U.S. Open R2 previews and picks: Nadal vs. Dutra Silva, Federer vs. Berlocq

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer will continue their U.S. Open campaigns during second-round action on Thursday. They are set for respective meetings with Rogerio Dutra Silva and Carlos Berlocq.

(Q) Rogerio Dutra Silva vs. (2) Rafael Nadal

Nadal and Dutra Silva will be going head-to-head for the first time in their careers when they clash in the U.S. Open second round on Thursday. It has already been a well-documented incredible summer for Nadal. The world No. 2, who also prevailed at the Indian Wells Masters this spring, remained undefeated on hard courts in 2013 by capturing titles in both Montreal and Cincinnati. Nadal kicked off his fortnight in New York on Monday with a 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 blowout of Ryan Harrison.

Dutra Silva is a 29-year-old Brazilian ranked 134th in the world, 50 spots off his career-high mark. Prior to this week, Dutra Silva had been 0-5 at the ATP level in 2013 and he had won only two main-draw Grand Slam matches in his career (surprisingly, both at the U.S. Open–in 2011 and 2012). It has been a dream tournament so far for Dutra Silva, who earned three qualifying wins before outlasting Vasek Pospisil 4-6, 3-6, 7-6(9), 6-2,  7-6(10) in a rain-delayed match that spanned two days. Dutra Silva saved a whopping seven match points over the four hours and one minute of play. The underdog will simply be happy to be in this spot, and it’s a spot in which he will not last long.

Pick: Nadal in 3 losing 5-7 games

(7) Roger Federer vs. Carlos Berlocq

Federer and Berlocq will be squaring off for the second time in their careers on Thursday. Their only previous encounter came last year on the clay courts of Rome, where Federer cruised 6-3, 6-4. A hard-court surface, of course, will be even more advantageous to Federer. The seventh-ranked Swiss is a five-time champion at the U.S. Open and he boasts a 65-8 lifetime record at the event. Federer has been in an extensive slump dating back to Wimbledon, but he reached the quarterfinals earlier this month in Cincinnati and tested Nadal in a high-quality three-setter.

Berlocq, on the other hand, is by far his best on the slow stuff. The 48th-ranked Argentine owns 23 match victories this year, six of which have come away from clay–five on hard courts. He won his first-round U.S. Open match 6-3, 3-6, 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-2 over Santiago Giraldo, a contest that concluded on Wednesday due to rain. Federer, meanwhile, opened with a 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 dismissal of Grega Zemlja. Berlocq is tough competitor who has played in Arthur Ashe Stadium before (got destroyed by Novak Djokovic in the 2011 second round), so that experience will only help him. Obviously, though, it won’t be near enough.

Pick: Federer in 3 losing 8-10 games

29 Comments on U.S. Open R2 previews and picks: Nadal vs. Dutra Silva, Federer vs. Berlocq

  1. Rafa is 2nd on in the night session, that means about 2 am for Europeans. I shall still be there for Rafa time.


  2. Usually I’m wary of every oponent Rafa meats, especially during the first week of a GS but this time I think it will be pretty straight forward for Rafa

  3. Rafa, there is really nothing that I need to say, you’ve been doing this way too long, but VAMOS, anyways!!!!

  4. I like what I’m seeing, Rafa looks subdued, could be one of his off days. Like that it is happening while playing Dutra Silva. All he needs to do is stay concentrated, which he is doing and win. USO starts in the next round for Rafa!

    • I watched on TV but didnt think there was anything to report or be alarmed about. I was very happy with Rafa’s performance, I think he played as well as he needed to! But like someone said, the US Open starts for Rafa with Isner, although I didnt feel that Inser was that impressive against Monfils! But then again, players always play their best against Rafa and I dont expect Isner to be any different!!

    • Now it’s a Masters 1000 tournament, with rest days in between!

      Pity Kolya lost. I bet he lost on purpose to keep that h2h against Rafa intact.

  5. well done rafa, well done ! picked up his performance as the match went on…a little conservative with the backhand and ROS initially but all got better by the end… Going pretty strong ! Looking forward to a revenge win from Dodig.

  6. I watched after the first set. Rafa was firing winners all over the place especially in the 3rd set. Quality of opponent was okish, so difficult to say

  7. Rafa’s presser: http://www.usopen.org/en_US/news/interviews/2013-08-29/201308301377833598150.html

    Roger’s presser: http://www.usopen.org/en_US/news/interviews/2013-08-29/201308291377812848062.html

    ” ….Probably he was a little bit tired coming off an amazing match the other day against a very good player like Pospisil. I went on court with big respect for him because Pospisil, I saw him playing very well on Montréal this year, winning amazing matches against very tough players. So Rogerio was able to beat him. So I went on court with big respect.” Rafa’s answer to a question about his opponent today

    “To be like me or not, that’s something if I did, probably a lot of people can do it because I feel like I am a really normal person…..” part of rafa’s response to a question on what kids need to do to be like him

    Q. Pleased with the match?

    ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I’m happy. You know, I mean, it’s one of those matches I expect myself to win if possible in straight sets, and, you know, gain confidence in the process. All those things happened, so, yeah, I’m pleased about it.

