U.S Open Day 7 Review: David Ferrer Upset by Gilles Simon
In a week in which the top seeds on the ATP Tour have been remarkably consistent ( of the top 20 seeds, only Fabio Fognini and Ernests Gulbis have lost in the first two rounds), David Ferrer became the highest seed to be knocked out the tournament.
The fourth seed was sent home by former top ten player Gilles Simon, seeded 26, by the score of 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, 6-3.
Simon came into the match 1-5 in the pair’s head to head, but his only win had come on hard courts, a surface Ferrer had been playing well on in the run up to the U.S Open, finishing runner-up to Federer in Cincinnati.
Simon, though, is a great talent, a clean ball striker, and one of the game’s quickest and most consistent players, and not the kind of player you want to meet in the third round of a slam if you are not at your best. And Ferrer was not at his best in the first set of their third round meeting, hitting one too many forehand errors at 3-3 to go a break down.
At 5-3 Simon, Ferrer’s errors (he made 20 in all in the first set alone) and Simon’s consistency (8 winners to 6 errors over the set) combined to see Simon break and take the first set 6-3.
Ferrer did rein in his game in the second set, increasing his first serve percentage from 56% to 63, and striking 9 winners to 7 errors. He also used his return game, one of the best on the tour this season, to take advantage of Simon’s low first serve percentage of 39, to take the second set 6-3.
Ferrer, however, could not keep the improvement in his form up. In the third set, he hit only 4 winners to 11 errors and was broken 3 times. Meanwhile, though Simon’s first serve percentage was a lowly 46, he won 86% behind that delivery, and 6 of the 9 points he played behind his second serve. Simon also hit 9 winners to 3 unforced errors on his way to taking the third set 6-1.
Simon, his grip now fully extended on the match, then played marginally the better of the two in a patchy fourth set to take it 6-4 and move into the fourth round.
In other action, Marin Cilic (14) came through a battle of big servers versus Kevin Anderson (18) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. Cilic won 82 percent of his first service points, and compiled a winner-errors ratio of 33-34 compared to Anderson’s 31-53 and first service points won percentage of 65.
Cilic has been doing remarkably well this season of winning the matches he should, winning some he shouldn’t, and always giving a good performance. He will go up next against Simon, who he has a career head to head with of 0-4, and lost their last encounter in four sets at this year’s Australian Open. But prior to that match, they had not met since 2008.
With Cilic playing great tennis of late, and the surface being a touch quicker than in Melbourne, Cilic will be favorite to take the match.
Commentary by Christian Deverille
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