U.S. Open Day 4 expert picks

A two-team panel makes its picks for four men’s singles matches on the fourth day of action at the U.S. Open.(13) John Isner vs. Gael Monfils

Steen Kirby (Tennis East Coast) – This is a highly-anticipated match between players who were able to sleepwalk during their opening matches against very weak competition. With a tied head-to-head series (3-3) and five of their six showdowns going to the maximum number of sets (the other went four), one would expect this to be another long one. However, Monfils’ health is still very much in question and–despite the blowout–he said afterward that he had considerable pain. Isner not having such issues and being in good form may make this one sort of straightforward as long as his serve remains solid as a rock and he can move Monfils around the court. Isner 7-6, 3-6, 7-6, 6-1.

Ricky Dimon – Isner is on fire on the American hard courts. In news that may or may not be related, sky is blue. Isner is 15-2 in the USA dating back to the Atlanta second round. Monfils is coming off a Winston-Salem final, but he retired in that match with an abdominal strain and it does not look particularly good even after a straight-set massacre of Adrian Ungur. To beat Isner right now, you have to be in absolute peak form…just ask Rafael Nadal. This will be entertaining, but it won’t live up to the hype. Isner 7-5, 7-6, 6-2.

Bernard Tomic vs. (Q) Daniel Evans

Steen – The heralded but underachieving Aussie vs. the Brit who is just now playing up to his potential…. Evans was formerly known for Davis Cup heroics and not much else. Tomic has been dreadful this year after leaving his home nation, with personal issues lingering in the background. He played an up-and-down match against Albert Ramos, eventually prevailing over the cramping Spaniard in five sets, though his form at times was terrible and other times great. Evans, meanwhile, has torn up the Challenger circuit this summer and easily took care of a listless Kei Nishikori. There is no reason to pick against the qualifier now. Evans 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-2.

Ricky – Tomic is lucky just to be in the second round. Evans battled through qualifying and really earned his upset of Nishikori even though the Japanese favorite was completely out of sorts. Evans, quite simply, is going to want this one way more than Tomic. Even if the Aussie has more talent, it won’t matter. Evans 6-2, 6-7, 6-3, 6-3.

Ivan Dodig vs. Nikolay Davydenko

Steen – Davydenko, who continues to be aging but unpredictable, won a crazy match against Rhyne Williams in the first round. As for Dodig, he gritted his way past Fernando Verdasco in five, avoiding letting the Spaniard come back from two sets down and holding off his aggressive but error-prone onslaught. Dodig should be able to better recover from five-setters at this point than Davydenko, plus he can work over the Russian baseliner by getting to the net. Dodig 7-6, 6-3, 6-1.

Ricky – Nothing had five sets written all over it quite like Dodig vs. Verdasco. The case is the same with this one. The only thing you know what to expect from either one of these guys–especially when they play each other–is back-and-forth, inconsistent play with great shot-making overshadowed by colossal choking. Dodig is likely fresher and more confident at the moment, so he should have a slight edge in crunch time. Both of these guys have beat Nadal in the past, and one will get another shot. Dodig 3-6, 6-1, 6-4, 1-6, 6-2.

Roberto Bautista Agut vs. (4) David Ferrer

Steen – Spaniards Bautista-Agut and Ferrer will meet in a second straight slam for a rematch of their close four-set Wimbledon meeting. Ferrer wasn’t troubled much by the young Aussie Nick Kyrgios, while RBA easily dispatched Thomaz Bellucci on a non-TV court. RBA can challenge Ferrer with his power game and he has a puncher’s chance in this one, Ferrer should once again survive in four. Ferrer 6-4, 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.

Ricky – Ferrer has been a disaster ever since losing to Juan Martin Del Potro in the Wimbledon quarterfinals. Kyrgios is a talented 18-year-old, but he is hardly a contest in a best-of-five match for an opponent who is a nightmare matchup for him. RBA, on the other hand, can grind from the baseline all day long and make Ferrer work. This all-Spanish battle will be more competitive than it is on paper. Ferrer 7-5, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.

