The Big one in the Big Apple. Here we go!
The 129th edition of this tournament closes a Grand Slam season dominated by the Big 4 again. The US Open Series, the run-up tournaments to this one was won by Mardy Fish who is a legitimate contender these days, so I expect him to go deep here.
Grand Slams can be so unpredictable though. There are easier matches for the top players than a Masters event, but the best-of-5 set format can also allow lesser players to ‘get hot’ and cause the big upset early on.
Some of the fittest players will do well, so I look at old war-horses like Nalbandian and Ljubicic and don’t give them to much to cheer about sadly. I do like the look of the US contingent though both the youngsters and veterans like Michael ‘Iron Man’ Russell, a resurgent Alex Bogomolov and James ‘Breaking Back’ Blake. I think the crowds and their age will get them pumped to win a few rounds. None of the above have good draws but that’s precisely the danger.
Let’s break it down:
Defending Champion: Rafael Nadal
My Qualifiers to Watch: Frank Dancevic, Conor Niland, Jesse Huta Galung
Wildcards: Steve Johnson, Robbi Ginepri, Donald ‘Duck’ Young, Julien Benneteau, Bobby Reynolds, Ryan Harrison, Jack Sock, Marinko Matosevic
1st Rd Popcorn Matches: John Isner vs. Marcos ‘The Bagman’ Baghdatis, Fernando ‘Hot Sauce’ Verdasco vs. Jarkko Nieminen, Andy Roddick vs. Michael Russell, Radek ‘The Worm’ Stepanek vs. Phil Kohlschreiber
Potential Draw Wreckers: Ivan Dodig, Denis Kudla, Alex Bogomolov, Alex Dolgopolov, Nikolay Davydenko, Robin Haase, Ernests Gulbis, Kevin Anderson
My pick: Novak Djokovic
Thanks for reading and check back next week for more tips, news and musings!