Screen Shot 2014-08-23 at 9.57.10 AM

ATP Picks: US Open

Flushing Meadow, Queens NY

US OpenThe US Open is the fourth and final Grand Slam of the year and could decide whether Roger Federer might implausibly re-claim the number 1 spot at the end of the year. Federer has enjoyed a purple patch in recent months with Stefan Edberg in his corner, transforming his game into a more aggressive serve and volley style, which is helping preserve his body and take it to the base-liners.

Screen Shot 2014-08-23 at 10.44.39 AM

The Federer Express: Back to his best?

4-time runner up Novak Djokovic is looking for only his 2nd US Open title and has had a rough patch since Wimbledon. Don’t expect him to wilt though. Andy Murray is returning to form and could be in the mix for the title. With Rafa out, Milos Raonic is also a good outside bet for the title with a 34-12 record this year.

Night matches tend to inspire, so expect a few upsets, long 5 setters and miracle shots under the lights.

Wildcards go to: Michael Llorda, Marcos Giron, Wayne Odesnik, Noah Rubin, Bernard Tomic, Ryan Harrison, Jared Donaldson and Tim Smyczek.

Let’s break it down:

ATP Level: Grand Slam

Surface: Outdoor Hard

Defending Champion: 
Rafael Nadal – Forced out with injury; a boon for the Big 3.

Nasty Floater: Jerzy ‘Poleaxe’ Janowicz – The former #14 is putting his game back together and could be a threat to Cilic or Anderson’s plans.

Up and Coming: Noah Rubin – The American 18 year old junior Wimbledon champion gets a wildcard.

Slumping: Tomas ‘Berdman’ Berdych – Since the French Open has not made it past a quarter final. Gets Lleyton Hewitt 1st round for the marquee match.

On Fire: Roger Federer – The Swiss Army Knife arrives off a big win in Cincinnati. No Nadal to worry about  – looking confident.

My pick: Novak Djokovic  – Despite patchy results, the Wimbledon champ rises to the occasion at the Slams. 

Did You Know? The completion of the retractable roof for Arthur Ashe Stadium is scheduled for August 2017.

Watch: Behind the scenes

Thanks for reading and check back in two weeks for more tips!

Screen Shot 2014-08-15 at 7.13.17 PM

ATP Picks: Winston Salem

Winston-Salem Open

A stop-gap before the US Open, the Winston Salem Open has enjoyed a strong first 3 years. This year, the field is strong with some big players looking to fine tune their weapons before the big battle in New York.

Americans John Isner and Sam Querry will have massive support here. Local boy Isner, gets a good draw where he could face white-hot Tommy Robredo in the semi-finals. Querry who has struggled for the last couple of years, seems to be playing better hard court tennis of late, although he lost to Robredo in Cincinnati last week. He gets a tough bottom quarter however and would need to dispatch Kevin Anderson and Steve Johnson to make the quarter finals.

Wild cards go to: Kevin Anderson, Ryan Harrison, Noah Rubin and Robby Ginepri

Winston-Salem Open at Wake Forest University

Winston-Salem Open at Wake Forest University

Let’s break it down:

ATP Level: 250

Surface: Outdoor Hard

Defending Champion:
Jurgen ‘Tuna’ Melzer – 33 year old Melzer not having the year he did last year, struggling with injury. Returns with an 11-10 match record.

Nasty Floater: Steve Johnson – Put down Ernests Gulbis last week and playing very well.

Up and Coming: Pablo Carreno Busta – The 23 year old Spaniard may prefer clay but he’s one to watch here. 

Slumping: Ryan Harrison – Seeks his first tour-level win since March after being awarded a wild card. Only 4-11 on the year.

On Fire: Tommy ‘Can You Hear Me’ Robredo – Comes into Winston-Salem on the back of a strong week in Cincinnati, where he defeated World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the third round.

My pick: ‘Long’ John Isner – Two-time champion on home ground bringing a 10-0 event record and bidding to win his third title of the season

Did You Know? The first two editions of the Winston-Salem Open at Wake Forest University in 2011 celebrated the crowning of North Carolina-native John Isner as the singles champion.

Thanks for reading and check back next week for more picks!

Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 12.26.58 PM

ATP Picks: Cincinnati

Western & Southern OpenWestern & Southern Open

Hot of the heels of the Toronto Masters, we are in Ohio. World No. 1 Novak Djokovic will look to claim the Career Golden Masters in Cincinnati. The Serb has been a runner-up here four times, but will need to shrug off the surprisingly easy loss to Jo Tsonga last week.

Federer loves it here and chases a 6th title, while Andy Murray is still yet to win here. Vasek Pospisil and Milos Raonic have been in a rich vein of form, so expect to see them in the latter stages of the tournament.

The USTA award wildcards to Jack Sock, Sam Querry, Robbie Ginepri and Steve Johnson. Sock and Johnson are in good nick and Querry is showing flashes of his former best.

Western & Southern Open - Cincinnati

Western & Southern Open – Cincinnati

Let’s break it down:

ATP Level: 1000

Surface: Outdoor Hard

Defending Champion:
Rafael Nadal – Still out through injury.

Nasty Floater: Kevin ‘Mr.’ Anderson – Made the quarter-finals in Toronto and is very dangerous. Gets Isner 1st round.

Up and Coming: Vasek Pospisil – Not news but he’s unseeded and could face Federer in the 2nd round.

Slumping: Tomas ‘Berdman’ Berdych – A player of his quality should be doing better on the hard courts. Needs to justify his ranking.

On Fire: Jo ‘Willy’ Tsonga – His demolition of Djokovic, followed up by a win over Murray is significant at any time. 

My pick: Andy Murray – Is coming back to form and could seize the day here.

Did You Know? Nine of the past 10 Western & Southern Open champions held the No. 1 ranking during their careers

Watch: Cincinnati Uncovered

Thanks for reading and check back next week for more picks!