Third Round US Open Thoughts; Federer, Nadal And What The Heck Is Going On!
by Sean Randall | September 1st, 2017, 2:35 pm
  • 27 Comments

Two rounds down at the US Open and the men’s draw is already a wreck. And it could have been a lot worse had Mikhail Youzhny not pulled up lame yesterday.

Still, somehow, we are on track for a Rafael Nadal-Roger Federer semifinal, though I don’t think that happens – more on that in a bit.

In the bottom half, which is on today, get two darts and throw it at the draw.

Some thoughts:

1. Courts are slow
They say Ashe is playing slow and it looks slow on TV. We are seeing a lot of long points, long matches. As of now, I really don’t know who it favors. Maybe Rafa, maybe some of these roadrunners like Diego Schwartzman or a Carreno Busta.

It just looks like a different tournament. Can you hit through that Ashe court with power?

2. Roger Federer
He didn’t look great on Tuesday in his win over Frances Tiafoe. Should have and probably would have lost yesterday to Mikhail Youzhny. And I think he’s in trouble tomorrow against Feliciano Lopez.

The back isn’t 100%, that’s clear. We saw him struggling with his movement yesterday and I don’t know how that gets fixed by Saturday. The good news is he’s never lost to Lopez and points should be short. The bad news is Lopez is going to pump that serve and if he’s on his game – hitting that backhand – it could be trouble And also the court is just so damn slow, this isn’t Australia.

But overall, I just don’t see how Roger keeps winning if his back isn’t 100%. Can five more guys gag against him And those 5-setters are going to add up. Too bad, because this is a draw right in his strikezone, at least until Rafa.

3. Rafael Nadal
Dusan Lajovic served for the first set, Taro Daniel won the first set and then got up a break in the second. So not a strong start for Rafa. But, he’s healthy and still in the hunt, and he’s got a great draw. Leonardo Mayer is next then a much tougher test against either Viktor Troicki or Alex Dolgopolov, both of whom have beaten Rafa.

Rafa, though, can get his game right in the next few days. And if he does he should get this title.

4. Alex Zverev
My pick to win the title flamed out to Borna Coric in 4. The German couldn’t convert his break chances and it cost him. So he’s out. And after such a strong summer it has to be a biting loss.

He’ll win, but he’ll have to wait. You could see in his opener against Darian King, he just wasn’t right and he just wasn’t ready to take that next step.

5. Grigor Dimitrov
Probably my biggest surprise of Week 1, was Dimitrov’s loss to Andrey Rublev. After not dropping a set in Cincy, he bows out to the teen in straights. And he did it with a nice road to the quarters against Rafa and a decent shot to make a semifinal or beyond.

I just shake my head at that one. Zverev I can see getting overwhelemed by being a favorite at a young age, but Dimitrov can’t lose that.

6. Toronto and Cincinnati
We saw the chaos there – 8 different semifinals – and we are seeing more of the same. We were warned! And both champions are out.

7. The Youngsters
So the NextGen are finally emerging on the big stage, and it’s not who we thought. At the start of the year few would have pegged Denis Shapovalov or Andrey Rublev and even Borna Coric to be the players making a mark. But so far this week it’s been them.

Shapo plays today in a very winnable match against Kyle Edmund. Coric is going to have a tough time with Kevin Anderson, though maybe the court helps him there while Rublev will have to avoid the letdown against Damir Dzumhur.

But these kids and the many others like Frances Tiafoe, Daniil Medvedev, Zverev, are the future.

8. The Future
And what we are seeing this week – long matches on Ashe, unpredictable results, etc – is the future of tennis. Once the Big 4 dies off, it’s going to be absolute chaos and players fight for supremacy. I still think Zverev will be that guy, but it’s going to be crazy…

9. So Who Wins
Well, if Nadal stays healthy – remember they showed him with a knee scare a week ago – he’s the clear favorite. I don’t like Federer. Maybe Dominic Thiem can get hot or Gael Monfils finds his form or Juan Martin Del Potro can come alive, but otherwise you have to like Rafa just because no one else is really that inspiring.

