I’m covering Women’s Tennis Blog for a few days so you can check out my recap of the women’s quarter-final between Ekaterina Makarova and Victoria Azarenka HERE. It was a stunning performance from Makarova, who finally broke into a Grand Slam semi-final for the first time in her career. She will play Serena Williams or Flavia Pennetta next. Attention turns to the men on Thursday with the final two quarter-finals. Grand Slams are always fun, but i’m starting to crumble!
1. Roger Federer v Gael Monfils (ATP US Open, QF)
Roger Federer is likely to face his most challenging match of the fortnight so far as he takes on Gael Monfils in the quarter-finals of the US Open. The Frenchman took out Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets in a puzzling fourth round match. Monfils had a mini-meltdown at the end of the second set, but Dimitrov was unable to capitalise on a couple of set points in the second set tiebreak. Monfils claimed the second set and then broke to win as Dimitrov served with scoreboard pressure. Monfils has won all of his matches in straight sets. He is playing his second Grand Slam quarter-final of the year and the sixth of his career.
Federer dropped a set to Marcel Granollers in the third round, but hasn’t been severely tested in any of his matches so far. He overcame Roberto Bautista Agut in the fourth round with a 6-4 6-3 6-2 victory. In the H2H, Federer leads 7-2 over Monfils. Both of Monfils’s wins came on hard courts in Shanghai 2013 (6-4 6-7(5) 6-3) and Paris indoors 2010 (7-6(7) 6-7(1) 7-6(4)). Federer won their most recent match in Cincy, a three setter, 6-4 4-6 6-3 in one hour and 41 minutes. Peak-Monfils could threaten Federer, but it would be a real shock if he could sustain a high enough level for three sets to knock out Federer. We’ll see..
Prediction: Federer d. Monfils in 5 sets
2. Tomas Berdych v Marin Cilic (ATP US Open, QF)
Marin Cilic reached his second consecutive Grand Slam quarter-final with a five set victory over Gilles Simon. It was the first time that Cilic had ever beaten Simon and he now takes on Tomas Berdych in the quarter-finals. Berdych came into the US Open with some pretty dire form, but he’s turned it around at the US Open. He cruised past Dominic Thiem, 6-1 6-2 6-4, who had reached the second week of a Grand Slam for the first time in his career. In the Cilic-Berdych H2H, Cilic won their last match-up at Wimbledon, a match that dominated all the headlines as it finished in near darkness. Cilic won that match, 7-6(5) 6-4 7-6(6) and leads the H2H, 5-3. I don’t know why, but I have a feeling that Berdych will win this match and relatively comfortably too.
Prediction: Berdych d. Cilic in 4 sets