Old Men Federer, Nadal Hobble Into 3rd Rd. After Struggles at US Open
by Jeremy Davis | September 1st, 2017, 1:17 am

What to think of the not-so-sharp Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal amidst a decimated men’s field at this year’s US Open?
In second-round play on Thursday the top-seeded Nadal dropped the first set against unheralded Japanese Taro Daniel 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2. Federer took it one step further, needing five sets to put down an injured Mikhail Youzhny 6-1, 6-7(3), 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.

“[My back is] better than the first round, so I’m happy,” Federer said afterwards. “Yeah, this match wasn’t about the back, which is good. This is more just a grind. I felt different, completely different, the way it played and everything. But I’m really, really happy I got through.”

Federer will next meet No. 31-seeded Spaniard Feliciano “F-Lo” Lopez. Nadal will face Argentine Leo Mayer.

No. 6 Dominic Thiem and No. 9 David Goffin were other Top 10 winners on the day, with the Austrian defeating American Taylor Fritz 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 7-5, and the Belgian outlasting Argentine Guido Pella 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-7(2), 7-6(4), 6-3.

“I think there are many players out there, like also Taylor, who make it really, really tough for players like me because they take away all my time,” Thiem said after beating the American. “They play flat. It’s really tough for me to turn the defense what they push you into offense. Well, these matches like today, you just have to win. That’s what I did. That’s why I’m pleased.”

Lower-seeded victors Thursday were No. 11 Roberto Bautista Agut, No. 18 Gael Monfils needing five sets to subdue American Donald Young, No. 24 Juan Martin del Potro, No. 30 Adrian Mannarino, and No. 33 Philipp Kohlschreiber.

On the upset tip Thursday were Russian Andrey Rublev who in straight sets shocked No. 7 Grigor Dimitrov 7-5, 7-6(3), 6-3, and Alexandr “The Dog” Dolgopolov who took advantage of a back-addled No. 15 Tomas Berdych 3-6, 6-1, 7-6(5), 6-2.

“I think my style of the game is just to play aggressive, to try to play my rhythm because I have quite, I think in my opinion, quite well rhythm, that I can play, compete with many good guys,” Rublev said after upsetting Dimitrov. “I think this is one of the main things of my game…In the end, I was little bit lucky. I make a good few returns. I hit maybe few points close to the line. In the end I break.”

Not-quite-highlights to look for on Friday on the Federer-Nadal off day at the US Open include Denis Shapovalov vs. Kyle Edmund, (10) John Isner vs. (23) Mischa Zverev, and (28) Kevin Anderson vs. Borna Coric.

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37 Comments for Old Men Federer, Nadal Hobble Into 3rd Rd. After Struggles at US Open

madmax Says:

For Fed Express:


Oh Jeremny Davis, you are back. How old are you?

How about ‘Warrior Federer?

Tennis realist Says:

As a tennis fan who has followed Rafa’s career i can gurantee you that Rafa is not favourite. Since 2013 he’s playing too defensive when it matters the most, fails to convert break point, poor second service return on break points , playing from deep are patterns he has developed. He had no business losing Against Muller , he had many opportunities to Close in 5th but he opted to be defensive and went to play far ofd baseline. He plays good to earn break poimts but he starts playing lazy defensive tennis thus giving opponent chances. In AO final he had like 17 break points won but he broke less than Federer, I don’t know what his coaching team is doing.

madmax Says:

Certainly this is unchartered territory, but at least Federer has set another record for himself. The first time that he has had two matches, both 5 setters in the opening round of any slam!

Way to go Federer,

LET’S NOT MAKE IT A THIRD HOWEVER. It’s wayyyyy too scary for us Fed fans to watch Roger go to the edge and back.

Coming through is fine, but it cannot be easy on the body.

J-Kath Says:

I note the word “hobble” has become the new currency – issued by the Bank of Murray – those who deal with it should be careful -.

FedExpress Says:

Before the Championship started the route till the quarters was straightforward.

