The winner of Thursday's 2012 U.S. Open round of 16 match between Andy Roddick and Juan Martin del Potro will only be postponing the inevitable.
Neither Roddick nor del Potro stand a chance in the quarterfinals on Friday against defending U.S. Open champion Novak Djokovic.
Djokovic has been the class of the tournament through the first three rounds and should roll comfortably past Stanislas Wawrinka and into the quarterfinals on Thursday.
Let's take a look at why the winner of Roddick vs. del Potro will fall in his very next match to The Djoker this September.
Novak Djokovic has won all three of his matches at this year's U.S. Open in straight sets. Djokovic has only lost 14 games total in three matches.
Djokovic has won 10 consecutive singles matches at Flushing Meadows overall dating back to the first round in 2011.
Regardless of who he faces in the quarterfinals this week, he's poised to make a return to the semifinals of the U.S. Open for the sixth-straight year.
With all the rain delays at this year's U.S. Open, either Andy Roddick or Juan Martin del Potro will be forced to play a grueling quarterfinal match the very next day.
At age 30, this is a bigger issue for Roddick and his right shoulder, which will have little time to recover from his huge serves.
For del Potro, the lack of time off is still a disadvantage as a 6'6" player who is carrying a lot of size and weight on his knees and legs.
In the end, no tennis player on the men's side is more prepared to push his body to the limit than Djokovic, whose physical toughness rivals Federer's mental fortitude.
A Telling Trend
Novak Djokovic has made the semifinals at the U.S. Open in each of his last five tries, winning it all in 2011 for the first time in his career.
Although both Roddick (2003) and del Potro (2009) boast U.S. Open titles as well, neither has made a deep run at a Grand Slam recently.
Del Potro has not been past the quarterfinals at a Grand Slam tournament since he won the 2009 U.S. Open, while Roddick hasn't been past the quarterfinals at a Grand Slam since he made the semifinals at the 2009 Australian Open.
There is a telling trend here: Djokovic is a virtual lock for the semifinals at the U.S. Open every year as the world No. 2, while Roddick and del Potro are quarterfinalists at best when it comes to the year's final Slam.
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter For More Tennis Reaction and Analysis as well as My Take on the 2012 U.S. Open.
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