looks like there will be one tomorrow (serena/azarenka)


Kimmi Says:

Sock with too many errors. I did not know his ranking is that low….he seem to have some fire power but he needs to think, wait for opportunity and not go for too much.


Kimmi Says:

*eventually* *thanks god she wins*


Kimmi Says:

A nice picture of murray jumping high at ATP site. who is next for muzza..F-Lo, a repeat of wimbledon match. hope for the same results.


Kimmi Says:

Roddick is not aggressive but his defense is very effective in this match. slicing is giving sock a hard time.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Roddicks draw so far is almost as good as Rafa’s. Errrr…not.


Kimberly Says:

at this point with the women i am rooting for the seeds otherwise the final will be angelique kerber v. roberta vinci, the stands will be empty and you will have a new one slam wonder.

still fuming about sharapova


jane Says:

^ Kimberly do you see anyone on the bottom half who could put in a solid effort versus Serena in the final or anyone in the top half who could upset her? It feels so foregone to me at this point.


Andy Says:

Hey jane, what about Azarenka? Or Woz for that matter? Although Serena looks to be in scarily great form, I still feel insecure about her after her blood clots on the lung etc. If somebody really pushes her, can she last?


jane Says:

Oh that’s a scary thought Andy. : / Wouldn’t wish anything awful like that on anyone. Poor Serena. But good question; she did mention in a recent interview that at Wimbledon she did not yet feel “cardiovascularly” fit, i.e., she was short of breath at times. However, she seems to be exceptionally fit now, from what I have seen. She is moving well and hitting with incredible power. I think perhaps Azarenka could make the sets tighter versus Serena, but they just played in Canada and Serena won handily. And Woz has been struggling, as we all know; plus she tends to be too defensive. So I think Serena would overpower her too. Like I said, I can’t see anyone beating Serena. Perhaps Kuzy could put up a good challenge if she stays mentally focused and if she is having a good day (not too many errors), and maybe (?) Fran’s style could trouble Serena a little, but I don’t know – don’t know their H2H.


Kimberly Says:

Jane—i guess zvonereva from the bottom could challenge her theroetically? But if I were able to put money on whether a player from the top or bottom would win, I would gladly place a hefty bet on the top half with confidence.

This doesn’t mean Serena is a foregone conclusion. But all the other strong players left other than Vera are in the top, Azarenka, Woz, Petkovic. If Serena loses to Azarenka we run the risk of a no-name empty stand final as azarenka and woz are quite capable of losing to lesser players.


jane Says:

Agree Kimberly: the top half of the draw seems loaded by comparison with the bottom. However, i actually feel if that Serena is upset, we stand a better chance of at least a more competitive Ladies’ final. Because if it is Serena versus anyone on the bottom, I think it could very well be a rout. I checked her H2H with Fran, and Fran has beaten Serena only twice, both on clay.

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