On the bottom half, Sam Querrey, John Isner, Anderson, Coric, Cilic is about to lose to Schwartzman of all people. I don’t know. I guess Querrey since he’s been to a Slam semifinal before and maybe Pablo Carreno Busta.

But it’s a toss up.

10. The Women’s Draw
No Serena means no certainty. But I do like Garbine Muguruza. I still think she gets through. Petra Kvitova already won today, she’s playing well, but might have to play Muguruza next.

Sloane Stephens is in form and could face Maria Sharapova in the quarters.

In the top half, No. 1 Karolina Pliskova has looked shaky. Madison Keys has been good, but it will be interesting to see who handles the nerves – both men and women – in the second week because this tournament is ready for the taking.


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27 Comments for Third Round US Open Thoughts; Federer, Nadal And What The Heck Is Going On!

Seth Says:

Anyone know why they slowed the courts down this year? The U.S. Open, for a number of years, was considered the fastest GS, even moreso than Wimbledon. We have the French for the slow-court major. I see no compelling reason to turn Flushing Meadows into a slow-court, war-of-attrition version of tennis.


Tennisfansince1976 Says:

Are we seeing the twilight of the gods?


Raj Says:

They made AO faster this year to favour Fed..


Okiegal.... Says:

Theme song for the USO……..Another one bites the dust………Cilic out!!


Wog Boy Says:

We already have one super fast low bouncing HC GS, do we need two?
We already agreed that we need variety in GS courts and that’s excatly what we have now.
Let’s just appoint sleazy Craig Tiely as CEO for all GSs so he can customize all courts to suit 36 years old, right?!


Wog Boy Says:

^^^ Craig Tiley


t4t Says:

Wog Boy, totally agree with your post @ 7:38pm


skeezer Says:

Sniff sniff waaa waaaa whiners continue to whine. FYI Fed has won more consistently than any other on a varietal of surfaces.
Thankfully we don’t have Djoker or Nadal slow motion courts all year long anymore.


t4t Says:

It is the Fed fans constantly whining about slow surfaces. Their man is inferior to the other three on slow surfaces but he is not superior to them on fast surfaces. Toronto is actually at least as fast as Cincy but skeezer and co floated the fake news that Cincy is the fastest. Ha ha ha! ROFL!


Okiegal.... Says:

I’m an Oklahoma dirt bag……..I WANT ALL SURFACES TO BE DIRTY……more clay!!! Lol
VAMOS!!


Margot Says:

OKgiegal: not sure Rafa likes this hard court surface? In fact, I think he’d like it a bit faster with a different bounce. Be careful what you wish for…;)
That being said, I think this US Open is his to lose.


James Says:

The stupidity of these slow courts – 5’7” guys just grinding away and beating top players with barely any winners – pathetic. We have clay courts for monotony, they don’t need to spread it across everywhere.

Offense and defense should be equally rewarded. I am not in favor of “serve and done” tennis either. But this? its pathetic. nobody in their right mind can say that the USO courts this year reward offense and defense equally.


Giles Says:

Fedfans forever whining. Put up and shut up. It is what it is!!


Tony N Says:

Raj: “They made AO faster this year to favour Fed” and Wog Boy: “Let’s just appoint sleazy Craig Tiely as CEO for all GSs so he can customize all courts to suit 36 years old, right?!” and t4t: “Wog Boy, totally agree with your post @ 7:38pm”

NOOoooo. Craig Tiley actually sped up the courts to help Djokovic win Australian Open titles in 2015 and 2016. Seeing how Djokovic benefited from the faster courts, the Cincinnati organizers tried their best to help Djokovic but he just lacked the greatness to win there :) I wish some people would first understand what they are taking about before they start whining.

