US Open – Day 11 + 12 (QF)

1st quarterfinal:
(1)Novak Djokovic d. (20)Janko Tipsarevic 7-6(2), 6-7(3), 6-0, 3-0 ret.      [3:27 h]

It was a match of two Belgrade boys, good friends, composed of two completely different parts. The level of play in the first two sets was astonishing, Janko Tipsarevic was playing much more above his standards, especially in the 2nd set when he notched 83% of 1st serve in, delivering regularly bombs racing 200 kph (125 mph)!! Djokovic was forced to make miracles in a deep defense with his trademarking slides. Tipsy was serving at 6:5 (30-30) in the 1st set, having erased a 2:5 deficit before, but it doesn’t obviously mean he would have led two-sets-to-love if he had won that set… The breathtaking quality disappeared in the 3rd set as the lights were switched on. The lower ranked Serb didn’t stand his own tremendous pace, the legs couldn’t work anymore like in the first two hours. There was a moment in the 1st game of the 4th set when appeared a chance for equaling of strength on both sides. It happened as D’Joke won an amazing rally, celebrated it powered by adrenaline, but fell down in pain and asked for a medical time-out. He received a treatment to his big toe (left foot) and came back playing with normal movement. Tipsarevic after producing a poor backhand at *0:3 (15-30), decided to retire in order to avoid a double bagel.

# Here are the players who played the most Grand Slam tournaments before reaching their first quarter-final (copied from atptourworld.com):
54 – Fabrice Santoro (Australian Open, 2006)
38 – Mark Woodforde (Australian Open, 1996)
34 – Todd Woodbridge (Wimbledon, 1997)
32 – Jurgen Melzer (Roland Garros, 2010) & Jason Stoltenberg (Wimbledon, 1996)
31 – Janko Tipsarevic (US Open, 2011)

2nd quarterfinal:
(3)Roger Federer d. (11)Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4, 6-3, 6-3     [1:55 h]

Great expectations preceded this match because Tsonga had beaten Federer twice in the last three months, in entertaining matches at Wimbledon and Montreal. Unfortunately this time their encounter was one-sided from start to finish. Federer was reading Tsonga’s serves like an open book, especially from his backhand side, and broke the Frenchman six times (lost his serve twice). Actually, the five-time champion was better in each department of the game. Just like in Melbourne, Federer advances to the semi-finals in New York eighth straight time, tying Ivan Lendl‘s achievement (the other US Open legend – Jimmy Connors, played semifinals in New York 12 years in a row)! Two additional notes: I’ve never seen Tsonga winning so many points with one-handed backhand; the match was interrupted by light rain at *3:2 (0-15) Federer, for around 90 minutes.

# The most consecutive appearances in Grand Slam quarter-finals:
30 – Roger Federer (2004-11)
27 – Jimmy Connors (1973-83)
13 – Ivan Lendl (1985-89)
12 – Bjorn Borg (1978-81)
11 – Pete Sampras (1991-94)

3rd quarterfinal:
(4)Andy Murray d. (28)John Isner 7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(2)             [3:24 h]

“All-service players” are a great match-up for Murray. The Brit has a perfect record against Ivo Karlovic (3-0), Feliciano Lopez (6-0), Gilles Muller (1-0) and John Isner (2-0). In his service games, he exposes decisively their frailty on the baseline, moreover his patience and extraordinary skills in the defense, allows him to break them at least once per set, if a tie-break is required, no problem for Murray, he knows how to play them (88-59 career record… 59%), even against a tie-break specialist like Isner. The American had a little chance to get the 4th set as he obtained a double break point at 4:4 – Murray saved it quickly with an ace and an awkward backhand winner directly after the return (it was an approach shot but Isner didn’t run thinking about the challenge, but it was too late to question the second serve as a long one). In the tie-break Isner served at 1:1 a silly double fault (didn’t try to hit an ace; 5 d.f. in total) and Murray built immediately a safe 4:1 advantage. He advances to the fourth straight Grand Slam semifinal, snapping a career-best 9-match winning streak of Isner.

4th quarterfinal:
(2)Rafael Nadal d. (21)Andy Roddick  6-2, 6-1, 6-3                  [1:53 h]

Humiliation of the 2003 champion… Roddick is too weak this season to play against Rafa from the baseline on even terms, so he was attacking the net quite often, but his approach shots were poor and Nadal’s passing-shots looked like a formality. A-Rod had a break point only in one game, in fact it was 40-0 for him in the opening game of the 3rd set, he had also the fourth chance to break in that game. Quick match with Roddick is a positive news for Nadal’s fans in a perspective of tomorrow’s meeting with Murray; the Brit spent 5 hours 21 minutes on court in the last two days, Nadal “only” 4 hours. It may be a decisive factor in their match, which will probably extend to 3 hours at least, given the pace of their previous matches in 2011… I’m a bit disappointed that the best four players in the world have a huge advantage over the rest of the tennis elite. This year’s majors confirm it explicitly, only two other guys advanced to the last 4, neither of them was able to get the final # “It was evident pretty early that he was in full control of things,” said Roddick. “I think he has a tendency to play himself into tournaments, and then by the end he’s taking cuts. I feel like today he was doing that. I had zero reserves. I didn’t have any time to train this summer, so I played a four setter yesterday; I felt like I played six sets.”

# Participants of the major semi-finals in 2011:
Australian Open: Djokovic, Federer, Murray, Ferrer
Roland Garros: Djokovic, Nadal, Federer, Murray
Wimbledon: Djokovic, Nadal, Murray, Tsonga
US Open: Djokovic, Nadal, Federer, Murray
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7 Responses to US Open – Day 11 + 12 (QF)

  1. Wanaro Evernden says:

    When Tsonga was young he want to change his two-handed backhand for a one-handed backhand like Sampras but finaly he stay with his two hand.

    Others french players to beat Santoro ?
    PHM 10 years / 32 GS / 6 R16, but he don’t play this year.
    Llodra 12 years / 41 GS / 4 R16, i waiting for a quarter in Wimby !

  2. Voo de Mar says:

    Tsonga has improved his one-handed backhand since Queens Club. It’s not only a matter of more frequent one-handed passing-shots, he has been also using more slice lately. Similar thing did Marc Rosset in his late 20’s. It seems that double-handed players who attack the net often to play volleys are more prone to vary the game with one-handed backhand.

  3. David says:

    7th Grand Slam semifinal Federer vs Djokovic; McEnroe vs Connors played 7 too; Lend vs Wilander played 6
    what’s the other best rivalries at GS semis?

    Thanks for this blog

  4. Voo de Mar says:

    I will prepare a special entry about this issue David on Sunday :)

    Lendl and Edberg six too.

  5. Wanaro Evernden says:

    The 24-year-old Murray became just the seventh man in the Open Era to reach the semi-finals of all four Grand Slam championships in the same year. (ATP)
    Who is the 6 other players ? Thanks
    – Murray 2011
    – Federer 2005, 6, 7, 8, 9
    – Lendl 1987
    – Nadal 2008


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