US Open – Day 8 (4R)

Arthur Ashe Stadium

Mardy Fish [8] against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga [11] is a good match-up due to their entertaining game-styles. Unfortunately they hadn’t an occasion to meet on the court prior to this year’s US Open. Through a set and half the level of play couldn’t fill the bills, they were struggling with a strong wind. Tsonga had a great opportunity to lead 2-0 in sets as he served at 5:4 in the tie-break – Fish went to the net then, and played a lucky backhand volley (the net-cord helped). After that set the floodlights were triggered and the protagonists rapidly elevated the level of play. Fish won five straight games since *2:3 in the 3rd set (he hadn’t broken Tsonga before), but problems with the right groin emerged and Tsonga won five straight games as well – since *3:4 in the 4th set. The final set was a one way traffic, Fish’s movement was limited and fitter Tsonga closed out a 6-4, 6-7(5), 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 victory with a slum-dunk smash. The match lasted 3 hours 45 minutes. The 5-set record: 7-2 Tsonga, 8-9 Fish. The Frenchman has been in excellent form in the last three months, he has beaten Nadal, Federer (twice), Ferrer & Fish in that period, having played also competitive matches against Djokovic and Murray, I’d say he is a virtual No. 5 at the moment…
Roger Federer [3] began his match at midnight (the latest beginning this year in New York) but didn’t spend too much time on court – his rival Juan Monaco [36] was completely out of form and after 82 minutes (6-1, 6-2, 6-0) the Swiss extended his extraordinary streak of major quarter-finals to 30 in a row! “It’s happened often to me that I’ve had to wait a long time,” said Federer. Monaco has lost three times in the last 16 of Grand Slam events, it was his first appearence at this stage since the US Open 2007.

Louis Armstrong Stadium

The best active player among those who haven’t won an ATP title yet – Janko Tipsarevic [20], booked his place in the quarter-finals of a major for the first time in career, after an exhausting 4-setter consisted mainly of long flat baseline rallies, especially from backhand sides. Tipsarevic wasn’t broken by Juan Carlos Ferrero [105] once in 3 hours 43 minutes (!) – faced just two break points in the entire match (at 3:3 in the 1st set). Ferrero was close to lead two-sets-to-one but ‘Tipsy’ at *4:5 (0-30) in the 3rd set, fired an ace (20 in total) and won 12 consecutive points – it clipped wings of the Spaniard who had already had in legs two 5-setters in three previous matches. “I think physically I didn’t get in the fourth set. Like maybe not 50%, because I have a little problem in my adductor, so I couldn’t resist the whole time.” said the 31-year-old Ferrero after a 5-7, 7-6, 5-7, 2-6 defeat. “I feel that he was a little bit psychologically down [after the third set], of course, which is understandable,” reflected Tipsarevic. “He ran out of fuel in his tank because I think first two rounds he played like nine hours.
Novak Djokovic [1] dissmising Alexandr Dolgopolov in the following match, made another milestone for the Serbian tennis – first time there will be two players in quarter-finals of a major from the Balkan country, and one semifinalist is guaranteed because they’re going to play against each other. Dolgopolov [23] surprised the No. 1 with his unorthodox style, he was changing the pace with plenty of slices from both sides which worked very well in windy conditions, and almost won the 1st set. In the tie-break led 4:0 and chose the toughest variant from an awkward, but winnable position. A few minutes later Djokovic leveled and relatively long time nothing could separate these two guys. The Serb fought off four set points (5:6, 6:7*, 9:10, 13:14) and took the set after 76 minutes on sixth set point. There was an amazing rally at 12:11 as Nole played two volleys, the second one with the net-cord, ‘Dog’ lobbed him clipping the line, then played two overheads – the second one forced the title contender to an error. It was the longest tie-break in career of both players and one of the longest in the tournament history #. Dolgopolov couldn’t do too much after the heart-breaking tie-break and was broken twice in a row at the start of the following two sets.

