If Roger Federer could capsule a single match and opponent, last night was it. In a rare midnight-ish start, the Swiss destroyed a hapless Juan Monaco 6-1, 6-2, 6-0 in the US Open fourth round. And Federer’s performance was as the scoreline indicated, incredible.
The Swiss looked in vintage form hitting with authority off both sides from the ground, and his movement was flighty.
“I’m extremely pleased with my reaction out there,” Federer said after reaching a 30th straight Slam quarterfinal. “I played really well and I felt fantastic. From the baseline I had the upperhand the whole time. In the three main areas of the game I was superior, and that made the outcome pretty straightforward.”
But this was against Monaco who didn’t appear to have much interest in keeping Federer out too late. And Roger’s next opponent won’t be such a late-night patsy. JW Tsonga is next. The Frenchman edged Mardy Fish in five sets 6-4, 6-7, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 to advance to his first US Open quarter and the way he’s been playing he might have a few more matches left in him this week.
Tsonga has had two impressive wins in the last two months over Federer and the guy is fearless and focused.
“It’s good to have some wins against him, because now I know I’m able to beat him,” said Tsonga of Federer. “But every day is another day and even though I’ve beaten him two times, I know that the third time will be difficult, maybe more so than the others because Roger knows I can beat him and he will do everything to win this time.”
Federer, of course, is ever the optimist.
“I’m just excited to play against him, to be honest,” said Federer. “He’s a nice player to watch and so to play against him is very interesting. I thought we had a great match at Wimbledon, which unfortunately I ended up losing. He came back and proved it in Montreal how good he’s playing right now. He’s definitely on a good streak, so I hope I can stop him this time.”
As for Fish, it was a great summer but almost in bookend fashion when it counted the most the American couldn’t get it done. Fish began the summer losing a 5-set heartbreaker to Feliciano Lopez in Davis cup, and then yesterday another difficult 5-set loss.
“I can sleep pretty well nowadays knowing that I’m doing everything I can,” said Fish. “A lot of matches have gone my way this summer and a few haven’t, and this is one of them. It’s disappointing, no doubt about it. He’s a great player; it’s not a bad loss, but I was in a good position to win that match too. It just came down to the conditions, the wind, and who could deal with that early on. That’s obviously a little frustrating; it wasn’t a clean match at all. I think we both played as well as we could in those conditions.”
After a tight first set, Novak Djokovic got into gear against Alexandr Dolgopolov turning away the Ukranian in three. The virtually unbeatable Serb now plays his buddy Janko Tipsarevic in the quarterifinals. Tipsy took out former finalist Juan Carlos Ferrero in four sets.
As for today, if the rain clears we’ll have some good tennis.
Gilles Simon clashes with John Isner in a tight one. I’m leaning a little to Simon who just got the job done against another big guy, Juan Martin Del Potro. But Isner has been running hot and with that serve and size he’s a guy no one wants to play.
Rafael Nadal has looked shaky both on and off the court, but I think he’ll edge Gilles Muller. I also like Andy Murray to get easy revenge on rising American Donald Young. Murray is still up-and-down, but I think he’ll have too much for “The Donald”.
And in the match of the day David Ferrer and Andy Roddick renew their rivalry tonight. In simple terms, if Roddick can’t beat Ferrer on a fast hardcourt in Austin, how can be beat the Spaniard on a slower hardcourt two months later? I do think Roddick will play well and both guys have had some injury issues since Davis Cup, but I’m going with Ferrer.
In the women’s draw, with Serena Williams the only former Grand Slam winner left it’s extremely hard to pick against her at this stage. Serena is now just six sets from the end and there’s much opposition in her path.
Later today on Armstrong the women’s quarterfinals begin with Vera Zvonareva against Sam Stosur Flavia Pennetta taking on Angelique Kerber.
ESPN2 has all the matches from today when and if the weather clears.
TUESDAY US OPEN SCHEDULE
Arthur Ashe Stadium 11:00 AM Start Time
Donald Young (USA) v. Andy Murray (GBR)
Gilles Muller (LUX) v. Rafael Nadal (ESP)
Arthur Ashe Stadium 7:00 PM Start Time
David Ferrer (ESP) v. Andy Roddick (USA)
Louis Armstrong Stadium 11:00 AM Start Time
John Isner (USA) v. Gilles Simon (FRA)
Angelique Kerber (GER) v. Flavia Pennetta (ITA)
Samantha Stosur (AUS) v. Vera Zvonareva (RUS)
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