AcesandArmbars continue with his previews and got some write-ups done for the bouts that need more attention than others
What a matchup between the legend and the kid prodigy on Ashe! Last year, everyone was talking about which of the young women coming up would be the player to watch in the next few years. People talked about the likes of Sloane Stephens, Eugenie Bouchard, and even more “raw” talent like Madison Brengle or Nicole Gibbs. The name that slipped through the cracks in most of those conversations was the ‘Swiss Miss’ Belinda Bencic.
The 18 year old Bencic has been the hottest woman on the WTA Tour this summer, even knocking Serena Williams out of Toronto a few weeks ago. Bencic went on to win that title, and she’s been brimming with confidence heading into this year’s U.S. Open. She defeated Karatantcheva in the 1st Round, Doi in the 2nd, and now finds herself matched up with Venus Williams, who’s 17 years her elder. Surprisingly enough, Venus has not only defeated Bencic in all three of the matches that they’ve played, but she’s won all six sets on top of it. However, if there’s ever a time for Bencic to break through, and make a name for herself on the grand stage, it’s right now. Venus struggled to put away Irina Falconi, before finally pulling ahead in the 3rd set. Bencic is in far better form than Falconi, and is even ranked 11 spots higher than Venus. If she brings the same game that she had against Venus’ sister a few weeks back, the 35 year old veteran will find herself in deep waters. That’s a guarantee.
This is another match where the younger, up and coming player, is looking to break through against a veteran who has dominated their recent H2H. The Polish born, Aga Radwanska, has won all 4 of the matches they’ve played, including twice on the grand stage of Wimbledon. One of those matches, as recently as June of this year. Keys didn’t necessarily play poorly in that match, though. It was arguably her best showing against Radwanska, and on a surface (grass) which isn’t exactly her preferred surface. Keys not only grew up playing on hard courts, but they compliment Madison’s game the most. Which is evident, since Madison made her first semi-final appearance at a Grand Slam this past January on the hard courts of the Australian Open. Now, she’s hoping to raise the bar for herself at her home country’s Grand Slam. In my opinion, this is Keys match to lose. If she can utilize the proper game plan, win the big points, and keep the errors under control, she can finally win a match against the underpowered Pole. Easier said than done, against a veteran with one of the best tennis IQ’s in the game.
This afternoon on Armstrong, the Spanish-born David Ferrer takes a 7-1 H2H record against France’s Jeremy Chardy. But one massive difference, is that Ferrer is trying to get back into form after being out with an elbow injury for most of the summer. You can tell Ferrer isn’t exactly back to 100%. He fought past Filip Krajinovic on Wednesday, and although he won 85% of his 1st-serve points, he was only able to muster one ace in the whole match. Chardy, on the other hand, the number 27 ranked player in the world, had a pretty good summer. He made it all the way to the semi-finals at the Montreal Masters before losing at the hands of the number one player in the world, Novak Djokovic. Does the ‘Roadrunner’ have enough stamina to pad his record against Chardy during the hottest part of the day on Armstrong, while not being at his best? Or will Chardy take advantage of that, and put the 33 year old Ferrer on the run all day long?
The hard thing about breaking down Nadal’s matches recently, is that he’s a level or two below as a player this year, when compared to year’s past. The good thing about this 3rd Round U.S. Open match, is that Nadal and Fognini have played each other three times this year alone. So, I was able to go back and analyze the past 3 matches from this year. Even though, all 3 matches this year between them have been played on clay, both players’ best surface, Fognini has beaten Nadal twice this year….Nadal has very distinct patterns, and to be successful against him, you have to break those patterns and make him feel uncomfortable. A lot of that is defending the heavy forehand cross-court and the wide serves on the ad-court. Fognini does a really good job on the backhand side, because he takes the ball very early. He can hurt Nadal with court positioning. Fabio is not only very quick movement-wise, but he has a quick/compact forehand. He also handles the high backhand very well. Fognini’s biggest question mark is his serve, which can tend to disappear at certain times during matches. He needs to serve well for the whole match, and prevent that part of his game from breaking down. Fognini is also very strong physically, which allows him to take Nadal’s heavy top-spin balls on the rise, so he’s not pushed back behind the court. The biggest disadvantage for Nadal in this matchup, is that Fognini takes the ball so early, which causes Rafa to not to have enough time to run around his backhand and hit the forehand. On the flip side, Nadal needs to use his serve as his major weapon, like Kvitova did yesterday. When Rafa won the U.S. Open, he was getting tons of free points on his serve or setting up the short forehand for quick points. Nadal needs to make sure that he mixes up the serve too. In his first two matches here, he kept going to that slice serve, and Fognini is going to eat that up. He needs to go for the big serve to the forehand, as well. Court positioning is also very important for Nadal, like a champion boxer controlling his ring. He can’t let Fognini control the middle of the court and push him back. When Rafa is playing his best, he’s up on the baseline, he’s dictating, he’s using his athleticism not only horizontally, but vertically, as well. Which version of Fognini shows up? Good question. Which version of Nadal shows up?
While we are awaitng new developments and hoping no more cancellations will be applied beyond 13th of July on the Tennis Calendar, things are looking brighter with each passing day for the casual tennis fan, ...
Unfortunately, everything tennis wise is cancelled to at least 13th of July. Let's hope this corona virus goes away as soon as possible and this is the last date the tour is pushed back to. Stay safe people!
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