The men’s singles results at the 2 major tournaments leading into the US Open have proven to be a very good form guide for the US Open.
Besides Andy Murray’s below par performance at the US Open, the semi finalists at Cincinnati in the USA and the finalists at the Rogers Cup in Montreal, Canada have continued their form and now play off in tomorrow’s semi-final match ups.
On Sunday 13 September at 12 noon New York time (3) Rafael Nadal is pitted against (6) Juan Martin del Potro. Del Potro came through (2) Andy Murray’s section of the draw. The winner of this match will play either (1) Roger Federer or (3) Novak Djokovic in the Men’s Singles Final.
Nadal on his chances and if he can improve on his last result against del Potro:
“I have to play very well if I want to have chances to win. We will see what happen. I don’t know. I think he’s very complete player, no? In the past, he didn’t serve like he is doing right now. He has an unbelievable serve right now. From the baseline, he is very solid. He don’t have mistakes. He is very big, so, anyway, if the movements is not 100% perfect, he very long and he arrive to every play. So for his altitude, his movements is okay, no? He’s good. I think he’s a complete player, and is always the same thing, no? Try to be ready to put one more ball than the rest.”
Del Potro on what he needs to do and his chances in the semi-finals:
“I need to be focus in the beginning of the match until the last point and do my game, and that’s it.”
“Then I always thinking of my chance, you know. If you fight until the final, of course you will have opportunities to do breaks or to do a better game, so…”
Del Potro made it to the final of the Rogers Cup after defeating Nadal in the quarter finals 7-6 (7-5) 6-1 in their last meeting. Del Potro has won their last 2 meetings which were both this year and on hard courts in the quarter final stage of Masters 1000 tournaments.
Overall Nadal leads their head-to-head battles 4 wins to 2. On recent form and taking into account Nadal’s physical problems, the 1.98m Argentine is faced with a great opportunity to make his 1st Grand Slam singles final.
The 20 year old right hander was close to upsetting Federer in the French Open semi-finals earlier this year. Del Potro led Federer in that semi-final by 2 sets to love before being edged out 6-4 in the 5th and final set.
Leading into the US Open del Potro was the runner-up in Montreal after being the champion in Washington. Like Federer, del Potro is on a winning streak. After losing in the 2nd round at Wimbledon he has won 16 matches and only lost 1.
In Cincinnati Nadal’s formed picked up further before being defeated by Djokovic 6-1 7-5 but his return of serve was nowhere near as effective as usual. The 23 year old Nadal will have to return serve very well against del Potro, especially since his abdominal injury will restrict how forcefully the former World No.1 can serve.
Pictured above is Nadal demonstrating good racquet and body preparation for his forehand ground stroke. The Spaniard was expected to fold in the Australian Open men’s singles final following his marathon 5 set semi-final victory that lasted for 5 hours and 14 minutes, combined with having far less rest than Federer for their final. Nadal outlasted Federer in the 5th set to win his first Australian Open and first Grand Slam on hard courts.
Nadal appears up against it, but that is when he usually shines. It will be a fascinating match-up. Can Nadal manage another win to achieve his career best result at the US Open?
Stay tuned to this tennis website for further updates about the 2009 US Open singles events. Click this link to see an index of all 2009 US Open posts -> US Open 2009: Aug 25 – Sep 14.
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photo credit: Teen Wolf