This is my tennis blog, Lefty Advantage. Tennis is my biggest passion in life and I started this site to discuss the great game. I mainly follow the career of Roger Federer, but I truly love watching all tennis, whether it be the final of a Grand Slam
or a junior tournament on the other side of the world.

I have played tennis for 13 years. If you ever met me, I could talk your head off about all things tennis for hours on end if you would let me. Welcome, and enjoy the writing!

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Federer into Round of 16

Roger Federer continued his great form, entering the Round of 16 with a win over Fernando Verdasco 63 64 64 in just over two hours.  The Great Swiss next plays Mardy Fish, who overcame the ever-consistent Gilles Simon in four sets in a match that went well past midnight.

Roger played a solid match overall.  It was even in the first set for the first seven games until Fed broke and held to take the set.  In both the second and third sets, he got an early break, and they rode his reliable serve home to victory.  He wasn't broken and only faced one break point.

Statistically, Roger was great in very tough conditions.  He hit 30 winners to 19 unforced errors, fired his first serve in 67% of the time, and was an amazing 26 of 27 when he came to net.  Things are looking good for Roger through his first three matches.

Fish beat Simon in a tight 4-setter, but the American committed a whopping 75 unforced errors.  It was your typical match that features Gilles Simon, with plenty of long, drawn out rallies.  Mardy will have to play much better if he wants to have a shot at beating Roger, who won't be pushing in his serves at well under one hundred miles per hour.

Andy Murray needed nearly four hours to overcame Feliciano Lopez 76(5), 76(5), 4-6, 76(4).  It was a fun match for the crowd to watch, and it was very physical and dramatic.  Lopez had a chance to win all three tiebreaks, and one or two points in each tiebreak was the difference between a Murray win and a potential Lopez upset.

Murray will play Milos Raonic in the 4th round.  The Canadian beat James Blake in straight sets and held the crowd favourite off in a tight third set tiebreak.  Milos has a win over Murray this year, from Barcelona, and with Andy being on court for nearly four hours today, there may be a chance of an upset.  Either way though, it should be a great match.

Marin Cilic took out Kei Nishikori in four, and he'll take on Martin Klizan, the man that beat Tsonga, in the Round of 16.  He looks like a good bet to be Murray's quarterfinal opponent.

Nicolas Almagro ended Jack Sock's great run with a four-set win.  The first three sets went to tiebreaks, two of which Almagro won, and then in the 4th the veteran Spaniard pulled away and won easily.  Tomas Berdych booked his spot in the final 16 and came that much closer to setting up a quarterfinal with Federer when he notched a four-set win over Sam Querrey.  Almagro and Berdych will battle it out for the chance to take on The Fed.

Kim Clijsters officially ended her amazing career when she and Bob Bryan lost in the mixed doubles.  It was a great way to end things, as she seemed to have plenty of fun on the court, not taking anything too seriously.

To recap the action from Friday:

Andy Roddick kept his career alive with an emphatic win over Bernard Tomic 63 64 60.  A-Rod played a fantastic match, but Tomic showcased a lack of fight and willingness to even stay on court that has me questioning whether he has it in him to get to the top of the game (and stay there).  As for Andy, he'll next play Fabio Fognini, and should he get by that match, he may play the 2009 champion, Juan Martin del Potro in the 4th round.

John Isner overcame a few blips on his radar to take out Jarko Nieminen in straight sets.  The top American hopeful will play Philipp Kohlschreiber next, who may be tired as he needed a 5th set tiebreak to beat Benoit Paire of France.

Novak Djokovic breezed by Rogerio Dutra Silva 62 61 62.  He has only dropped 7 games in 6 sets thus far, and it was a similar situation last year where he only lost 3 games in his first two matches.  The Serb will face Julien Benneteau, the 31st seed, who should be a big step up from Lorenzi and Silva.

Juan Martin del Potro took out the rising American hopeful Ryan Harrison in four sets, while David Ferrer and Janko Tipsarevic put on great displays in taking out Igor Sijsling and Brian Baker in straight sets.  Richard Gasquet breezed through against Bradley Klahn and he'll take on former college player Steve Johnson.  The American is a nice little story this year at the Open.

Alexandr Dolgopolov needed four sets to beat Marcos Baghdatis, while Stan Wawrinka needed five to overcome Steve Darcis.  Those two will square off for the right to meet Djokovic (in all likelihood) in the 4th round.  Great prize, isn't it?

Lleyton Hewitt overcame a set deficit twice to advance to the 3rd round, defeating Gilles Muller 6-4 in the 5th.  Muller fired 95 winners, but committed 69 unforced errors, while Rusty hit 60 winners to only 30 unforced errors.  Those margins may have been the difference.


So what can we say through 6 days at the Open?  Federer and Djokovic look like the two best players in the world.  Serena, Sharapova, Azarenka, and Radwanska look like the four best ladies players.  Juan Martin del Potro looks to be in fine form and completely healthy - let us hope it stays that way.

We say goodbye to two legends, Clijsters and Roddick, and hope that the next generation will have players as wonderful as Kim and Andy; Kim for her likeability and personality, and Andy for his charisma and fire.  American tennis will advance to the next generation of Isner, Harrison, Querrey, and Sock.

And maybe the most important thing to note about this US Open is how many 5-setters there have been, and how many times guys have come back from two sets to love down.  10 times, which is just scary.

Round of 16 previews coming after the bottom half complete their 3rd round matches.

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