35 Comments on U.S. Open Day 4 expert picks

  1. Watched Dan play DC several times. Talk about stepping up to the plate when your country needs you! As Steen says above, he’s turned in heroic performances in DC on several occasions. There is a fearlessness about him which I really like but he will need some coaching when it comes to being interviewed if he continues to do well. Hope he can keep it the good work against the tiresome Tomic.

  2. Deucy: Are you watching the Evans-Tomic match? He’s fighting hard but struggling a bit with the Tomic cat and mouse game. One set all but he’s just missed 3 or 4 BP to go ahead in the 3rd set.

  3. OOOoooEEeeee

    Dannyboy has just taken the 3rd set in a TB. Looking at the stats you’d expect Tomic to have won the match by now but Dan is such a gutsy player and prepared to take risks he is winning the crucial points. He is particularly effective when he comes into the net. He also has the crowd behind him – lots of chants for Danny, Danny.

  4. He has just dropped his serve in the first game of 4th set. I think he might struggle if it goes to five sets – it”s hot and humid and unlike Tomic he is not accustomed to that.

    On the other maybe not. He’s broken back immediately!

  5. Yes! Dan takes the third with aggressive play.
    Please shout extra loudly for me Rick 🙂
    @ed
    Gr8 to have another male Brit to cheer for at long last!

  6. ……..and broken Tomic again, who is now looking decidedly out of sorts. lol. Dan is playing with great variety and constructing points beautifully. His only weakness is his serve allowing Tomic too many free points

  7. I take back what I said about his interview skills. He was priceless in his post Tomic match interview. Loved his laconic responses and total honesty.

    http://preview.tinyurl.com/pky89ct

    mind you, he was dealing with the British press corps. Not sure how he would’ve coped with the American convoluted questions.

  8. yeah I was wondersing that ! I am concerned about delpo’s match..I DO NOT want delpo to lose before qtrs because I know rafa will be facing fed so nole deserves delpo at least lol…. hewitt is a great competitor so I hope delpo can easily handle

  9. Delpo lost the first set. He seems to be struggling right now. He has committed way too many errors with his forehand. I am watching the match now and hoping that Delpo can catch fire.

    I want Djoker to face Delpo in the quarterfinals. As it is, his draw is so easy up to that point. I just don’t know what’s up with Delpo right now. He has to find his form and soon.

  10. Del Potro is out. Hewitt simply thumped him in the 5th set. Djokovic’s draw is looking too easy now. He HAS to make it to the semis.

  11. The commentators were saying that Delpo seemed to be favoring his left wrist. He was running around his backhand to hit his forehand and also sliced his backhands. Something was off with him. After two sets Delpo had 35 UE’s. He seemed to get back on track to win the second and third sets, but he was still making a lot of errors throughout the match.

    Hewitt played very well, but if Delpo was on his game then he should have won this. So much for dark horses! I think Delpo had nothing left in the fifth set.

    So now Djoker can practically sleep walk into the semis. I can’t see the likes of Haas or Hewitt taking him out.

    It seems that every time people think Delpo is going to be a contender at the USO, it all blows up.

    • Well, this evens out the score, no? Both Muzza and Novak will be fresh at the semis so it will be an even fight. I am hoping Izzy is still carrying the scars of his match against LaMonf ie, the crowd rooting against him so he does not give Rafa too much of a fight.

  12. So many prediction are going out of the window. I’ve stopped trying to second guess anything 🙁

    Delpo is definitely in trouble with the wrist which explains why he has been up and down for some while now. He’s paying the penalty for relying on the heaviness of his shots.

    I dont think we need to worry about Rafa – his mindset will get him through the next confrontation with Izzy! Just hope he does it without needing to go to five sets.

