Following the release of the Men’s Draw for the 2014 US Open, there were two potential quarterfinal matchups that had tennis fans everywhere rubbing their hands in anticipation…Roger Federer taking on Grigor Dimitrov and Novak Djokovic going another round with his old pal Andy Murray.
While the Federer - Dimitrov confrontation might come to fruition during Day Nine of action in New York, the latter is now locked and loaded following Monday’s action at Flushing Meadows. Both men had little trouble in advancing, though the fact Murray had as easy of a time as he did was rather surprising.
On paper it appeared as though a matchup between the former Wimbledon and US Open champ vs Jo-Wilfried Tsonga had the makings of turning into something pretty special, especially with the Frenchman’s impressive play through much of the summer. However, in reality it was anything but.
Tsonga was not at his best but to be perfectly honest, he rarely if ever is when it comes down to crunch time at one of the four majors. To his credit, Murray was moving as well as we have seen in some time and managed to pull off a number of highlight reel shots during what was a rather routine 7-5, 7-5, 6-4 straight sets victory. Considering the level of competition, it was arguably as a clean a match as we have seen from the 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist in ages.
While the No. 8 seed committed all of eighteen unforced errors on the afternoon, the guy on the other side of the net coughed up forty-three. Outside of serving at a dreadful 49% for the match, there wasn’t much not to like about the overall game we saw from the twenty-seven year old.
The same could be said for the number one player in the world, who was pushed for the first time since arriving in New York but still won in rather convincing fashion 6-1, 7-5 6-4 over Philipp Kohlschreiber. As much as Djokovic had been struggling to find his game since winning at the All England Club in early July, he has been in good form and all business from the opening point of his first round match.
With Rafa Nadal no longer in the picture and the confidence he had to have gained from knocking Federer off in the final at Wimbledon firmly in the forefront of his mind, the talented Serb is clearly looking to seize the opportunity in front of him and grab the eighth Slam of his career in the process. Kohlschreiber did what he could to make a match of it but in the end Novak was just too darn good.