Incidentally, the last R16 match is still undecided, Nadal v Ramos-Vinolas.
But Kyrgios just closed-out Karlovic, so the winner of the Spanish duel will get the volatile (and injured) Aussie in that QF, which actually gets played later today; yesterday’s rain delay gives Kyrgios and his QF opponent quite a Friday workload. This could prove pretty taxing for Kyrgios, who is still battling injury.
Nonetheless, if Nadal survives this current match, most of us want to see Nadal v Kyrgios. That winner will get the Thiem v Ferrer QF.
Down below, the Isner v Donaldson winner will square-off against the Dimitrov v Sugita winner.
Isner out-maneuvered Tiafoe yesterday, unsurprisingly, 76 75. This is the Isner scoreline; the better players end-up on the good side of that score, but a guy like Tiafoe is a step or two away from that. Still, this shows how close is the 19 year-old. I watched a bit of this match and he threatened John on a few service games, but just couldn’t quite muster the break.
Keep your eye on this guy. We’ve been fortunate to see some glimmer of form from the youth these last couple of weeks. Paul, Shapovalov, Tiafoe, Donaldson (into the W&S QF obviously and continuing to outpace his entire class), Kyrgios et al. Unfortunate that Khachanov couldn’t close the deal after bageling Sugita in that first set TB.
Hopefully, next week will give USO competitors a chance to find as much health as they can for the brutal test the following week in NYC.
Who are the favorites in this year’s final major?
Is this question dependent upon the health of Federer’s back? What if Roger can find enough form, even with a slight twinge in the back? What if he is ruled 100% healthy? Is he the automatic favorite? Or is Nadal, the new world #1, the favorite at the USO?
If we take the field here, everybody else, this could be an interesting discussion. With the vacancies provided by Murray, Djokovic and Wawrinka, especially, isn’t this Fedal against the field?
Three times in the last thirteen years has a player outside Federer/Nadal/Djokovic/Murray won the USO. Isn’t this year likely another one of those?
With Nadal going toward a first-set TB against his countryman as we speak, and his general struggles on the non-european clay; there certainly shouldn’t be that great of case for Nadal in NYC. Then again, he and the Bo5 do like to party, which should be taken into account.
All this to say, tough to say Roger or Rafa are a lock to win the final major of the year.
So, who looks good?
Federer isn’t getting any younger and Nadal standing about fifteen feet behind the BL on 1st and 2nd serves are not a good look from our 2017 forefathers.
With regards to yesterday’s “Mailbag” post: no, actually there isn’t a mailbag feature on this blog.
This does bring-up some of what I am probably going to introduce, in order to give me a bit more of a schedule and readers a bit more anticipation and expectation. Two features I suspect will make solid contributions to this blog are: 1) one historical post a week, about any interesting topic/match/player/argument regarding the past, the history of the sport. Of course, I feature a bit of this perspective anyway, but a more focused article that takes us back to a specific story will be a great option.
2) Reader inspired discussion. This is not quite a mailbag feature, but instead anything from suggestions about certain arguments/topics that can be discussed to guest posts.
In summary, one historical piece per-week and one reader inspired discussion per-week. Content. We want more content.
Lastly, I lashed-out at my hypothetical critic yesterday when I brought-up Sampras’ six year-end No. 1s (that ran him into the turf – probably along the lines with what the Novak Slam might have done to Djokovic). No need for me to get so hypercritical about the hypothetical. And my invented word was very uninspired. Weak stuff on my end.
Back to the point here: who’s taking their HC form to NYC for a legit run at that championship which has been left fairly exposed by the vaunted old-guard?
And what do you think of those features for this blog? More history and more reader contribution?
Nadal survived the first set TB and is working to hold his serve in the 2nd, down 0-1.
Next up there: Kyrgios.