Montreal – QF
In the first quarterfinal, Mardy Fish ousted Stanislas Wawrinka 6-3, 6-7, 6-0 after an unusual encounter consisted of 15 (!) breaks of serve. Fish wasted two match points in the tie-break #, but quickly recovered breaking Wawrinka twice (to ’30’ & ‘0’) in the first three games of the final set. Fish has been playing tennis of his life in the last 12 months. I think he is even better this year because his weaker side (forehand) finally is not a defensive stroke, moreover he’s been playing with tremendous confidence on hardcourts, having under his belt so many diverse matches played in 10-year-old career. “It was tough to get a hold,” Fish said, “The conditions were playing slow and we couldn’t win that last point on serve. We had the returns dialed in… [But] I knew I was playing the right style of tennis, I just wasn’t executing.” He now faces Janko Tipsarevic , who needed only one break in each set of his match with Tomas Berdych (6-4, 6-4). It’s the biggest success in Tipsarevic’s career which gives him first advancement to the Top 20 in the ATP ranking. A similar scenario and the same scoreline was repeated in the following match, in which Jo-Wilfried Tsonga overcame Nicolas Almagro, however, the Spaniard had three break points to break back in the last game, but massive serves helped Tsonga tremendously.
The final outcome of the last quarterfinal was outwardly open solely in the first 15 minutes. Unfortunately Gael Monfils hasn’t weapons on a regular basis to threaten Novak Djokovic. Monfils’s push-balls may work against erratic ball-bashers but in a confrontation with the rock-solid D’Joke (on the baseline, his net-game still is the weakest link despite improvement), these shots look like adequate to an inferior league. Djokovic since 2:2 in the 1st set won 9 consecutive games and Monfils avoided a bagel in the 2nd set (even got a break chance to win two games in a row), actually thanks to his exhibition attitude which entertained the crowd and relaxed the Serb too much for just five minutes.
I suppose this tournament is vital for the final ranking in the end of the season. With early exits of Murray, Nadal and Federer, and another very good performance of Djokovic, No. 1 in December for the Serb is virtually guaranteed. There’s no sign he would suddenly lose his magic form, on the other hand there are around 10 players who possess abilites to deal on equal terms with “Fedalray” – for the first time since Paris 2006, quarterfinals of a ‘Masters 1000′ event, were played without any of these three guys… I’m very curious whether they will recover in Cincinnati next week, but there’s a possibility they’re subconsciously afraid of a potential clash with “almighty” Djokovic, in Murray’s case it might be also a fear of another defeat to Nadal… For multiple “Masters’ champions it must be a psychologically difficult situation, playing a tournament where in semi-finals (or in the final in Nadal’s case) hypothetically awaits the unstoppable “Serbian breadsticker” 😀 ##
# Fish’s wins with m.p.-up losing sets:
2001, Scottsdale: T.Enqvist 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 – 2 m.p.
2001, Indian Wells: M.Philippoussis 6-4, 6-7(2), 6-4 – 2 m.p.
2003, Stockholm: M.Ancic 6-4, 6-7(7), 7-6(4) – 3 m.p.
2011, Montreal: S.Wawrinka 6-3, 6-7(8), 6-0 – 2 m.p.
## H2H’s of the Top 4 in 2011:
– Murray vs. ‘Djodal’: 0-5
– Federer vs. ‘Djodal’: 1-6
– Nadal vs. Djokovic: 0-5
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