The Biggest Match of the US Open Is Tonight


Dominic Thiem and Juan Martin Del Potro played a brilliant five-set match yesterday with the Big Argentine coming back from a two-set drubbing to win. And everyone since the men’s singles draw came out is gearing for the possible Rafael Nadal-Roger Federer semis, their potential first meeting at the Open. Head to head, Rafa leads their rivalry 23-14, but Fed has won their last four meetings and Rafa hasn’t beaten Fed since 2014 Aussie O semis.

But the biggest match of the US Open occurs tonight in late prime time when American Sam Querrey matches up against South African–Univ of Illinois-Delray Beach resident, Kevin Anderson. With Qball standing 6-6 and KevAnd 6-8 that’s 13-and-one-half feet of players matching up in the tallest Grand Slam quarters, semis or finals pairing. Qball beat KevAnd in 5 sets at this year’s Wimbledon and KevAnd avenged the loss in Montreal, but Qball holds a 8-6 h-h career advantage. There’s going to be some big serving and hitting going on and I plan to be in Arthur Ashe Stadium to give you my perspective on this key quarter finals match up. I’ve said Qball could win this Open so I am picking him to come out on top against KevAnd.

IMG_0110This bowl of Lentil soup by the way, is what I had riding my bike out to Flushing from Astoria the other night. Delicious!

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  • Duke Carnoustie · September 5, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    Stunning victory last night for Madison Keys. She was awful in the second set and down 4-2 in the decider before storming back to win the last four games. Svitolina didn’t know what hit her and after her earlier collapse in RG vs. Halep, her head must be spinning.

    Women’s matches have been unpredictable. With all due respect, looking forward to Kvitova-Williams more than the men’s match tonight.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 5, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    Very hard match to analyze. Which player will rise to the occasion and which will tense up? Does Anderson have the mental edge based on Montreal? Both are playing their best tennis right now. One thing that has stuck out for me is the intensity of Anderson, he’s really locked in and more intense than he was typically. Sam is murdering the ball but I suspect Anderson’s intensity could overwhelm him. Anderson in five.

  • Dan Markowitz · September 5, 2017 at 3:09 pm


    You’re kidding, right? You’re more interested in a Venus Williams match? I’m watching Stephens v Sevastova now and it’s pretty blase to say the least. Keys did have a rousing finish there last night. What’s with Carreno-Busta? The guy hadn’t beaten a player better than no. 30 Cuevas all this year on hard courts before reaching Open semis.

  • scoopmalinowski · September 5, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    I like Venus but find her matches to be very dull tedious and monotone affairs. No drama just video game tennis. Id far orefer to watch a junior, doubles or mixed match over Venus. With all older players you reach a point of being tired of watching them. Venus, for me, is long past that point. I guess you just want to see the younger players. Theres a reason there is no senior womens tennis tour.

  • Thomas Tung · September 5, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    Dan, PCB is taking advantage of a very favorable draw opening up this year, just like Yevgeny Kafelnikov did at the ’99 Australian Open (he took down Bjorkman, Courier, Martin, Haas, and Enqvist in the final). Kafelnikov had pretty good records against them coming into the Aussie that year.

    PCB didn’t give any room for Schwartzman to do his magic (was far too solid and steady), and it was a muted end to a fine run from Diego.

  • scoopmalinowski · September 5, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    PCB is an elite player and the win over the red hot teenaged Rafa slayer certified it. Hes going to be hard to beat. Could easily see him winning a major.

  • Chazz · September 5, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    Sloane Stephens’ match was largely dull tennis but she came up big in the tiebreaker. And damn is she a likable person, what a post match interview. Chazz admits he has a giant crush.

  • scoopmalinowski · September 5, 2017 at 8:11 pm

    Everybody loves Sloane. We know she has greatness in her and we want to see the fruition.

