Round of 17: All eight matches in the round of 16 are scheduled for today, but before the draw is set, Alexandr Dolgopolov will have to finish his match with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The players split sets in their rain-muddled match, and will resume in a few hours at 3-2 in the third.
Let’s look at each of the fourth-rounders:
- Rafael Nadal vs. TBA. Here’s a tall order: finish off a match that went late, take a few hours rest, and come back to face Nadal. Not exactly a recipe for success. Whoever comes through to meet him, it will be Rafa’s first real challenge since Indian Wells. The fact that Tsonga played Dolgo to a draw is promising–after the loss in California to Xavier Malisse and the near-crash against Teymuraz Gabashvili, it wouldn’t have been that surprising if Dolgo had run away with it last night.
- Florian Mayer vs. Tomas Berdych. Berdych played what was, to me, the most interesting of yesterday’s matches. He barely held off Carlos Berlocq, 7-6 7-5. I’ve been a little rough on Berlocq lately, since he has no hard-court track record, yet he made it to the third round and pushed a top-10 player to a tiebreak. He crumbled under pressure a few times with very inconvenient double faults, but generally played a very aggressive game from the baseline. Consider me impressed.
- Roger Federer vs. Olivier Rochus. It’s been a big tournament for the Belgian, who upset Mikhail Youhzny yesterday after the Russian bludgeoned him in the first set. Rochus has never beat Federer, but he has won a set three times, including a match in Halle five years ago, which was decided by a third-set tiebreak. It’s been said that Federer has a harder time playing against guys he likes, and he certainly likes Rochus.
- Janko Tipsarevic vs. Gilles Simon. What a day for the Serbian–he breezed through his third-rounder against Philipp Petzschner, then teamed with Oliver Marach to defeat the Bryan brothers in doubles. Simon had a tougher time of it, dropping the first set to Pablo Cuevas. The oddsmakers give Simon a slight edge, suggesting he has a roughly 57% chance of reaching the quarters.
- David Ferrer vs. Marcel Granollers. Granollers has fought through three three-setters, an upset every one, while Ferrer lost only nine games in his first two matches combined. It’s hard to imagine this one going any differently for the sixth seed.
- Mardy Fish vs. Juan Martin del Potro. Delpo made a huge statement in the third round with a drubbing of Robin Soderling. Even if the Swede was far from his best, del Potro demonstrated why he belongs in the top five. Delpo beat Fish in straights last month en route to the Delray Beach title, and today should be no different.
- John Isner vs. Kevin Anderson. I won’t be watching this one. Someone will win 7-6(4) 6-4, and then he’ll lose to Djokovic.
- Novak Djokovic vs. Viktor Troicki. Last time the two friends played, Troicki won a single game. This week, in two matches, Djokovic has lost only three games. This match should take just about as long as the conclusion of the Tsonga-Dolgopolov contest.
As you can see, lots of great tennis today. It all starts at 11:00 EST, with the Delpo-Fish match leading off. See you tomorrow!