Nadal & Murray Stay on Course

US Open 2010
By Hiland Doolittle, September 5th, 2010
Rafael Nadal at US Open

Rafael Nadal at US Open

Seven Spaniards won on Friday while 5 Frenchmen lost to round out the Round of 32. More importantly, top seed Rafa Nadal held his place to meet Andy Murray, the fourth seed, in the semifinals.

Ironically, Nadal has five Spaniards remaining in his quarterfinal bracket. Uzbekistani’s Dennis Istomin battled Nasal late into the night on Saturday and left little doubt that Uzbekistani has a place in the world of tennis. Istomin is no stranger to the underdog role and after a shaky fist set, he jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the second set tiebreaker.

The greatness of Rafael Nadal’s talent can be recognized by the way in which the world’s top player methodically chipped away at Istomin; coming back from 1-5 in the second set tiebreaker to win the second set in his 6-2, 7-6 (5), 7-5 victory. It should be noted that Istomin was up to the Spaniard’s relentless attack and competed at a very high level in the featured match of the day.

Meanwhile, Mardy Fish led a contingency of four Americans into round of 32 action. Joined by power servers Sam Querrey and John Isner, James Blake who kept his spirited run alive on Thursdays gave the USA a strong presence in the round of 32.

When needed, Isner can pile up some spectacular numbers as he did in four sets against Marco Chiudinelli of Switzerland. Isner fired 24 aces and 70 outright winners in the four set match. 18th seeded Isner will next play 12th seed Mikhail Youhzny who downed Israeli Dudi Sela in a 2 hour 36 minute 6-1, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 triumph.

Spain’s popular Fernando Verdasco, ranked 8th, played his best tennis of the tournament in a 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 one-sided victory over France’s Adrian Mannarino.

One of the few Spaniards to lose on Friday was M. Granollers who had his hands filled with the power serving and power forehands struck by American Sam Querrey.

David Ferrer (Becker 6-3, 6-4, 6-4), young Nicolas Almagro (Garcia-Lopez, 6-3, 7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-6(4), Fernando Lopez (Paire 6-4, 6-7 (4), 5-7, 7-6(3), 6-2, Colorful Tommy Robredo (6-4, 6-6 (ret’d), and D. Gimeno-Traver (Jerome Chardy, 4-6, 6-3, 6-0, 7-6 (2) complete the role of successful Spaniards on Friday.

The difference between winners and losers has become such a thin line, that more and more upsets take place in Grand Slam tournaments. The round of 32 will provide 16 winners, anyone of which is capable of going the distance at Flushing Meadows.


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