Cincinnati – semifinals

Clay, hard indoors, grass, hard outdoors – in this order Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro have played their last four matches – outcome of this competition 2:2 (Djokovic leads 5-2 overall). Del Potro could afford to play backhand slices against Troicki and pushing backhands against Chardy, however, to be a competitor against Djokovic, the Argentine needs to hit backhands even harder than against most of very good players as he did it in their bronze medal match two weeks ago. His left wrist was bothering him, competed with the Serb clearly beneath the required level, and after 87 minutes Djokovic advanced to the final by a 6-3 6-2 margin. Del Potro: “I had I think six break points in the match and I didn’t take any one. Against Novak or the top players, if you don’t take your opportunities, you will lose for sure. I think he played much better than me today basically in the important moments or the break points. He was too good for me.
Stanislas Wawrinka is able to take part in decent matches against the “big boys” in contrary to many players with a Top 20 potential. The problem with Wawrinka is that he suffers a lack of amazingness at crucial moments. He can play very good tennis through long sequences of a match, winning many points which are technically complex, but when the pressure is bigger in latter stages of sets he just can’t elevate himself to an inspired tennis. Today he’d saved five set points against Roger Federer before the 1st set tie-break which gave him some psychological edge. At 2-all in the tie-break he had a good chance to win a spectacular point (after Federer’s overhead) but failed, in my opinion he had a time to play offensive forehand, perhaps an instant winner; instead he chose a backhand slice option, and these nuances separate him from winning important sets against guys like Federer, Nadal and Djokovic… 7-6(4) 6-3 in the end for Federer – his 11th win in 12 meetings with the younger compatriot.

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