Weepy Safina, Nadal Move On at US Open
by Richard Vach | September 1st, 2008, 11:22 pm

Querrey Tests Nadal, Fish Jumps Monfils at US Open

Two Americans made their mark Monday at the US Open, one in a win and the other in a loss.
Mardy Fish advanced to his first US Open quarterfinal with a 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 win over Gael Monfils. Fish played an efficient, attacking game against the Frenchman, who helped the American by tanking through portions of the match, frustrated over an apparent knee injury.

Sam Querrey exited the US Open Monday, but not before putting a scare into world No. 1 Rafael Nadal in a 6-2, 5-7, 7-6(2), 6-3 win for the Spaniard.

“Very tough,” Nadal said of the No. 55-ranked 20-year-old Querrey. “Sam is a big player, a big server. He has a great future.”

Fish will next face the world No. 1 Nadal.

“I feel like a guy with my style of play is someone that he doesn’t want to see,” Fish said of Nadal. “You got to be able to finish points quickly. He’s going to last longer than anybody. He wants to keep the points as long as possible and run the guys down, kind of body blow after body blow…I don’t intend to let him do that. I’m going to come in and I’m going to not necessarily [play] a Kamikaze-type tennis, but I’m going to try to keep the points as short as possible.”

Advancing in the featured night match was Scot Andy Murray, whose pinpoint accuracy was too much for Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka 6-1, 6-3, 6-3.

“I’ve played really well all summer,” Murray said. “It’s been a good summer and hopefully I can continue in the next round.”

Matches to look for Tuesday are (15) Tommy Robredo vs. (3) Novak Djokovic, (23) Igor Andreev vs. (2) Roger Federer, and (8) Andy Roddick vs. (11) Fernando Gonzalez.

Williams, Safina Into Quarters at US Open

The Williams sisters led the way into the quarterfinals Monday at the US Open, with No. 4 Serena Williams easing past France’s Severine Bremond 6-1, 6-2, and No. 7 Venus Williams strolling by No. 9 Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1, 6-3.

The sisters will meet in the quarters.

“We have to meet in the quarters but this would be a huge milestone for me to win this championship,” Venus said. “That’s how I see it, as trying to win the tournament.”

Also into the quarters were No. 6 seed Dinara Safina who eventually overwhelmed Anna-Lena Groenefeld 7-5, 6-0, and No. 16 Flavia Pennetta who did likewise to the service-yipping No. 32 seed Amelie Maursemo 6-3, 6-0.

“She make a lot of mistake today,” said Pennetta, who will appear in her first Grand Slam quarterfinal. “So for sure she doesn’t play her best match or best tennis. Anyway, I think I was very focused on my game, and that’s why I won.” Mauresmo had 14 double faults in the match.

Safina said she was so exhausted, she started crying during her morning warm-up hit.

“After the warm-up I just started to cry,” Safina said. “I said, ‘I cannot push anymore myself.’ He said, ‘We know that you’re not a machine. Just go out there and don’t thinking.’ He told me again, ‘Just please don’t show me any emotions, like these negative emotions. If you want, don’t show even positive. Just go on the court and do whatever you can this day.’…I could not stop from crying, yeah. So I guess he knows how to handle my emotions.”

Matches to look for Tuesday are (5) Elena Dementieva vs. (15) Patty Schnyder, and (29) Sybille Bammer vs. (2) Jelena Jankovic.

Private promoters will be banned from organizing tennis tournaments in India after promoters for the ATP Bangalore tournament pulled the plug on the event over “security concerns” which were otherwise believed to be an inability to attract top players for the event…The Grand Slams are on alert after Roger Federer, a new member of the ATP Player Council, says one of his missions will be to close the huge pay discrepancy between pro golf and pro tennis: “I know that tournaments all around the world are raising prize money more and more. We’re obviously very happy where tennis has gone over 40 years ago, so that’s a good thing. But I agree that I still think the biggest tournaments, (Grand Slams) are supposed to share a little bit more with the players. We’ll see how it goes in the future. We’ll definitely have conversations over the next year or so, as we usually have. There’s a quite a bit of change in the ATP at the moment. I think that’s one of the issues on top of the agenda.”

