Wednesday, September 05, 2012

2012 US Open QF Preview, Pt.3

Hello all and welcome to the third part of the US Open men’s quarterfinals coverage. I really like Ferrer and that’s mainly because he works so hard and he is such a genuine guy, and when he was younger his coach used to lock him in the balls cupboard. I’m not joking. Also, Ferrer is the last standing Spaniard and the highest-seeded. Which he must be loving and, even better, he’s got an entire quarter of the draw to himself. I also like Tipsy, but just not as much. However, he’s been having a great couple of years and is now a perennial Top 10er and he also has the best record against Serbians of any ATP player.

Ferrer leads 2-1, but they last played 4 years ago. To be honest, their head-to-head doesn’t really say a great deal. Ferrer has bageled him on clay and handed him a baguette (6-1) too. Full details here.

=Tipsarevic (7) Route Through=
R1: def. Rufin with Cilic, he had to come back from two sets down against someone he should have dispatched fairly quickly. However, he came back to win 4-6 (49), 3-6 (40), 6-2 (33), 6-3 (48), 6-2 (47). That isn’t the kind of match you want in the first round of a slam. With 17 aces, two more than his opponent, and also 3 less double faults with only 3, Tipsarevic had a good serving day -- and 47 winners is always good. However, perhaps Rufin’s 58 unforced errors contributed to the talented Frenchman’s downfall. After such a match as this, Tipsy would have ideally wanted an easy straight sets against an opponent incapable of an upset.

R2: def. Baker
...unfortunately, he landed the dangerous Brian Baker. Fortunately, Baker seemed to just be running out of energy this year after a sensational comeback from injury at the age of 27. And Tipsy just had too much on the day, and in exactly one minute over two hours he had wrapped up a fairly routine 6-4 (38), 6-3 (37), 6-4 (48) victory. Despite only putting in 47 percent of his first serves, he hit 14 aces and just 5 doubles. Brian hit 2 aces and 5 doubles but had 15 percent more of his first serves in. But, Baker hit 44 unforced errors and just 18 winners whilst Tipsy hit 23 unforced errors and a respectable 34 winners. A potentially tricky match was easily bypassed by the Serbian number two.

R3: def. Zemjla
…no, he hasn’t faced a seed yet. But Zemlja was going to play with nothing to lose and would be very dangerous. However, Janko came through with a straightforward 6-4 (51), 6-3 (36), 7-5 (49) With fourteen aces to 9, but 8 double faults to 2 and a FSP of 64 %, his serving in this match was acceptable. But 31 unforced errors and 30 winners won’t quite cut it with higher quality opponents. Janko won and his opponent lost. This match wasn’t the most interesting and the favorite went through. On to trickier matches now though...

R4: def.Kohlschreiber
…I missed it when German tennis players were called Graf or Becker or Stich. Hey, I can even make do with Haas. But, anyways, the one with the unspellable name had taken out John Isner, who was lots of people’s pick to make the semi-finals. But it was in five epic and exhausting sets, and thus the Wimbledon quarterfinalist had little left in the tank for this one. So he tamely folded 6-3 (50), 7-6(5), (59) 6-2 (34) to the best Serbian never to win a singles slam. 56% FSP and 9 aces is good going , though his opponent had three more aces. Also Tipsy had half the double faults his opponent hit with only two. This match was always going to go the way of Janko, the German was exhausted and Tipsy had spent not much time on court and was also a lot more solid generally. And now he faces the might Spaniard David Ferrer.

=Ferrer (4) Route Through=
R1: def. Anderson
…there were many people picking the tall South African -- who apparently wants US citizenship -- to spring the upset. But I knew better, I knew Ferrer had a way of disarming big servers and forcing them to play matches on his terms. And so it was with Anderson. Ferrer cleared this obstacle masterfully 6-4 (40), 6-2 (37), 7-6(3) (59) in just over two and a quarter hours. With a decent 64% of first serves in and 6 aces to boot, he served well ,although the 3 double faults he could have done without. 29 winners and 17 unforced errors is decent, too. But what really happened here was that Ferrer out fought and out ground his opponent to little bits and pieces. Ferrer’s tough as leather. For example, when Ferrer goes running, he cools down by jogging. That blows my mind because I’m just the laziest guy ever. But onwards Ferrer marched, leaving another defeated foe in his wake.

