Strange, isn't it, how some days you wake up and you're still, despite all your best efforts, in post-Wimbledon holiday mood and suddenly it's the semis of Cincinatti and the US Open draw is less than a week away. I've covered the vagaries of time and the US summer season before, but it never fails to amaze me.
Three of the top four blokes are set to battle it out in the Cincy semis, with Rafa being a set up over Berdych at the moment and looking as if he is set to join them. We had the top eight in the quarters last week - perhaps we can do the slightly less rare but nonetheless interesting top four in the semis. Because, despite the excellent tennis that's been going on over the last few months, we really haven't seen a top four scrambalicious showdown for many many months.
Rafa's been injured. Novak's been playing crap. Roger and Andy have been there - but even they haven't played for quite a long time now. It's been a long, long while since we've had a quality match up between any of these blokes. Like, look at last week in Montreal - all four of them were in the quarters, but only Murray reached the semis.
But we're definitely going to have at least three, and probably four of them in the Cincinatti semis, and I will be very, very interested to see who comes out on top, let me tell you - I don't think it'd be the definitive indicator of form going into the US Open, but it would certainly be a helpful sign. For myself, given Rafa's bad knees and lack of matchplay and the fact that Djokovic has been pretty much sucking of late, it has to be between Federer and Murray... and that match is, I think, dependent on Federer and how well he plays and how much or little he lets Murray into his head. He's had it over him in best-of-five, but Murray seems to have his number in best-of-three... a victory for either would be interesting psychologically, I feel.
Anyone else have any thoughts on this?
Western and Southern Financial Group Masters (Cincinatti)
Roger Federer def. Lleyton Hewitt, 6-3 6-4
Andy Murray def. Julien Benneteau, 4-6 6-3 6-1
Novak Djokovic def. Gilles Simon, 6-4 7-5
Rogers Cup (Toronto)
Elena Dementieva def. Samantha Stosur, 6-7 (3-7) 6-1 6-3
Serena Williams def. Lucie Safarova, 6-3 6-2
3 weeks ago