This year’s US open started without five of its top 11 players, and the remaining seeds, are dropping like flies. However, the two mammoths of the sport, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, still remain in the mix. Their path hasn’t been showered with flowers either, with Roger having to go through two five setters, and Rafa being taken to four sets on two occasions.
Meanwhile, the fans are hoping for another Roger-Rafa showdown this year-the fourth of its kind(previous three won by Roger Federer). It will be the first time that the pair will face off against each other at the US open. “[There] remain five matches [for each player], so 10 matches, 10 victories to have that match,” Nadal said, trying to avoid further questions about the possibility of playing against his old nemesis. “A lot of points and games to play, so now is not the moment to think about that.” Rafa isn’t too keen on a semi-final match up against Roger-“If I am in semifinals, [I prefer that it] not,” he said, smiling. “I prefer to play against another one. Is obvious, no? I am not that way. It sounds very good, but the real thing, I prefer to play against another player — an easier one, if it is possible.”
Roger on the other hand looks forward to their potential match up in the semis. “I think for many years Rafa and me, we’ve tried to play against each other here, and it just didn’t work out. I think I was a match point away once against Novak years ago. I can’t come closer to that because I think he had already won his match, I believe. We were one point away from it happening”, he said after his victory against the Spaniard Feliciano Lopez.
Federer has the German, Philipp Kohlschreiber, waiting for him in the next round, while Rafa faces off against the flamboyant Ukrainian, Alexander Dolgopolov. As the second week of the US open gets underway, the dream semi-final gets ever closer.