Other Sports

2010 U.S. Open – Day 9 News and Notes

| by Sports Nickel
It was back to work for most everyone in the United States, and the stars of tennis were no exception as they graced the grounds of the USTA National Tennis Center.  The youngsters took to the outer courts to wind their way down to the weekend finals. The pros took to the show courts, the men completing the fourth round and the women starting to whittle down from eight to four.

Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi, who I talked about yesterday after their ouster of #2 seeds Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic in the men’s doubles draw, continued their streak of brilliant play and are into the semifinals after their match. Playing #10 Wesley Moodie and Dick Norman, Bopanna and Qureshi severed another top-ten seed from the draw in straight sets 7-5 7-6(2). The good vibrations continue in Queens even as the two nations complete the transfer of the civilian fishermen imprisoned for crossing out of domestic waters…

 

All the good vibrations in the world couldn’t save the hopes of American men’s tennis, though. The last male seed fell on Tuesday, as #25 Stanislas Wawrinka — on a tear this tournament after knocking off Juan Ignacio Chela and Andy Murray in the past two rounds — booked his passage to the quarterfinals at the expense of #20 Sam Querrey. The 22-year-old from San Francisco had eliminated Nicolas Almagro in straight sets last round, but he found the going a lot tougher against Wawrinka.

The two men hovering in the top 25 traded tiebreaks in the first two sets, playing just shy of two hours to turn the match into a best-of-three. The Swissman won the third set 7-5, but he couldn’t sustain the momentum and Querrey broke back in the fourth to send it all to a fifth set, a race to see who would prevail and emerge amongst the elite eight of the men’s draw.

Popular Video

This judge looked an inmate square in the eyes and did something that left the entire courtroom in tears:

In the end, it was Wawrinka getting that crucial fourth break and winning out 7-6(9) 6-7(5) 7-5 4-6 6-4. The contestants spent four and a half hours on the court in Arthur Ashe Stadium during the hottest point of the day. It was an admirable if wholly insane match, one where Querrey won just two fewer points (188-186) and held the advantage with more aces and fewer unforced errors committed. The opportunities were there, twelve of his fifteen break-point opportunities slipping through his fingertips. Just one more conversion and an American male would still be alive alongside Venus Williams, the Bryan brothers in men’s doubles and Vania King (partnered with Kazakh Yaroslava Shvedova) in women’s doubles…

Granollers and Robredo are amongst the four teams left standing in men's doubles...

Eduardo Schwank and Horacio Zeballos, two mid-20s Argentinians who are hovering on either side of the #60 spot in the world rankings (Schwank at #57, Zeballos at #62) have struck lightning in a bottle together at the U.S. Open. Teaming up to play the men’s doubles draw, the partners have clawed their way along as far as the semifinals now. Along their path they’ve ousted everyone from Mahesh Bhupathi and Max Mirnyi (losing finalists in 2009) to top-ten team Robert Lindstedt and Horia Tecau. Their most recent victims in the quarterfinals were #5 Oliver Marach and Lukasz Kubot. Conceding nothing, Schwank and Zeballos booked a spot opposite Bohanna and Qureshi with a straight-set win 6-3 7-6(3).

Thus we are destined to see either the unlikely Indian/Pakistani 16-seed advancing to the final or the unseeded South Americans battling for the championship. Either way, we’ve got a Cinderella story brewing opposite the powerhouse semifinal pairing on the other side of the draw. Mike and Bob Bryan will see an all-too-familiar foe in Tommy Robredo, the man who they vanquished along with then-partner Sergio Roitman in the semifinals en route to their last U.S. Open doubles title in 2008. This time around Robredo is the #12 seed with partner Marcel Granollers and looking for some revenge after that ouster in Flushing Meadows 24 months ago. A ninth Grand Slam doubles title is at stake, while every other team still in the draw hungrily battles for their first…

And now we’re at the time of the tournament when things start to contract a little, the schedule becoming just a little less packed. In a lot of ways you can draw a parallel between the NCAA basketball tournament and a Grand Slam, how those giddy bracket-busting underdogs of the opening rounds are almost always weeded out by the second week of play. Teams like Bohanna/Qureshi and Schwank/Zeballos are proof that sometimes the weeds are allowed to pop up, take bloom and spread their seed pods all across your once-lush backyard. (Sound bitter enough to be from personal experience yet?)

Honestly, though, a weed would never survive if it didn’t look just interesting enough to captivate your attention and keep it around. And the ones we can use, for foodstuffs or otherwise, are allowed to cultivate themselves and proliferate. All the upsets we get to witness throughout the fortnight of a Grand Slam are grand, certainly… but there is just something extra special about the survival of one of these low-seed/no-seed teams that always seems to catch the eye. Like a flower growing through the concrete, they give us reason to pause and reflect on just how great the world of sports can truly be…

2010 U.S. Open – Day 9 Musings… is a post originally from: SportsNickel.com - In Sports We Trust

 

Related posts:

  1. 2010 U.S. Open – Thoughts before the tournament begins on Monday…
  2. 2010 U.S. Open – Day 7-8 Musings…
  3. 2010 U.S. Open – Day 6 Musings…