The Quarters are done….finally

Sep 12, 2009

So it’s not just Wimbledon that’s blighted with the rain. In fact, Wimbledon should be feeling quite smug about itself. Of course now they have the upper hand with a retractable roof, but they have always had sheeting which ball boys and girls were trained to pull across the court the minute rain disrupted play. At Flushing Meadows, they have a bunch of hand towels – probably borrowed from the locker rooms. I can imagine that is a pretty thankless job.

So Day 12 never really happened, a complete day of tennis stricken from the event as the rain continued to pour. Still, there’s a doozey of a semi-final along the way for both the men’s and women’s side of things.

Roger Federer vs. Novak DjokovicThis was set up by two relatively straight forward matches. Roger Federer had a bit of a scare in this third set against Robin Soderling, but all in all he appeared his usual calm, collected self. He took the first set 6-0 and the next 6-3, as Soderling struggled to get into any swing. The third set blip was a 6-7 (6-8) loss in the tiebreak. Soderling gave the Swiss world no. 1 nothing in the fourth and what was to be final set. Roger Federer clinched it 7-7 (8-6), and it seemed that ordered was restored.

 

Novak Djokovic had an up-and-down performance against Fernando Verdasco. Both decked out in a colour that can only described as ‘tangerine surprise’. Despite being oddly colour coordinated, neither was going to back down an inch for that spot in the semis. The Djoker eventually took the match 7-6 (7-2) 1-6 7-5 6-2. No, that second set score is not a typo. He had a blip and a half in that set, and had a battle on his hands at the beginning, but came out of it looking a good contender for the semis. Now if he just got rid of the orange shirt…

 

Juan Martin del Potro vs. Rafael NadalI honestly can’t decide who to root for here, nevermind who to predict a as winner. Both have such a purpose and drive to get through to the finals of this tournament; Rafa has been battling back from injury and has even had a few new injury scares since the start of the tournament, with an abdominal muscle complaint giving him some jip in his third round match.

 

del Potro is going further than he has gone before in any year of his career; he reached the semi-finals of the French Open and is ready to take on another semi-final on a hard court. His preferred surface, unlike many of the other Argentine players.

He was simply glowing after his defeat of Marin Cilic – the Croat who upended favourite Andy Murray from the tournament – claiming: “I like to play here in the US and I like hard courts. I like this tournament. I like everything”.

Bless his cotton socks, as my Mum would say. Whether he wears cotton socks or not is beyond the point; he’s becoming a formidable player in the slams now, not someone that many want to mess with. And I mean off the court too; the guy is 6ft 6in, that’s nearly two metres tall. Wouldn’t want to get on his bad side, particularly if there’s a tennis racket in his hand. (If anyone does want to know about Juan getting on the wrong side of someone, type ‘juan martin del potro andy murray’ into your search engine and enjoy what comes up. These tennis players can get catty)

So how will he fare against Rafa? The crowd love having Rafael Nadal back; he has such a power and energy and he breathes it into the sport alongside some immense talent. He stripped Gonzalez of his semi-fiinal place in just over 30 mins, taking the last set of their rain-interupted game 6-0. The guy means business.

Everybody wants to see another Federer/Nadal line-up. Or do they? With JMDP and Djokovic in the wings, wouldn’t it be interesting to see them line up together in the finals?

Caroline Wozniacki vs. Yanina WickmayerAs I write this, this semi-finals match is waiting to be played. The women’s final was meant to be played today, but with the semis yet to be finished it has been pushed to Sunday. Weather permitting, their match should take place very soon, and it’s a difficult one to call. Wozniacki has had a fantastic run as of late, yet Wickmayer has surprised most people with her results.

 

Wozniacki, of course, ended the fairy tale of strength and determination that was Melanie Oudin’s run. Can she do the same to Wickmayer?

Kim Cljisters vs. Serena WilliamsAh, now this one will be interesting. Cljisters has proved that taking time out need not be the end of your career. She did this in particular style; she had two years out in which she had a baby. Now we know Federer has had some extra strains put on him becoming a Dad just before the tournament, but having become a mother in the alst two years must have some immense challenges on its own. Never fear, Kim Cljisters has overcome them.

 

Serena Williams has been miles ahead of her sister in this tournament, and has always been up there in the list of favourites. She’s at the top of her game right now, with her home crowd, as comfortable as anything on the hard courts, and is a serious threat for anyone else’s attempt to the crown.

Weather permitting, the women’s finals should be decided by the end of the day.

 

The men’s finals has been pushed to Monday, the second year in a row this has happened. But with storm clouds a-gathering, who knows? A Tuesday final? Wednesday? John McEnroe has started up the chorus for a roof in the US. Who knows, the course of the game at Flushing Meadows could be changed forever if another final has to happen on a different day.

 

 

- SophieG

Written by: SophieG

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