Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Day 10: Fish pan-fried

Another long and very eventful day at the US open. I'll try to be brief because I'm tennised-out again and I've got to recharge my batteries for Muller v. Federer and Roddick v. Djokovic.

Safina over Penneta, 6-2, 6-2. More of the same for the up and coming russian who will now face Serena aka ain't no mountain high enough Williams in the semis.

Serena over her big sis, 7-6, 7-6. Venus goes 0-10 on set points! That has to be a record. She could have easily won this match but she lost the big points. That's what it so often comes down to: Who can deal with the "nerve-racking" points. Still, this was a very entertaining match that was played with a feverish sentiment. As I watched, I was quite convinced that the sisters were playing for keeps. It really does add such an interesting dynamic, watching sisters compete.

Andy aka dandy andy Murray over Del Potro 7-6,7-6, 4-6, 7-5. Murray wasn't perfect, but he was pretty damn good. Del Potro: I saw something I really liked from this kid, and will look forward to his 2009.

Nadal over Mardy aka Pan-fried Fish, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-2. Great 1st set from Fish but he exited stage left after that. Nadal is just too tough but he does seem a little more "touchable" on hard-court.

Day 10: Muller's improbable run

I first got wind of Gilles Muller last week when he took out Tommy Haas in 5 sets. At the time I knew he was a qualifier and I knew he was ranked a paltry 130. Well, look at him now. After a gutty win against # 5 seed Nikolai aka the gambler Davydenko yesterday, he is the first qualifier to reach the quarters here since 1999.

He also leads the Open in aces.

After watching him being interviewed on USA with Al Trautwig I couldn't help but appreciate Muller the man. I found it moving and inspiring and it made me want to grab my racquet and try to form a miracle of my own. Muller, humble and awestruck by his own success, talked about how it has been difficult to make ends meet while playing challenger tournaments and basically struggling mightily with his game. As the interview progressed you could sense both the joy and relief that he felt having finally made some money and not "having to watch the quarters from his couch" this year. Muller is currently awaiting Roger aka our heavenly father in the quarters.

Julie Coin's upset of Ana Ivanovic and Muller's improbable run to the quarters are two inspiring stories and proof that anything is possible.

Day 9 revisited:

Day 9 went beyond expectations, as Djokovic and Roger aka our heavenly father were tested in 5-set matches. Again, just like in Wimbledon, it looked like Fed was going to cry or kill himself. I think it is really pissing him off that he isn't able to summon Zeus as much as he used to.

This was the third match of the day session and it forced USA to move the start of the night session to Armstrong. As a Jankovic fan I was disappointed in this, as I knew it must have been disappointing for her. To her credit, she dealt with the change and got a straight-set victory over Sybille Bammer.

If I had had night session tickets, I would have been very upset. They filed those people in like cattle after keeping them in wait for 90 minutes and gave them a very one-sided match between Andy aka Brooklynite Roddick and Fernando aka Gonzo Gonzalez. Gonzo chose to abandon all strategy and use sheer power to beat roddick. Not a good move when you're trying to return 14omph serves. In my opinion this was by far the most disappointing match of the day. Gonzo had absolutely no plan. He can be great when he's in a zone that allows his hyped up style of baseline play to work - not the case on day 9. He got smoked like a rare Cubana.

I've already talked about Dementieva, she's playing well. Check my other day 9 post for that.

So, a Dementieva Jankovic semi is set. Hope they don't screw people out of that one too.

Day 10: Williams sisters headline ridiculously awesome 10th day plus my picks

If you're like me, and your trying to figure out what would be a good time to run errands without having to miss any tennis, you'll find this schedule helpful.

I'm not sure if you guys realize this: By clicking on the words "this schedule" in the previous paragraph, you will actually be transported to an on-line version (from the official US Open website) of todays schedule of play.  

If you read it, like I have done, you might decide to skip the errands.  

Here are my picks for the day:  (By the way, I was 2 for 2 last night, going with Jankovic and Roddick.  I must admit, I did have them both going the distance.  Don't bet the sets, bet the winner.  If you're into that sort of thing.  But keep in mind that this is in no way a gambling website.  I'm just another flunky who thinks he knows what he's talking about.) 

Safina in 3.  I love her.  I also love Penneta though.  I've got so much love for the game. 

Del Potro in 4 (the toughest pick of all to make - either winner is going to be a big big story going into the semis).  

Venus over Serena in 3.  I think they both have chosen their best outfits of the year though.  

Nadal over Fish in 4 ( I hemmed and hawed about making it 3 instead of 4 sets).  Who knows if I'll be right.  What are your picks?  

Enjoy the day.