But it isnt. He could lose to every1. Lopez, Kohlschreiber, Thiem (!!!!).

I hope his form kicks in at some point. It reminds me of 2014 where he struggled all tournament and ran out of gas in the semis.

lylenubbins Says:

I love love love Fed and Rafa abut neither strikes me as likely to win this tear.

Rafa is staying back on serve return, hitting short generally, which on hard courts means he gets attacked and can lose to any number of players. It’s a confidence thing and I hope it changes but from years of watching him, I doubt it will.

Fed is less than 100%.

So maybe DelPo/Cilic/Querrey/Isner, etc? NO IDEA!!!!

FedExpress Says:

Many said this at the AO also.

He didnt play long. And even in Australia he played average the first two rounds.

The real perfect match was vs Berdych.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

It is incredible that, right now, aside from the Two Titans, the best players left in the slam are Dmitrov, Thiem, Cilic — and Fed and Rafa are STILL not big favourites.

RZ Says:

Currently Nithish (is that you, Nits?) and I are tied at the top of the bracket, but others are close behind.

Of all of our picks, the player picked most to make the semis was Zverev the younger. I lucked out in correctly predicting that Coric would take him out, but my draw isn’t looking good since I had Tsonga doing well in that bottom half. My guess is that someone who picked Cilic to go far (assuming he does) is likely to move into first place.

Daniel Says:

TV, Dimi is out.

So, it´s DelPo, Cilic and Thiem. At least 2 former champions.

Skeezer Says:

Shout out to the djoker and murray fans;
They would have taken out Fedal no doubt if they met them in the draw so far. Fedal better play waaayyyyy better….

Has anyone brought up the court speed? Seems slow to me?

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Daniel, of course, hard to keep up with the Plague. One handed, top-30 DelPo as a top contender… kind of says it all.
(I’m a big fan of his though, so hope he DOES make it – at least to meet Federer, then I’ll be happy whoever wins through)

Humble Rafa Says:

I would rather watch paint dry than play at the US Open. Terrible playing conditions and poor manners of fans. It is also very loud, I cant hear the ball.

Margot Says:

Lol Daniel, I read yours as “dimi is out so is Delpo, Cilic, and Thiem.” EEEEKK!
Nearly choked on my tea. Crystal ball anyone.
Skeeze: You think? Who knows? Yes, court is way, way slow. Possibly why some of the big servers like Zverev and Nick have fallen.

Daniel Says:

Yeah TV,

I am actually already bying the hype that it would be somebody new. My father fell in love with Shapovalov, the Bold Blondy, he says.

It would be amazing if him or Coric delivers. BUt somehow, for FEdal to lose, it will take an herculean effort.

AO NAdal lost in 5 in finals to Fed, Wimbledon he lost in 5 to Muller late in the fifth, so even with his below his standards results on HC, best of 5, it will take somehting to take him out.

Fed hasn’t lost in a Slam this year, played 16 matches, with 5 of those 5 setter and he won, and convincgly all fifht sets, none of the final sets he played went the distance, meaning he is able to find another gear in the end.

Will see, I still think if they both reach semis, one of them wins it all. If one loses early than anyhting can happen.

Daniel Says:

RZ, I picked Cilic to semis, Querrey QF and Fedal semis, so I am still in the hunt:-) PLus Shapovalov as my ace into QF as well.

Today will give us a better indication, if anymore seeds will fall or the “favorites” will add some orther.

It is also interesting for americna tennis, because Isner and Querrey could face in R16, guarantee one in QF and a potential semis or maybe even final, which would be great for either of them in their home Slam.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Not to offend any Americans, but if Querrey or Isner make a Slam final, its officially the lowest quality slam since Johanssen 15 years ago (zero top 5 in QFs)!

madmax Says:

J-Kath Says:
I note the word “hobble” has become the new currency – issued by the Bank of Murray – those who deal with it should be careful -.

