Saturday, 20 August 2011

Cincy Updates - Maria strolls, Rafa & Roger out

The semi-final line-up was completed yesterday and will see Maria Sharapova take on Vera Zvonareva and Andrea Petkovic play Jelena Jankovic. Sharapova eased past her quarter-final with Sam Stosur, 6-3 6-2 as she continued her dominating head-to-head record over Stosur. Zvonareva had a much tougher match as she beat Daniela Hantuchova, 6-3 7-6. The second set was a see-saw affair; Zvonareva wasted a match point at 5-4 and Hantuchova blew a set point in the tiebreak. Zvonareva appeared to be on the edge of losing her temper at the end of the second set but managed to pull through purely because of the less errors she produced.

Andrea Petkovic defeated Nadia Petrova, 7-5 6-1 as she continued her excellent form on the American hard courts. She will play Jankovic, who received a walkover after Peng Shuai pulled out again with a left hip injury. Jankovic and Petkovic have played twice this year with Petkovic winning both matches in 3 sets. Their last encounter on the hard courts was in Miami and it was a very entertaining match so I hope for more of the same this time round.

Sharapova has strolled through the draw and will be the hot favourite to scoop the Cincy title

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer were both knocked out of Cincy in a day of surprises on quarter-final day. Rafael Nadal was taken out by Mardy Fish, 6-3 6-4 who delivered an exemplary performance to record his first ever win over the Spaniard. He served well, attacked well, came into the net on many occasions and produced a far superior number of winners to Nadal. Nadal has looked sluggish throughout the week and has been hampered by some minor injuries; he will have to really turn things around to have a chance of retaining his US Open title. Mardy Fish will now play Andy Murray in the Semis after Murray eased past Giles Simon, 6-3 6-3. It is a terrible match-up for Simon because he has a similar game to Murray, but Murray is far superior so the result was not a surprise.

Roger Federer also fell by the wayside as he was beaten by Tomas Berdych, 6-2 7-6. Berdych produced an excellent serving display as he pulled off the biggest win of his year. Berdych has been very consistent this year without making any major inroads against the top players. This win suggests he is producing some good form ahead of the final major. Berdych will play Novak Djokovic, who beat Gael Monfils in three sets. Djokovic has still only lost one match this year but will have to be at his best to beat Berdych. Tiredness could give Berdych a chance of upsetting Djokovic for what would be only his second defeat this year...

Can Djokovic win his tenth title of the year in Cincy?
Sharapova to beat Zvonareva in 2 sets
Petkovic to beat Jankovic in 3 sets
Fish to beat Murray in 2 sets
Djokovic to beat Berdych in 3 sets

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