If you're looking for intrigue at the 2013 U.S. Open, the men's and women's singles matches on Day 8 are sure to satisfy your appetite.
Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer are all scheduled to be back in action at the final Grand Slam of the 2013 season on Labor Day, and they'll be joined by Ana Ivanovic, Victoria Azarenka and Simona Halep, among others.
A spot in the quarterfinals is on the line.
As we prepare for the start of fourth-round singles action at Flushing Meadows, check out a Day 8 preview and a few predictions for some of the tournament's top stars.
Schedule of Play for Day 8's Top Courts
Day 8 Viewing Information
Where: USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.
When: Monday, Sep. 2, starting at 11 a.m. ET
Watch: CBS, CBS Sports Network, Tennis Channel, ESPN2
Predictions for Monday's Top Stars
Roger Federer (7) vs. Tommy Robredo (19)
Federer and Robredo have faced each other 10 times in their careers. To steal a phrase from baseball, it's been 10 up, 10 down for FedEx since first beating Robredo in Sydney in 2002.
As noted by tennis journalist Alexandra Willis, though, Federer is playing coy before going for win No. 11 against his Spanish opponent:
It's been an up-and-down year for one of the greatest tennis stars of all time. He bowed out at Wimbledon prior to the quarterfinals for he first time since 2002 and has also struggled with consistency and nagging injuries in losses to top foes.
Against Adrian Mannarino in Round 3, though, vintage Federer was on the court. As you can see in this U.S. Open tweet, Federer made short work of Mannarino to reach Round 4 with ease:
With his strong performance so far coupled with a unblemished career record against Robredo, Federer appears destined for the quarterfinals.
Prediction: Federer wins, 6-3, 6-4, 7-5
Ana Ivanovic (13) vs. Victoria Azarenka (2)
Although not quite a rivalry, Ivanovic and Azarenka have played some nail-biting matches against each other since first meeting in the fourth round at the 2009 French Open.
Azarenka leads the head-to-head series 4-2, winning at the Madrid Open and Mercury Insurance Open the last time their paths crossed.
On hard courts, each woman has a victory.
WTA News had a tweet with Azarenka's comments prior to the match, and the No. 2 seed in the tournament appears ready to face the challenge of facing a former Grand Slam champion on Monday:
Azarenka, last year's runner-up, struggled against Alize Cornet in the third round but rebounded after losing the first set to pull out a victory. If she struggles against Ivanovic, redemption likely won't be as swift.
That being said, Azarenka has been playing solid tennis over the past few months and should be highly motivated after her minor slip-up. Using her most recent win over Ivanovic as a blueprint, Azarenka will put out a straight-set victory.
Prediction: Azarenka wins, 6-2, 7-5
Rafael Nadal (2) vs. Philipp Kohlschreiber (22)
If there's a top player on upset watch at the U.S. Open on Monday, it's Nadal.
The 12-time Grand Slam winner has been dominant so far, winning all three of his matches in New York in straight sets. Although it might sound like a farce, Kohlschreiber has past stats on his side and a big win over John Isner in his corner toward an eventual upset.
Nadal holds a 10-1 record in matches against Kohlschreiber, but taking a closer look at just the hard-court ones, the 29-year-old German has actually given Nadal trouble.
As noted by LetsTalkTennis on Twitter, Kohlschreiber has shown promise in each of the five matches the two men have played on hard courts:
Eurosport's Alvaro Rama noted that only one other man in the world can claim that record:
Coming off a four-set thriller with Isner, the biggest question for Kohlschreiber would appear to be his stamina. Both of his previous matches have lasted four sets, and he's had to play a seventh game in three of those eight sets.
Nadal shouldn't have a problem in that department, but he will likely face his toughest test in the fourth round. Kohlschreiber keeps his streak on hard courts alive, but the Spaniard picks up the win and a spot in the next round.
Prediction: Nadal wins, 6-4, 5-7, 7-6, 6-2
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