| By Eric C. Peck

Saturday's action at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center determined many of those who will head into next week's Final Round of 16, and in Sunday action at the 2011 U.S. Open, the remaining players on each side will be determined. With most of the top seeds playing Saturday breezing into the Final Round of 16, Sunday action begins early at Arthur Ashe Stadium as the number two-seeded Rafael Nadal from Spain faces Argentina's David Nalbandian. Nalbandian's path to Nadal began with a first round win over American Bobby Reynolds and an upset over the number 30 seed, Croatian Ivan Ljubicic. Nadal had a tough first round match against Andrey Golubev from Kazakhstan, followed by an easy win on Friday over France's Nicolas Mahut who was forced to retire due to an abdominal strain. The winner between Nadal and Nalbandian will face either the unseeded Gilles Muller of Luxembourg or Russian Igor Kunitsyn.

In an all-American battle at Louis Armstrong Stadium, the unseeded Alex Bogomolov Jr. will face his fellow countryman and the number 28 seed, John Isner. Isner opened action with a win over Marcos Baghdatis from Cyprus and followed that victory with a Friday evening win under the lights against Robby Ginepri of the United States, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4. The winner moves on to face a seeded player in either the number 18 seed, Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro or his opponent, the number 12 seed, France's Gilles Simon at Louis Armstrong Stadium.

Donald Young will look to keep the Americans alive at the 2011 Open as he faces the number 24 seed, Juan Ignacio Chela of Argentina on the Grandstand. The winner will face the victor in the nighttime match between 25th-seeded Feliciano Lopez from Spain and the number four seed, Andy Murray from Great Britain.

Rounding out men's singles action Sunday is America's Andy Roddick, the number 21 seed, facing France's unseeded Julien Benneteau in the afternoon at Arthur Ashe Stadium. The winner between Roddick and Benneteau will face the winner of Sunday's early match on Court 17 between the number five seed, David Ferrer from Spain and Germany's Florian Mayer, the number 26 seed.

On the women's side of the draw, the number 25 seeded Russian Maria Kirilenko faces Australia's Samantha Stosur, the number nine seed, at Arthur Ashe Stadium. On Friday, Kirilenko ended the run of local favorite, America's Christina McHale to set up the Sunday showdown with the ninth seeded Stosur. He winner will face either the number 22-seeded German Sabine Lisicki or the number two seed, Russia's Vera Zvonareva as the two meet under the lights at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

In a battle of unseeded women, Romania's Monica Niculescu faces German Angelique Kerber kicking things off on Court 17. The winner will be guaranteed to meet a seeded player in the next round, either China's Shuai Peng, the number 13 seed, or Italy's Flavia Pennetta, the number 26 seed. Pennetta scored one of the biggest upsets so far at the Open when on Friday, she defeated the number three-seeded Russian Maria Sharapova, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.

Click here for the full schedule of matches for Day Seven of the 2011 U.S. Open.

 

Eric C. Peck is Editor-in-Chief of Long Island Tennis Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at eric@litennismag.com