Manic Monday, indeed! The Monday after Middle Sunday (the day the grass rests), every Round of 16 match is played for both men and women. As you can imagine, this little kitty had a LOT of tennis to watch! So let’s get down to business.
Today’s matches were a mix of predictable and unpredictable, highlights and low lights, upsets and five-sets.
Notable women’s highlights are: Venus Williams is through the quarterfinals (yay, Venus), Svetlana Kuznetsova upset Aggie Radwanska, Coco Vandeweigh beat Caroline Wozniaki, and French Open champ Jelena Ostapenko is through to the quarterfinals.
Now let’s get to the men. There were the routine three-setters (Roger Federer beat Grigor Dimitrov, Andy Murray beat Benoit Paire, Marin Cilic took out Roberto Bautista-Agut). Then things got complicated in a way that makes sitting-on-the-edge-of-my-seat nervous to watch! The lone American, Sam Querrey, had to play five sets to beat Kevin Anderson. Milos Raonic had to play five sets to take out Sascha Sverev (both were contenders in the Battle of the Headbands from yesterday.) My new favorite player, Dominic “Sweep the Leg” Thiem lost to Thomas Berdych in five sets.
Then we get to Rafa Nadal vs Gilles Muller. At first you’re thinking, “Oh I’ll just fast forward through this match because you know Rafa will win.” Then you see that Muller wins the first set without much effort. You think “Fluke, Rafa’s got this.” Then Muller wins the second set and you’re thinking, “OK, I guess we’re taking this to five.” Which is fine, Rafa has won plenty of fifth set matches. And of course Rafa wins set three and four. Now it comes down to the fifth set.
At Grand Slam tournaments, players must win 3 out of 5 sets. In all fifth sets, except the US Open, there are no tiebreaks and players must win by two. Well, let me tell you….Rafa wasn’t giving up and Muller was calm and collective and he wasn’t giving an inch. Relentless, both of them. Just when you think Rafa’s got it, Muller comes back with a tricky point at the net. I lost count the number of points he won by serve/volley. But just when you think Rafa Nadal is invincible, Gilles Muller wins the whole darn thing! Final score: 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 15-13. Let me tell you what, I was so tired after watching the match. I just get so emotionally drained I had to go take a cat nap.
Because the Nadal/Muller match lasted so long, they ran out of daylight, so Novak Djokovic vs Adrian Mannarino will have to play tomorrow. I know you’re thinking “Adrian Who?” Yeah, me too…but maybe it’ll be a good match. If nothing else, we can enjoy tennis legend, Andre Aggasi, and former tennis pro turned lawyer/investment banker, Mario Ancic, in the Novak’s coach’s box!