How lucky is Roger Federer? After waiting for what seemed like forever on Monday night to play his match, he was able to breeze through his fourth round match against Juan Monaco. He didn’t start his match until 11:50 pm but turned in his best performance of the last two months and smoked the Argentine in 82 minutes. So, what’s lucky about that?
For one, Monaco, (who had no chance to pull off an upset anyway) had some of the worst preparation I’ve heard of for a pro. When asked how he got ready for his match, he said that he actually warmed up 4 hours before the match. Seriously? I’m obviously no expert, but I’m pretty sure that warming up and then chilling for four hours is pretty much pointless. Why not go hit again for a few minutes when the women start the third set? I just can’t believe that a pro tennis player would be that casual about the chance to get to the quarters of the U.S. Open. And then… he won THREE games. That’s unacceptable for the world number 14. Think about it: 18-3.
Numero dos, just getting Monaco, someone who has no weapons in the fourth round is a perfect draw for Fed. Monaco’s M.O. is pretty much to get a lot of balls in play (if he’s warmed up) and grind guys down. What more could an all time great ask for?
Three, that wait doesn’t seem so long now does it? Federer is a day ahead of Nadal and Murray who only started their fourth round matches today. So, if the Open wants to finish by Sunday and there are no more delays, those guys will potentially be playing best-of-five matches everyday! That’s a tough assignment, even for Nadal.
Last thought: the other day I was talking (writing? blogging?) about Donald FTUSTA Young who was, then wasn’t, and now may be but probably isn’t the “Future of American Tennis.” The question was would he be able to win a match he should after winning one he shouldn’t have. Well, he definitely did and in straight sets no less. Good for him. Young mixed it up against Chela (another unimposing Argentine) who didn’t put up much of a fight. He played some solid tennis, snuck into the net on a few occasions, and took his opportunities when they presented themselves. Basically, he did what you’re supposed to do against a 32 year old clay-courter.
That’s all great, but Juan Ignacio Chela is no Andy Murray. Young must have served 85% of his (relatively weak) serves to Chela’s backhand. There is now way that Murray is going to let that slide. If he doesn’t have the best serving day of his life and keep Murray guessing, he’ll probably do only slightly better than Monaco. But who knows, maybe he’ll get a little lucky.