Big 3 Dominate in New York
Federer, Nadal and Djokovic have once again stolen the show at a Grand Slam, cruising into the second week of a major once again this year. Federer overcame slow starts in his opening two matches to make round 3 before hitting top form in his following two matches, culminating in him dropping only 4 games against David Goffin in round 4. Nadal has had an even easier time of things, having only played 2 matches to reach round 4 after Thanasi Kokkinakis pulled of their 2nd round match-up, before the Spaniard breezed past a potentially tricky opponent in Hyeon Chung.
Novak Djokovic will face the toughest test tonight against 2016 US Open champion Stan Wawrinka, who is starting to return to his top form after 2 knee surgeries. Djokovic will also be battling a shoulder injury, which appeared to bother him in his 2nd and 3rd round matches. The injury is obviously a sore subject for Djokovic, who confronted a fan who mentioned it loudly while spectating the Serb’s practise session. It is tricky to pick a favourite on the men’s side, especially with the resurgence of dangerous players like Cilic, Wawrinka and Dimitrov who have all had struggles with form recently, but at the moment it is difficult to look past Rafael Nadal, who has been untroubled in his opening 2 matches.
Naomi Osaka put an abrupt end to the sequel of the Coco Gauff fairytale in the women’s draw, giving her a taste of what it’s like to face the best in a merciless 6-3 6-0 victory. Osaka also showed her class after the match, inviting Gauff to join her in her post match interview, telling an upset Gauff that ‘these people are here to see you’. Osaka has had a dip in form since this year’s Australian Open and her bizarre split with her coach Sascha Bajin but is beginning to mount a strong defence of her US Open title. After Ashleigh Barty’s early exit, the likeliest scenario in the women’s draw looks to be a repeat of last year’s contentious final between Osaka and Williams.
Although the British interest in the men’s singles ended with Dan Evan’s defeat to Roger Federer, Johanna Konta is flying the flag for Britain with great success, beating 3rd seed Karolina Pliskova to set up a quarter-final encounter with either Svitolina or Keys. Konta made the semi-finals at the French Open and has now made the quarter-finals at both Wimbledon and the US Open and looks to be very close to producing her best tennis after a difficult 2018.
Written by Emre Saridogan