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34 Comments for Weepy Safina, Nadal Move On at US Open

S Green Says:

My tomorrow’s picks:

1. Robredo vs. Djoko : Djoko
2. Andreev vs. Fed :Fed
3. Roddick vs. Gonzu :Roddick
4. Davydenko vs. Muller :Davydenko

Non-countable in the %
1. Demi vs. Schnyder :Demi
2. Bammer vs. Janko :Janko

You hit 100% today. That’s great. Let us know your picks for tomorrow, too. Thanks.

Von Says:

I feel for Safina. She has been playing catch up tennis for several months and the pressure is getting to her. She needs a long rest after the USO.

andrea Says:

i hope del potro takes out andy murray. i don’t think i can take another nadal beat down on murray. i’d like it to be competitive. del potro has had a good hard court season and would be a nice mix up against nadal.

of course i’m saying this assuming that fish won’t get past nadal. i may be surprised. querrey did a great job against nadal today.

the match up between roddick and djokovic (if they make it) would be interesting despite the fact that they are two of my least favorite players. i believe they are 1-1 on hard courts.

my prediction to win the US Open? Roger. just feels like he is going to come up with the goods at the last slam of the year.

YY Says:

S Green,

Thanks. Difficult not to pick the higher seeds for this half of the draw

1. Robredo vs. Djoko : Djoko (straight sets)
2. Andreev vs. Fed :Fed (straight sets)
3. Roddick vs. Gonzu :Roddick (in four)
4. Davydenko vs. Muller :Muller (in five)

Just to keep things interesting I’ll pick Muller over Davy with the only other upset possibly being Roddick. Don’t see Djoko or Fed losing this round.

YY Says:

For the ladies, I’d pick Dementieva and hope Bammer scores an upset against Janko. Find ladies tennis depressing ever since Henin retired. None of the players have been able to play well consistently enough to root for. Even Safina who is having probably the one of best summer season doesn’t impress when I see her play.

jane Says:


I agree the ladies have been depressing, but it might be kind of fun to see “never-say-die-while-dramatically-dying” Jelena play happy-and-steady Dementieva. It could be a study in contrasts.

I was thinking of picking Muller too, only because the story should continue. But he’s 0-2 against Davydenko, so I’ll probably pick all the top seed again too. Gonza vs. Roddick could be tight if Gonza plays his best, but Roddick will have the crazy night crowd backing him (with maybe the odd loud Chilean in the mix) and that, coupled with Roddick’s serve, might make Gonza go gonzo, if ya know what I mean.

JCF Says:

Good luck to Roger on that quest. It would be great if he could pull it off, but I don’t think he will be successful.

JCF Says:

Fish has had a good season, claiming a few big scalps. He could surprise Nadal, though I can’t see him winning the title. He’ll have Murray or Del Potro next and then either Djokovic, Federer, or Roddick.

If Rafa was as tired as people say he was, then he’s not likely to win the title. He still has to play 3 matches, and the final two are back to back without rest. Not just that, but against the toughest opponents (mentioned above). If either of his last two matches are long, then his best bet is probably to meet Djokovic and hope that the Serb is even more tired.

The most mouthwatering tournament of the Open so far for me is going to be JMDP vs Murray. I’ll look for streaming feeds to see this one.

NachoF Says:

I would love it if Federer faced Nadal in the final and win it… it would the best possible Grand Slam finale for this season… but at the same time Federer has got to be hoping Nadal doesnt get there cause hes gaining more points and starting to really separate himself from the rest in the ranking.

Von Says:

My gut feeling tells me Mardy could pull off the upset against nadal, whom he’s got figured out as to hsi playing style. Fish is good at the net and has a beautiful angled two-handed backhand, but we’ll see. I’d ove to see an all-American final.

I think Murrya will trounce JMDP. Murray has great net instincts, and JMDP is not as good there. Djokovic is somewhat of a question mark for me after what I saw on Sunday night. Even though Cilic was serving big, so was Djoko, but he had difficulty holding onto his serve and had it not been for Cilic’s forehand misfiring/overhitting, I think Cilic would have won. Additionally, Djoko had easy matches in the first 3 rounds as opposed to Cilic and yet he was struggling. It will be a matter of how much reserve energy Djoko has left. Djoko will beat Robredo, but the QF match will be the test. I could be totally wrong about him and hope so for his sake, because he has a lot of points to defend.

