Friday, September 05, 2003

Quarterfinals: Well, I was right and wrong in my predictions. I was right that Federer would have to step up his game (which he didn't) to beat Nalbandian. I was right that Todd Martin could make a run, though Todd lost in a 5-set heartbreak in which he posted a huge comeback from 2 sets down. Srichiphan didn't push Hewitt as far as I thought and, after the first set, wasn't a real threat.

I suppose it's time to place my bets through the weekend, since it appears (for now) that they'll squeeze it all in by Sunday. I like Andre over Coria, for obvious reasons; Hewitt over Ferrero, though I think this one will be close; Roddick over Schalken in a walk; and El Aynaoui, who has been super-hot in beating the 10-seed and 7-seed to get this far, over Nalbandian. The semis will feature El Aynaoui falling to Roddick, because of the American's power and El Aynaoui's relatively limited arsenal; and Hewitt losing to Agassi, because of Agassi's fitness and the incredible snap Agassi's getting on his forehands.

The final, Agassi/Roddick, is really a tossup. It will likely be some close sets as the hardest serve faces the best return. Roddick has major power, but if Andre can use his jiu-jitsu return to send that heat back over the net in play, Roddick could find himself on the hard end of some break points. If Roddick gets his serve in a groove, winning his serve with little effort, and forcing Andre into longer rallies for his own service games, Andre may find 33 years a bit old for this sport. Hell with it, though: Andre in four.

Any predictions, Razor, before you head off to your luxury box?

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