Tournament Ace-based surface rating for 2016, 2015 and 2014
Australian Open 1.25 (2016) 1.19 (2015) 1.12 (2014) Fastest
Cincinnati Masters 1.18 1.04 1.17
Paris Masters 1.18 1.03 1.03
Canada Masters 1.16 1.08 1.00
Shanghai Masters 1.10 1.05 1.34
Tour Finals 1.06 0.99 0.89
Wimbledon 1.06 1.20 1.35
Miami Masters 1.00 0.86 1.04
US Open 0.91 1.10 1.10
Madrid Masters 0.86 0.85 0.94
Indian Wells Masters 0.83 0.99 0.90
Roland Garros 0.77 0.72 0.71
Rome Masters 7.2% 0.76 0.94 0.74
Monte Carlo Masters 6.2% 0.70 0.63 0.64
Hamburg 0.60 0.62 0.79 Slowest
http://www.tennisabstract.com/blog/2016/11/23/the-speed-of-every-surface-2016-edition/


skeezer Says:

Giles,
C’mon man. You’ve whined so much about Fed this and that all year long about nothing you sound like a boken record.
Your man gets to play a WHOLE season of slow courts, how do you think he has won so much?
As far as Fed goes, have no issues with him playing on fast slow whatever. He’s done it and won 19 Slams as a result. He has even won on blue stuff and never whined about it(Rafa?Djoker?). Get with the program. Make sure you turn your homework in in time.


t4t Says:

skeezer @ 9:48 am. The only ones whining about court speeds are Fed fans.


Giles Says:

Fed has been relegated to second fave now. Wonder why? Lol


Humble Rafa Says:

Since they sped up the Australian Open courts, it is only fair that they slow down the US Open courts. In the previous era, courts would be adjusted to suit the American players. Now, if the American players were to play with penguins, they would still lose. So it doesn’t matter from that perspective.


Humble Rafa Says:

I see no compelling reason to turn Flushing Meadows into a slow-court, war-of-attrition version of tennis.

Primary fans, Americans don’t know the difference.


J-Kath Says:

Giles: I picked Rafa to win before the draw – not many left that can challenge him…..maybe I’ll be right for a change.


Giles Says:

J-K. Amen. :)


BBB Says:

I don’t really understand why Nadal has had subpar results on hard courts this year. Can anyone explain? I had thought that when he was back, he’d be back on all surfaces rather than excelling on clay and doing so-so elsewhere.


skeezer Says:

^case in point.

@Hawkeye,
Your a whiner. Contribution so far: 0. Own up to it. Posters here I am sure are getting tired of your Fedfan obsession. Move on.


madmax Says:

Wog Boy Says:
We already have one super fast low bouncing HC GS, do we need two?
We already agreed that we need variety in GS courts and that’s excatly what we have now.
Let’s just appoint sleazy Craig Tiely as CEO for all GSs so he can customize all courts to suit 36 years old, right?!

September 1st, 2017 at 7:38 pm

Good God! When will Wog Boy stop his moaning and groaning. Really does go on.

Simple. Wog Boy, if you can’t deal with the number 19, disappear!


madmax Says:

skeezer Says:
Giles,
C’mon man. You’ve whined so much about Fed this and that all year long about nothing you sound like a boken record.
Your man gets to play a WHOLE season of slow courts, how do you think he has won so much?
As far as Fed goes, have no issues with him playing on fast slow whatever. He’s done it and won 19 Slams as a result. He has even won on blue stuff and never whined about it(Rafa?Djoker?). Get with the program. Make sure you turn your homework in in time.

September 2nd, 2017 at 9:48 am

Way to go Skeezer!


BBB Says:

This is a serious question, though – we know Rafa can win on fast courts. He’s won Wimbledon. So, for example, Stan has trouble on fast courts because it takes time for him to set up his strokes, and he’s not a contender for Wimbledon though he wins elsewhere. What’s the explanation for Rafa’s so-so results on hard courts this year?


Wog Boy Says:

“Good God! When will Wog Boy stop his moaning and groaning. Really does go on.”

I love to moan and groan and enjoy hearing person that causes my moan and groan doing the same, moan and groan, the louder the better.

When was the last time you moaned and groaned, reading your posts, obviously not for a long time if ever. You are missing on very important (health wise) part of your life and it is showing in your mental state.

Due to your age, it is too late for you, you need to be placed in aged care facility with 24 hours surveillance, for your and other people safety.

Best of luck, always in my thoughts,
Wog Boy


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