|Date & Time||Thursday September 4, 2014, 9:00 AM (EDT)|
ESPN, CBS, Tennis
Gael Monfils and Roger Federer will square off in the 2014 US Open quarterfinals.
A newly focused Gael Monfils has yet to drop a set in this tournament. Monfils has simply rolled through his competition, including his most recent match against Grigor Dimitrov, in which he won in three sets as an underdog. In the impressive victory, Monfils had 14 aces, won 60 percent of his net points and won 78 percent of his first serve points. While still the crowd pleaser he’s always been, Monfils seems more focused than he’s been in the past and seems hungry for his first grand slam title. Gael Monfils is wasting no time putting his opponents away, is making far less errors than usual and is even hitting the ball with a little more power than I’ve seen this season. However, while playing great, Monfils has only appeared in one major semifinal, which was the 2008 French Open.
No surprise Roger Federer is where he’s at, as he’s also had little trouble in the tournament this far. Federer has only lost one set throughout the tournament, and his most recent match against Roberto Bautista Agut needed only 27 games to be decided. In the victory, Federer won 78 percent of his first serve points, 67 percent of his net points and had 36 winners. While not getting any younger at the age of 33, Roger Federer is moving better than he has in years and has shown no signs of fatigue throughout the tournament. Of course, Federer has been on a roll even leading up to the US Open, as he’s now won 13 of his last 14 matches overall. A healthy and confident Roger Federer is dangerous, and the last time he was eliminated in a quarterfinals match was the 2013 French Open.
These two have played nine times, and Roger Federer leads the series, 7-2. Their only match this season was at the Cincinnati Masters, a match Federer won in three sets. However, Gael Monfils has had some recent success against Federer, winning two of their last four matches, including the 2013 Shanghai Masters. The last two matches between these two have gone the distance and this will be the sixth time they’ve played on hard court.
This is going to be a terrific match with the way both have been playing, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it goes the distance. And while everybody is likely going to continue riding the Federer train, I’m going with Monfils to pull off another upset. I made Monfils my premium pick as an underdog against Dimitrov, as I really like the way he’s put the antics to the side and has focused on tennis.
Monfils gets a career defining victory and takes another step towards his first major title.