USO Day 9: Time to “bring it”.


Time flies when you’re having fun. We’re past the two thirds mark of a slam, well and truly into the make-or-break end of things. The round of 16 is always a round of carnage where the dark horses of the tournament rear their shiny heads to make a statement.

This means only one thing: it’s time to bring it.   

 

Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images

 

The bummer about living in Australia during the US Open is that often you wake up to a radical change in dynamics, as I did this morning – spluttering coffee everywhere when I brought up the scoreboard for the day. 

Andy Murray, out of the US Open at the hands of Cilic, with two pretzels to boot.

Don’t lie – who saw this comin’? And don’t give me that “Marin Cilic is always a dangerous player” crap. The guy was losing to Somdev Devvarman a few weeks ago, and has posted horrendous US Open Series results. Cilic was only ever ‘dangerous’ in the sense that he may take a set from Murray, or perhaps fall with a bundle of nerves in an epic 5 setter. But 7-5 6-2 6-2?

 

MARIN CILIC: I’m feeling tremendously happy. Of course it’s biggest result for me so far. And after reaching this four times last 16, was a little bit relief after I won it. 

Now that I don’t have this blockade in my head, I can look forward, and, of course, focus on the next matches.

 

Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images

 

Because it’s too easy to gloat when someone’s down, or to cry crocodile tears in hindsight, I’ll try my best to avoid either. 

To put it simply – Marin brought it today. He played the sort of risky, lights-out tennis that at least one player is destined to play each slam, be it Verdasco in Melbourne, the Sod at Roland Garros, or ARod at Wimbledon. Somewhere in the top 20, a player is waiting for a miracle wave to carry them to a grand slam breakthrough. And it is up to the top seeds of a slam to stem the tide. 

Murray’s passive, counterpunching style of play may work well in the uninspired grind of non-slam tennis, as his way of putting the ball back in play with varying pace and spin takes most of his opponents out of their comfort zone.

But at a slam, when players simply “up the ante” for the big stage, Murray appears almost vulnerable. His passiveness cannot hold up when – against all odds – the opponent with the riskier game starts painting the lines and finding his confidence.

There’s no question that this was just a shockingly bad day for Muzz. The World No 2 had 13 winners for the entire match. Take away the 5 aces, that’s 8 winners off the ground over 3 sets. Hardly shiny stats by anyone’s standards. 

Even so, I expected a Plan B, I expected more tenacity, more fire in the belly, I …

 

REUTERS/David Gray

 

Okay, I’ll play nice, especially since it’s conceivable that the Sod might do for Rafa at the US Open what he did for Roger at Roland Garros this year

I still expect Murray to win his first slam in the not-too-distant future, but he needs to change it up for once, and play with the sort of conviction and authority that some (quite frankly) lesser players come into the slams with. Until then, we haven’t seen the last of these 4th round exits. 

Being nice to Murray doesn’t mean tolerating delusion, so I’m bringing this up again, you bet I am: clickey.

 

AP Photo/Elise Amendola

 

In other matches, Gonzo and Jojo put on a spectacular display of hard hitting power tennis, which ended with Gonzo’s 3-6 6-3 7-6 6-4 victory.

This is what men’s tennis is all about – charismatic players charming the crowd, striking furious winners. Tsonga had chances throughout the match, but braincramped a little on his shot selection, particularly in coming to the net. I thought he could’ve served harder in the third set tiebreak, but when Gonzo’s forehand is firing, there’s not a lot that you can do. 

The match also featured Gonzo with his usual adorable bad-boy antics, which involved smashing a racquet, then offering it to the woman in the front row.  

One of the few assholes out there who makes it so easy to love him. Can’t believe this is his first quarterfinal at the US Open since 2002.

 

 

And guess who’s back? 

As I said, stirred but not shaken – Rafa and Monfils put on a highly entertaining match, with Rafa prevailing 6-7 6-3 6-1 6-3. Typically streaky, Monfils took the first set with some pure entertainment, and spent the next 3 sets fizzing out physically, and acting like the mental midget that he is. 63 unforced errors to 33 winners for Monfils. 24 a piece for Rafa. Again, not the shiniest of stats, but a more entertaining match than the numbers would suggest.

 

 

A big “naw-naw” for those who didn’t think Rafa was going to make it past R16 coming into the US Open.

Back to No 2, order restored in our Fedal universe. 