# Six longest tie-breaks in the US Open history (tie-breaks since 1975):
1993, 1R: Goran Ivanisevic d. Daniel Nestor 6-4, 7-6, 7-6(18)
1993, 1R: Mats Wilander d. Jaime Oncins 7-5, 7-6, 7-6(16)
1987, 2R: Ken Flach d. Darren Cahill 1-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 7-6(15)
2011, 4R: Novak Djokovic d. Alexandr Dolgopolov 7-6(14), 6-4, 6-2
2009, 1R: John Isner d. Victor Hanescu 6-1, 7-6(14), 7-6
1999, QF: Cedric Pioline d. Gustavo Kuerten 4-6 7-6, 7-6(14), 7-6
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US Open – Day 6 + 7 (3R)

The third round disappointed intensely, there was no 5-setter and only four 4-setters – you could expect more from the last 32 as seeded players face each other. Two matches in the same section of the draw weren’t even concluded in a customary way because Tomas Berdych (shoulder, the same injury forced him to retire in Cincinnati two weeks ago) and Marcel Granollers retired in the middle of the 2nd set of their matches. Injuries have become a menace of this year’s US Open, first Robin Soderling withdrew in the last minute, then  8 retirements occurred in the first week of the tournament (last year 7 retirements during two weeks) #.
In the most interesting encounter, on Louis Armstrong Stadium, Gilles Simon overcame a former champion Juan Martin del Potro in front of a very enthusiastic crowd. Simon fought off a double mini-set point in the 2nd set and quickly a triple set point in the 4th set (volley, forehand winner, service winner), and won these sets after tie-breaks – Del Potro has suffered a third loss this year losing two tie-break sets… Simon goes on to face John Isner, whose third win over Alex Bogomolov was questionable only in the 1st set, in which the shorter American had two set points in a tie-break – Isner saved them with a forehand winner (the ball landed on the baseline) and a 2nd serve ace. It’s a good tournament for Americans – better than the last two editions, besides Isner to the fourth round after convincing 3-set wins advanced: Donald Young (for the first time in majors in the last 16), Andy Roddick and Mardy Fish. The latter luckily escaped a 4th set against Kevin Anderson because the South African held two set points on serve in the 3rd set (that match was unusually long for a 3-setter with two big-servers involved – 3 hours 20 minutes). “I thought it went very well,” certified Fish, “It got a little dicey in the second set, he stepped up his game, started playing a lot better and being more and more aggressive.”
It’s bad luck it happened here and not in the locker room,” said Rafael Nadal after his post-match conference (had defeated David Nalbandian in three sets) at which strange thing happened. Nadal was answering the questions when suddenly began to grimace in pain, covering the face with his left hand, he called a trainer and disappeared under the table! “I just have cramping in my leg, that’s all.”
I guess it’s worth mentioning that Ivo Karlovic was broken more than five times for the first time in his Grand Slam appearances – Alexandr Dolgopolov broke him six times, either of players served 22 aces in that match!

Longest match:
3 hours, 57 minutes: Gilles Simon d. Juan Martin del Potro 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-2, 7-6(3)
Most aces:
23 aces – Gilles Muller, defeated Igor Kunitsyn in three sets
# Number of retirements and walkovers at the US Open year by year:
1968 – 1; 1969 – 2;
1970 – 1; 1971 – 4; 1972 – 4; 1973 – 4; 1974 – 7; 1975 – 0; 1976 – 2; 1977 – 2; 1978 – 2; 1979 – 6;
1980 – 4; 1981 – 3; 1982 – 2; 1983 – 1; 1984 – 2; 1985 – 3; 1986 – 0; 1987 – 1; 1988 – 3; 1989 – 2;
1990 – 4; 1991 – 6; 1992 – 7; 1993 – 7; 1994 – 4; 1995 – 4; 1996 – 4; 1997 – 6; 1998 – 7; 1999 – 5;
2000 – 3; 2001 – 2; 2002 – 10; 2003 – 4; 2004 – 7; 2005 – 4; 2006 – 2; 2007 – 8; 2008 – 6; 2009 – 4;
2010 – 7; 2011 – 8
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US Open – Day 5 (2R)

