The 2014 U.S. Open has flown by thus far, but tennis fans must slow down to enjoy the Day 11 schedule and the inevitably unforgettable action on Thursday at the final Grand Slam tournament of the year.
Day 11 will feature the men’s quarterfinals. With the women taking Thursday off and top names like Roger Federer, Tomas Berdych and Gael Monfils all in action, hardcore and casual tennis fans will enjoy the on-court battles.
Here is the full TV schedule, men’s quarterfinals matchups and a breakdown of the must-watch game.
|Day 11 U.S. Open Schedule|
|TV Schedule||Time (ET)||Watch|
|Sept. 4 Men's Quarterfinals||12 - 6 p.m.||ESPN|
|Sept. 4 Men's Quarterfinals||8 - 11 p.m.||ESPN|
|Day 11 Matchups||Time Note||Prediction|
|No. 6 Tomas Berdych vs. No. 14 Marin Cilic||Not Before 1:30 p.m. ET||Berdych|
|No. 2 Roger Federer vs. No. 20 Gael Monfils||Not Before 8 p.m. ET||Federer|
No. 2 Roger Federer vs. No. 20 Gael Monfils
The most intriguing matchup of Day 11 is the battle between No. 2 seed Roger Federer and No. 20 seed Gael Monfils. While Federer should dominate Monfils based on the rankings alone, tennis fans understand that this is one of the best matches imaginable.
The official Twitter account of the U.S. Open talked about the matchup between Federer and Monfils:
US Open Tennis @usopen
Does #Federer vs #Monfils have makings of a #usopen epic? Who's your pick? http://t.co/HLWRJMNpw9 #usopen #nightshift http://t.co/tobKA3x3S22014-9-4 08:49:54
Federer is a legend. He has dominated the 2014 U.S. Open thus far, dropping only one set and looking to be one of the best players in the tournament. Wins over Marinko Matosevic, Sam Groth, Marcel Granollers and No. 17 seed Roberto Bautista Agut through the first four rounds, respectively, has helped the Swiss star build serious momentum.
Earning a berth in the quarterfinals is a great achievement, but ESPN’s SportsCenter Twitter account talked about the history Federer made this season at Flushing Meadows:
Roger Federer wins in straight sets over Roberto Bautista, tying Pete Sampras with 71 career wins at US Open. http://t.co/F90tLugdOB2014-9-3 01:27:22
As well as Federer has played, he has not squared off against an opponent over the last two weeks with as much confidence and momentum as Monfils. The French star has not dropped a set through the first four rounds and has taken down ranked opponents like Richard Gasquet (No. 12 seed) and Grigor Dimitrov (No. 7 seed) along the way.
When asked about his fourth-round matchup, Monfils told Lynn Zinser and Zach Schonbrun of The New York Times about his play on the court and the emotion he felt after the win: "It is because I love to play here. I have such a good feeling here. I just feel good. I am happy, so I deliver a good game…I would say this time I am maybe a little bit lucky. I think I played good. But I haven’t changed a lot. I played maybe more solid today, but I stay the same."
Both men are playing well right now, but winning at Grand Slam tournaments takes the perfect mixture of consistency and composure. Federer is one of the calmest players on the court and is mentally as strong as anyone in the sport. On the other hand, Monfils is boisterous and has trouble keeping his emotions in check.
The difference at the U.S. Open is that Monfils is backing up his visible emotional swings with elite play. With unmatched athleticism and range along the baseline, the French player uses his speed and accuracy to shake his opponent’s confidence.
Neither man has faced a tougher foe at this year’s U.S. Open.
While Monfils deserves an incredible amount of credit for making it through two of the toughest players in the tournament, Federer has too much experience in New York City to fall on Thursday. The matchup will be a battle of two very talented players, but Federer has the mental strength to capitalize on Monfils wild play and unforced errors.
Expect Monfils to use his booming serve to get his opponent on his heels, but the accuracy of the returns from Federer will frustrate the No. 20 seed. When Monfils gets frustrated, there is a chance the wheels fall off, and he becomes an emotional mess.
Whether Monfils wins in glorious fashion against Federer or loses in a blaze of glory, tennis fans don’t want to miss this match.
Predicted Winner: Federer defeats Monfils, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4
*Stats via USOpen.org.