Labor Day has come and gone, and it's back off to work or school we go.
My day has already started off kinda weird: I wanted to go out and play tennis at the club I belong to in the early-morning program, but I got out of the house a little later than I needed to. Then the bus to the subway was late. After finally getting to the subway, then it was announced my train wasn't running from that stop, so I gave it the proverbial "Eff it" and went back home to sleep!
Anyway, yesterday's matches at the Open seemed to be pretty easy-breezy for most of the players out there: There was definitely no Connors-Krickstein Labor Day epics in the making! Juan Martin del Potro, Andy Murray, Flavia Pennetta, Mardy Fish and the Williams sisters all breezed through. It's funny: The only players that really seemed to get a workout were two of the big favorites to win the whole shebang: Rafael Nadal and Dinara Safina. Rafa fought past Sam Querrey—who gave a great showing this tournament—in four, while Safina knocked out my girl Anna-Lena Groenefeld in straights, but the first set was as close as close can get.
Today's got some pretty good matches on tap. And I'm going to keep the Labor Day theme going here by saying who will be working hard or hardly working:
• Working hard:
Andy Roddick vs. Fernando Gonzalez: Roddick pretty much owns Gonzalez, but I don't think it'll be a complete breeze, even though A-Rod's looking better than I've seen him play in months. I actually thought Roddick was going to lose earlier than this round. I picked Gonzo to make the quarters before the tournament started, and I'm sticking with that, even though my heart's not totally in it.
Jelena Jankovic vs. Sybille Bammer: This shouldn't really be a tough match, but Jankovic tends to make them go that way. She's going to be slipping and sliding all over the court, getting treatment and win 7-6 in the third.
• Hardly Working:
Roger Federer vs. Igor Andreev: Remember R-Fed? You know, the four-time defending champ here? He's looking real good out here and has been pretty much dusting opponents like the olden days. Andreev's big forehand shouldn't be able to do too much damage, and Federer will get by in straights.
Nikolay Davydenko vs. Gilles Muller: So on the men's side, this is the only section of the draw where I struck out on my quarterfinal predictions so far (I thought Dmitry Tursunov was going to come through). Nik is on one of those rolls he tends to get on and Muller has played a lot of tennis so far. The qualifer's run ends here, in about 90 minutes or less!
An old friend of mine and I used to talk tennis for hours, whether it was our own games or what was happening in the pros. I've started Tennis Talk, Anyone? to, well, talk tennis with an even broader crowd! My name is Van Sias and I've been playing for 20 years now, and not only am I player, I'm a huge fan of the game as well: pro, amateur, you name it. I'll post links to news items related to the sport, and offer my own personal opinion, predictions and hopefully get some of yours as well.