With the Women’s quarterfinals lined up and the men’s quarterfinals halfway there, the US Open 2012 is about the enter a more mature phase.
Last weekend witnessed the suspicious withdrawal of a player, absolute dominance by some of the favourites and it’s own share of upsets.
Currently, the most awaited match is the clash between Juan Martin Del Potro and Andy Roddick. A loss may mean the end of the road for 20th seed Andy Roddick.
While Mardy Fish wasn’t considered much of a threat to the World number 1, his withdrawal was a bit of a shock. Definitely not how the Swiss imagined he would advance to his 34th consecutive grand slam quarterfinal. Mardy Fish has been receiving treatment for accelerated heartbeat since May while it is still unclear whether this was the sole reason for his withdrawal just before his fourth round match against Roger Federer. Nevertheless, a speedy recovery is hoped for.
Sixth seed Thomas Berdych needed two hours to overcome eleventh seed Nicolas Almagro 7-6(4), 6-4, 6-1. The incident between Berdych and Almagro at the 2012 Australian Open is still fresh in people’s minds where Berdych refused to shake Almagro’s hand at the end of the match after the latter’s shot hit Berdych in the arm earlier in the match. Their US Open rematch, however, was more civil with Berdych dominating throughout. He has set up a quarterfinal showdown with top seed Roger Federer. Although Federer has the upper hand, Berdych won their last encounter at a grand slam event, the quarterfinal at 2010 Wimbledon quarterfinals.
Third seed Andy Murray’s performance in the recent past has been nothing but impressive. He made quick work of fifteenth seed Milas Raonic by defeating him 6-4, 6-4, 6-2. Murray broke Raonic’s massive serve four times and was never faced with a break point on his serve. He will now have to fight it out with Marin Cilic who defeated unseeded Martin Klizan 7-5, 6-4, 6-0. Ironically, Murray’s only loss to Cilic has been at the 2009 US Open. This quarterfinal match promises to be an interesting line up.
In the women’s draw, top seed Victoria Azarenka demolished Anna Tatishvili 6-2, 6-2 in the fourth round to set up a quarterfinal showdown with seventh seed Samantha Stosur who defeated Laura Robson 6-4, 6-4.
Marin Cilic (12) def. Martin Klizan 7-5, 6-4, 6-0
Roger Federer (1) def. Mardy Fish (23) (Walkover)
Tomas Berdych (6) def. Nicolas Almagro (11) 7-6 (4), 6-4, 6-1
Andy Murray (3) def. Milos Raonic (15) 6-4, 6-4, 6-2
Ana Ivanovic (12) def. Tsvetana Pironkova 6-0, 6-4
Serena Williams (4) def. Andrea Hlavackova 6-0, 6-0
Sara Errani (10) def. Angelique Kerber (6) 7-6 (5), 6-3
Roberta Vinci (20) def. Agnieszka Radwanska (2) 6-1, 6-4
Day 2 of the US Open wasn’t as hindered by rain as was Monday. Save a few minor upsets, Tuesday ended as expected.
As he looks to defend his title, Novak Djokovic has certainly shed the bitterness of the Summer Olympics. His performance against Paolo Lorenzi in the first round was an absolute delight to watch, the final score being 6-1, 6-0, 6-1. Though a straight sets victory in the second round was hardly surprising, Djokovic seemed sublime as ever with near perfect ground strokes. Without a doubt, he is one of the best hard court players and Tuesday was yet another solid evidence.
Roger Federer sailed past American Donald Young in the first round at Flushing Meadows in straight sets. The Swiss appeared to be entirely at ease with himself. It has been a great year for the World Number one.
Andy Murray also enjoyed as much with a straight sets victory in the first round against Alex Bogomolov of Russia.
After her win at the Wimbledon and the Summer Olympics, Serena Williams has retained the momentum coming home to the US Open. She was absolutely brutal when she thrashed Coco Vandeweghe 6-1, 6-1 in the first round. There was no competition at all. She is definitely one of the favourites to lift the women’s title.
Here is a list of all the matches of the day:
Agnieszka Radwanska (2) defeated Nina Bratchikova 6-1, 6-1
Andy Roddick (20) defeated Rhyne Williams 6-3, 6-4, 6-4
Venus Williams defeated Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-3, 6-1
Tomas Berdych (6) defeated David Goffin 7-5, 6-3, 6-3
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (5) defeated Karol Beck 6-3, 6-1, 7-6 (2)
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez defeated Juan Monaco (10) 3-6, 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (3)
Angelique Kerber defeated Anne Keothavong 6-2, 6-0
Novak Djokovic (2) defeated Paolo Lorenzi 6-1, 6-0, 6-1
Serena Williams (4) defeated Coco Vandeweghe 6-1, 6-1
Kiki Bertens defeated Christina McHale (21) 4-6, 6-4, 6-3
So far the tournament has retained the top seeded players. The next two weeks should be quite a ride.
Amidst much anticipation, the US Open 2012 got off to an expected start with no major upsets in the first two rounds.
So far, the biggest disappointment has been the absence of Rafael Nadal. Nadal’s absence will have numerous implications on the outcome of the final grand slam for the players and fans alike. The tournament will progress with a diminished intensity. None can duplicate the passion and vigour that Nadal brings to the court. Most of the epic matches of the recent past have emerged in the clashes between the Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. The stark contrast between the two playing styles is exciting by itself. Tennis enthusiasts will be most disheartened.
Relief is what most players would have felt after learning of Nadal’s withdrawal. David Ferrer has taken his place and is seeded fourth in the tournament. Although Ferrer is not to be taken lightly, it is far sweeter than the prospect of facing Nadal. The player to benefit most out of Nadal’s absence is 2nd seed Novak Djokovic. Murray has been bumped to seed three. If the ranks hold, Federer will face Murray and Djokovic will face Ferrer in the semifinal. Djokovic will have no real threat, so to speak, till the finals of the tournament.
Third seeded Andy Murray has been offered an excellent opportunity to move up in the rankings in the form of Nadal’s inability to compete in the last grand slam of the year. Murray has a total of 7,290 points while Nadal has 8,715. Nadal accumulated 1200 points when he lost in the final of last year’s US Open and will lose the same at the end of this tournament while Murray gained 720 points at US Open 2011. After deductions, Nadal’s tally will be 7,515 against Murray’s 6,570. If Murray advances to the finals, he would gain 1200 points hence placing him ahead of Nadal. Perhaps London Olympics was just the beginning for the Scot.
Roger Federer stands alongside Pete Sampras and Jimmy Connors with a record five US Open titles that he won consecutively between 2004 and 2008. Ever since he has been trying to win that elusive sixth title. Although they have never met in the US Open, Federer always stumbles against Nadal at larger stages. Nadal has won most of the 28 matches between the two. After winning the Wimbledon, re-claiming the number 1 spot and an impressive performance at the Olympics, Federer’s spirits are certainly lifted but Nadal bowing out is more than just an additional boost. He might just get it this time round.