Monday, August 15, 2011

Serena, Novak Dominate; Other Seeds Falter

The tennis world headed to the Great White North last week to play for the Rogers Cup, the first big tournament since Wimbledon a couple of months ago. The women were in Toronto while the men dueled in Montreal. The week saw a lot of shocking results and upsets, but it ended with two players who can truly be called the favorites for the final Grand Slam of the year at the US Open.

Serena Williams
was ranked outside the top 150 three weeks ago, but after winning two tournaments in a row, including this past week at Toronto, she is back in the top 32. En route, she took out top 4 seed Victoria Azarenka and 10th seed Samantha Stosur, both with straight-set victories. While Serena dominated, others didn't have such luck. The top two seeds, Caroline Wozniacki and Kim Clijsters, were taken out in their first match with the latter withdrawing with injury. Grand Slam champions Na Li, Maria Sharapova, Petra Kvitova, and Francesca Schiavone all couldn't even reach the quarterfinals.

It was a similar story in Montreal for the men. Second seed Rafael Nadal and defending champion Andy Murray were upset in their first matches while third seed Roger Federer fell to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga two tournaments in a row. This made way for the best player in the world going up against the best American man. Top seed Novak Djokovic improved his already magnificent record this year to 53-1 by beating Mardy Fish. Djokovic is the first player to win 5 Masters titles in a single year. Fish, who has reached the final in his last three tournaments, lead in the US Open Series rankings along with Serena.

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