Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Storylines at the US Open

The last Grand Slam of the decade will begin in five days. All of the top tennis players in the world will descend upon New York City for the US Open. But before that begins, I just wanted to go over a few possible storylines to look out for.

- Can anyone beat Roger Federer? He has won this tournament for last five years including last year when he was having a sort of slump, not winning any major tournaments during the year. This year he is coming into the tournament as the heavy favorite, winning the last two Grand Slam tournaments and recently defeating his archrivals Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray in Cincinnati, the last major hardcourt tournament before the US Open. Looking good!

- Which slamless player will make his or her breakthrough? There are lots to choose from in the men's and women's game. With the men, the obvious choice would be world no. 2 Andy Murray. He has the best record on hardcourts this year winning a couple of Master Series titles and he came within a match last year to almost winning this tournament. Other potential first-time winners could be Juan Martin Del Potro who had a strong showing this summer or even Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who defeated Federer in Montreal. For the women look at top ranked Dinara Safina, Olympic gold medalist Elena Dementieva, and US Open finalist Jelena Jankovic to make a strong run in order to get their maiden Slam.

- Will Rafael Nadal's knees hold up and can he win the US Open to complete a Career Grand Slam? After being out for ten weeks to recuperate from tendinitis, he came back to play at Montreal and Cincinnati making the quarterfinals and semifinals respectively losing to Del Potro and Djokovic. On the one hand, that's pretty damn good results. On the other hand, he's still not 100% most evident from the trashing he got from Djokovic at Cincinnati. Now Nadal historically doesn't do too well in New York, but he did reach the semifinals this year. Crazier things have happened this year that's for sure.

- Other than Federer and Serena Williams, which previous US Open champions can get their mojos back and reclaim this title? 2003 US Open champion Andy Roddick was this close to defeating Federer and 2-time US Open champion Venus Williams lost to her sister at the Wimbledon championships. Both are very motivated to win this year. Other previous US Open champions include a resurgent Lleyton Hewitt, a recuperating Maria Sharapova, 2009 French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, a soon-to-be-retired Marat Safin, and a back-from-retirement Kim Clijsters. And speaking of the latter, Clijsters has been out of the game for almost two years and recently came back a few weeks ago beating a handful of top 20 players. Depending on the draw (she got a wildcard), I can easily see her reaching the quartefinals.

These are just a handful of storylines ahead. I'm sure there will be more created during the next two weeks. I can't wait!


  1. Still backing Nadal and Roddick...Murray...maybe.

    I hope Venus wins this or at least makes it to the semis, not really a fan of Serena

  2. Other than Federer, I think I'll be rooting for these men to win (in order of preference): Nadal, Del Potro, Roddick, or a surprise winner.

    For the women, I'm rooting for Dementieva, Kuznetsova, Safina, Jankovic, and Venus.


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