A couple of years ago Donald Young [84] was considered as a future American star. He had very tough transition from juniors to the professional tour and bogged down in mediocrity, perhaps until this season. In March this year he unexpectedly ousted in straight sets Andy Murray at Indian Wells, today has notched second big scalp overcoming Stanislas Wawrinka [14] in five sets on fresh court No. 17. The “wild card” Young saved luckily a set point in a first set tie-break with a tentative behavior at the net and came back from a *1:4 deficit in the 5th set to build a 6:0 lead in the final tie-break, which allowed him to stresslessly win the longest match of the day. I’m surprised that one of the most experienced 5-set active players like Wawrinka, was so extremely passive in the final stages of the match against an opponent who had played just one 5-set (losing) match before. “It was quite tough for me to put together two, three in a row. That’s a big thing. When you put matches together in a row against players of this calibre, it gives you confidence and you feel like you belong,” Young said, “It definitely helped. I just had to grow up a little bit. I think everybody’s light comes on at their own time. Hopefully mine is coming on now.”
There were two other dramatic 5-setters. On court No. 6, Igor Kunitsyn [62] won second five set match in a row, upsetting Jurgen Melzer. The Austrian led 5:4* in the final set tie-break but lost three straight points. On Louis Armstrong Stadium, Andy Murray survived a tough test against an in-form Robin Haase [41]. The Dutchman surprisingly won the 1st set tie-break despite a 0:3* down (broke Murray’s 8-tie-break winning streak) and showed fantastic tennis in the 2nd set breaking the former finalist three times in seven games! Very aggressive play caused some physical problems with the back of Haase, and the cutthroat Murray found another gear to get 13 straight games – he led 4:0 in the 5th set after 4 aces in a row! The match seemed over, but Haase somehow came back to the match and leveled at 4 games apiece! Murray broke immediately to ’15’ and finished the match 6-7, 2-6, 6-2, 6-0, 6-4 in 3 hours 20 minutes, in the following game on third match point (Haase had a break point on second serve – missed backhand return). Murray improves his great 5-set record to 12-5, coming back from a two-set-to-love deficit for the sixth time in career, which places him among the biggest specialists of these victories in the Open era #. In the next round he will play against Feliciano Lopez, who survived a 4-set battle with a newcomer Vasek Pospisil (the Canadian youngster had his chances in sets No. 3 & 4). Also a 4-set match with two winning tie-breaks notched the other big-serving left-hander – Gilles Muller. He began abysmally his first encounter with Ernests Gulbis, losing 3 of the first 6 service games, but saved a break point at 0:3 in the 2nd set, later on a set point in that set and the things turned around in his favor to give him a 3-6, 7-6, 6-4, 7-6 win (both players served 19 aces).

Longest match:
4 hours, 20 minutes: Donald Young d. Stanislas Wawrinka 7-6(7), 3-6, 2-6, 6-3, 7-6(1)
Most aces:
21 – Andy Murray, defeated Robin Haase in five sets
5-set barometer:
15-10 Stanislas Wawrinka
13-12 Jurgen Melzer
12-5 Andy Murray
3-6 Robin Haase
3-2 Igor Kunitsyn
1-1 Donald Young
# The most comebacks from two sets down:
10 – Aaron Krickstein (1983-1995), Boris Becker (1987-1999)
9 – Todd Martin (1993-2004)
6 – Kevin Curren (1981-1991), Michael Chang (1988-1991), Wayne Ferreira (1997-2003), Andy Murray (2006-2011)
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US Open – Day 4 (2R)

