The rain has finally come and messed up the tournaments’ entire schedule. This means that, most likely, two of the quarterfinal matches will finish play before the other two begin play. So I thought I would split up my preview and predictions into two halves. The first part will be for the two matches that are set already and I will post my next one when the other two quarterfinals are set.
Novak Djokovic vs Janko Tipsarevic
Tipsarevic has been in the best form of his career for almost a year now. He has steadily risen up the rankings and has challenged and beat a lot of top players. He also seems to show up and do his best in Slams. Both times that Jnko has met Djokovic the matches have gone to three sets. Tipsarevic also plays a good defensive game and finds his opportunities to attack. Djokovic has had the most trouble in these types of matches this year, almost losing to both Murray and Fish even when healthy this year.
What more can we say about Djokovic? Every match he becomes more and more impressive. He was challenged a little by the very talented Alexandr Dolgopolov and missed a few chances, but the result was the same as just about every match that Djokovic has played this year. Djokovic no longer looks as invulnerable as he did in April and May, but for some reason it feels like expecting a loss now is even more ridiculous than it was then. He came into the first two matches this tournament out to prove that he is still invincible, and the fact that his past two matches have been a tiny bit closer should not be any cause for concern.
Prediction: Djokovic in 3
Roger Federer vs Jo-Wilfried Tsonga:
For the third time this summer we will see this pair matched up, all three times in a quarterfinal match or earlier. Tsonga won the last two meetings, coming back from 2 sets down in Wimbledon to win it in 5 and winning in 3 sets in Montreal. Tsonga clearly was more motivated than Federer in both matches and really served huge in both matches to stop Federer from even earning break points. Tsonga fits into the “big hitter” mold that has troubled Federer so much in recent years, but plays a better all-around game than any other big hitter on tour.
Interestingly enough, Federer was in a situation very similar to this one earlier in the year. In the French Open semifinals, Federer met a heavily-favored Djokovic who had just beaten Federer three times in a row in convincing fashion. Roger came out and played what is probably the highest-quality match of the year. His finger-wag as he walked up to the net to shake hands said it all. He is here to stay and will bring his best just when we count him out. If he can bring that same attitude and motivation against Tsonga and hold onto it for the entire match then he should be able to win this. Still, I don’t think the attitude of the tennis world or Federer’s attitude right now is the same as it was entering that match at Roland Garros.
One more factor to keep in mind about this match is the weather break we have had. Assuming that they finally get to play the matches on Thursday, Federer will have lost a potential great advantage. Tsonga had a long and tough fourth-round match against Mardy Fish while Federer blew away Juan Monaco later (much later) that night. The rain since then has meant a lack of outdoor practice for everyone, so it will be interesting to see if anyone shows up a little rusty on Thursday-in any of the matches.
Prediction: Tsonga in 4