The odds continue to pile up against defending champion Rafael Nadal. After a summer in which the Spaniard lost his No. 1 ranking, dealt with a bum foot, burnt two fingers and really played pretty poorly, Nadal now faces having to win four 5-set match over the next five days if he is to defend his title.
Can Rafa really manage such a schedule? I don’t think so.
Nadal’s match with Gilles Muller was scheduled for Tuesday, but because rain that match is pushed to today and if he wins he’ll have to play his quarterfinal against either Andy Roddick or David Ferrer tomorrow. Then the semifinals Saturday and finals Sunday, possibly over Murray and Djokovic back-to-back.
While the rains hurt Nadal and maybe Andy Murray who’ll also face a similar daily schedule, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic who are already in the quarterfinal round are sitting pretty. Sort of.
Djokovic, if he gets his match in, will play good friend Janko Tipsarevic and even though Janko is playing terrific tennis I don’t think Novak will be troubled and could get two day of rest before a big final weekend push. Needless to say. this event is really setting up nicely for the Djokovic.
For Federer, however, it’s different. I though yesterday that JW Tsonga has a great shot at a third straight win over Federer this summer. If the match goes as planned and uninterrupted under the lights tonight I think the Frenchman pulls off the upset again.
But if the rains return and their match gets stopped or pushed back until tomorrow or later, I like Federer. Roger should be able to handle the mental challenges of dealing with elements better than Tsonga. So maybe for Federer the rain, the weather the overall uncertainty will help.
As for the early matches, I still like Murray over Donald Young, Nadal over Muller and I make Simon a very slight favorite over Isner.
In the match of the afternoon, Andy Roddick and David Ferrer collide on Armstrong stadium. Roddick doesn’t play much on that court – in fact he hasn’t since 2002 – which I’m sure Andy isn’t happy about. So that should light a fire under the explosive 29-year-old but I still like Ferrer in this one. The heavier, wet air should help Ferrer just enough to get through.
Weather permitting, play is expected to begin shortly on ESPN2.
WEDNESDAY US OPEN SCHEDULE
Arthur Ashe Stadium 11:00 AM Start Time
Gilles Muller (LUX) v. Rafael Nadal (ESP)
Novak Djokovic (SRB) v. Janko Tipsarevic (SRB)
Arthur Ashe Stadium 7:00 PM Start Time
Serena Williams (USA) v. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS)
Roger Federer (SUI) v. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA)
Louis Armstrong Stadium 11:00 AM Start Time
David Ferrer (ESP) v. Andy Roddick (USA)
Samantha Stosur (AUS) v. Vera Zvonareva (RUS)
Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) v. Andrea Petkovic (GER)
Grandstand 11:00 AM Start Time
Donald Young (USA) v. Andy Murray (GBR)
Angelique Kerber (GER) v. Flavia Pennetta (ITA)
Court 17 11:00 AM Start Time
Not Before:1:30 PM
John Isner (USA) v. Gilles Simon (FRA)
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