While the women’s side of the draw has had a few surprise exits, the men’s last 16 is mostly what was expected. That means all of the big 3 including Novak Djokovic still remain at this stage of the tournament. The defending champion will play Diego Schwartzman for a spot in the quarter finals, where either Marin Cilic or Milos Raonic will await.
Previously a clay specialist, Schwartzman has become a dependable player on hard courts with two fourth round runs in Australia and two quarter finals in New York. There are a lot of similarities between the Argentinian and David Ferrer with Schwartzman making the most of his talent despite some physical limitations. Schwartzman hasn’t had a tough run to this stage but has not been troubled in any of his three matches, winning all nine sets played.
Djokovic looks to be on his way to becoming an even more complete player with the addition of a potent serve that has worked wonders this tournament. He hit another 16 aces in the 6-3 6-2 6-2 win over Yoshihito Nishioka to move to 46 in the tournament. It’s something that hasn’t gone noticed by him as the linkup with Goran Ivanisevic working wonders. ”Definitely one of the best serving matches I’ve had lately [and] inspired by my coach.” Djokovic said. “There are a lot of technical details you can talk about, but sometimes less is more. It’s all about the rhythm and balance… So far, it’s been working really well.”
Should he advance, Djokovic will face a completely different type of opponent in the quarter finals. He will look to nullify the serve of either Marin Cilic or Milos Raonic in the quarter finals with the pair looking to return to their former levels that saw them in slam finals previously. For now, he remains focused on Schwartzman who will hope to outwork and outmaneuver the No.2 seed. “He’s one of the quickest players on Tour.” he said. “Hopefully my serve can be as good as it was today, or at least close, because then I feel that I have a pretty good chance. I’ve got to be patient, but still aggressive.”
Prediction – Novak Djokovic in straight sets