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  • With Murray out of the way, Del Potro takes on Cilic

    9/10/09 5:29 AM | Ricky Dimon
    With Murray out of the way, Del Potro takes on Cilic Juan Martin Del Potro and Andy Murray were on a collision course for the U.S. Open quarterfinals until Marin Cilic had a sudden coming of age. Now Del Potro will face Cilic for a spot in the last four on Thursday afternoon.

    It will be the second career meeting between Juan Martin Del Potro and Marin Cilic when the two current and future stars of the sport square off in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open on Thursday. Del Potro won their only previous encounter 5-7, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 in the Australian Open fourth round earlier this season.

    Cilic's loss Down Under prevented him from reaching his first Grand Slam quarterfinal, but his major breakthrough came on Tuesday afternoon, and it came in improbable fashion. The 6'6'' Croat stunned world No. 2 Andy Murray 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 to book his place in the last eight. Neither Cilic nor Murray showed any signs of such a result heading into the fourth-round showdown; while Murray had been on fire, Cilic struggled throughout the hard-court summer. Even in the earlier stages of the U.S. Open he needed to storm back from two sets down against unheralded American Jesse Levine in round two. All of that, however, is stuff of the past and the world No. 17 has to be playing with an unprecedented level of confidence following his performance against Murray.

    Cilic will have to be every bit as good against Del Potro, because not only is the Argentine on fire, but he will not allow Cilic to dictate rallies like the defensive Murray did on Tuesday. For a second straight summer, Del Potro caught fire prior to his arrival in Flushing Meadows (last year he won all four of the tournaments he played in between Wimbledon and the U.S. Open). The 20-year-old, ranked sixth in the world, reached the semifinals of the French Open and after getting upset by Lleyton Hewitt in the second round of Wimbledon, he bounced back to repeat in Washington and finish runner-up to Andy Murray at the Masters Series Montreal. So far this fortnight Del Potro has dispatched Juan Monaco, Jurgen Melzer, Daniel Koellerer, and Juan Carlos Ferrero, dropping just a single set to Koellerer.

    Del Potro is the clear favorite, but Cilic is dangerous; that was known by a fair share of tennis fans even before his shocker over Murray, but now everyone is aware that Cilic is the real deal. The No. 14 seed is also a streaky player; when he is hot he gets on a roll (see earlier this sason--two titles), but when he struggles, it can go south in a hurry for him as it did this summer. With momentum from the Murray win, Cilic cannot be counted out against Del Potro, but he must serve well and his forehand has to be unusually consistent. Look for Cilic to win a set, but Del Potro's consistency off both wings and his experience in the latter stages of Grand Slams should make the difference.




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Comments

who thinks Cilic will take a set?

RickyDimon , 9/10/09 4:40 PM


nahh...maybe a 1st set TB, but otherwise delP in straights.

stu , 9/10/09 4:51 PM


best match of the day, since poor gonzo is gonna get crushed. crowd will pull for underdog.

cilic takes a set, maybe a wins a tie break.


zoey234 , 9/10/09 5:26 PM


oops crowd will pull for underdog in delo v cilic

crowd pulls for rafa in gonzo v rafa

zoey234 , 9/10/09 5:30 PM


marin should be able to take a set, that's the minimum he can do.

posmatrac , 9/10/09 6:40 PM


aarrggh! somewhat uncomfortable watching delpo be outplayed.

cilic is on the roll Ricky described.

zoey234 , 9/10/09 10:14 PM


who thinks he can get another one?

posmatrac , 9/10/09 10:22 PM


Way to go CILIC! GREAT start! :) Cilic is going to win this match! He is on a roll...

sky , 9/10/09 10:24 PM


i do...picked delpo in 5.

zoey234 , 9/10/09 10:25 PM


Geez, who is this guy? i wouldn't expect him to get another one, posmatrac, but maybe Cilic is the U.S. version of Soderling in the French -- good player on an implausible roll.

(And for the record I picked DelPo in 4 in the predictions thread.)

SenorPlaid , 9/10/09 10:27 PM


Hi zoey girl! Cilic is going to be unbeatable this match. Lets watch and see?! LOL :)

sky , 9/10/09 10:27 PM


Woah, and a breaker to boot. Now, we'll find out if DelPo's truly ready to compete for the big prize.

SenorPlaid , 9/10/09 10:29 PM


i was savoring this match up

so far, so great!

zoey234 , 9/10/09 10:29 PM


Huh. you guys were right, i was wrong!

stu , 9/10/09 10:30 PM


mwah sky!

delpo has to be confused....hope the crowd gets behind however is trailng......more, more, more

zoey234 , 9/10/09 10:33 PM


Actually, Cilic is higher ranked now than Soderling was at the French, but you get the idea.

SenorPlaid , 9/10/09 10:37 PM


OMG! delpo is going to be down 2 sets...yikes!

zoey234 , 9/10/09 10:39 PM


hope the crowd starts crowing for whomever is behind.. that's delPO!

vamos dude!

zoey234 , 9/10/09 10:45 PM


I think JMDP will pull through....this looks like a long one and Del Potro has just too much experience . I would be a ridiculous semi in this section especially with murray gone and JMDP also knocked out ... and i cant believe people complaint about the draw .

C'MON !
USO09...where we celebrate our sweet 16th !

fedexfan , 9/10/09 10:51 PM


mwah zoey! I like Del Potro well enough, but I would like Cilic to win, I've started to like him more... and would like him (Cilic) to win as the new kid in town... Go :) Not all the way though! LOL I'm reserving that Happiness for Roger! :)

sky , 9/10/09 10:53 PM


so true fedex

but i knew marin would be on a mission in his 1st quarterfinal...and happy he's plying so well!

zoey234 , 9/10/09 10:54 PM


wheeee...one fo me , one for you, at a set apiece!

let's go cilic! fight marin!

zoey234 , 9/10/09 11:07 PM


OK, that's a little more like it.

SenorPlaid , 9/10/09 11:10 PM


delP's figured him out. who woulda thot he's smarter than the Muzz.

stu , 9/10/09 11:12 PM


hmmm ...i guess Del POTRO woke up ....

C'MON !!
USO09...where we celebrate our sweet 16th !!

fedexfan , 9/10/09 11:12 PM


c'mon marin, fight!

looks windy enough for kite-sailing

zoey234 , 9/10/09 11:27 PM


okay, it was a stretch of imagination to think marin would win two sets...maybe

zoey234 , 9/10/09 11:35 PM


LOL zoey, Delpo FTW.

torres9 , 9/10/09 11:39 PM


whoops! what happened to our Cilic, I walk away for a few minutes and... LOL Experience is GOOD! He'll be BACK! Time to mature (more) better not bad too! LOL :)

sky , 9/10/09 11:44 PM


it's so much easier when it's not your fav out there! LOL But I still like Cilic! His day will come! Go Cilic, go! :)

sky , 9/10/09 11:46 PM


his (cilic's) day will come is what i think too, sky. was cheering for him to get another set but it looks like delPO is going to play...? ...in a gs semiftnal lol...

vamos somebody!

zoey234 , 9/11/09 12:04 AM


delpo in 4, good on him.

posmatrac , 9/11/09 12:16 AM


Yaaaaaaayyy! juan marteen!

zoey234 , 9/11/09 12:24 AM


oh dear cilic :(. kinda lost it there

Sib69 , 9/11/09 12:29 AM



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