An epic battle at Louis Armstrong Stadium was made by 31-year-old Juan Carlos Ferrero [105] and six years younger “birthday boy” Gael Monfils [7]; there were five grueling sets, and the entire match lasted 4 hours 48 minutes, which is the longest match of the season and the longest one in career for both players. Monfils saved mini-set points in both winning sets, and the usually calm Ferrero broke his racquet, upset after an awful forehand dropshot on set point down in the second tie-break. He got hold himself in the 4th set, fought off a break point at 1:2 and the things turned around in his favor. Monfils was too defensive again, it’s a tactical mistake especially against an opponent like Ferrero who knows how to create punishing angles from both sides. The Frenchman was running from side to side (the most interesting example of it occurred at the end of the 1st set as he almost won a point diving on the baseline!) and it took its toll in the 5th set – his legs didn’t work normally, and only with risky 2nd serves he owed hanging in the match since *0:2 (15-40). Ferrero had his physical problems as well, needed a treatment three times (both feet and middle finger in the left hand).
It was a good day for veterans in general, to the third round advanced also Ivo Karlovic [94] and Tommy Haas [475]. Dr. Ivo had boosted his confidence on Wendesday in doubles eliminating the Bryans, and stunned Monfils’ fellow countryman – Richard Gasquet 6-4, 6-2, 2-6, 7-6. The Croatian giant came back from a 2:4* (30-40) deficit in the 4th set to get the two vital points in the tie-break thanks to short backhand slices! He now faces Alexander Dolgopolov, who made the biggest comeback so far, recovering from a *1:4 (deuce) in the final set against Flavio Cipolla. ‘Dog’ won five straight games in the end. Haas won two matches in a row for the first time since Australian Open 2010 (he played 11 tournaments in the meantime) as he outplayed in three sets Alejandro Falla.
The first two sets were ideal. I could not play better. I was getting a lot of balls back, I was ending the points when I needed to, I was making a lot of winners. I felt fantastic on the court. Everything seems fun and enjoyable when you are playing such good tennis“. said Novak Djokovic after a demolition of Carlos Berlocq in 90 minutes. ‘Nole’ won the first 14 games of the match, but was broken twice in the 3rd set (twice to ’30’). It is the most lopsided “the best of five” match in Djokovic’s career (he beat Nicolas Massu in Melbourne 6-1, 6-1, 6-o four years ago) and the fourth match in the history of US Open with such a scoreline #. There was one “triple bagel” in New York, 24 years ago made by Ivan Lendl. Other strongest guys in the top half of the draw, Tomas Berdych, Roger Federer, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga & Mardy Fish, also won their matches without any troubles, respectively in 103, 77, 105 & 113 minutes. The latter outplayed in night session at Louis Armstrong Malek Jaziri – the first man in history in the Grand Slam event from Tunisia.

Longest match:
4 hours, 48 minutes: Juan Carlos Ferrero d. Gael Monfils 7-6(5), 5-7, 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-4
Most aces:
29 – Ivo Karlovic, defeated Richard Gasquet in four sets
5-set barometer:
23-17 Juan Carlos Ferrero
9-3 Gael Monfils
4-1 Alexandr Dolgopolov
1-2 Flavio Cipolla
# Four US Open matches with ‘6-0, 6-0, 6-2’ scoreline:
1981, 1R: Bruce Manson d. Danny Saltz 6-0, 6-0, 6-2
1981, 1R: Jimmy Connors d. John Lloyd 6-0, 6-0, 6-2
1988, 1R: Darren Cahill d. Lawson Duncan 6-0, 6-0, 6-2
2011, 2R: Novak Djokovic d. Carlos Berlocq 6-0, 6-0, 6-2
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US Open – Day 3 (1R)