JCF, try the channelsurfing.net or justinTV live streaming video. If those don’t work check out the USO website, viz., USOpen.org.

YY, I’d love to see Dementieva win the USO. I’m so sorry Mauresmo lost, and her game has declined so much. She’s the best serve and volleyer left on the women’s tour with a one-handed back hand.

Jane: “might make Gonza go gonzo, if ya know what I mean.” Pam Shriver one day mentioned there’s a story behind the “Gonzo” nickname. Apparently, when he initially began playing, he used to hit his forehand very stupidly/crazily, the commentators thought he looked like a clown, and dubbed him “Gonzo the clown.” Unfortunately for him, he did not understand the meaning behind the nickname which he liked, and sucked it up, thinking it was a compliment, hence, he got stuck with the name.

zola Says:

That story about Safina crying is just heartbreaking. These players are really tired. The tennis calendar is just too long with no breaks in between. I hope the ATP and the WTA do something about it. either a shorter season, or a mini-break somewhere.

jane Says:

I’ve always called Gonzalez “Gonza” instead of Gonzo because it’s not as “clownish” and I don’t want to insult him. In my comment, that he might go “gonzo”, I simply meant it in its literal sense of “crazy”, meaning he may get frustrated by the Roddick serve and partisan crowd, then he’ll get mad, maybe smash a racquet, and collapse mentally. He does that sometimes. Either way, I think Roddick will win the match. I haven’t seen Gonza at his best since last year, even though he did get the silver medal.

Latent Talent Says:

As long as Federer and Nadal are in the draw, anyone else will be 3rd favorite. You can talk about Federer’s hard court results this year or Nadal’s lack of success in New york, but the fact remains that these guys have been in 16/7 GS finals and have lost only to each other in their losses in those finals.

Here is a prediction : Fish will win at the most 1 set against Nadal in the quarterfinal. Murray/delpotro will not even win that. Pencil in Rafael Nadal for the final, will ya?

As much tired as Nadal is, he should be seeing the finish line, now. 3 matches and he would have achieved something no man has ever achieved. He is not going to let it slip away. There is only one man who can stop him and he has the same 1st letter in his first name as Rafael’s.

jane Says:

Rafa will likely beat Fish; he’s played him 4 times and never lost, and Rafa has improved since they’ve played last (Wimbledon 07). He did seem tired today though, plus this is hard court and Fish’s home slam so the upset is not out of the question. But Rafa will give it his all.

I don’t think Murray / Del Potro will be lop-sided; they’ve played only once in Rome and DP won the 1st, Murray the 2nd, and then DP retired with an injury in the third. Both sets were decided by one break. DP is on a streak and Murray’s out to prove himself. I still favor Murray in this one unless he lets his emotions get the better of him.

Latent Talent Says:

“Rafa will likely beat Fish; he’s played him 4 times and never lost,”

even 1 set….. all the conditions favoring Fish, that you gave would also apply to Murray in the Wimbledon quarter-final. We all know what Nadal did. He sent a spine-chilling message to whoever else remained in the draw. Very likely the same will unfold at the Open. If Fish wins, it will be an even bigger shock than when his victor over Federer at Indianwells.

Jojo Says:

I think, 2 major reasons on why Nadal failed to perform great during the match against Sam Querrey is exhaustion and 2nd, his failure to adapt with the wind condition. If he manages to counter those 2 during the match against Fish, I couldn’t see any reason why he cannot win the match.

Colin Says:

I’m delighted that Murray won, but I notice his first serve percentage was not too impressive. The other day, apparently he was asked about this after a match (which he’d won) and he replied that he wouldn’t care if it was 20% as long as he won. It’s a good put-down,but he knows the reason he won was that his opponent couldn’t take advantage. Nadal (maybe Del Potro) will be able to, so I hope Andy can somehow get the first serves in from now on. Didn’t he manage a 138mph serve against Llodra? Hey, that’s almost Roddick territory!

larry Says:

I do hope that Roger will be in the final against an American and win. He may be worn out, but this will show that he still can come back and be number one next year. He needs to change his backhand slice and put more pressure on his opponents, so they will not come to the net and crush that slow moving ball. Jankovic will lose because of her slow serve and not being able to come to the net. LARRYO

Dave B Says:

You and the television stations certainly gave short shrift to the DelPotro match. Even the USA commentators expressed surprise that they did not show the end of the match last night. Don’t sell DelPortro short. He may not win but he certainly has announced his arrival with a bang.

