Federer goes down, but Barty rises again

The great Roger Federer went down at Cincinnati on Thursday, losing to the up-and-coming Andrey Rublev, 6-3, 6-4. Rublev is very good, when he is on.

For the most part over the last 16 years, Federer knows how to win. He may not play well, but he still mixes it up and he changes the tactics. But not this time. The powerful Rublev kept coming, he hit it hard, and he really focused. Federer, who just started playing after he lost in the final at Wimbledon, losing 13-12 in the fifth set against Novak Djokovic. So close by Federer, but no cigar.

The Swiss will go to the US Open, and he could go deep once again. But, to win it? That is a tossup, because Federer hasn’t won it since 2008. That is 10 years ago, on the hardcourts, at the US Open, which can be hot and sticky.

However, you have to give him a shot, perhaps his last time, as he is 38 years old, and to win a major again, the 20-time Grand Slam champ has to go for winners pretty early. Because if he doesn’t, during the second week, Federer could be tired and overhit.
 
NOTES
It was pretty clear that Ash Barty thinks she can beat anyone when she is so confident and steady. Plus, a few years ago, she was shaky, but now she is locked in. A few days ago, she beat the former five-time champion Maria Sharapova 6-4, 6-1. The American/Russian is back again, but she isn’t steady yet, and she has to find her solution. It will take her months to be 100 percent, physically. If she can continue to play, and she doesn’t gets injured again, then she will be a fantastic player. No doubt about it, but somehow she has to get healthy, period.  

Naomi Osaka is lurking. She has reached to the quarters, and while she has been mentally up and down this season, the two-time Slam champ wants to prove she can beat anyone. Yes, she is No. 1 again, but she hasn’t won an event since January in Australia. It is time for her to leap up and knock everyone down.

Osaka will face against American Sofia Kenin, who down Elina Svitolina for the second time in two weeks. Kenin is getting better all the time. She isn’t quite there yet, but she is smart and intelligent…

Venus Williams woke up this week, after she lost a lot of matches over the past few months. But, when she is confident, she can dominate with her sharp first serve and her razor backhand. She will play Madison Keys, who also is finding her past form. Venus has gone deep over the past few years, but Keys can be negative, on court. It sounds like Venus has been very positive in Ohio.

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