Not long to go before the last Grand Slam event of the year. As long as Irene doesn’t stick around too long it should be a great couple of weeks.
The Men’s event doesn’t get shared about too much. Of the last 7 years Federer has won 5 of them with the last 2 winners being Nadal in 2010 and Del Potro with that amazing win over Fed in 2009. The players at the very top of the game haven’t changed too much. Last year’s runner up Djokovic is ofcourse having an incredible season with just 2 losses so far to Federer and to Murray although he retired injured in their final last week.
I think Nadal won’t be successfully defending his title. He seems to have lost something of his edge over the top players and has almost looked ordinary in recent weeks. Djokovic would seem to be an obvious contender. You would think that he has had time to recover from the injury that forced him out of his last match. Most of the players carry injuries at this stage of the year. He will certainly be around for the second week.
Federer and Murray have chances. Federer is starting to lose ground on the top 2 players but is capable of beating anyone in the world. Will this be Murray’s first Major win? It would be great to see as it would mean that he had played with the aggression that makes him one of the best players to watch. He never quite manages to maintain that form for 2 weeks though and it will require something drastic to change in his mental preparation for him to be in a position to lift the trophy.
Even if we get a shock winner I still expect that winner to come from the top 10 seeds.
Ferrer (5) is playing with a wrist injury and that has to cause him problems at some stage. However whilst he can hold his own with most players, even at his best he isn’t a real contender to win the whole thing.
Soderling (6) hasn’t played much tennis recently and that isn’t the ideal way to get ready for a Major.
Monfils (7) has been is excellent form. Exciting to watch but not a serious contender.
Fish (8) must be looking forward to this. He is in the form of his life and on any given day can trouble the very best players. A recent winner over Nadal he loves playing on home soil and fully deserves to be the highest ranked American player. No one will want to play him. He is in Fed’s section of the draw. That would be a fantastic quarter final!
Berdych (9) is obviously very capable on hard courts but just too unreliable. He would meet Djokovic in the quarter finals if he got that far but Gasquet may have something to say about that.
Almagro (10 ) has fine tuned his service action in recent months and his aggressive play can make him a tough opponent. I doubt that even he thinks he will do more than progress a round or 2. Ferrer and Roddick could stand in his way before the quarters.
Other than the top 10 who might stand out and have a good tournament?
Gasquet could realistically meet Djokovic in the quarter finals. One of my favourite players to watch he is a player with amazing skill on a practice court. When he is able to recreate that in match play he can get the crowd behind him and trouble the best players.
Tsonga is just outside the top 10 seeds and there will be plenty who want him to do well. Would have to get past Verdasco or Fish to reach the last 8.
Verdasco keeps taking steps back towards his best form. He is in quite a tough section of the draw though with Tsonga, Llodra and Fish.
Del Potro and Gilles Simon are both in Andy Murray’s section. I aren’t convinced that Del Potro has found anything like the form he needs to get near the quarters. Simon’s form on the other hand seems to have peaked at the right time. He could be the one to meet Murray in the last 8.
Will Wozniacki get her first Major? She usually wins the tournament before the US Open so is always in good form as event starts. She reached the final in 2009 losing to Clijsters who is absent this year.
The last 10 years have been dominated by the Williams sisters, Clijsters and Justine Henin. Sharapova won in 2006 and Kuznetsova in 2004.
The women have their own obvious favourite in Serena Williams. The American has played herself back into form after her extended injury break. The added advantage of playing in front of a home crowd makes her a strong contender. Sharapova is another past champion who can use the experience gained from being world number 1 and is also in great form.
Second seed Vera Zvonareva should be a safe bet to reach the quarters but can be too inconsistent in the big matches for me to think she will win the whole thing. Fourth seed Azarenka will probably meet Serena in the third round.
Kvitova(5) won Wimbledon but hasn’t shown much form since. I don’t expect her to reach the last 8.
Li (6) lost yesterday in one of the craziest matches we have seen in a long while. Her form would have to take an amazing upturn for her to be a contender.
Schiavone (7) isn’t at her best on hard courts but has a realistic chance of making the quarters. A couple of potential banana skins along the way though.
Bartoli (8) is playing at a decent level but has one of the toughest draws to reach the latter stages with Kirilenko, Petrova and Stosur standing in her way.
Stosur (9) is serving well and has performed at a high level in the last month. She still lacks the self belief that would give her a chance of greater success in the big events though. Not as easy draw at all and I think she will fall short again.
Petkovic (10) is a player who can beat just about anyone on her day but lacks the consistency to win a Major.
Other players to watch out for :
Hantuchova raised her game for Wimbledon and could well do the same here. Could meet Wozniacki in round 4.
Cetkovska has been upsetting the higher ranked players lately and could get through a few rounds. She could meet Williams in the 4th round if she gets that far.
Brits Heather Watson and Elena Baltacha have shown reasonable form in America although Watson plays Sharapova in the first round. Baltacha has impressed me over the last week or two. She has the game to compete with the top players but lacks the self belief. She has a chance to progress through a couple of rounds.
Well thats my two pence worth. We have had some odd results lately so anything can and probably will happen in the next 2 weeks. See you in Chat.