In one of the most entertaining matches, at Louis Armstrong Stadium, John Isner [22] needed only one break of serve to battle past Marcos Baghdatis 7-6, 7-6, 2-6, 6-4. It was their third encounter in August, each time Isner became a winner. This time he had to work harder than in the previous meetings, in the 2nd set he saved three set points in the tie-break (5:6, 7:8, 9:10) – each of them with a second-serve winner on Baghdatis’ backhand! It was their second ’13-11′ tie-break won by Isner, the previous one occurred two years ago in Los Angeles, and had a weird progress – Isner saved only 1 s.p. at 10:11.
It was a good day for American players overall, besides Isner their matches won local pupils Andy Roddick, Ginepri, Bogomolov Jr., and 18-year-old, last year’s junior champion – Jack Sock [555], in his second Grand Slam appearance. Isner and Roddick have quite favorable draw, Fish has been playing tennis of his life, and it allows to suspect that at least one American player will advance to the quarter-finals (in the last two years none American player participated in the last eight, it had never happened in the Open era before). “It was okay… I’m still trying to find myself,” assessed Roddick after his 4-set victory over Russell, who now has eight first-round losses in his eight career appearances at the tournament, “I’m certainly still short on match play this year. I’ll keep fighting because it’s what I do. I don’t care if it’s ugly; I’ll try to get through“. The good American day was spoiled though, on Court No. 17, an experimental pair Karlovic / Moser ousted 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 the three-time US Open (2005, 08, 10) champions – the Bryan brothers; Dr. Ivo fired two consecutive aces in the end.
Andy Murray was struggling in the 1st set (lasted 70 minutes) with Somdev Devvarman, but prevailed in a tie-break (he’s won 8 straight tie-breaks) and took full control in the following two sets.  The unknown Brazilian Rogerio Dutra Da Silva [114] is a grantee of amazing luck, first he replaced Robin Soderling in the main draw (pulled out due to illness), then his first round opponent, Louk Sorensen [618] retired in the 4th set due to forearm injury (the match was played at Louis Armstrong, the biggest court Da Silva ever entered); the 27-year-old Da Silva next faces Bogomolov, so it’s for him a decent chance to continue a fairytale… 16 matches were played on Wednesday.

Longest match:
3 hours, 57 minutes:
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez d. Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-3, 1-6, 7-6(1), 1-6, 7-6(4)
Most aces:
23 – Steve Johnson, lost to Alex Bogomolov Jr. in five sets
5-set barometer:
6-4 Gilles Simon
5-3 Ricardo Mello
4-3 Guillermo Garcia-Lopez
2-3 Alex Bogomolov Jr.
1-2 Daniel Gimeno-Traver
0-1 Steve Johnson
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US Open – Day 2 (1R)

An 8-match losing streak in Grand Slam tournaments has finally broken the unpredictable Ernests Gulbis [53] with a comprehensive 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 win over last year semifinalist Mikhail Youzhny [15]. Gulbis was regularly serving more than 200 kph 1st serve, 170 kph 2nd serve and saved all 10 break points, he fired 14 aces. The Latvian is playing 100th tournament at the main level… Rafael Nadal [2] has been in slump since the Wimbledon final – the defending champion began his title quest with a 3-set agony. He was break down in each set against “the weakest player of the season” Andrey Golubev [98] to notch a 6-3, 7-6, 7-5 win in 2 hours 49 minutes. The Kazakh couldn’t convert any of 7 set points in the 2nd set, including a 40-0 lead on serve! Nadal in similar circumstances won the 3rd set against Andujar a few months ago in Paris. “I was nervous today, it’s normal to start a tournament like this,” said the Spaniard, “He didn’t help because he played very fast all the time. He was trying to hit a winner on almost every shot. So it was difficult for me to find some rhythm“. In contrary to Nadal, the main contender for the title, Novak Djokovic [1] hadn’t even a solid training on Arthur Ashe Stadium because Conor Niland [197] of Ireland, retired after 44 minutes of play (illness). For the 30-year-old Niland it was just second major event after the Wimbledon ’11. It’s third consecutive match for D’Joke finished with a retirement of him or his opponents.
In the first match concluded in the 5th set tie-break, Steve Darcis [102] for the second time in two weeks ousted Dmitry Tursunov [43] in a topsy-turvy meeting. The Russian won the first two sets being a break down and led 3:1* in the 3rd set. Darcis came back to win 15 out of the next 20 games, but Tursunov managed to get three games in a row from *3:5 down in the decider, only to lose the last 11 points and the match 7-6(4), 6-4, 5-7, 1-6, 6-7(0). There have been 138 (according to ATP, 7 less according to me) fifth-set tie-breaks at the US Open since its inception in 1970 # two of them involved Tursunov (the previous one in 2003 against Guga Kuerten).
One of the most experienced players in New York, James Blake [63] finished his four-setter with an extremely fast forehand return on ad-court. Astonished qualifier Jesse Huta Galung [160] didn’t even react despite the ball landed in the middle of the court! 24 matches were played on Tuesday…