R2: def. SIjsling
...Ferrer defeated Igor Sijsling (phonetically Sizeling) despite the fact he was very dangerous and has actually got a big game. He won with a similar scoreline to the previous match 6-2 (26), 6-3 (36), 7-6(14-12) (65). With five double faults and just 6 aces, Ferrer was having a bad serving day, especially when he only had a FSP of 56. He did have 31 winners to 20, though, which is good. The first two sets were dull. The third was a classic. The man from the Netherlands came out firing and had chances to take it in the tiebreaker, including serving for it. But in the end, despite some amazing play in the breaker, Ferrer was too strong, too good and too consistent. But this is where the tournament starts to get tougher.

R3: def. Hewitt
…the Aussie battler was the youngest-ever world number one and he even won two slams: the 2001 US Open and the 2002 Wimbledon. His flight out of NY was just a few hours ahead of the terrorist attacks on the WTC, which is another interesting chapter of his life. He has even talked about it in interviews, I think. But anyway, Ferrer triumphed 7-6 (11), (74) 4-6 (48), 6-3 (42), 6-0 (30). Ferrer’s match against Hewitt wasn’t a tennis match, it was a brutal contest of strength and wills. In the opener, Ferrer lept out to a 3-1 lead but soon it was 4-4 after Hewitt broke back. After a 20-shot rally at 4-5 30-all which he won with a deft backhand flick from the forecourt, Ferrer won the next point to hold for 5 5. Quite possibly the set of the tournament, with Ferrer sealing an 11-9 victory in a lengthy tie break with the set itself being an hour and 14 minutes long. Then Hewitt fought back, but you could see he was tiring and running out of ideas, too. To bagel Hewitt is an amazing feat, and only Federer has to the best of my knowledge bageled him twice in one match. But Ferrer outworks and outfights and outgrinds 99 percent of the tour and bageling Hewitt was yet more evidence of this.

R4: def. Gasquet (13)
…aah Richard Gasquet. One of my favorite players, almost ever to play the game. So talented, so amazing to watch and he’s just so entertaining, but he so frustrating to be a fan of. To beat Ferrer you have to play consistent, smart offensive tennis and stand inside the baseline. This is why Ferrer owns Gasquet, because Gasquet does none of those things. And so it was today, when Ferrer beat him 7-5 (48), 7-6(2), (71) 6-4 (55) . Ferrer had an awful 8 double faults, while Gasquet had just two and the Frenchman out-aced him by 6-1 as well. Plus, Ferrer served at a poor 47% of first serves in, too. There was a lot of net play and there was actually a lot of finesse from both players with a sprinkle of drop shots thrown in, too. Overall it was a high quality affair. Gasquet was up 5-2 in the second set and had his chances in all of them, but just couldn’t find a way past the wall that is Ferrer. And so the fourth seed was through to his fourth straight quarterfinal and he’s now on a streak of 10 straight fourth rounds, and I personally think that’s quite impressive.

=Why Tipsarevic Beats Ferrer=
…Tipsarevic has the bigger serve, but generally speaking, he is like a David Ferrer lite. As in, he does everything Ferrer does, just not quite as well, except he serves bigger. And I think he’ll want to try to keep holding serve and either take each set in a tiebreak or look for Ferrer to make mistakes when serving. This match isn’t in his hands, so he has to go out there and just play his game and see what happens.

=Why Ferrer Beats Tipsarevic=
…he will out grind and out work Tipsarevic. He is also stronger off the ground and has just generally , I think, too much for Tipsarevic. He has also been to the semi-final of the US Open before and has more experience at the top level. He can do so much off both wings now and is good at the net. He can also sit there and absorb everything Tipsy can throw at him too. And also, for me, this match is on his terms.

=What I think will happen=
…long rallies and lots of them. This match is going to exceed 3 hours easily, and in fact could go on to 4 hours. But in the end, right now, Ferrer is the better player and the fact that this match is pretty much on his terms will mean he takes it in a tight four set war. I just don’t think Tipsarevic can beat him right now, but neither of these players will win the US Open.

Ferrer 7-6 (4) 5-7 6-3 7-5

I am dead on my feet, but I’ll see y’all later, and don’t forget to visit the WTA Backspin blog. Nighty Night.

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