(Rafa loves the US Open so tenderly...)
After what was pretty much 48 hours of constant rain in NYC, Our Hero, Rafael Nadal, advanced to the quarter finals with a straight sets victory over Gilles Muller on Thursday 7-6(1) 6-1 6-2. Because of the crazy rain, Rafa's bottom half of the draw is in a race to play catch up, and the tourney will still have to end on Monday instead of Sunday. That means in 5 days (Thursday through Monday) the players in Rafa's half will have to play 4 best-of-fives matches. That's a lot of hardcourt tennis and it puts whoever gets through in the top half of the drawer at a definite advantage heading into the Championship Match. We can only hope that Rafa has some easy matches against tough players so he has enough left in the tank to face either (hopefully!) Federer or (regrettably, probably) Djokovic on Monday.
So far so good. Rafa had a kinda tough first set, but that was mostly because he fell behind 0-3 back on Tuesday morning when the tournament tried to make them play in the rain. Nadal was NOT pleased with that decision. Upon resuming the match two days later when it was not raining, Rafa quickly climbed back into the driver's seat and then Muller was kinda like "whatevs. it's over." and the next two sets just breezed by.
Up next is Andy Roddick, and this is not a match up I like. I'm not particularly worried for Nadal, I just take no pleasure in seeing Roddick lose. I want Roddick to do well also. But if I can choose only one, of course I choose Nadal. Hopefully it will be a non-taxing three-set victory! Vamos!