Western & Southern Open: Day 6 Review
A jam packed Day 6 saw Round of 16 action across the grounds of the Lindner Tennis Family Center all day. First up on Center Court was No. 2 seed Victoria Azarenka and Magdalena Rybarikova in a match that featured thirteen breaks of serve in only nineteen service games. A strong return game saw Azarenka break Rybarikova four times in the first set, cancelling out the two times she was broken in that set, and taking the first set by a score of 6-3. More of the same in the second set as Azarenka and Rybarikova exchanging breaks, the final blow dealt by Azarenka to take the match 6-3, 6-4 and advance to the quarterfinals.
Next on Center Court was World’s No. 1 ranked Novak Djokovic and qualifier David Goffin in a match that was settled almost the second the players walked on court. Djokovic broke Goffin’s serve in the fourth and eighth game of the first set for a 6-2 score line. The second set nearly identical, with Djokovic’s steady play and superb return game outclassing the smaller Belgian, breaking Goffin’s serve all three games. Novak Djokovic advances 6-2, 6-0 in a match that lasted just 50 minutes.
The final match of the day session on Center Court featured two crowd favorites in No. 5 seed Roger Federer and No. 11 seed Tommy Haas. Haas jumped all over Federer, early and often, to take the first set 6-1, leaving fans across Center Court with next to no hope of a Federer comeback. The second set started off much of the same, Haas raced to a 6-1, 4-2 lead with the end in sight. With his back against the wall, Federer seemingly relaxed, finding his rhythm, while Haas seemed to tighten up. Federer broke back to even the second set at 4-4, before Federer would convert another break for the second set, 7-5. In the third set, we reached 4-3 with Federer leading, Haas on serve. A patented Federer down-the-line winner gave Federer a break point, which was converted when Haas sent a backhand error wide. Federer would serve out the third set with ease, advancing to the quarterfinals 1-6, 7-5, 6-3. A remarkable stat from this match was Federer’s 92% success rate on first serve points won, compared to just 63% for Haas.
First up on Center Court for the night session was No. 4 Rafael Nadal v Grigor Dimitrov, the winner taking on Roger Federer in the quarterfinals. Dimitrov looked like easy, straight set fodder for Nadal in the first, being pushed around by the powerful Nadal forehand as he quickly lost the first set 6-2. After going up a break and serving a 4-3, Nadal uncharacteristically gave away his next service game in an error filled game, leveling the second set 4-all with Dimitrov to serve. That small lapse gave the Bulgarian all he needed, a small glimmer of hope, as he elevated his game and broke Nadal’s serve to take the second set 7-5. The third set saw Nadal kick his game up a gear, breaking Dimitrov twice to take the decisive third set 6-2. Rafael Nadal advances not so easily 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 to the quarterfinal against Roger Federer.
The final match of the night featured top ranked Serena Williams and Germany’s Mona Barthel, greatly outmatched by Serena’s serve and play. In cruise control for much of the match, Serena raced to a 5-2 first set lead before a small hiccup that let Barthel slightly back in the match until Serena broke again for the first set 6-4. The second set was all Serena Williams, as she cruised 6-4, 6-1. She will take on Simona Halep in the quarterfinals, who upset Samantha Stosur to earlier in the evening.
Other scores from the day:
John Isner d No. 12 Milos Raonic 7-6(5), 6-4
Juan Martin Del Potro d Feliciano Lopez 6-4, 1-6, 6-4
Qualifier Dmitry Tursunov d No. 3 David Ferrer 6-2, 6-4
No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska d Elena Vesnina 6-0, 6-2
No. 5 Na Li d No. 9 Angelique Kerber 6-4, 6-4
No. 12 Roberta Vinci d No. 6 Sara Errani 6-4, 6-3
No. 14 Jelena Jankovic d Sloane Stephens 3-6, 7-5, 7-5