Longest match:
4 hours, 2 minutes: Nikolay Davydenko d. Ivan Dodig 6-7(6), 6-3, 6-0, 2-6, 6-2
Most aces:
23 – Gilles Muller, defeated Edouard Roger-Vasselin in three sets
5-set barometer:
13-8 Nikolay Davydenko
11-7 Dmitry Tursunov
2-4 Nicolas Mahut
2-2 Ivan Dodig, Igor Kunitsyn
1-2 Steve Darcis
0-1 Matthias Bachinger, Robert Farah
# Number of 5th-set-tie-breaks at the US Open year by year:
1970 – 3; 1971 – 1; 1972 – 5; 1973 – 1; 1974 – 5; 1975 – 0; 1976 – 0; 1977 – 0; 1978 – 0; 1979 – 1;
1980 – 7; 1981 – 3; 1982 – 6; 1983 – 5; 1984 – 5; 1985 – 4; 1986 – 4; 1987 – 4; 1988 – 2; 1989 – 2;
1990 – 3; 1991 – 3; 1992 – 5; 1993 – 1; 1994 – 5; 1995 – 4; 1996 – 5; 1997 – 1; 1998 – 2; 1999 – 5;
2000 – 4; 2001 – 2; 2002 – 4; 2003 – 3; 2004 – 2; 2005 – 4; 2006 – 4; 2007 – 4; 2008 – 2; 2009 – 3;
2010 – 5;
In the years 1975-78, first three rounds were played “the best of three”
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US Open – Day 1 (1R)

Viktor Troicki [15] becomes a real specialist of losing tight matches. The unorthodox Serb (in terms of tennis style) again lost a match squandering three match points – it happened to him for the fourth time in career. On Grandstand, Troicki held three match points leading 5:4* in the 4th set against Alejandro Falla [119], the Colombian was serving to hang on in the match in the 5th set as well, and prevailed 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 in a 3-and-half-hour battle. Falla had lost four straight 5-setters prior to this win. Troicki has an awful “tight” record considering his ‘match point’ (1-8) and two ‘points away’ (2-3) encounters. Also Thomaz Bellucci suffered a bitter 5-set loss – he was leading comfortably against Dudi Sela with two sets and 3:1* in the 3rd set, but won just 4 out of the next 17 games!
None of the four Top 10 players who appeared on Monday dropped a set. Mardy Fish confirmed his great form outplaying on Arthur Ashe Stadum, Tobias Kamke [92] 6-2, 6-2, 6-1. Fish was so relaxed that won one of points playing a combination of a hot-dog shot and backhand, running it two different directions between the strokes. Fish said: “It’s an honour to be able to start the tournament off on that court. It’s just an amazing court. I was surprised when they canceled that first match, so my match was right on at 1:00. Tennis players love knowing exactly when they play.” In the night session on the same court, 5-time champion of the tournament Roger Federer easily beat Santiago Giraldo 6-4, 6-3, 6-2, albeit weird things occurred in the 1st set in which the Swiss wasted a double set point on serve at 5:1 and a few minutes later the Colombian was serving to level at five games apiece! Federer has tied Andre Agassi‘s 224 singles wins at tennis majors; nine behind Jimmy Connors… 24 matches were played on Monday.

