USO 2011 Men’s Semis Thoughts (by PJ): We’ve been here before.
Another Slam, another Big 4 rollover into the semi-finals. Of course, only one of them is a gimpy grandpa with an age number starting with a THREE (Gasp! Horror! Shouldn’t he be ordering his walker and adult diapers!??! Why is he STILL playing in the semis of a Grand Slam!?!). Well, Gimpy Grandpa Fed showed that he’s still got it, still want it, and still can have it (ANTIJINX).
If it feels like we’ve been here before, that’s because we have. But it’s now a different Slam, different times (kinda), different surface, different country. That means it can play out differently. I’ll like to keep one semi (the one with Gramps) the way it had been, and c’est la vie for the other.
I’m not an analyst, as all of you who have read my guest posts would’ve figured it out. I can’t wax lyrical about forehands and backhands and volleys and footwork. I can’t make coherent, scientific and analytical predictions about anything (plus I’m usually way, way, WAY off when it comes to predictions. My gut feelings suck. I have a bad gut, clearly). I attempt to wax lyrical about Federer’s pants and how he and his hair are like hot potatoes, but that’s all I can do, really. All the same, here are some of my thoughts – mostly rambly and nonsensical – on today’s semis.
Why I think Djokovic will beat Federer
1) Ranking, season, overall performance so far for the year suggest that Djoko is on-form, on-song and full of confidence. Yikes? Yikes x a trillion.
2) He knows how to beat Federer in a Grand Slam. In New York. He’s done it before.
3) Surface. He definitely prefers the hard-courts to clay, and plays better on them as well.
4) He brain cramps a lot less nowadays. In contrast, Federer brain cramps a lot more.
5) Being runner-up twice, without a win, will surely spur him on. Considering the possibly across the net is his recent bunny Rafa or his other bunny Murray…if he gets through Gramps, he has a REAL shot at the title. And he knows it.
Why I think Federer will beat Djokovic
1) Federer’s been playing relatively well all tournament, rather similarly to RG, where everything is sort of clicking for him in the early rounds. He demolished the hapless Monaco, beat Tsonga resoundingly in straight sets, and that has to give him a big measure of confidence.
2) At 30 (and gimpy), I think he wants to prove himself to himself (more than anyone else – critics and journos alike) that he’s still got it.
3) He definitely knows how to beat Djokovic in a Grand Slam. In New York. He’s done it four times.
4) We equate Federer with the green green grass for the cows, but he’s just as good on the hard courts (some say better). No surface disadvantage for him there.
5) Crowd support. NYC loves him. And they will show it, yell it, scream it, shout it, holler it. Right at Djokovic’s face.
6) This is the last Slam. His last chance to uphold the tradition since 2003. Will he be more fired than ever to win this? You betcha.
7) His pants are so much hotter. (whaddaya mean, that’s not a reason?)
8) Because my heart says Federer. It always, always, ALWAYS…says…FEDERER.
Rafa v Murray. Dunno, really. Whatevs, is what I’m truly feeling right now. But let’s give the crackdown a go.
Why I think Rafa will beat Murray
1) If Federer wins the other semi, momentum will be on Rafa’s side. He will definitely fancy his chances against Gramps, not so against Djokovic.
2) Rafa’s demolishment of (an albeit injured) Roddick showcased some really solid tennis. If he’s serving well (and Murray is not), this should be his for taking.
3) His form seems better than Murray’s so far in the tournament (but then he hasn’t really been tested).
4) Because I can never count out Rafa. He can be down two sets to love, 0-5, 0-40, and he will still somehow crawl back to win.
5) H2H, and ranking, and MAndy’s tendency to freeze when it matters.
Why I think Murray will beat Rafa
1) He knows how to beat Rafa in a Grand Slam. In New York. He’s done it before. (copy, paste, rinse and repeat)
2) I somehow think he’s gained more confidence from the Haase match – has been playing fairly well, since.
3) If he serves really, really well. Like super well.
4) It’s not a Slam final. He’s more unlikely to freeze (although still kinda likely…see Wimbledon 2011).
5) He’s the only one of the Big 4 without a Slam. Ya think he wants to rectify that bit of statistic? YA THINK??
My prediction: *zips lips and eats chips* (an antijinx measure)
RIDE OR DIE, BIATCHES. But be forewarned that riding may also lead you to dying.