  • Dan Markowitz · September 6, 2017 at 12:22 am

    Dan Markowitz writes:

    Oh my goodness, what a second set tie-breaker. Qball was up 6-1, frittered away six set points, but finally won the breaker to notch a 1-set all match here and it's past midnight. Oball is not playing stellar tennis. I don't know if its the competition in KevAnd or just that Qball is tight with a chance to reach his second slam semis in a row, but his play while solid, has not been spectacular. KevAnd hits big off both wings, but Johnny Mac announcing on ESPN just said you see why KevAnd has never made a big semis or better run at a slam when he comes up to net. His volleying skills are well below his baseline and serving prowess. And Duke was right, the Venus-Petra match was a real good one decided by a breaker that Venus won in the third set.

  • Thomas Tung · September 6, 2017 at 12:29 am

    Dan, Q-Ball’s game plan seems to have been simply to “wing it” with the serve until the tiebreak, but clearly Team Anderson’s gameplan was to take control of the match, not just simply hold serve, and it was key w/Kevin winning the 1st tiebreak, and making the 2nd tiebreak a lot closer than it needed to be (from Querrey’s side). I really like that Anderson is giving it his best here — all those “c’mons” are simply his trying to keep himself focused and motivated, and a good thing for Kevin (who has been accused of being far too passive in the past, just like Sam).

  • Thomas Tung · September 6, 2017 at 12:32 am

    J.McEnroe was poking fun at Anderson’s volleys, but at least Kevin is using them, and not just staying at the baseline; I like seeing that. That willingness to improve his game is why Anderson is coming back strong from his injuries.

    Still, Sam is the (considerably) more talented player, so I can’t count that out as well. But Kevin gets an “A” (or first-class honors) for hard work — he has been in the Top 10 before (2015), and it’s not hard to see why.

  • catherine · September 6, 2017 at 2:59 am

    Are we going to see a swing to the US for dominance in the women’s game ?

    I didn’t see the matches yesterday (last night) so won’t comment except to say I’m sorry Petra lost and although I admire Venus Williams, like Scoop I’m not a big fan of her style.

  • catherine · September 6, 2017 at 3:02 am

    I really hate the way ? always take a line to themselves. They must get lonely.

  • dan markowitz · September 6, 2017 at 6:22 am

    Tough loss for Qball. Thomas, you’re definitely right. I don’t know what Q’s strategy or game plan was. Anderson was the aggressor all night. As Scoop said, it really is hard rooting for Qball because the guy seems barely to have a pulse out there. He is one of the most reserved players I’ve ever seen.

    Johnny Mac was saying that even though the crowd thinned out after the women’s match, Qball didn’t try to get who was left in AA Stadium to be on his side and to get riled up by pumping a fist or making contact with the crowd. You have to do that when you’re playing in a quarters of a slam in your home country. Even a guy like Blake who was pretty reserved, would’ve been crowing to the crowd when playing a South African.

    I don’t know if I agree with you that Sam is the “considerably” more talented player than KevAnd. Their serves are pretty much a wash; Qball has the better forehand, but KevAnd the better backhand and certainly the better return of serve. Sam was chipping his forehand return the whole night. And KevAnd, while not Rafteresque at the net, still gets up there and goes for winners.

  • catherine · September 6, 2017 at 7:35 am

    Andy Murray out for the rest of the year – says he’s aiming to return for AO.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 6, 2017 at 8:22 am

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Like I predicted, Anderson intensity was the difference. To win majors you have to roar like a lion and get down and dirty. This isn't Acapulco or Queens Club. This is a grand slam major semifinal on the line. Laid back doesn't cut it. Anderson was the beast.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 6, 2017 at 8:23 am

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    No surprise at all Andy is taking a much needed vacation. He was hobbling around the practice court like a senior player in the practice I saw vs Kwiatkowski.

  • Chazz · September 6, 2017 at 9:11 am

    To me, Anderson’s serve is slightly better and his return of serve is much better. That was the difference. He looks like Cilic at his best and can definitely beat PCB and Nadal or Federer.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 6, 2017 at 9:36 am

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Anderson is 2-0 vs Carrena Busta and both wins in straight sets, 63 76 in Canada this year. Anderson's emotional firepower was just too much for Sam. If Lleyton Hewitt played his entire career with Sam's emotional passiveness he would have never reached the top 50.

