Day 9 of the US Open produced some of the best tennis this viewer has ever seen.
Querry vs Wawrinka
Wawrinka wins in 5 sets: 7-6(9), 6-7(5), 7-5, 4-6, 6-4. Awesome, awesome match. I caught it in bits and pieces throughout the day, but every time I watched it was high-quality, high-drama, excellent shot-making tennis. Stan’s a former top-10 player, so Querry shouldn’t feel too bad about this loss, he did better than every other American male.
Verdasco vs Ferrer
Verdasco wins in 5 sets: 5-7, 6-7(8), 6-3, 6-3, 7-6(4). Match point is a microcosm of the match itself. Epic. Heroic. Courageous. Gutsy. Sham WOW! David Ferrer (whose name could not possibly be pronounced any funnier than by Brad Gilbert; i.e., “FEHR-REHRRR!”) was just an indefatigable bulldog who made Verdasco earn his money. I don’t think I’ve ever seen two players hit the ball harder, as often, as accurately, as these two. It was like watching the most violent car crash you’ve ever seen extended over 4+ hours. The only match I can think of that comes close to matching this one in sheer intensity is the Verdasco/Nadal semi-final match from the 2008 Aussie Open. Foreshadowing intentional.
Nadal vs Lopez
Ferocious. That’s the word that comes to mind watching Nadal strike the ball. The man is nothing short of ferocious. In a straight-set beatdown (6-3, 6-4, 6-4), Nadal made the incredible seem ordinary; he just kept coming up with unbelievable shots, gets and plays. Check out his top serve speed from the match stats: yeah, you read that right. 135mph. That’s the fastest Nadal’s ever hit a serve. Ever. He’s serving so well that he hasn’t been broken yet in this tournament. Nadal will make it to the finals, his focus is downright unnerving, and he’s clearly come to NY to make a statement. There are reasons he’s the number one player in the world right now.
And in the Honorable Mention Category
Stosur vs Clijsters
This could have been a great match if Stosur, who arguably has one of the best serves in the women’s game, could have held serve in the 3rd set. But she didn’t. Clijsters didn’t do much better, but then again, tennis is a game where a millimeter in/or out can make the difference between winning or losing, so she didn’t have to do to much better. All Clijsters had to do was hold serve twice in the 3rd set to win the match, and that was enough.
[unsolicited advice from an unqualified nobody] Sam, you have a great two-handed backhand, hit it more often! That slice backhand was either (1) going into the net, (2) sailing long, or (3) giving Clijsters time to set up and tee off. Next time, OK?
Venus vs Schiavone
The French Open champ played a great match, but it wasn’t enough to top Venus. This was a very good tennis match, but it wasn’t anywhere near the quality of men’s matches mentioned above.