Longest match:
4 hours, 24 minutes. Philipp Petzschner d. Albert Ramos 7-5, 6-7(2), 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-3
Most aces:
23 – Ivo Karlovic, defeated Fernando Gonzalez in three sets
5-set barometer:
22-17 Juan Carlos Ferrero
8-6 Victor Hanescu
7-6 Philipp Petzschner
5-6 Viktor Troicki
4-7 Michael Llodra
3-4 Alejandro Falla
1-1 Albert Ramos
0-3 Pablo Andujar
# Troicki’s m.p. and 2-pts-away defeats:
2008, Chennai: M.Cilic 6-3, 6-7(6), 1-6
2008, Moscow: M.Zverev 4-6, 6-3, 5-7  –   2 m.p.
2009, Barcelona: M.Youzhny 7-6(5), 6-7(6), 3-6
2009, Umag: M.Gonzalez 4-6, 6-3, 6-7(6)  –  3 m.p.
2009, Basel: M.Cilic 6-7(7), 7-6(8), 6-7(6) – 3 m.p.
2010, Belgrade: S.Wawrinka 5-7, 7-6(3), 6-7(6) – 2 m.p.
2010, Wimbledon: J.Melzer 7-6(5), 6-4, 3-6, 6-7(6), 3-6  – 1 m.p.
2010, Tokyo: R.Nadal 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-7(7)  – 2 m.p.
2011, Roland Garros: A.Murray 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 2-6, 5-7
2011, Montreal: G.Monfils 6-3, 6-7(0), 6-7(5) –  3 m.p.
2011, US Open: A.Falla 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 5-7, 5-7 – 3 m.p.
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34th WEEK

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John Isner [28] after a disappointing first half of the season (a negative 11-14 record after Wimbledon) found his last year’s form in Newport and won explicitly more matches in the last two months (17) than in the first six … Continue reading

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2011 summary (after 3rd quarter)

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Novak Djokovic confirmed his astonishing supremacy in the third quarter of the season winning 16 matches in a row and collecting another two big titles. His main opponent in the first half of the year – Rafael Nadal – couldn’t … Continue reading

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Cincinnati – final

(4)Andy Murray d. (1)Novak Djokovic       6-4, 3-0 ret.   (1:11 h)

I expected before the tournament that physical problems would catch the unstoppable Djokovic. The Serb in the previous two rounds showed signs of tiredness, however, Monfils isn’t solid enough to take advantage of it, Berdych on the other hand, had his own problems and retired. Murray from the very beginning found his standard high level and had a break point for a double break. Djokovic broke back, but after losing four consecutive games decided to retire (in the meantime needed a treatment). Murray claims his 18th title, 7th ‘Masters 1000’, 2nd in Cincinnati (three years ago beat D’Joke in the final as well)… It’s a pity that Monfils couldn’t stand the pace in the quarter-finals and Fish lost to Murray yesterday – the American has been playing on a very high level which would have probably forced Djokovic to retire also against him in today’s final awarding Fish a “deserved” first ‘Masters 1000’ title. “I just could not serve. I served an average 90 miles per hour the first serve, and I could not play forehands,” said Djokovic, “I could have maybe played another couple of games, but what for? I cannot beat a player like Murray today with one stroke.” Just like John McEnroe 27 years ago in a comparable season of amazing supremacy over the whole tennis elite, before the US Open Djokovic has lost two matches in the same cities: Paris and Cincinnati #. Murray broke his record streak of the most wins in succession in ‘Masters 1000’ events ##. The Scot said: “It was really a good week after I struggled last week. I didn’t drop a set and beat some very good players from pretty much the first round onwards.”

Doubles final:
(3)M.Bhupathi/L.Paes d. (4)M.Llodra/N.Zimonjic 7-6(4), 7-6(2)

# Comparison of winning streaks before the US Open:
1984, John McEnroe (62-2):
42 wins in a row -> loses Roland Garros final -> 20 wins in a row -> loses Cincinnati 1st rd.
2011, Novak Djokovic (57-2):
41 wins in a row -> loses Roland Garros semifinal -> 16 wins in a row -> loses Cincinnati final
## The longest winning streaks in ‘Masters 1000′ tournaments:
31 – Novak Djokovic (2011)
29 – Roger Federer (2005-06)
19 – Pete Sampras (1994)
18 – Rafael Nadal, twice (2005 & 2010)
17 – Thomas Muster (1995)
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