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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