Thunderstorms interrupted play for a third day in a row, with an almost five-hour delay on Wednesday afternoon and evening. How did Andy Roddick pass the time? "I looked out the window and watched the rain fall in the pool," Roddick joked. Roddick was surprised his match against Nicolas Mahut on Stadium Court was bumped up ahead of Michael Russell versus Kevin Anderson, who had already played two games before the rain delay, but he was happy he was able to finish the match on its scheduled day.
Rain Delay Entertainment
There were a few very vocal fans in the crowd Wednesday night who would sometimes shout right before the players served. Some of the fans might have taken advantage of the Corona tent on the grounds and the surrounding bars during the long delay. "I think you could tell what the rain delay activity was. People might have been indulging a little bit," Roddick said.
John Isner and Kevin Anderson played the first semifinal during yet another scorchingly hot afternoon. Isner faced two break points in his opening service game but held after serving three straight aces. Not surprisingly, the match did not have many rallies. Both players have thunderous serves and tried to conserve energy in the hot weather. Isner was very listless in the heat and made four double faults late in the second set. And Anderson said after the match that he was sweating through his shoes and slipping on the court.
After winning the first set 6-3, Isner was able to save two set points at 4-5 and at 5-6 in the second set. Anderson saved one match point at 6-7 in the tiebreak and won the next two points to send the match to a third set. Anderson was 0-7 on break point chances while Isner went two for two. Isner broke at 4-3 in the third set when Anderson hit only his second double fault of the match. The American said he was happy when the clouds blocked the sun and cooled the temperatures considerably at the beginning of the third set. Isner won just in time. The lightning siren went off just as he reached match point.
Kevin Anderson only needed one break of serve in each set to defeat Lukas Lacko 6-3, 6-4, in the Quarterfinals on Friday. Anderson was two for two on break point chances while Lacko was not able to reach a break point on Anderson’s serve. Lacko did not play a poor match, but he was not as sharp with his groundstrokes as he was in his upset of Lleyton Hewitt in the previous round. Anderson will play in his first semifinal since he made the Final in Las Vegas in 2008 as a qualifier.
Jonathan Erlich and Janko Tipsarevic were up a set and a break in their doubles quarterfinal match against Rohan Bopanna and Kristof Vliegen before losing 3-6, 7-6(9), 10-8. In the second set tiebreak, Erlich and Tipsarevic had two match points and Erlich double-faulted on one of them. They also had a 4-1 lead in the supertiebreak but Bopanna and Vliegen went on to win eight of the next nine points. Down 5-9, Erlich and Tipsarevic almost made a comeback, saving three match points. However, the opponents were able to take the match on their own serve, converting on the fourth match point.
Today was the hottest day of the week so far. Xavier Malisse and Illya Marchenko were especially affected by the heat. Both players were listless and mainly worried about keeping the ball in play. After every point they would hide in the shade at the back of the court. The match was close for a straight sets victory, but Malisse was a little more aggressive and Marchenko played an error-filled game at 2-1 in the second set to get broken after taking a medical timeout for the heat. The Belgian won, 6-3. 6-3.
Andy Roddick started off his match against Rajeev Ram with aggressive groundstrokes and Ram was unable to make a dent in Roddick’s service games. In the second set, Roddick played more passively, and his opponent took advantage of that by winning the set in a tiebreak. Roddick was able to save all four break points against his serve, including two in the first game of the third set. Roddick said that the heat caused his left foot to swell a little, but added that it had happened before and is manageable. It was not the cleanest match Roddick ever played, but he played well enough to win and reach the quarterfinals.
The band of brothers known as Bob and Mike Bryan isn’t just interested in making records; they're looking to break them as well. With their recent win in Madrid, the twins now have 61 titles, matching the record held by Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde, aka "The Woodies," previously the most successful doubles team in the Open Era. Four wins this week, and the twins hailing from Camarillo, Calif. would cross the finish line a nose ahead of the Australian Hall of Famers with their 62nd title. The Americans still trail the Woodies by three in Grand Slam titles. But they've got time to work on that record, since, according to Mike, they, "plan on playing another 5 years."
The Bryans are aiming for a sixth title here at UCLA and love playing on Straus Stadium, claiming they still got goosebumps before their first match this year. “We played on that court when we were six years old and pretty much every year since, so that's our favorite court in the world,” Bob commented to the media. “We treat this tournament like it's one of the biggest tournaments in the world.”