Posted tagged ‘U.S. Open’

U.S. Open: American Men Fall as Top 4 Set For Semis

September 9, 2011

By the middle of the second set of his quarterfinal match against 4th ranked Andy Murray, John Isner had run out of gas. He was conserving his energy, letting Murray’s drop shots fall without challenge, hoping for his chance to steal a few consecutive points. Having already dropped the 1st set and down 3-4 in the 2nd, Isner finally found his opportunity. A hard shot to the corner had sent Murray scrambling on defense. Murray was able to send a clean shot back over the net, but right at Isner who was charging for the volley. But Isner had lowered his racket, poor form for the play, and instead dropping of an easy winner had shot wide for an unforced error. He would drop the game and eventually the set 4-6.

Isner managed to come back and win the 3rd 6-3, largely due to his play at the net. His powerful serve had kept Murray at the baseline for most of the match, allowing him to win easy volleys, but his inability to control the volley at key moments lost him some crucial points, most notably during the tiebreaker in the 4th, which he lost 3-7 and ended the match.

Things weren’t as close for former U.S. Open champ Andy Roddick, who went down to 2nd seed Rafael Nadal in straight sets, winning only 6 games the entire match.

Murray and Nadal join Roger Feder (3) and Novak Djokovic (1) in a semifinal round featuring all four of the top ranked players. The four men made up the semifinals in the French Open earlier this year. At least three have made the semis in each of this year’s majors, and no male player outside of the four has played in a major singles final this year. If history holds true, expect Nadal to beat Federer in the final. But on the hard courts that offer less of an advantage to Nadal, and with the dominant year Djokovic is having, anything is possible.

Prediction: Djokovic over Nadal in the finals

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