2010 US Open – Nick’s Picks – Men’s Singles Fourth Round
Roger Federer (SUI) vs. Jurgen Melzer (AUT)
Federer has yet to drop a set in three matches, and he looks as confident as ever. He is gliding around the court with ease and I feel he is still the favorite to win this tournament. The fans love watching Federer and how can you argue when he is playing such beautiful tennis?
Melzer is in the fourth round of the US Open for the first time in his career. It almost didn’t happen as IMG Bollettieri pro, Ricardas Berankis, nearly took him out in the second round in five sets. Melzer recovered from that match well and beat Juan Carlos Ferrero in straight sets in the third round.
Federer is 1-0 against Melzer, with that win coming earlier this year in the fourth round of Wimbledon. Melzer has a big serve, is a lefty, has excellent groundstrokes and he is extremely quick on the court. He gets his racket on just about every ball which can really frustrate his opponents. He has a tendency to blow his top on occasion and if that happens, Federer will jump all over him. I am interested to see how Federer does against a lefty that will hit cross-courts at his backhand throughout the match. Federer is playing aggressively, changing the temp with this slice, moving well and coming in when he can. He’s working with Paul Annacone now, and I think that is definitely the right guy for him. This should be a good match, but I don’t think Melzer can take out Federer right now.
Nick’s Pick – Federer in 4 sets
Mardy Fish (USA) vs. Novak Djokovic (SRB)
Fish had to go five sets to beat veteran Arnaud Clement in the third round and is looking to get back to the quarters for the second straight time. He’s already played two five set matches in this tournament and we will have to see if that has any effect when taking on someone at Djokovic’s level.
Djokovic has been to at least the quarterfinals of 9 of the last 11 Grand Slams. He was the runner up here in 2007 and has been to the semis the last two years. After winning a close five-setter in the opening round, Djokovic has won two straight set matches over Phillipp Petzschner and James Blake.
Djokovic is 4-0 against Fish and that includes a win over him earlier this year at Indian Wells. The fan support really helped Fish in his win over Clement in the third round and they will be at it again in this match. Fish’s groundstrokes are excellent and his big serve is really flowing. He has trimmed down and I’m not sure if maybe he is too thin and that is affecting his stamina. Djokovic has some of the best groundstrokes in the game, he moves well laterally, is a great returner and loves the bright lights of NYC. His serve has been giving him a little trouble, but with the cooler weather and the winds calming I think that will help him. I have to give Djokovic the edge in this match in four sets, but the longer this goes the more it favors Fish (especially with the fans behind him). This is going to be a very interesting match, so make sure you watch it!
Nick’s Pick – Djokovic in 4 sets
Sam Querrey (USA) vs. Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI)
After dropping one set to Bradley Klahn in the first round, Querrey has won eight straight sets. He handled Nicolas Almagro in the third round, and looked extremely comfortable out there. This is a great opportunity for Querrey to reach his first career Grand Slam quarterfinal and you know the USA fans will be out in full force for him.
Wawrinka upset Andy Murray in the third round in four sets, and is into the fourth round of the US Open for the this time in his career. Like Querrey, Wawrinka is looking for his first appearance in the quarters of a Grand Slam too.
Wawrinka is 1-0 against Querrey, with that win coming at Indian Wells in 2009. I watched the Wawrinka/Murray match very closely and was impressed with Wawrinka from the outset. He frustrated Murray with his shot-making and he didn’t make many mistakes. We all know that Wawrinka is capable of playing this way, his issue it doing it consistently. Murray didn’t serve too well against Wawrinka, but you can count on Querrey serving better. He also has a huge forehand, solid backhand, and for a big guy he moves around the court well. I don’t think his groundstrokes will fail him like they did Murray and I am also worried about Wawrinka playing at the same high level. With the USA fans behind him, I like Querrey to advance in a tight match.
Nick’s Pick – Querrey in 4 sets
Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs. Feliciano Lopez (ESP)
Nadal has played some close sets in this tournament, but he has yet to drop one. He looked great against Gilles Simon in the third round, winnign over 90% of the points on his first serve. Everyone is hoping for a Federer/Nadal US Open final, but there is still a lot that can happen before that is set.
Lopez was up 6-3, 4-0 when Sergiy Stakhovsky retired in the third round. This is his second appearance in the fourth round of the US Open and if he wins here it would be his first US Open quarterfinal and only the third Grand Slam quarterfinal of his career.
Nadal is 5-2 against Lopez, but did lose to him earlier this year on grass at Queen’s Club. I can’t wait to see these two powerful Spanish lefties go at it! Lopez has had some success against Nadal in the past and he comes in serving brilliantly. He had the serve up over 135 mph against Stakhovsky and he also places it really well. I am not sure if Lopez needs to vary his serve throughout this match, because when playing another lefty it negates his ability to hit the wide serve on the ad side. There is no doubt that Lopez needs to win points quickly because there is no one better during rallies than Nadal. If I was Lopez’s coach, I will tell him to come in and press the issue a bit. He can’t stay back and pound with Nadal – that’s not a winning strategy. This will be a great match, and I look for Nadal to advance in four sets.
Nick’s Pick – Nadal in 4 sets