    LOL.. what contrast in humility .. There is none like rafa 🙂

  8. Missed the match:-(

    Went to bed to snatch an hour’s sleep. Set the alarm clock time to wake up but so tired forgot to activate it.

  9. This was a practice run for Rafa, good work-out. He started slow but picked up momentum as the match went on and the scoreline reflects that. Dutra Silva had a game plan: pepper Rafa’s BH in the hope of breaking it down. Instead, all he did was sharpen it. Rafa did not need to go beyond second gear for this…….

    Next up, Dodig. He is no push-over and Rafa will need to be alert from the get go. I believe Rafa will pass the test.

  10. I expected this to be an easy win for Rafa. He seemed to be sizing up this guy in the first half of the first set. He did start kind of slow, but then he picked up steam and just rolled over this guy. I also had the thought that Rafa starting slow could have been because he had two days off since his last match. It’s better for him to play with only one day off and stay in a rhythm.

    I did get a laugh watching Dutra Silva go after Rafa’s backhand in hopes of breaking it down. But Rafa just got some good practice and starting hitting it better and better! So much for that strategy. By the third set Dutra Silva had nothing left. I don’t remember how many games I said he would win. I think it was 5-7. But watching this guy I realized that Rafa should beat him with five or or less games won. And he did!

    This was like a practice for Rafa. I think Rafa did just enough to win because he knew this guy had nothing to challenge him.

    Now I think Rafa is ready for a more challenging match. Dodig will go for it and at least has some game to make it interesting. I think Rafa needs a bit of a test now. He could have two very tough matches after this one. So I expect this to be more of a match.

    I do believe that Rafa will get the win.

  11. ed,

    This was the night to get some sleep. It wasn’t a real match and not worth staying up late to see. There will be much more interesting ones ahead. 🙂

    I think you know what I mean. Rafa just blew the guy away as the score indicates.

    I hope that you did catch up on your sleep!

  12. Well done Rafa!
    I expected him to win with not too much trouble but it looks af if he barely broke a sweat.
    Now we move on for sterner tests.
    Yep, like some say, now the real USO starts for our Rafa.
    Wish him all the best against Dodig, it ain’t going to be easy.

  13. An interview with Rafael Nadal on August 29 (full transcript of the post-match interview):

    Rafa is not going to use his “2010 US Open serve”, he prefers a regular serve.
    Francis Roig is Rafa’s second coach since year 2005, FR ‘knows how to work to make you feel that you are improving’. Having two coaches – Toni and Francis- is a good combination.

    Q. When you won this tournament a couple years ago, there was a lot made about how high a level your serve was at. Do you feel like you’re getting into that area again with your serve?
    RAFAEL NADAL: No, I don’t think so. In Montréal, Cincinnati, I was able to serve well, to lose very few serves. So important thing is try to find a regular serve that give me the confidence and that give me the possibility to start a lot of points with an advantage, then try to have the control of the point from the baseline and with the first shot try to find the advantage on the point, no? So if I hitting well my forehand and my backhand and my serve, give me the possibility to hit the first ball in a good position, then the point, I am in a good position to win the point.

    Q. Can you talk about Francis Roig and how he’s helped you in your career in the last six months or so?
    RAFAEL NADAL: No, Francis didn’t help me the last six months. Francis help me since 2005 that I started with him. Was always a very important help for me. He’s a good combination. Have Toni most of the weeks. But with Francis I am able to work in some aspects that with Toni I work with another ones. So is a good combination. I have to get both of them in my team. I think both of them are fantastic coaches. I feel very, very lucky to have two very good coaches and persons around me.
    Q. What aspects is he best at? What aspects does he help you with more?
    RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I think he has a great experience on practicing, on training players. In my opinion, the best thing that I can say of him, he knows how to work to make you feel that you are improving, and he knows how to work if you give him two weeks, three weeks of practice with him, most of the times then I feel after this three weeks that I am more fit, that I am playing better than before. —

    • Fantastic! I like that Rafa has kept faith in Roig and Uncle T. I remember when Rafa had bad patches duting the North American swing there was a chorus for him to sack Roig but Rafa refused. There have been whispers, even amongst some Rafans, for Rafa to ditch Uncle T. I do not understand this mentality of chopping and changing. Yes, bring on a consultant for a specific issue by all means but to change when there is no real need to? That I do not understand, and Rafa has the results to prove hsi team works for him.


  14. It’s amazing that Rafa can work with 2 coaches without the coaches contradicting each other. I guess that ultimately they both have the same aim, to make Rafa as good as he can get.

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