Day 3 – Review
Day 3 at US Open has been a really moving day of sorts. The tournament which was gently gathering steam on Day 1 and Day 2, finally picked up serious momentum and if you want to get on this American [Open] Express train, this is the moment. Ladies and Gentlemen, the American [Open] Express train is now fast approaching it’s peak speed.
The Big casualties of this moving day were Venus Williams and James Blake. Two wonderful American players who have had more than their fair share of glory both in Flushing Meadows and the tennis cosmos in general. Let us take this moment to give a standing ovation to both these wonderful tennis players – particularly James Blake. James Blake has been a wonderful ambassador for American Tennis as well as the ATP. His achievements are well documented, but my first memories of him were the composure with which he handled one of the darker moments in tennis history, THAT INCIDENT involving that fiery tennis player called Hewitt. Once you started following James Blake seriously, you would realise that monstrous forehands – one of the most underrated shots in the last decade. It is right up there with the best forehands on this side of the new millennium! Thank you Mr.Blake for all the forehands and for being such a wonderful ambassador for our great sport!
Venus Williams, like James Blake, has been a wonderful ambassador for our sport and American Sports. While she has not yet decided to hang her boots, one cannot help but think that the writing is on the wall. I really want her to make a serious run at Wimbledon – she is the resident Queen of SW19 and surely deserves a most memorable swansong on those lawns that she graced with such athleticism and wizardry – a lot like the King of SW19, Roger Federer. In many ways, her loss today reminds me of the 2nd round loss Roger had in Wimbledon this year. I hope Venus will go back to drawing board, like Roger did, and when she is convinced she has more to offer to Tennis and to fans like us, she should dive into it like Roger has been doing since that debacle.
Big 4 watch: Murray looked impressive. He has a friendly draw till quarters and if Lendl can keep him focussed, he can have a great shot at defending the crown and making himself a contender for year-end!
Last but not the least: A shout-out for Mr. Devvarman. Like Isner, he is an NCAA product and he also happens to be from the wonderful country I hail from, India! I hope Somdev keeps up the good work and makes further inroads in US Open 2013 and also in the future tournaments.
Day 4 Preview
The biggest match of today, is without an iota of doubt – Fedal. Of course these two legends are not playing each other, but here is my question – “Are we really sure they are not?” These two have been wonderfully twined together, like all sports rivalries, from the day they played each other for the 1st time. The rivalry has now reached a stage that they are playing against each other [albeit, in the fantasy world that only passionate sports fans inhabit] even when they are playing other opponents in this real world.
Sports Cosmos prediction: Fedal to get through to 3rd round with a combined loss of 1 set at the most! [80% chance that Federer will drop that set]
In the real world, the biggest match of the day has to be Isner-Monfils. Isner is playing “Big 4” level tennis post-Wimbledon and today his US Open campaign runs into a player who has immense energy and potential. This truly is the battle of one of tennis’ most aggressive player and one of its most defensive players. A poor man’s FEDAL, if you will. In the 90s, monfils would have not had much of a shot at Big John, but it is the two-thousand-teens and Big John has got to keep bringing it like he has been doing on the asphalt this summer and in particular, play at the level he has displayed in his past 5 matches. Monfils, well, no point even thinking what this guy should do. He should actually stop grinding out points, but we all know he ain’t changing it. So my suggestion would be for him to bring his best serve game and make Isner feel like he has to serve even better and in doing so make errors on his biggest weapon. To an extent, this is what Nadal did in the Cincinnati final.
My prediction: Big John in 4 tough sets!
On a very important note, we must officially acknowledge the resurgence of American Tennis, particularly on women’s side. As of the beginning of day 3, there are 8 players each in both the singles draws. That is wonderful news for American Tennis. The women are now on the verge of creating a dynasty – much like the Russian “Ova” dynasty that started with Anna Kournikova’s stardom. As for the men, they have definitely stepped it up at the most premier tennis event in this Tennis-superpower country and they are holding the fort beautifully, led by that wonderful player – Big John!
As for other important matches, Kuznetsova-Peng is in 3rd set, as is Kerber-Bouchard. A couple of Italians have made it through – Pennetta and Vinci. Ivanovic will try to make it a couple of Serbians. – Jankovic is already through. Lisicki is continuing her good work from Wimbledon and I think Kvitova should join the winners circle too.
Gasquet is down a break in 1st set and I am thinking Sela-Tipsarevic will be a real thriller.
[Please Check the comments for further updates and feel free to post your own commentary on the matches today]