US Open 2013 – week 2, Thursday

There is a saying among tennis traders that you can rarely rely on a Frenchman. Last night we couldn’t even rely on one being knackered.

I’m sure Gasquet spoiled a few books yesterday. I came out with a modest profit although my green on Ferrer would have paid for a decent holiday in the sun.

Azarenka and Nadal made it through easily as did Pennetta with the latter 2 being nice wins for the tips service.

 

Just 2 singles matches today. Youzhny has tested Djokovic in the past but the Serb will bring his A game to the court tonight. Youzhny had a draining 5 set match with Hewitt in the last round whereas Djokovic hasn’t been tested. As I have said a few times this week need to have at least one match where they are put under pressure before they reach the business end of slams.This could be that match for Djokovic and will fine tune his game for the semi final.

Djokovic starts at 1.05 . They have played just 3 times in the last 4 seasons. Djokovic won  on the Monte Carlo clay in April in 3 sets. Their two matches in 2010 were shared with a 3 set win for Djokovic on the Dubai hard court and a straight sets win for Youzhny on Rotterdam’s indoor hard courts.

This has been a strange slam although I did predict that it would be in my tournament preview. Youzhny has to be concerned about his energy levels and is likely to come out swinging. If he is to get the win he doesn’t want to be playing 5 sets. Every one of their opening sets in 8 meetings have been close and I expect that pattern to continue. and Youzhny has to take it. I think we will see a higher price on Djokovic in the first set.

Djokovic to win in 4.

Update: Djokovic won 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-0.

 

In my tournament preview I predicted Murray would be knocked out at this stage by Berdych. Murray’s preparation for the tournament didn’t look to have gone well and he arrived in New York needing to play himself into form in the early rounds. To be fair he hasn’t needed to play his best tennis against the likes of Istomin, Leo Mayer, Florian Mayer and Llodra and he certainly hasn’t.  Losing sets to Istomin and even to Leo Mayer aren’t disastrous in best of 5 matches but notice that Djokovic hasn’t lost a set and Nadal lost just 1 in a tie break.

This match is Murray’s last chance to fine tune his own level but Wawrinka is already  primed and ready to go with wins over Berdych, in form Baghdatis and big serving Karlovic. Its almost like each round prepared a part of his game for the next one.

Wawrinka will start the faster of the two. Murray went into the Istomin match thinking ,”Lets see how aggressive I need to be”. He will know that he needs to be super aggressive against Stan and I expect a superb match.

Murray will trade a lot higher than his SP of 1.32 and I think if he isn’t at his very best then his defence of the title ends tonight.

Update: What a match from Wawrinka! He put pressure on Murray from the start and Murray wasn’t up to the challenge,

Wawrinka won 6-4, 6-3, 6-2.

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