The day had been plain sailing for the tournament organisers. Coco Vandeweghe and Madison Keys had kept up their side of the bargain and Rafa Nadal had swept aside Andrey Rublev. All that was required was a Fed-Express victory and the four-fold was in! The Rafa v Fed semi was on!
No Can Do. Juan Martin Del Potro! This might be Federer’s manor and his crowd to many but Delpo also considers himself to have large shares invested in the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center! Don’t decisions have to be agreed by shareholders??? Federer, as you would expect was aware of the threat, this was evident in the big moments here. Double faults and errors crept in and Delboy landed the big blows. Having shared a set a piece, the Argentine somehow managed to win a third set breaker that firmly put the match in his favour! Gutsy! Federer led by mini breaks and 6-3 in the tie-break, even having another set point on serve at 7-6 but he couldn’t finish him off. Del Potro ripped a return on his set point and Federer could only volley long! A backhand winner cross court on break point early on in the fourth sealed the match. Federer tried everything to get back into it but Del Boy was firing, especially when he needed to. The mandatory forehand highlight reel had a nice little collection today. So pleased to see him winning this kind of match and I don’t think anyone could begrudge him a second title here, for me, he is the peoples champion! Fair play to Federer as there was a very warm handshake at the end!
Rafa didn’t hang around against Andrey Rublev, 6/1 6/2 6/2 in just over an hour and a half. Not bad that! Rublev struggled but Rafa was all over him and having none of it! The result was never in doubt after breaking early on. He seems to be getting better with every match in New York and was as humble as ever after, talking up Rublev’s future! It should be a cracker against Del Potro, Rafa leads the head to head 8-5 but Delboy has won the last two, both on hard and most notably the last meeting being at the Olympics last year!
Coco Vandeweghe had earlier stepped up to the plate by ousting Karolina Pliskova 7/6(4)6/. Coco bought her normal swag to the table and out hit her Czech Opponent, getting the first blow in early was always going to be massive and Coco did just that! Great entertainment to watch, the crowd making this a special atmosphere with what was at stake, Coco made it 3 from 3! Love this gals aura, she really does have a strong presence and her game is just box office! She just goes for it as she showed at set point down in the first yesterday and the very first point of tie-break! I think Jo Durie referred to it as “living dangerously” on Eurosport! Big fan though! For Pliskova, she comes up short in her quest for a slam again but the consistency just hasn’t been there and she has struggled for large parts of this fortnight in particular!
Madison Keys admitted that she was feeling the pressure coming in on the last leg of the American four-fold and you can’t really blame her. To not drop her serve over the two sets, getting the job done 6/3 6/3 must make her feel so much better. She will be tested more next time out against her good pal Coco, having won both encounters over the summer months on the hards. It should be another cracker as both players now have the freedom to just go out there and hit! If I had to pick a winner, I think Coco will win but Keys goes in as the slight favourite!
Andy Del Potro