The 2012 Farmers Classic day 5 featured singles quarterfinal matches. Headlining the quarters were Bernakis vs. Mahut, Matosevic vs. Mayer, Russell vs. Ram, and finally Querrey vs. Malisse.
The tennis courts of Strauss Stadium were scorching hot today, with highs in the upper 80’s, though the on court temperature felt like much more (I got quite the sunburn on my face this afternoon). Some of the matches were a little more predictable than the others, though the upsets were rather shocking.
First up, Ricardas Bernakis faced Frenchman Nicolas Mahut. This was an
interesting match to me, the short Lithuanian (5’9″) went head on with the taller (6’3″) player. The two played some great points, I was quite impressed with the depth Bernakis was able to produce from both wings. Bernakis never let Mahut get into many of the points, the Frenchman seemed to fade into the back of the court. Bernakis lacked the power that Mahut had, though he, today, looked mentally tougher, finishing points when he needed to and was able to force Mahut to come up with errors. Bernakis beat the “Marathon Man” 4 and 4. Bernakis will now face Matesovic in the semifinals.
Next up of the four Farmers Classic quarterfinal matches featured Argentine Leonardo Mayer and Marinko Matosevic. The Bosnian/Australian and Argentine battled through the afternoon heat, though Mayer was unable to get into the Matosevic service games. Unfortunate for the 64th ranked player in the world, before he knew it the match was over, losing to the lower ranked Latvian, 2&3. Matesovic now faces Ricardas Bernakis in the semifinals. This will be the third time the two have met on the ATP tour; both have beaten each other one time. The most recent winner comes off the tennis racquet of Matosevic, beating Bernakis in Washington D.C.
In the third quarterfinal match, it was an all American battle between Michael Russell and Rajeev Ram. I had favored Russell to win this match
easily, though he did claim that he was a bit injured. Ram, played a decent match, though I don’t think that it would have been enough to beat a 100% Michael Russell. I’m not saying that Ram is not good, I’m just saying that whatever ailment that was keeping Russell from playing his best, made it so that Ram could close out the match. Russell also opted to pull out of his doubles match, so clearly something is physically wrong. Rajeev Ram will now face another American and two time Farmers Classic champion, Sam Querrey.
The final 2012 Farmers Classic included two time champion Sam Querrey and tour veteran Xavier Malisse. Querrey, who came off a very commanding second round win of Igor Sijsling, started very strong against the Dutchman. Querrey was easily outhitting Malisse, hitting forehand winners and bombing aces in every service game. Malisse on the other hand, had a knee wrapped up and looked fairly lethargic out on court. He didn’t seem to move well nor did he hit the ball with the power he normally does. The first set was over in just about 25 minutes. Querrey, obviously fresher started the second set with a very effortless game. Malisse was starting to show irritation with just about everything around him. The Querrery “Samurai” – a group of high school buddies- were very vocal about their support. I could tell that Malisse was annoyed with the cheering. Malisse started to get irritated with the tape on his knee. Down 3-1 in the second set, the Dutchman had enough and decided to call the match quits. The crowd was happy and a little upset, the match was only 36 minutes long, a bit of a disappointment for the spectators. Querrey will square off against Rajeev Ram in their semifinal match.