It’s time for the cream to start rising to the top at the 2014 U.S. Open, and Tuesday’s action will separate more of the contenders going into the later rounds.
With that in mind, here is a look at the entire slate of singles action for Day 9 in Flushing Meadows before we look at predictions for a couple of matches to watch. A complete bracket for the Grand Slam event can be found here.
|(7) Grigor Dimitrov||(20) Gael Monfils||Arthur Ashe Stadium||3rd Match|
|(17) Roberto Bautista Agut||(2) Roger Federer||Arthur Ashe Stadium||4th Match|
|(14) Marin Cilic||(26) Gilles Simon||Louis Armstrong Stadium||2nd Match|
|(6) Tomas Berdych||Dominic Thiem||Louis Armstrong Stadium||3rd Match|
|Belinda Bencic||Peng Shuai||Arthur Ashe Stadium||2nd Match|
|(10) Caroline Wozniacki||(13) Sara Errani||Arthur Ashe Stadium||5th Match|
No. 2 Roger Federer vs. No. 17 Roberto Bautista Agut
Flushing Meadows has become Roger Federer’s personal playground throughout his career, and his four-set win over Marcel Granollers put him in the fourth round of the U.S. Open for the 14th straight time.
The longevity and excellence alone are astounding.
Federer commented on the state of his game, via ATPWorldTour.com:
It's been good for a while now. I think especially now it's been really excellent the last three matches here at the US Open. I feel very explosive, quick. The coordination is there, as well. I feel like I've gotten used to the hard courts by now. It's really working well. I'm very pleased.
It’s no surprise that Federer feels comfortable in this tournament. He is a five-time champion at Flushing Meadows and a 17-time Grand Slam winner overall and is shooting for his 39th quarterfinal in his last 42 majors Tuesday against Roberto Bautista Agut.
Bautista Agut has been impressive as well and has never made it this deep at the U.S. Open. However, Federer is a different class of competition than Bautista Agut has played thus far and has momentum on his side after reaching the Wimbledon finals, winning in Cincinnati and appearing in the finals in Toronto.
What’s more, Federer is simply more experienced and almost knows nothing but victory at Flushing Meadows in the early going. The serve is key here because Bautista Agut has speed to cover plenty of ground on the court, but Federer has tallied at least nine aces in each match thus far.
Look for him to do more of the same Tuesday.
Prediction: Federer in four sets.
No. 10 Caroline Wozniacki vs. No. 13 Sara Errani
Caroline Wozniacki is the only player in the top 10 remaining on the women’s side who is not named Serena Williams. USA Today also pointed out something of note when she stunned Maria Sharapova in the previous rounds:
That victory over Sharapova was a monumentally important win for the former No. 1 player, who is trying to ascend back up the rankings.
It is also telling going forward how much Wozniacki had to battle for that win against Sharapova. Sharapova lost the first set but bounced back to force a decisive third set. Sharapova has made a habit of doing just that and winning at the end, but a formidable opponent in Wozniacki eventually made her pay.
Wozniacki will test her newfound momentum against No. 13 Sara Errani. The women have split their only two career matchups, although this will be the first meeting in about four years. Unfortunately for Errani, Wozniacki has too much momentum on her side after knocking off a giant like Sharapova.
If she can seize an early lead, it should serve to only boost her confidence going forward. Look for Wozniacki to advance, as she could be on a collision course with No. 1 Williams.
Prediction: Wozniacki in straight sets
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