L.A. Tennis Open Day 5

John Isner vs. Carsten Balldodgers 011
This match was lightning quick featuring an abundance of…well… lightning quick serves. Not much to say for this match, but Ball continues his hot streak. He’s now won six matches in a row and will move on to his first semifinal. Before this week he didn’t even have a single tour level victory, now he’s got three!

IMG00005-20090730-1431Dudi Sela vs. Sam Querrey

In the most vocal match of the tournament, the young American prevailed over Sela in straight sets. The Samurais challenged the Israelis in a chant match and came out on top. As high of praise as I gave to Sela earlier in this tournament, with all his amazing passing shots and fundamental tennis, he just doesn’t have enough power to match up with the likes of Sam Querrey. If Sela has problems returning serves like he did against Querrey, he’s not going to have an easy time. Compare that with every serve he hits bouncing right into Querrey’s strike zone, and you have a predictable outcome – a Querrey victory. Querrey has now gone 11-2 his last 13 matches and will take on Tommy Haas in a blockbuster semifinal tonight.

Leonard Mayer vs. Mardy Fish
Mardy Fish withdraws from L.A., yet appears in the Washington draw that comes out the same day. Interesting. I’m going to say the whole 500 (Washington) vs. 250 (L.A.) thing had nothing to do with this decision…

Tommy Haas vs. Marat Safindodgers 037
The final match of the day lived up to the hype. Safin and Haas traded heavy ground strokes on ESPN 2 for the better part of an hour and a half. Safin fought as hard as I’ve seen him fight this year, but in the end, Haas’ return game wore Safin down (Haas won 50% of the points on Safin’s serve), and Haas’ ground strokes also overpowered the former world number one. Safin has noticeably lost heat on his ground strokes, and it seems retiring at the end of the year may indeed be appropriate for the two-time grand slam champion. Haas will take on Querrey tonight in a battle of two of the hottest players in tennis. This should be the biggest match of the tournament, especially considering everyone who went to the Friday day session will get free tickets tonight due to Mardy Fish’s withdrawal.

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