Saturday, September 03, 2005

Open Surprises: Federer won in straight sets last night, but it was uglier in person than on paper. Fabrice Santoro threw everything he had at Roger, and at times really seemed to shake him with some amazing cross-court shots and fearless net play. He came to the net on his second serve numerous times.

Yes, Federer came up with the shots he needed, as if by magic, when he needed them most. But he'd better hope that magic continues. Both Nadal and Blake seem young and hungry this week, and either one will eat Federer's lunch if he's not on his A-game.

More: Both Srichiphan and Grosjean, my two perennial dark horses at any slam event, look like they can sneak into the fourth round. Srichiphan beat the 6-seed Davydenko in straight sets, and before that beat El Aynaoui, who has been a quarterfinalist in Flushing twice, with ease. Grosjean beat 14-seed Thomas Johansson, and only needs to get past Tommy Robredo (who admittedly is having a good year on hard courts for a clay-courter) to reach the fourth.

Both their trips will likely end there, since Grosjean would face the winner of Nadal/Blake, and Srichiphan would see competition like Nalbandian and Hewitt. But both guys have the talent to go further, and both always seem to put up great matches, no matter who they play.

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