US Open 2011 Day 7 (by PJ): Of cramps and long tiebreaks.
The Fence is flooded with blog posts today! Be sure to check out Matt’s posts just below this one, where he wrote a USO week 2 preview and looking back at Wogie’s rather defining (also known as heart-attack inducing and hair-tearing) Slam matches over his career.
I’m just going to do a quick point-form recap of the day’s happenings, just to keep the wrap posts together.
1) As expected, Dave was able to give Rafa some trouble early in the match – securing a break with some dazzling play involving the rather effective Nalbandian backhand. But Rafa always do as Rafa always does, as he broke Dave while he was serving for the first set, and from then on, it was Rafa all the way, rolling through for a straight sets victory.
I kid. As y’all probably already know, poor Rafa was overcome by a bout of rather nasty cramps during his press conference, dramatically requiring the press to empty the room while he gets a rub down. His leg, that is. Not anywhere else (although that face…okay, I’ll stop).
2) None of Friday’s scare for MAndy, as he dispatched his mummy’s toyboy crush comfortably in straight sets. It seemed like Feliciano Lopez didn’t quite show up to play – maybe the idea of Judy staring at him lustfully impeded his tennis…
3) USA-ians Andy R and Pine Tree Isner faced some resistance from their respective opponents Julien Benneteau and Alex Bogomolov Jr, being pushed to tie-breaks but still managed to come away with straight-sets win. Donald Duck is also a surprising face in the round of 32, beating 24th seed Juan Ignacio Chela in straights.
4) Not a good day for the Argentineans, as defending champ Delpony lost to Skinny Legs Simon in four sets. It seemed like Delpony was a bit sluggish and a bit slow with his step throughout, and wasn’t able to withstand Simon’s grinding tactics. Ah well. I’m disappointed, because I was really hoping for a Del Potro/Murray rematch. Alas, not meant to be, for this Slam.
5) Lord F pulled through as expected, and Gilles Muller won the Match of the Unseeded, earning himself a meeting with Rafa Nadal.
For the laydees:
1) My adopted-country woman Sammy Stosur, fresh from playing the longest USO women’s match against Nadia Petrova two days before, set another record with playing the longest tiebreaker in Grand Slams, against Maria Kirilenko. The second-set tiebreaker consisted of 32 points, where Sammy had FIVE match points, and 3 other would-be match points which were cancelled by Kirilenko’s correct HawkEye challenges. Talk about intense!
2) For the other women’s matches, Flavs slayed another higher-ranked seed, bundling out Peng Shuai in straights; Angelique Kerber is the surprisingly unexpected face in the fourth round; and business as usual for Vera, defeating Sabine Lisicki in straight sets. She plays Stosur next, whom she has a losing H2H…I’m for Sammy all the way for this one, though.
Matt Moonpie will be with y’all until the conclusion of this Slam – LJ and I may pop in from time-to-time if Wogie is like uber awesome, but the Fence and Fence Readers will in your care, Matt!