Janko Tipsarevic vs David Ferrer:
Well, these two might technically have been the highest seeds in this quarter, but I don’t think most people expected either of them to get this far. That is a bit unfair to them though. Each of these players are ranked where they are for a reason. And while Ferrer might be a level below the top 3 seeds and Tipsarevic is another level below the 5-7 seeds, both of them are top 10 players who rarely lose matches that they shouldn’t.
Both have looked solid this tournament and both showed a very high form in their fourth-round matches. Ultimately, though, I don’t think that Tipsarevic has nearly enough firepower to hit past Ferrer’s defense and that Ferrer will be able to work Janko around the court enough to find his opening and win the points. Tipsarevic is a good player who rarely makes too many mistakes, but he has no huge weapons that are really necessary to hit Ferrer off the court. And he just doesn’t have the game to consistently win Ferrer-type points. Look for Ferrer to reach his second Grand Slam semifinal of the year without too much trouble.
Prediction: Ferrer in 3
Novak Djokovic vs Juan Martin Del Potro:
Of the 4 quarterfinals, this one is probably the biggest (although Federer/Berdych is very close). Because of his amazing run in 2009, most people expect that Del Potro has the best chance of anyone to break the “Big 4″. And I have been very critical of Del Potro in the recent months because he has not been able to find that form again after returning from his wrist injury. Maybe I have been a little too hard on him though. He is only 23 and he has been coming closer to a form to challenge the top players.
In fact, Del Potro won his last match against Djokovic in the Olympic Bronze Medal match. But playing Djokovic on grass is very different than playing him on the hard courts in New York. Djokovic clearly was playing at a lower level in London (for both Wimbledon and the Olympics) than he is now. He has come out in this tournament playing incredible tennis and leaving no quarter.
This match is an interesting contrast in styles. Del Potro’s game relies on massive, flat forehands. It is very hard to win a point against Del Potro if you give him a forehand in his hitting zone. Djokovic plays with much more spin and direction and is really built on defense first. If Djokovic is content to let Del Potro try and hit the ball by him, he might actually lose. Because while Djokovic is currently the best retriever in the game (maybe second after Murray), not even he can let Del Potro just rip forehands. But if he can keep the ball very deep and towards Delpo’s backhand then he will dominate the rallies. And there is no reason, with the level that Djokovic has been playing this tournament, that Djokovic can’t dictate the points and keep Del Potro from getting big shots off. If Djokovic gives him any room then Del Potro will take it. But I can’t see Djokovic’s level dropping off enough for that to happen.
Prediction: Djokovic in 3