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Ricky’s Preview & Picks For Day 9 Of The U.S. Open, Including Federer vs. Dimitrov & Medvedev | Wawrinka

By Ricky Dimon

Swiss stars Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka are one round away from a potential U.S. Open semifinal showdown. They first have to get through quarterfinal contests against Grigor Dimitrov and Daniil Medvedev, respectively.

Ricky previews the action and makes his predictions.

(3) Roger Federer vs. Grigor Dimitrov

Federer and Dimitrov will be squaring off for the eighth time in their careers on Tuesday night. The head-to-head series stands at a perfectly dominant 7-0 in favor of Federer, who has won six of those meetings on hard courts. 

More of the same can be expected at an event the 38-year-old Swiss has won five times–all in a row from 2004 through 2008. No matter that Federer hasn’t win it in a decade; he appears to stellar form right now in New York. Following unimpressive four-set defeats of Sumit Nagal and Damir Dzumhur, the world No. 3 eradicated an in-form Dan Evans and Cincinnati runner-up David Goffin in easy straight sets.

Dimitrov has benefited from a favorable draw that includes a second-round walkover handed to him by Borna Coric. The Bulgarian has not yet faced a seeded opponent, beating Andreas Seppi, lucky loser Kamil Majchrzak, and Alex de Minaur. An overwhelmingly steep step up in competition will likely see a swift end to Dimitrov’s fortnight.

Pick: Federer in 3

(23) Stan Wawrinka vs. (5) Daniil Medvedev

The crowd would have been forced to root for someone if the anticipated Medvedev vs. Novak Djokovic quarterfinal had come to fruition in the top half of the draw. But it did not, and now there will be no mistake: Wawrinka will have just about everyone’s support on Tuesday.

Medvedev and Wawrinka will be going head-to-head for the second time in their careers after the Swiss upset Novak Djokovic (via third-set retirement) on Sunday night. Their only previous encounter came in the Wimbledon first round two years ago, when Medvedev prevailed 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.

Just 21 years old at that point in time, Medvedev has now emerged as one of the best players on tour. The 23-year-old Russian has surged to fifth in the world and fourth in the 2019 race to London thanks to an unbelievable summer that includes three consecutive finals in Washington, D.C. (runner-up), Montreal (runner-up), and Cincinnati (title). Despite showing some obvious and understandable signs of wear and tear throughout this fortnight, Medvedev has managed to maintain momentum by beat Prajnesh Gunneswaran, Hugo Dellien, Feliciano Lopez, and Dominik Koepfer.

Of course, the real story with Medvedev has been his interactions with the fans–a saga that started when he was shown on the big screen giving them the finger behind his head during his third-round win over Lopez. He has been constantly serenaded with boos and has been happy to give it right back to the crowd during his post-match interviews.

Wawrinka’s level is once again elite on the biggest stage in tennis. Despite having never reached a top-two world ranking, the 34-year-old Swiss is a three-time Grand Slam champion–including a title at the 2016 U.S. Open. He is through to the quarterfinals in New York for a sixth time and is one victory away from a fourth appearance in the semis. Wawrinka preceded his success against Djokovic by defeating Jannik Sinner, Jeremy Chardy, and Poalo Lorenzi.

And that’s a gross understatement. Wawrinka is a whole different beast in these best-of-five situations and nowhere is he better than at the U.S. Open. Moreover, Medvedev has been seen with tape all over his body in all of his matches and he has to be running low on energy in both the physical and mental departments.

Wawrinka may be ranked 19 places lower than Medvedev at the moment, but he should be the favorite in this match–and certainly will be with the crowd.

Pick: Wawrinka in 4

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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