  13. Murray could face Berdy in the quarterfinals. He hasn’t been an easy opponent for Murray. So the one with the easiest path now is Djoker among the top guys. Ferrer also has a very easy draw but it remains to be seen if he can capitalize on it and Jerzy and Gulbis flaming out early.

    It was pretty obvious that Delpo was favoring that left wrist in the match with Hewitt. He really didn’t have his backhand working well at all. But I do remember Delpo having the same problem back in March at I/W. In the final with Rafa he was not able to hit his backhand shot as effectively as he normally would. But I don’t recall him looking as bad as he did in this match. It seems to have gotten worse. That’s not good news for him. His playing style may cost him dearly with injuries.

    I wonder who the new dark horse will be now.

  14. crap.. now look at djoker’s draw, absurd! As i said before USO, delpo is being an idiot, simple.. he can now go home and enjoy his washington trophy and the the pain he has brought about as a result of playing 3 weeks on the trot before USO… Don’t know when is he going to learn… really like him as a player in many ways but this is plain stupid

    Anyway, waiting for rafa’s match..I am confident in my man ! vamos

  15. I am in 2 minds about a possible Djoker meeting with Rafa. On one hand, I want Rafa to play Djoker in the final, beat him so that Djoker has seeds of doubt about the Australian Open. On the other hand, Djoker’s draw is now truly pathetic he will reach the final without breaking a sweat. Not terribly impressed with Muzza’s play so far. Have a feeling he may even fall to Berdy.

    I hope Rafa plays within himself today and does not expend too much energy, he will need it later.

  16. Did you see the Berdy match? Maybe he arrived with a false sense of security to face Kulda but he was given a hard time in the first two sets. His serve went missing for large parts of the match and he was leaking unforced errors all over the place.

    Fortunately for him Kulda ran out of steam and hoisted the white flag!

    • I am very close to dumping Berdy in my head case column. He may trouble Muzza, he may fold like a cheap tent, who knows which Berdy will turn up? I just want Muzza to turn on the after burners now, give me some comfort that, should he make the appointed meeting with Djoker, he will give him a hard time, even win. Now that Delpo has been exposed as a 1 Slam wonder and not likely to “take Slams from Rafa”, rabid Fedfans have only Nole left as their hope, somI want that hope extinguished. Fedfans have never cared for Muzza, for them any Muzza win counts as a Rafa win, so be it………..let’s go Muzza.

    • I don’t think we should read too much into early round matches. It’s not unusual for a top ten player to have some trouble with these lower ranked players. I am not surprised that Berdy would have a difficult time with someone like Kudla. These lower ranked players can come out without pressure and sometimes play way above their ranking.

      The issue with Berdy is his lack of mental strength and consistency. You never know which Berdy will show up. So I am not saying that he will beat Murray this time if they meet in the quarterfinals. But he would be a quality opponent. Delpo was supposed to be the same kind of quality opponent for Djoker in the quarterfinals.

      I do agree that Delpo made the mistake of overplaying leading up to the USO. If this wrist has been an ongoing problem, then it would have been wiser to play fewer tournaments. I guess he will be a one slam wonder because this is a guy who gives new meaning to the words – injury prone! His hard hitting style obviously exacts a price.

      Maybe someone will surprise us and give Djoker a real match before the semis. But at this point I don’t see it.

      • I think they’ve only played twice in five-setters: one (RG) to Berdy and one at Wimbledon (?). I reckon on hard courts, Andy will deal with Berdy in 4 – possibly 5 but only if Berdy’s serve is on and Andy does one of his walkabouts for a set or two.

  17. Andy has played rather tentatively but by his own admission he was feeling nervous in the early rounds. Banking on him regrouping and upping his level.

    Nole too has not been impressive so far. Hard to read whether he is just conserving energy or still having problems finding his form.

  18. I’m looking forward to young Evans meeting with Robredo. Imagine if (big IF) he were to get past Robredo he could face Federer next?

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