  • Dan Markowitz · September 6, 2017 at 9:36 am

    I think you’re wrong Chazz in saying Anderson can beat Fed or Rafa. Against Fed, he’ll get smoked in SS. Fed will exploit his somewhat clunkiness on the court and put him in positions he’ll be very uncomfortable.

    Could KevAnd beat Rafa? Possible, but again, I doubt it. We’re talking best of 5 here and Rafa I think will wear him down.

    Look Qball had to come out of his closet last night. Even his model girlfriend, when she said, “C’mon, Sam!” seemed to be peeved with him. The guy has to realize that you’ve got to show some emotion. Like Scoop said, this isn’t Acapulco or Puerto Vallarta.

  • scoopmalinowski · September 6, 2017 at 9:43 am

    Dan and everyone. How many majors does Hewitt win if he plays with Sams emotional intensity or lack thereof?

  • Chazz · September 6, 2017 at 9:47 am

    Dan, from what I have seen from Fed and Nadal in this tournament, they are beatable and not playing quite as well as they were in the other majors earlier in the year. However, true, they do remain co-favorites. Anderson is in fact playing top 10 tennis right now and has the ability to win.

  • catherine · September 6, 2017 at 9:51 am

    I think Querrey is introverted. Just like AK. He won’t change.
    If he tries to emote it’ll come out all false.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 6, 2017 at 10:10 am

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Catherine; Todd Martin played like an emotional wild man after falling behind two sets to love against Carlos Moya and guess what happened? he won in five. It's a matter of a player developing a weak area and constructing it into a strength. Martin did it. Sam can do it. Mike Tyson was a shy meek boy who wore glasses. Then look at what happened. Lleyton Hewitt is a shy guy off the court – Ivan Ljubicic told me this. But ON THE COURT he's a raging bull. Sam can change his character ON THE COURT. Keep being Sam off court. If he really wants to be a champion he has to change his on court character. I could teach him how :)

  • catherine · September 6, 2017 at 10:46 am

    Scoop – could you teach Angie as well?
    Maybe you could run a workshop along those lines or put it all in a short book – I’m not joking – with all your boxing knowledge as well.
    Title – ‘Make your innner lion ROAR !’

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 6, 2017 at 11:11 am

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Catherine; LOL, first thing I would do would be to hold seminars and workshops and teaching people to practice their yelling of COME ONs at the top of their lungs so they feel natural and become instinctive. I would recommend yelling Come One at the top of your lungs repetitively for ten minutes straight every day for a week or month until it becomes natural and comfortable. You know, like they say if you feel sad you force a smile on your face and it changes your feeling. Same thing here. Also will hire special speakers like Todd Martin who learned to roar like a lion late in his career to share his insights. Also will bring in silent players like Spadea to discuss how annoying and effective hearing opponents COME ONS were to their matches. Kerber actually has the fire but she seems to be out of sync with it. She needs to attend my workshop :)

  • Thomas Tung · September 6, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    Sam was definitely making things harder for himself when the crowd had to be the one trying to motivate Sam, rather than Sam giving the crowd something (anything, really) to get behind him. Querrey did let out a nice roar after taking the 2nd set tiebreak, but that was pretty much it, unfortunately.

    As for Sam’s girlfriend/Kevin’s wife? Both lovely ladies who looked (at least, when the camera focused on them) like they both had a huge case of constipation/were ready and willing to smash furniture or china, but with the nerve-wracking tiebreaks in that match (lots of roller-coaster moments galore), it’s not too hard to see why! Abby Dixon (Sam’s GF) seems like a nice, likeable gal, and I’ve always liked Kelsey Anderson’s “Tour Wife Tales” blog.

    Both guys played well, and it’s almost a shame that it all ended in the 4th — certainly the fans wanted to see a 5th.



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