September 1st, 2017 at 4:24 am

J-Kath, how interesting is this:

hobble (v.) Look up hobble at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, hoblen “to rock back and forth, toss up and down,” probably from or cognate with dialectal German hoppeln, Dutch hobbelen “toss, ride on a hobby-horse; stutter, stammer” (which, however, is not recorded before late 15c.). Or perhaps a variant frequentative of hop (v.).

Meaning “to walk lamely” is from c. 1400. Transitive sense of “tie the legs (of an animal)” to impede or prevent free motion first recorded 1831, probably an alteration of 16c. hopple, cognate with Flemish hoppelen “to rock, jump,” which also is related to Dutch hobbelen. Sense of “hamper, hinder” is c. 1870. Related: Hobbled; hobbling.

the_mind_reels Says:

@Daniel: I had Shapavolav taking out Tsonga the other night in my bracket, but I also had Zverev going to the finals. Oof! The bracket challenge is playing out just like the tourney — total toss-up at this point.

Daniel Says:


I did the same as you, Tsonga losing (he is in Berdych, Ferrer state of mind) and Zverev in finals. Evens so, this bracquet will be won by who gets the intangible right.
I have Cilic and Fedal to semis (which I think most have), so 3 out of 4 is good. The other ones will make a difference and give us some extra points.

Daniel Says:

Cilic about to lose a set to Schwatrs. And Carreno Busta going under the radar with no sets lost.

Daniel Says:

The lower ranked players must be loving this USO, I mean Lorenzi is 1 set away from a USO R16. Chance for them to bank some money and ranking points.

RZ Says:

Daniel – I think you had also picked Shapapalov (too lazy to look up spelling – must find a nickname for him) to do well, so that will also help your bracket.

Daniel Says:

Yeah, QF. He was my bold pick. And he has a winnable match now vs Edmund.

Scwartz up an early break in third set versus Cilic. Damm, if Cilic cracks out earyy than will be a bummer bottom half, guarantee a first time Slam final.

mjj288 Says:

Shapavolov needs to pick his game up in a hurry! If he and Cilic are gone, at least that frees up my time every other day.

J-Kath Says:

Sorri Brits. but I’d like Shapavolov to beat Edmund – though Edmund is improving he hasn’t got the flair/and/or doesn’t train enuf.

Daniel Says:

Wow, Schwartz serving for the match with double break agaisnt Cilic. Bummer!!

J-Kath Says:

Madmax: On hobbled. Yep – nothing to challenge in what U say – is usually related to animals but was following the so-called tennis-writers description – thought it was a bit naughty of the so-called “professional” writers to introduce it for current competitors….

Margot Says:

And out goes Cilic! Daniel’s crystal ball is working overtime!
Who will be nexr?

Daniel Says:

And Shapovalov is in R16. Hope he goes further, increase his ranking and be regular in Masters as well.

New Slam finalist guarantee for bottom half, who him will be? Querrey, Isner, Anderso, Shapovalov, Coric, Pouliie or Carreno Busta. One of these 6 will be in finals. Schwatrz and Lorenzi don’t stand a chance. Think their luck runs ut next round.

Querrey or Isner will nullify one another in R16, so is Shapovalov and Busta.

We can have one semis, between Coric and Shapovalov!! Crazy

Isner and Query match up should it happen will be major for them. The winner would be favorite to reach finals in USO. They know a chance like these won’t appear ever again.

J-Kath Says:

Think Coric will be out soon.

J-Kath Says:

Yep: Out goes Coric. Never been convinced by him or by Thiem.

Daniel Says:

If Cilic indees loses the higher seed in bottom half will be Querrey #17. And an unseeded players is guarantee in semis.

Daniel Says:

Not CIlic, Isner. Going crazy as this USO

Mjj288 Says:

Misha will show his younger brother how to reach a semi-final.

FedExpress Says:

The bottom half is a mess. Dont think the GS winner is coming from there.

madmax Says:

It’s one helluva unpredictable USO.

Very disappointing with these shocks.

And Lopez is no walkover. Am sort of expecting another 5 setter, but I’m prepared for that.

It is what it is.

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