The rain finally messed everything up enough that the entire schedule has been delayed by the rain. Therefore, the women’s semifinals will be Saturday night instead of Friday night as originally planned with the final being held on Sunday afternoon. “Super Saturday”, otherwise known as the men’s semifinals, will remain Saturday afternoon as scheduled and the men’s final will (hopefully) be on Monday for a fourth straight year. The final two men’s quarterfinal matches will be played Friday afternoon.
John Isner vs Andy Murray
Isner has been very impressive this whole tournament. The level of composure and mental fortitude he has had is just incredible. He is an amazing 6-0 in tiebreaks this tournament. That’s tremendous even for top players. Isner has also been playing better baseline tennis than he has so far anytime in his career. He surprised me by being able to beat Gilles Simon in a lot of baseline rallies, especially later in the match. And as long as his serve is on, he is very tough to beat.
Unfortunately for Isner, Murray is one of, if not the very best returner in the game today. He will be able to get a lot of serves back in play. And unless Isner can finish the rallies very quickly, Murray should be able to beat him in baseline exchanges more often than not. Isner will have to attack the net and test Murray’s passing shots to really have a chance in this. Still, I think Isner’s incredible serve and mentality this tournament means he has the advantage if he can bring as many sets as possible to tiebreaks.
Prediction: Isner in 5
Andy Roddick vs Rafael Nadal
I’ll be honest, I did not expect Roddick to get anywhere near this far. A favorable draw certainly helped, but he played very well to beat David Ferrer in the fourth round. Roddick finally played an aggressive match, hit harder and flatter, and really took it to his opponent. He didn’t play like he did back in 2003-2007, but he definitely looked much better than I have seen since March last year. He brought a strong, attacking game plan against Nadal when they met in the World Tour Finals last year and really controlled that match for about a set. He couldn’t keep it up enough to win, but if he can break out that plan and level again he will give himself a real chance here.
Rafa has done what he seems to always do recently-namely, get better as a Slam goes. He finally started to look like himself again in the past round, beating a surprisingly good Gilles Muller without too much trouble. Rafa’s movement still does not quite look at his top level and he has had a few too many medical timeouts for his fans to be completely comfortable, but they have every reason to feel confident at this point. If he falls to his levels from earlier this summer then Roddick will win this match with ease. I would be shocked if that happens. Rafa always seems to show up in top form for the Slams no matter how he looked before. Expect Roddick to give a fight, especially if he can duplicate his form against Ferrer, but Rafa should be able to pull this out in the end.
Prediction: Nadal in 4