U.S. Open at the QF

I have so many thoughts on what’s happening in NYC I’m not sure where to begin. I am going to keep this very short (sorry), but it’s late, and there are so many bigger conversations I want to start in terms of the tennis here and now and, of course, the bigger  picture – what NYC is telling us in terms of the state/health/future of the sport.

For starters, I absolutely nailed the Pouille v Nadal prognostication; not on who would win (didn’t say, didn’t care), but on the majesty of that encounter. I have seen Pouille play a bit, but the timing was everything. The Frenchman, only 22 years old, has had a fantastic 2016, really his first year of big tour action. Take a glance yourself at his bio, but a round of 16 at Miami, the same at Monte-Carlo, the SF in Rome and the QF at Wimbledon and now the U.S. Open. Not bad. And he’s beaten some top 20, top 15ers along the way. The kid has game – he’s aggressive, has great movement, can come to net, and we know he can handle some big pressure.

I’m impressed with my prediction based more on sensing the intensity of that match (that no one seemed to give two shits about) than I am in the Nadal loss. I have not been on Nadal’s game much at all – didn’t see him doing much in NYC.

Needlesstosay, great match and Pouille should be a decent threat moving forward. Unfortunately, we all saw the limits of his game today against Monfils. His serve is not very formidable though we know it’s good enough. But to really establish some dominance on this tour, you have to be able to serve – not every match, every time, but a big serve is critical in those big matches in majors. You saw Monfils’ serve take-over today. Pouille was probably pretty spent from some big matches, but he looked in over his head.

I thought to myself, I’ll title my next post – “A French Revolution,” or some corny reference to the trio of Frenchmen getting into the QF and maybe beyond.

Remember, I also predicted Tsonga would have a good tournament. Not a bad call, and I even had a pinch of hope that he might give Djokovic a little challenge. That was horrible. Did you see the match? It was over after five games. Tsonga looked good on serve, was aggressive at net early, handling his business; then he had a break opportunity at 2-2, I believe, blew that and absolutely tanked. It was embarrassing. Unwatchable. I left after the first set.

And he later retires? What is the deal with these retirements? Djokovic’s draw, my God, it’s like a microcosm for the tour he now must steward into the dark ages. Really awful stuff.

(One of my other dissertations is coming to fruition: this, my friends, is the tour that Federer ruined. I will finish that piece as I have only the Djokovic essay to finish and then a conclusion. But see it with your own eyes. It’s a septic tank out there. I’m sorry, on Roger’s behalf.)

What a shame. Pouille: great effort. Tsonga: what could’ve been. And now Monfils who looks absolutely terrifying? Djoker will probably clown him right into the NYC afterthoughts. Straight sets, people. That top half is a disaster.

Wawrinka v Del Potro should be good. Stan looked like he was ready to pack it in v Evans (another talented bloke) before turning that around big time. There is a whisper of the Stanimal, but he’ll have quite a test v the Argentinian tomorrow and then Murray lurks in the SF as long as that all stays to form.

Unless Stan or Del Potro are hunting giants, this looks to be very predictable with a Murray v Djokovic final. And I suppose that’s the way it should be.

Still some tennis to play, but the Serb looks untouchable (mainly because no one will play an entire match against him, literally) and Murray simply organizing, prioritizing and still listening. . . to his master.

I’ll check back perhaps with Stan/DPo thoughts or other SF and F chatter.

Chime in!

6 thoughts on “U.S. Open at the QF

  1. Incondite

    Hey Matt,

    I’ve been very busy as well but I’ve been enjoying your posts as always. And I did want to give you a shout out for your great acumen about Pouille v. Nadal, and that very well in advance.

    Keep up the great (truly outstanding) work!


  2. RJ

    Similarly, props to your prediction about the Pouille v Nadal match.

    Well Kei v Andy’s going the distance satisfied the desire for a ‘full’ match but the contest featured 17 breaks of serve…..Sheesh! De-fense, de-fense!

    Currently I’m multitasking between university work and streaming The Tandil Tower v Stanimal. Stan came back from 1-4 down in the 1st set to take it 7-6 and del Pots just broke in the 2nd to lead 4-3. Del Potro’s BH (especially after his many wrist surgeries) is suspect so Stan is going after it but the Argentine is comfortable parking himself in the corner and unloading with his monster FH. Stan’s BH-down-the-line is key.

    p.s. Nick Kyrgios – unfortunate for him to have his US Open ruined by injury. Nevertheless, time to put the twitter away, remove the distractions of social media and work on building that intrinsic motivation.


    1. Thanks, RJ. The Nishikori/Murray match was indeed great D and some huge exchanges (17 breaks is insane. The end of the match was pretty bleak for Andy, getting broken and unable to break). Nishikori can hit big, no doubt. I saw a lot of the match but was a bit in and out. I kept thinking that Andy had the match, but I did notice a little more chirping from the Scot than I’ve seen under Lendl. He lost his composure it seems to me. Should not have lost to Kei. But Kei can hit and grind.

      I saw a bit of the match Kyrgios retired. It looked like he was tanking the match. I left and then found out he was injured and retired? That guy’s going to finally have a run when he’s like 27. Pretty frustrating to see that kind of talent not do more.


  3. Caligula

    And so Murray falls against an inspiring Nishikori, he failed his first true test at the USO and proved that he really wasn’t a contender after all, there is something wrong with his consistency, granted Kei can play out of his mind at the USO, but this was Murray’s big chance to step in and contest the Djoker, wonder if master Lendl is going tolerate such insolence? I predict that Nishikori is going to make the final, Wawrinka hasn’t been as impressive as he can be, and my hat’s off to DelPo for being the warrior that he is, what a comeback he I right where he belongs amongst the 8 best in Slam. And as for the Djoke draw with people quitting left and right, it’s simply disgusting.


    1. I think Murray was for sure a contender, but you’re right that he basically choked. As I said above to RJ (not sure you guys saw what I saw), Murray’s Lendl-like composure started to crack. He was chirping, wasting energy like he’s done in the past. He fell apart. At the same time, like you said, Kei can play in NYC. His ball from both wings is solid, penetrating. Great BH..

      I differ and say Stan should win this SF. Two things: Kei will be a little worn-out after a long tough baseline slugfest. And Stan has 2 majors and knows how to get it done. But it is Stan, so we know that he could flame-out, as well. I just think he has enough. His BHDTL is looking sharp, and he did dispose of Del Po pretty well.

      Brad Gilbert working the sideline in the match said Stan had more energy in the fourth than he did in the first. Stan looked good and strong, like he can go a few rounds.

      But if Kei wins, not too surprising as he’s playing very well right now.

      Bottomline (and anyone who disagrees is a Djoker blowfish, fangirl clown) we need Monfils to pull the massive upset (he is very inspired right now and we have seen strange things at the open) and/or Stanimal to go Stanimal.

      It’s our only hope. Ha ha.


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