Leftykick Says:

Dave B

Couldnt agree with you more!. Any player that wins 4 atp titles in a row has to be taken seriously. I think DelPotro could go all the way. I dont agree that his serve is a weakness. Maybe not the biggest but very effective. Would love to see him against Nadal but of course I have to back my GB man Andy Murray to do the business against him first. As Colin says his first serve percentage will be key…

jane Says:

Colin – I didn’t notice that about Murray’s first service %. I didn’t really check the stats so much last night because Murray was speeding by Stan. Mind you, Stan didn’t play that great either, but Murray was really mixing it up and playing well.

Against Del Potro, Murray will have to serve better for sure, as Juan Martin is a very good returner.

S Green Says:

From a viewer’s perspective, regardless of how a player takes it, the subplot of personal animosity converges with the main plot that is played on the court. And that convergence adds intensity to make tennis more spectacular.

Murray on JMDP in his interview:

Q. I meant unfinished business with what happened before that with the mouthing and the…

ANDY MURRAY: I haven’t spoken to him since, so whether there is or not, for me it’s another tennis match. Stan is one of my closest friends today, but when you get on the court you’ve got to put your emotions aside and get the job done.

Whether I like Del Potro or not really doesn’t make any difference. When you get on the tennis court it’s another match, and you’ve got to win.

Q. Are you a bit surprised after what happened between you and Del Potro in Rome that he hasn’t tried to clear the air at all?

ANDY MURRAY: Not really. I’ve known him since we were really young. Doesn’t really bother me. I wasn’t great friends with him before. I don’t need to be friends with him now.
So, no, I’m not surprised.

jane Says:


I wonder how Robredo will do against Djoko today? He sure did well to dispatch Tsonga so easily; that really surprised me, though I didn’t see much of the match so don’t know how well Tsonga was playing. But if one were comparing Djoko and Robredo’s previous round results, one might almost favor Robredo. Cilic was definitely a super tough opponent though. It looks hot out there today.

S Green Says:

Both like to play from the baseline. Robredo will hardly come to the net and rarely attempt drop shots. Djoko may have edge here. Supposedly, he’s a better baseliner. If Djoko can cut on his % on UEs, he should be fine. Otherwise, it could be a competitive match.

S Green Says:

The UE ratio is 6:1 by the end of 5th game. That’s not a good sign for Djoko.

S Green Says:

With that defeated mentality, Djoko does not deserve to win this match. Sorry !

YY Says:

Wow robredo took the first set.

jane Says:

I am not surprised Robredo took the first set, though I

jane Says:

oops – hit the button too soon.

I didn’t get to see the first set as I was busy. But anyhow, if Djoko is already taking medical time outs, it’s not a good sign for him. If he retires, that’s sucks. What’s the problem anyhow?

Colin Says:

Djokovic breaks twice in second set and wins it 6-2.
Is he getting his act together?

S Green Says:

It’s strange that even with no desire to win and cramp in the upper thigh, Djoko takes the 2nd set and levels the match. I don’t know if he can last through another 2 (or 3) sets. He looks terribly shaky out there.

S Green Says:

He cannot bend. That means he won’t be able to return low balls. He’ll let them pass.

jane Says:


Thanks for the update. I feel badly for Djoko. I think he’s worn out, kind of like Nadal has looked tired. It’s easy to get down on our favorites (I am guilty of this all the time), but Djoko is only human, as are all the players. I hope he’ll be alright, regardless of what happens, whether he wins or loses. I can’t say I love his chances against Roddick now, who is looking very fresh this far, but Djoko’s hanging in there. I hope he plays to the end, no matter what.

JCF Says:

“I can’t say I love his chances against Roddick now, who is looking very fresh this far, but Djoko’s hanging in there. I hope he plays to the end, no matter what.”

LOL. You say this as though you have every expectation that he WON’T play to the end. I can’t say I blame you. It’s tough being a Djokovic fan sometimes.

He has defaulted from matches before due to fatigue. Quitting a match due to injury is fine in my book. But fatigue? There’s no excuse for that.

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