The men’s quarter-finals begin on Wednesday in New York, with the first two semi-final spots up for grabs.
I went one from two in my bets on Tuesday at Flushing Meadows with an easy overs win in the Lleyton Hewitt vs Mikhail Youzhny match, which went the distance, but it was disappointment for Tomas Berdych backers, as the Czech went down in four to Stan Wawrinka.
Richard Gasquet vs David Ferrer
The action begins a little later today at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre, with this tenth meeting in the career series of Ferrer and Gasquet.
The Spaniard has had much the better of this match-up over the years, winning eight of the previous nine, the most recent of which was here last year when Ferrer won in three sets in round four. Indeed, Gasquet hasn’t taken a set in any of his eight losses to Ferrer and all nine match have ended in straight sets wins for the victor.
It would have been tough to side with the Frenchman here in the best of circumstances, but after a four hour and 40 minute five set marathon against Milos Raonic in the previous round it’s even harder to see anything other than a Ferrer win.
Gasquet so rarely wins a five set match that there’s not much on his record to go on to see how he gets on next up, but my experience of the brittle of mind and body Frenchman tells me that it won’t be good against an opponent who is too tough physically and mentally for the Gasman.
Ferrer has started to show some much better form after coming to New York in awful touch and the win over Janko Tipsarevic in the previous round was achieved as much through toughing it out, although it was a higher quality match than I expected. I can’t see Gasquet taking two sets here in his likely condition, so the 1.65 about Ferrer minus 1.5 sets looks the call.
Tommy Robredo vs Rafael Nadal
This looks another thankless task for the underdog in a match where ticket holders on Arthur Ashe were doubtless expecting another Nadal vs Roger Federer clash.
Robredo put a stop to all of that though and now has to take out a second legend of the game in succession on a surface that isn’t his best. It just isn’t going to happen and the only question here surrounds how many games Robredo will win.
The pair haven’t met across the net for almost four years and although Tommy will give a good account of himself, Rafa is in supreme form and hasn’t dropped serve in the tournament. It is tough to see Tommy ending that particular run and I’m siding with Nadal minus 8.5 games on the handicap here at 1.88.
Back Ferrer –1.5 sets to beat Gasquet at 1.65
Back Nadal –8.5 games to beat Robredo at 1.88