US Open Update – 09/08/2011

The second week of the Open is underway and no matches were played the past two days because of rain. The tournament is getting to its crucial and most exciting stage. Let’s have a look at the men’s and women’s draw and I will give you my picks for the upcoming matches!

The Men’s Draw

Tournament Favourite Novak Djokovic

(Photo: Edwin Martinez1)

On the men’s side the round of 16 is not completed yet. There have been no major
upsets in the tournament so far with the Top 4 players still on track to meet
each other in the semifinals.

The bottom half of the draw still needs to complete the Round of 16 matches. Let’s have a
look at the match-ups:

John Isner versus Gilles Simon

Simon had a big win over Juan-Martin Del Potro in the last round and he also had plenty of rest now to prepare for this match. I like Simon’s game on this fast surface.
Balls don’t bounce too high and he can use his opponents speed to counterpunch
very effectively.

The big-serving American John Isner has had a pretty good draw so far in the
tournament. His serve is of course really dangerous on a fast surface and his
game has improved in general. Simon is really good at returning serve and
generally putting lots of balls in the court. I believe Simon will get Inser
involved in too many long rallies and pick the Frenchman to win this one!

Donald Young vs. Andy Murray

Donald Young has surprised a lot of people with this run to the fourth round of a
Grand Slam. The former world number 1 junior has always had the potential to be
at least a Top30 player but so far it has not materialized. It will be
interesting to see how he handles this situation mentally in the upcoming
match!

Andy Murray struggled in a five-setter against the relatively unknown Robin Haase but in
the last round he played really well in an easy three set victory over
Feliciano Lopez. I think Murray is in a really good form in general at the moment and his game should be too strong for Donald Young. Andy is my clear favourite here!

David Ferrer versus Andy Roddick

Now this one is definitely a close call. David Ferrer is one of the most consistent
players on the men’s tour and Andy Roddick is always dangerous with that big
serve at the US Open.

Ferrer leads 5-3 in their head-to-head. He also has a 4-2 edge over Roddick on
hardcourts, which tells me a lot about this match-up. This is simply not a good
match-up for Andy Roddick because Ferrer is one of those guys that moves really
well and it is difficult for Andy to finish points against him or get enough
easy points with his serve and forehand.

I don’t think Andy Roddick is playing well enough at the moment to beat David Ferrer,
who is certainly a tough match-up for Andy!

Gilles Muller vs. Rafael Nadal

Mueller is another surprise player in the Round of 16. He reached the quarterfinals in the
US Open in 2008 but has not performed up to that level in the past couple of
years. Mueller is a lefty with a big serve who certainly has the ability to hit
winners against Nadal.

Three games have been played in this match and Mueller is up 3-0 in the first set. It will
most likely take Nadal a little bit of time to get used to Mueller’s game but
once he does I think Nadal will cruise through this match!

Quarterfinals

Novak Djokovic vs. Janko Tipsarevic

Two Serbian friends are playing each other in this quarterfinal match-up. Djokovic of
course is the big favourite to win the US Open title and Tipsarevic has never
been to a Grand Slam quarterfinal before.

Tipsarevic does have some weapons though and he can play without any pressure in this
match. It can also be weird for Novak to play against a good friend. Novak does
lead the head-to-head 2-0 though and I really can’t see an upset in this match.

Roger Federer vs. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

I think this is going to be a great match. Tsonga is a player that has troubled Roger
in the past. He won their last two meetings this year, beating Federer in a
tough five setter at Wimbledon and in a three setter at the masters event inMontreal.

Tsonga can hit a nasty kick serve to Federer’s backhand and when he gets in control of the
point with his forehand he can beat anybody on any given day. He also beat a
very strong player in Mardy Fish in the previous round.

Nevertheless, Federer seems to be in incredible form and the US Open is certainly one of his favourite tournaments. The surface suits Federer’s game because the ball
bounces relatively low and fast. Also Federer seems to be hitting his backhand
more aggressive and with more confidence again, which I believe is the key
aspect for him to play his best Tennis!

I pick Federer in a close match here!

The Women’s Draw

The women are set for the quarterfinal stage and there should be some interesting
matches.

Tournament Favourite Serena Williams

(Photo: asterix611)

Caroline Wozniacki vs. Andrea Petkovic

To me this is the most interesting match-up in the quarterfinals. Wozniacki seems to be
back in form after suffering some unexpected losses in the US Open Series.
Petkovic is getting stronger and stronger over the last 12 months or so.

The head-to-head between these two is tied at 1-1. Petkovic won in three sets in Miami on a hard-court this year and Wozniacki won in straight sets in Stuttgart on clay.

Wozniacki’s weapons are movement and consistency. She does not give away many easy points and in order to beat her you need to be able to work the point patiently and
then finish it off with conviction. I believe Petkovic has the ability to do
this and at this point she might be mentally ready to beat Caroline in a very
important match.

I expect a close match and would not be surprised at all if Petko wins this one!

Serena Williams vs. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

Serena is the big favourite to win the tournament. She seems to be in great form and only
Azarenka was able to test her in the second set of their match.

Pavlyuchenkova has improve a lot recently and I expect her to continue to climb up the
rankings. Nevertheless Serena is just too strong right now and I expect a
decisive victory from her!

Angelique Kerber vs. Flavia Pennetta

Kerber is relatively unknown and has surprised everyone by reaching the quarterfinals.
She beat number 12 seed Agneszka Radwanska along the way. The US Open courts
suit her fast and flat groundstrokes well. She is also a lefty and many top
players are not very familiar with her game so that is certainly an advantage.

Pennetta beat Sharapova in a close three-setter and then took out Shuai Peng in straight
sets. Pennetta seems to be playing well and has been to the quarterfinals of
the US Open twice before in 2008 and 2009. I think Pennetta’s experience will prevail
in this one and she can finally reach the semifinals of a Grand Slam.

Vera Zvonareva vs. Samantha Stosur

This should be another close and exciting match. Zvonareva was impressive in her win over Lisicki in the previous round. Stosur has had some tough matches but now also
had enough time to fully recover because of the rain delay.

Stosur does lead the head-to-head 7-2 between these two. I don’t think this is as
significant as it appears though because the US Open surface really suits
Zvonareva’s game well. Stosur can get the ball up high with lots of topspin and
Zvonareva prefers to hit lower balls and play really fast. The balls don’t
bounce very high at Flushing Meadows which makes this a 50-50 match up for me.

I’ll go with Zvonareva in a really close match here!

 

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