It was a vintage performance by Roger Federer in the 2nd round of the US Open, as he easily dismantled Bjorn Phau 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 in 90 minutes. As with his first round match, Roger was never in trouble, although he played much better against Phau. Although it was one-sided, Bjorn hit a number of excellent shots, showcasing his shot-making ability.
Since Monday, Federer's first match, there has been a lot going on at the final tournament of the year, including two retirements. Kim Clijsters played her final singles match against Laura Robson on Wednesday when she lost in straight sets, and Andy Roddick announced he would be retiring after the US Open, leaving many stunned.
But first, just a quick recap of the tennis that has been played in the past few days:
Federer was ultra-aggressive against Phau, and the numbers clearly indicate that. He hit 44 winners to 18 unforced errors, and was 32/47 at the net. That means he got to net 47 times in 25 games played, which means he made an asserted effort to be aggressive. Good signs. He also served very well, getting 68% of his first serves in, and firing 15 aces to only one double fault.
Next up, Roger faces Fernando Verdasco. It should be a straight sets win even though the Spaniard is a talented player. He just came off a long match where he defeated Albert Ramos, and that could affect him. Either way, the head-to-head is 4-0 Federer, and Verdasco has only taken one set.
Novak Djokovic plays his 2nd round match today, but Andy Murray is already through to the 3rd round. In the biggest upset of the tournament so far, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga lost in 4 sets to Slovakian player Marin Klizan. It looks like Milos Raonic might be the only one to stop Murray before the semis now, although James Blake is in Milos' way, and he played a firecracker of a match to take out Marcel Granollers in straight sets in the 2nd round.
Mardy Fish overcame a two set deficit to beat Nikolay Davydenko. It's a great win for Mardy, but now he goes up against Gilles Simon, although the Frenchman has played 9 sets in two matches. Whoever wins could be there for the taking against Federer in the 4th round. Another guy that has played a lot of tennis is Marin Cilic, who has needed 10 sets to get through his first two matches. He plays Kei Nishikori next, who looks like he'll be Andy Murray's quarterfinal opponent.
Young American Jack Sock continued a great run at this tournament by making the 3rd round, where he'll face Nicolas Almagro. Under normal circumstances, Almagro would be the easy favourite but he just came off a tough 5-set win and Sock is playing some great tennis at the moment, so you never know.
Now onto the emotional part of the week....
Kim Clijsters retiring is very sad. She was such a great player and was an even better person. It is rare that we see sportsmen and women like her, and I think tennis was privileged to have her around for as long as he was. She was respected by all and a crowd favourite where she went, and her presence on the women's tour will be sorely missed.
Andy Roddick's announcement that he was going to retire came as a bit of a shock, but not that much to me. I remember him saying a few years ago that when he was unable to give his very best, he would leave the game, so as to not disrespect it. He said pretty much the same thing in his press conference, and that is really what Andy is all about. He gave tennis everything he had, and he was a competitor through and through. Even in the roughest moments, he would always look on the bright side.
Even though he was controversial at times with his treatment of chair umpires, he was never boring to watch. His serve at one time was the biggest weapon in the game, and he stayed in the top 10 for nine consecutive years, which showed his underrated consistency and quality to play well year in and year out.
On the tour, Andy will be missed by players and fans alike, although umpires and linesmen may have an easier time of things. One thing is for sure though, and that is that A-Rod was always honest with himself and the media, and he always sacrificed everything he had on court each and every time he played. Young players can learn from that kind of work ethic.
On day five, the bottom half of the men's draw all play their 2nd round matches. On court will be Novak Djokovic, John Isner, David Ferrer, Juan Martin del Potro, Janko Tipsarevic, and of course, Andy Roddick, who plays in the night session against Bernard Tomic. I sincerely hope it's not Andy's final match, but I can see him coming out on fire and playing some very inspirational tennis with the New York crowd behind him.