You know the draw is out and the fireworks in New York City are about to begin. Who is going to get hot and make this tennis tournament, the final major of the year, the fireworks it’s supposed to be? Let’s go through the draw, quarter by quarter.
4R – Djokovic v Isner
4R – Tsonga v Cilic
Sock and Anderson possible darkhorse
Does Gasquet beat Isner? I wouldn’t take that bet. Djokovic is rolling through the early parts of this draw. I don’t see him getting Monte Carlo’ed by Vesely this time around. Tsonga v Anderson could be an interesting match, but I like Tsonga here and do not be shocked if the Frenchman makes a little noise. He can. A hot Stevie Johnson beat him in Cincy, but if Tsonga wins that R16, I bet he beats Dimitrov and so on. IF if if. Either way, don’t overlook Jo-Wilfried.
Of course, Cilic is the one wearing the cape. He’s won NYC and just won his first 1000, on fast courts. Djokovic will probably get a tough QF, but who’s going to bet against him in said round against whomever.
Nadal (Raonic) Quarter
4R – Nadal v Agut/Pouille
4R – Monfils/Cuevas v Raonic
Most will probably take Raonic to emerge from this quarter given the surface, his serve and FH, his coaching, etc. I agree. He has to be the favorite. Nadal just doesn’t seem to have the health and firepower to deal, in my humble opinion. A Nadal v Raonic QF would be very interesting, however. We’ll keep our eye on the graying bull for old-time sake.
4R – Querrey v Del Potro/Johnson
4R – Wawrinka/Zverev v Tomic/Kyrgios
Is Wawrinka alive? My gut says Del Potro v Kyrgios is the QF we need to see from this bracket. How good would that be? D-Po in form should scare the crap out of everyone. But Kyrgios finally coming to grips with his potential would be scary, as well. I’ll stick with that for now. Zverev seems to have faded and Wawrinka and his awful outfits need to re-group.
4R – Nishikori v Goffin/Karlovic
4R – Murray v Coric/Lopez/Dimitrov
This is Murray Murray Murray. Can’t bring myself to give the nod to anyone else other than Nishikori if he’s in 2014 form. But Lendl will oversee this quarter like Darth Vader, guiding his apprentice towards the dark star of a second USO for the Brit. Leave it at that.
Except I’ll add that Murray’s coach (Vader), again, went to eight straight USO finals.
Tennis Channel is at it again: started watching the 2011 Federer v Djokovic SF today. Got through the first set (will finish later tonight with a couple of bevvies 🙂
Two heavy-weights absolutely ripping the ball. The eye-test says that’s Djokovic peak and Federer just starting his descent. Federer in 2011 had some incredible tennis still – the 2011 Federer is superior in every way to the 2015 Federer for those somehow confused for whatever reason.
I say Djokovic peak because he was so strong then. Adding Becker and maturing a little since then has perhaps strengthened his mental fortitude, but 2011 Novak is a beast physically and mentally. He could trade with a still phenomenal Federer, go down two sets to the five-time champ and come back. Remember, the 2012 Aussie final was about four months away.
In the first set, Roger has 4 set points in the TB before finally converting. The shot-making is unreal. The only difference between then and now is Roger has dropped his level. They are so close then, playing such athletic, power tennis, great defense, serving, etc.
Djokovic’s serve is what stands out in that match. His serve is as effective as Roger’s. Roger has trouble closing, and it’s pointed-out that his first serve % on set-point, BP, etc., is pretty low. Signs of tightening at those bigger moments. Djokovic, on the other hand, rises on those points, in those games.
Roger’s BH is a thing of historical beauty. When people look back, tough to watch Roger play with that form (youth) and not say Wow. But at that same time, Novak’s inside-out FH, or his BH, or return are pretty awe-inspiring, too. Kinda like Pete’s serve and running FH. 😉
Getting fired-up for some U.S. Open tennis!