We heartily congratulate a new Grand Slam champion! Marin Cilic showed remarkable tennis to win the US Open 2014. At the very beginning of the event, probably, only a drunkard could back the Croatian as the outright winner. Heh, at times even a drop of alcohol can be profitable. To be honest, this tennis season brought us many surprises. The things that were unbelievable just a season ago (Grand Slam winning by someone outside top 4) has happened twice this season. And while Stan Wawrinka was somewhere next to his triumph in Australia for quite a long time, no one could anticipate such an astonishing run from Cilic. Tennis keeps surprising us. And we are thankful to it for that. Of course, Marin has dramatically improved his tennis this season. But still. There were no real prerequisites for such a sudden victory. He defeated Berdych, Federer and Nishikori as if it was a routine for him. Cilic played very easily, free of stress and pressure. It’s just incredible, especially when you lack experience of performing on such a level. We pay our deep respect to Cilic. He has deserved to hold up a championship trophy.
Kei Nishikori at the US Open 2014
We can’t but say a couple of words about the Japanese player. As for us, we have fasten a nickname on Kei: Kei “cunning fox” Nishikori. He has cried and complaining during many pre-tournament interviews that he is not physically ready and would be glad to progress through at least one round. And then! Bang! Five sets of four hours long against Raonic, then a stressful head-to-head against Wawrinka and 4 intensive sets against Djokovic. And the Japanese looks fit and fine! After the semifinal ended up, the Serb looked worn out, while his Japanese opponent was fresh as a daisy. There is only one more person capable of making the same run without losing in form. It’s Nadal. We don’t blame anyone. But oddly enough Nishikori who previously colud hardly scrape through one 5-sets encounter gained so much endurance. Physical form has always been one of his drawbacks. But now the situation has changed. Why? We have no answer. He mainly benefits from his footwork, gaining no easy points on his serve like Raonic or Karlovic. Every Kei’ winner is movements, movements and movements. Is it really possible to come into such a form after injury? Frankly speaking, we would test Nishikori for some extra staff in his blood (forgive us, Kei’s fans for our distrust). But it all looks very suspicious.
Gilles Simon at the US Open 2014
Let us be straight. Gilles Simon has pleasantly surprised us. We can’t even dream of the Frenchman showing such a wonderful tennis. Simon also became the only player who managed to offer some struggle to the future winner, Marin Cilic. Gilles displayed really incredible tennis and only due to his second serve the Croat upset him. Otherwise, we would have probably seen the French male in the US Open final. Just think about it! Simon has outplayed a full of life David Ferrer. Who was the last to do this against the Spaniard? To be completely honest with you, we’ll say that Simon is one of the best loved players: he has both clear mind and fighter instincts. His play is always very diverse and interesting to follow. Unfortunately, he often suffers from traumas. It’s a great pity. But we are sure that the latest results achieved by Wawrinka and Cilic will encourage the rest of the contenders. So Simon, the world is your oyster. Conquer it!
Murray, Federer and Djokovic at the US Open 2014
Fortune has definitely been more merciful to Federer this year than the previous one. His play has improved, but far it’s to say that the Open draw looked very friendly for Federer. Two very convenient Australians in the first round, then Granollers and Bautista. And after that comes the most dramatic match of the whole tournament against Monfils. We still don’t have a clear idea of how Federer stormed back from two sets down. Actually this performance isn’t very surprising. Roger has overloaded himself at warm up tournaments before the Grand Slam event that it was just a question of time when his exhaustion would be felt.Ordinary, Roger’s fatigue manifests the following way: decrease of the first serve points won, growth of unforced errors. As a result – lucky defeat of Monfils and knockdown by Cilic in the next round. Was it necessary to get overloaded before the tournament started? We don’t know. But we’ve already written about it in the article on the men’s draw at the US Open 2014.
Who made our day? Oddly enough, it was Andy Murray. Yes, his latest results are far from being jealous about, but the progress he made sticks out a mile. Murray’s main problem these days is that he has started breaking his usual playing style to make it more aggressive and sharp. The results are still to come, but the strategy he has chosen seems completely right. The British makes many mistakes at the moments. Moreover, he hasn’t yet adjusted to his new style which negatively influences the outcome of the match. But…His service play has become more consistent, forehand at last looks like a real tool as it should be and never been even with Lendl on his coaching position. Unless Andy gets frightened and keeps having it his own way, everything will be fine. He just has to add more consistency and learn to pick up right moments for game sharpening. We believe, the British would cope with this task soon. Consequently, he, Djokovic and Federer will dictate their rules in the remaining portion of the season. But let us repeat. To achieve this, Andy has to keep working on his aggressive style without looking back to his cunning tactical play.
Raonic, Dimitrov, Berdych at the US Open 2014
There is nothing very special to say about these guys. Nevertheless, at the moment they all have chances to get to the World Tour Finals in London. They all showed their best and the three lost in equal matches. Roanic failed to overcome Nishikori. By the way, this rivalry may grow in something more significant in the nearest future. This pair has met three times this year. And we pay your attention that every time these encounters are ranked higher and higher. The day when they face each other in the final is near at hand. Well. Let’s not run ahead in future. Dimitrov got defeat from Monfils. The match was mentally tough and to our regret the Bulgarian lost it. He showed really good play and needed just a bit to succeed. He was very close to outplaying Djokovic at the Wimbledon, but he didn’t survive his examination against the Serb. Shall the Bulgarian learn to prevail and win equal matches, he’ll make a big step forward in his career. But this step is going to be very hard. Sometimes one important victory lies between a player and a title. This is what Wawrinka had in Australia when he beat Novak in a thrilling encounter to consequently seal his Australian Open triumph over Nadal. And it happened to Cilic after he managed to upset an inconvenient Simon this year. And it’s time for Bulgarian to press off such victories with difficulties and with all efforts possible. By the way, for me is the main contender to outplay any of those outside top 3, including Murray. His tennis and his character arejust as good as those of Wawrinka or Cilic.
As for Berdych, he is awarded with a prize for consistency. He plays well, with almost no failures. But with no shine either. We’ve even invented a new term denoting the loss without a fight, Berdych style, so to say. When your opponent is a bit stronger, you have to be beaten. With no struggle. And all in all, Berdych may no get to London. Chances for this are high. Only Nadal can help it.
We’d like to name another two players. Dominic Thiem and Pablo Carreno Busta. The two showed very decent tennis at the US Open. And what is more important, they can play both on clay and on hard. So,let’s wait and see what they are capable of.
The last portions of this season will be very amusing. Who will qualify for London finals? Will the local fans see their favorite Andy Murray on courts? What about Cilic? Booming tennis up to the end? Who will hand up the Davis Cup? What will be the name of Novak’s future child? We stay relevant keeping our fingers on the tennis pulse!
And now enjoy the video:
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From the moment he appeared on courts, Kei Nishikori has always been one of 5 or 6 super talented promising players. Within the last 3-4 years Kei showed nothing special which reflected on his modest results: he sustained a good tennis level, won several ATP 250 titles, performed well on majors – but...
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