Thursday, September 06, 2012

2012 US OPEN: Men's Quarterfinals Preview, Part 2

Last year I correctly predicted 2 of 4 women's quarterfinals and 3 of 4 men's quarterfinals. This year I have correctly predicted 3 of 4 women's quarterfinals and correctly predicted 1 of 2 of the first two men's quarterfinals. Below are my predictions for the last two men's quarterfinals.

Janko Tipsarevic SRB (8) vs David Ferrer ESP (4). Interestingly, these two are playing for the "Rafael Nadal" semifinal slot, if the great Spaniard had not removed himself from the draw to concentrate on recuperating and rehabilitating his now-fragile knee joints. These two have only met 3 times, with the Spaniard holding a slight 2-1 edge. However, the last time the two played Barack Obama had not even been elected President of the United States yet, so it's pretty safe to ignore their career head-to-head record. Tipsarevic is playing in only his second career quarterfinal at a major, but his first was right here in New York exactly one year ago, where he lost to his countryman Novak Djokovic. Ferrer is playing in his 9th major quarterfinal and has won a  quarterfinal at every grand slam except Wimbledon. He is considered one of the hardest workers on the tour and almost never loses to players he shouldn't, always living up to his ranking. In some sense this should be the most interesting quarterfinal of the four, despite the blockbuster upset in the Federer-Berdych match because the two are so evenly matched and both want it so badly. That being said, it is really hard to bet against the dogged tenacity of David Ferrer. Mad Professah's pick: Ferrer.

Juan Martin Del Potro ARG (7) vs Novak Djokovic SRB (2) Del Potro has already played the villain at this tournament, dispatching the last American male to win a grand slam into his retirement by beating Andy Roddick 6-7(1) 7-6(4) 6-2 6-4. Despite having a 2-5 career head-to-head deficit against Djokovic, Del Potro has managed to beat him in crucially important matches, such as the London Olympics Bronze medal match this summer and in the 2011 Davis Cup semifinals tie between Argentina and Serbia. However, even though Del Potro won the 2009 US Open over Roger Federer there's no question in my mind that Djokovic right now is the better hard court player (after all, he has won the last three majors played on hard courts). This match-up is exciting enough that it would be reasonable for a major final and I suspect that it may be, sometime in the future. The fact that he is even here is a good measure of Del Potro's progress since his devastating wrist injury following his major breakthrough removed him from the ATP tour for over a year. Even though he probably won't win this match, it is a good indication the tall Argentine will be competing for major titles in the very near future. Djokovic is the defending champion and I full expect him to be playing to defend his title on Sunday (weather permitting). Mad Professah's pick: Djokovic.

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