US Open 2012: Day 7 Preview
September 2, 2012 · Print This Article
Day 6 at Flushing Meadows saw Serena Williams atone for her surprise loss to Ekaterina Makarova at Melbourne Park earlier this year, the American taking down the Russian in straight sets to move a step closer to a fourth US Open crown.
Day 6 Recap
On a very warm day in New York, Williams was joined on the winners list by second seed Agnieszka Radwanksa, who overcame Jelena Jankovic, Angelique Kerber and Sara Errani. Ana Ivanovic overcame an almighty challenge from Sloane Stephens to prevail in 3 sets, while Maria Kirilenko was upset by the Czech Hlavackova and Roberta Vinci upset her higher ranked opponent, Dominika Cibulkova.
In the men’s tournament, Roger Federer wasn’t really troubled against Fernando Verdasco, moving through in straight sets, while Andy Murray squeezed past Feliciano Lopez, winning 3 tiebreakers en route to a 4 set victory. Martin Klizan, who upset Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the previous round, continued his good run, taking out Tsonga’s compatriot Jeremy Chardy.
Tomas Berdych enjoyed a fine win over American Sam Querrey in 4 sets, as Querrey was joined on the sidelines by countrymen James Blake and Jack Sock, who went down to Milos Raonic and Nicolas Almagro respectively. Also through to the round of 16 is Marin Cilic, who defeated Kei Nishikori in 4 sets.
Matches of the Day – Day 7
1. Maria Sharapova vs. Nadia Petrova
Sharapova has barely raised a sweat in advancing through the opening rounds of the tournament, but the Russian faces her first big test of the tournament against compatriot Nadia Petrova. Although Petrova is coming to the end of her career, she still hits a very hard ball and is a tough competitor.
From the back of the court, there is not much that separates these players in terms of stroke production. However, Sharapova is a better mover around the court and she needs to exploit this advantage by pushing Petrova from side to side and utilising the drop shot occasionally. If she can do this effectively, Sharapova should prevail. Sharapova in 2.
2. Philipp Kohlschreiber vs. John Isner
With Andy Roddick’s impending retirement, John Isner is set to carry the flag for the next generation of American players. Isner has already had some superb performances in Davis Cup play, and is now looking to replicate such efforts in the major tournaments.
Kohlschreiber is a tenacious opponent with a dynamic backhand, but if Isner can serve well and not give the German too many break point opportunities, then I think Isner will have too much firepower for the nineteenth seed. Isner in 4.
3. Lleyton Hewitt vs. David Ferrer
Supposedly pain-free for the first time in several years, Aussie veteran Lleyton Hewitt is near the end of his career but would dearly love to put together one last run at a tournament that he won many years ago. Fourth seed Ferrer has a game similar to that of Hewitt’s, full of tenacity, consistency and court speed.
Hewitt showed his trademark grit to edge out Gilles Muller in a 5-setter in the second round, but I suspect that Ferrer’s elite level of fitness and far great match fitness will prove decisive in this match-up. Ferrer in 4.
4. Laura Robson vs. Sam Stosur
I’ve been completely wrong in terms of predicting Robson’s last couple of matches, in which the Brit has scored superb upset wins over Kim Clijsters and Li Na. Accordingly, I’m wary of going against Robson in this match, but Sam Stosur’s 10 match winning streak at Flushing Meadows is enough to convince me that the Australian will be too good for the up-and-coming British teenager.
The bouncy Flushing Meadows courts allow Stosur to get plenty of bite from her powerful first serve and and her heavy kicking second serve, and the rally balls also sit up nice and high for Stosur to punish her opponents off her forehand wing. Robson has had the best major tournament of her career here in New York, but I’ll back Stosur to end the teenager’s fairytale run. Stosur in 3.
5. Novak Djokovic vs. Julien Benneteau
Frenchman Julien Benneteau was just a couple of points away from upsetting Roger Federer at Wimbledon this year, so it’s clear that the thirty-first seed is capable of producing high-quality tennis that can trouble the world’s very best players.
Djokovic has cruised through his opening couple of matches and, while this match-up represents a tougher task than his previous matches, I still think the Serb will prevail with relative ease. Djokovic is a tremendous mover and defensive player on hard-courts and thus I’m not sure how Benneteau will be able to hurt the second seed from the back of the court. Djokovic in 3.
Put your house on: Second seed Novak Djokovic to have too much class for Frenchman Julien Benneteau in their third round clash (previewed above).
Upset alert: I sense eighteenth seed Stanislas Wawrinka has a good chance of upsetting his higher ranked opponent, fourteenth seed Alexandr Dolgopolov.
Likely to go the distance: I’m predicting a third set in the clash between Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli and Czech Petra Kvitova. I’ll back Kvitova to come out the eventual winner.
That’s it for today. Enjoy the tennis and I’ll be back with another serve tomorrow.