With rain messing up schedules now and we still don't have the Nadal-Gonzo quarterfinal match complete (7-6, 6-6), the odds of Nadal making the 2009 final is looking slimmer and slimmer. With less than perfect knees, an abdominal issue and the thought of a tight tight schedule to get this tournament completed, Nadal is going to really have to "Believe" to make it anywhere further.
Let's start with the Gonzo match. Gonzo isn't being intimidated by Nadal (he rarely is of anyone), and is playing great tennis. His serve is working, his forehand lethal, and Nadal isn't penetrating the weaker backhand with overwhelming success. The match currently sits 7-6, 6-6 (3-2). So Nadal is up a set, and I believe on serve in this 2nd set tie-break. Now, Friday afternoon, Nadal needs to play at least one more set, a potential semi-final, and possibly a final within the next 48 hours or so.
Should he beat Gonzo, he is facing a very well rested, and break-through ready giant in Del Potro. If Nadal were entirely 100% and without even his time off, I'd still be calling this 50/50 or slight advantage to Del Potro. He's just that ready. With Nadal clearly hurting physically, and losing the days rest to play, he is at a severe disadvantage to make it into the final where Federer will surely be lurking with killer instinct. I give Nadal a 5%, maybe 10% chance of winning that showdown.
The longer this rain goes on in New York, the slimmer Nadal's chances get to push through into the final.
Let's hope they get this tennis going soon.
The Tennis News Authority
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