 

 

On the girl’s side of things, the two big names left in the game, Clijsters and Serena, both progressed with straight sets victories to set up a semifinal showdown

AWE to the SOME.

 

 

Now bring it!

xx doots

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21 responses to “USO Day 9: Time to “bring it”.”

  1. Noshali says :

    you wouldn’t BELIEVE how happy i was…yesterday was a really good day for all my fav athletes

    first the sri lankan cricket team won against the kiwis, and now Murray “the REAL no 1”, is OUTT!!! LOSERRRR!! lol…cannot be too compassionate about it..

    sux i never get to watch us open…stupid time difference!

  2. Julie says :

    Doots, you are mean and I love it! Bringing back the Simon Reed article is just cruel! I’ve been wondering if the guy is still alive! Someone should check on him!

    As for Marin, he has replaced Ernest at the top of my list of youngsters I’d like to succeed! He is just adorable. I used to worry about this lack of emotions (both good and bad) on court but I’m begining to think that his zen-like state on court is the way to go (and quite sexy!).

    And my girl ReRe brought it! She was so intense and focused I was getting scared. Sometimes, when she wants it too much (FO 09), things don’t go as planned. But she is playing the best tennis on the women’s side and I hope she kicks Kim’s posterior!

    • dootsiez says :

      Damn! And here I was trying to be compassionate about it. Honest!

      Complain as I may, it’s tough for Murray and I don’t wish him ill. Although … easier said when he’s out …

      And yes. As much as I’m enjoying Kim’s comeback, Serena better keep it together and take the No 1 ranking back. FTW.

  3. Simon Reed (not really) says :

    I did you all a favour. If I picked Federer as the favourite he would’ve gone out to SImon Greul in three straight. Unfortunately I also said Nadal has no chance at all so that actually makes him the front runner in the non-bizarro world.

    Hey if only biogenetics can make a leap in technology and Brits can combine the best of Murray DNA and Del Potro’s then the hybrid would be pretty unstoppable.

  4. Liz says :

    I knew when Gael started shaking his head and looking around in the second set that he was doomed. I think he celebrated a little too much after the first set. Ya gotta win three, dude! But Rafa was amazing. What happened to that groin injury? Yikes, now I’m worried about that potential R-R match-up!

    PS You get us back during the Australian Open. Talk about sleep deprivation!

  5. girl from michigan says :

    “Back to No 2, order restored in our Fedal universe. ”

    ~ insert big sigh of relief ~

  6. breadstix says :

    I thought Toothy would go down at the hands of Del Poop in the next rounds, but who am I to complain! 😀 Not seen match but it seems Muzz went to pot after the first set. Unexpectedly good stuff from Marin. And Rafa’s win bumps him back into the top 2 again! 😀 Utopia restored?

    Not sure whether to stay up and watch Sod-Fed tonight. 😐 Night match means I wont get to sleep ’til 4 and there’s classes the next day at 9… I just hope it’s not 12th(?) time lucky for Sodders.

    • dootsiez says :

      Well you’ve saved yourself some frazzles by skipping it. It’s starting at 11am in Aus. Can’t exactly avoid it. :S

      • breadstix says :

        Save myself from frazzles? Not when I’ve deliberately woken up after 4hrs of sleep. 😉 GO ROGER! At least defend ya crazy semis streak … I’m so going to regret this when I’m nodding off during lessons tomorrow. Heh.

      • breadstix says :

        ‘USO Day 8: Time to “bring it”.’
        I’m gonna be rather pernickety here, but ain’t this post USO Day 9? :D’

  7. JFK says :

    Murray looked so deflated after losing the first set and he even had set point. Strange. It didn’t look like he even tried to fight back. I thought he would retire because he looked like he was in agony. I feel bad for him but not for Simon Reed who gives no credit to Murray’s opponents.

    • dootsiez says :

      I was wondering if there was something wrong with his wrist. But at the same time, he just wasn’t getting into any of Marin’s service games, and this was with Marin serving at 31% or something ridiculous in the second set.

  8. Ann says :

    Love that pic of Rafa. He looks fierce on court but the stills of him roaring are always so adorable. What a match last night! I am *so* pulling for a Fedal final!

  9. Mia says :

    Frazzled during the Soderling match. Will be on bigger frazzling mode for the semis match. Gaah, why do I do this to myself?

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