Three Things To Watch: Day 6
SI.com’s daily menu of must-see happenings at the U.S. Open (all times Eastern).
• No. 17 Gael Monfils vs. Janko Tipsarevic (Grandstand, 11 a.m.): Two of the more flamboyant players on tour meet for a place in the Round of 16. The elastic Monfils, whom Andy Murray recently called "probably the best athlete ever to play the game," dispensed of second-round opponent Igor Andreev with relative ease, showcasing his indefatigable retrieving abilities. Meanwhile, the talented but famously inconsistent Tipsarevic looked even more impressive in Thursday's upset victory over Andy Roddick. Their crowd-pleasing styles are tailor-made for the intimate Grandstand environs and could make for one of the tournament's most memorable matches.
• James Blake vs. No. 3 Novak Djokovic (Arthur Ashe Stadium, 7 p.m.): There's no question who's the sentimental favorite in the first truly exciting night match of the fortnight. But Blake, the Fairfield, Conn., native who needed a wild-card invite to make it into the main draw, will need more than positive vibes to bring down the formidable and confident Serb, who's made the semifinals here in each of the past three years. It could be the Center Court curtain call, who packed Armstrong for a 2001 thriller with Lleyton Hewitt and delivered one of the tournament’s all-time great matches against Andre Agassi in the ’05 quarters. Does the 30-year-old have one more show-stopping effort left in him?
• No. 1 Liezel Huber/Bob Bryan vs. Melanie Oudin/Ryan Harrison (Grandstand, fourth match): Mixed doubles fixtures typically don't make it onto the show courts until much later in the tournament, but Saturday's matchup should draw a healthy crowd given the personnel. Oudin and Harrison have become two of the most popular young American players for their exploits here. They'll face the top-seeded team in the draw, a Huber-Bryan pairing that won the mixed dubs title at the 2009 French Open. Others to watch: No. 5 Robin Soderling vs. Thiemo de Bakker (Louis Armstrong Stadium, 11 a.m.); Beatrice Capra vs. No. 14 Maria Sharapova (Arthur Ashe Stadium, second match); Arnaud Clement vs. Mardy Fish (Louis Armstrong Stadium, third match).