US Open trophy will again have a new owner in 2013. Its fifth straight post-Federer year, since the champion couldn’t defend the silverware. Andy Murray not only lost in the quarterfinals, but was beaten very convincingly by Stanislas Wawrinka.
It’s Wawrinka’s persistence, that is to be admired – he has been to 35 Grand Slam quarterfinals, before reaching the Top 4, and getting a shot to make it to the final.
Murray wasn’t himself on Thursday, letting go loads of points, and Wawrinka really got it in the easiest way possible – in straight sets. The Scottish player never even got a break point in the match.
Wawrinka though, will meet much bigger challenge on the semifinals – Novak Djokovic.
This will be seventh year in a row for the Serbian to make the semis, and he has really proving to be Number 1 in the world with his consistency. He will guarantee his first spot for 2013, if he reaches the final, but this is not his only goal. Besides the ranking points, Djikovic will without doubt try to get his hands on the trophy, now the path is Murray-free. It’s an amazing chance for Nole to arrange a meet with Rafael Nadal on the final, but before that, he will have to find a way to stop Wawrinka powerful serve and make the less turnovers he can. Wawrinka looks in great shape, but beating Novak would be hard task for the Swiss, and manageable only if he is on top of his game. Hard, but not impossible for Wawrinka – if Djokovic has a bad day, it’s going to be all in his hands.
Though Wawrnika is on a spree, and Richard Gasquet is playing great tennis, Djokovic and Rafa Nadal is the battle all the tennis world is looking for. Djokovic has been on US Open last three finals, playing exactly Nadal in 2010 and 2011 – one win, one loss record.
To make it happen, Rafa needs to overcome Gasquet in his semifinal. The French has only once before reached so far in a Grand Slam tournament – and it was on the grass of Wimbledon. Two terrific five-set dramas put him in the semis. Gasquet turned down Milos Raonic to make his first US Open quarterfinal, and then came back against number four seeded David Ferer to reach semis. Gasquet experience and toughness showed against Ferer, where he allowed the Spaniard to tie the sets, after leading 2-0, and then won the fifth, deciding set in a convincing way.
It is yet to see whether all the strength and will Gasquet showed in the last two rounds is something he can keep up, or confident and never-give-up mannered Nadal will send him home only with that Top 4 spot.
Rafa, as Djokovic, is looking forward to the final with lesser troubles. His path to the semis was more than clear, dropping a single set so far, and it was after a tiebreak. And Nadal is not even playing his greatest tennis. That would mean he still got a lot in his pocket, to use against Gasquet.
Soon, we will now if the replay of 2010 and 2011 final will be staged between Nadal and Djokovic, but well, why not see the perfect storm and a debutant march to the top!?