Aug/17

7

Early US Open Preview

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Preview of US open

With all due respect to Montreal, Cincinnati, Winston Salem, the world of tennis prioritizes the four Grand Slam tournaments. Less than a month away now, all sights are set on the fourth and final tourney, the US Open…

Roger Federer

With his recent Wimbledon victory against Marin Cilic, Federer broke the number of wins at Wimbledon. Given this feat it is not surprising that Federer is one of the top contenders to win at the US Open. This year, Federer has not only won at Wimbledon but also at the Australian Open. Many have been shocked by Federer’s success given his age and injuries. If he can win at the US Open, he will capture 3 of the 4 Grand Slam titles for a total of 20 over his successful career.

Rafael Nadal

With 15 Grand Slam victories to his name, Nadal is also a top player expected to perform at the US Open. After winning the French Open for a record 10th time and narrowly losing the Australian Open to Federer, many believe Nadal is the only male player who can give Federer a run for his money. Nadal returns to action this week on Montreal after an extended break following Roland Garros, and he has won the US Open twice before, in 2013 and 2010.

Alexander Zverev

The 20-year old Russian just won Washington DC’s Citi Open – his fourth ATP final in a row – and could be ready to emerge as a Grand Slam champion. The rising #NEXTGEN star has already proven he can compete with the likes of Nadal and Federer on even terms.

Dominic Thiem

The Austrian star is ranked #7 in the world and is coming off a solid semifinal result at French Open, where he lost to Nadal, whom he defeated earlier in the year on clay. Thiem will turn 24 during the US Open and could be ready to come of age.

Juan Martin Del Potro

The beloved Argentine still has his rocket serve and forehand at 28 so the 2009 US Open champion is always a dangerous threat to any player in the world. The question is does the big man still have the endurance and health to be able to win seven best of five matches over two weeks?

John Isner and Sam Querrey

The Twin Towers of American tennis are 32 and 29 and have both won hard court titles this summer. Both are growing long in the tooth and are both in position to make deep runs at this US Open. Isner and Querrey, with the help of some luck and advantageous draws, could also conceivably win their first Grand Slam title.

Andy Murray

After his sensational 2016, the Dunblane, Scotland marvel has had a supbar season so far this year bogged down by injuries and confidence issues. But the wily Brit loves the US Open as his favorite tournament and certainly could re-awaken at any time.

Nick Kyrgios

The controversial Australian has the firepower and the resources to win any tournament he enters. Unfortunately, if his mind is not in the proper mood, he can also flame out in the first or second rounds to a journeyman grinder. Will the real Nick Kyrgios please step up?

Kei Nishikori

The former US Open finalist has played some of his best tennis in New York. Though no expert will predict this amazing Japanese star to win the title, it should also be noted that no expert pundit predicted the teenaged junior Nishikori would achieve five straight years in the ATP top ten echelon. The 27 year old has the uncanny talent to overachieve.

The Women…

Venus Williams

After being runner-up at Wimbledon last month, Williams is feverishly preparing for the final Grand Slam Tournament. Before Wimbledon, Williams was involved in a car accident where the driver of the other car passed away. Some wonder if this stress in her personal life perhaps is affecting her on the court. Williams was quick to dispel this rumour. Williams has shown excellent form this year and must be considered a top contender.

Garbine Muguruza

The Wimbledon champion was simply sensational at the All England Lawn and Tennis Club and her form could transfer to New York, where she has posted some good results. The question is does Muguruza have the burning desire like her rivals, or has a sense of complacence set in after winning the biggest tournament in the world?

Angelique Kerber

The former WTA World No. 1 was so, so close to winning Wimbledon, falling just short against Muguruza. If she can use that defeat as proper motivation, Kerber could win her third career Grand Slam title next month.

Johanna Konta

The talented, hard-hitting British woman has been knocking on the door to win her first Grand Slam title. The Miami Open champion just needs that little extra push to raise her game just one extra level. She has the experience and the game now to get the job done.

Simona Halep

Arguably the best player in the world this year with her solid all around season, including a deep run at Wimbledon and a French Open final. Like Konta, Halep is ready to make history. If she can keep her nerve and drive the stake through the heart, which she failed to do vs. Ostapenko in Paris despite a set and 3-love lead.

Karolina Plyskova

The Czech woman is the top player in the world and will be looking to affirm her ranking in New York where her power game fits nicely on the American hard court surface.

Madison Keys and Coco Vandeweghe

Both Americans have the attributes, experience and self-belief that they can win a major. The finalists of the Bank of the West event in Stanford (won by Keys yesterday 76 64) should both reach the second week of the US Open at the very minimum. Both could also meet in the final just as well.

Jelena Ostapenko

The amazing Latvian shocked the world in Paris, winning her first Grand Slam title to nearly everyone’s surprise. But she has suffered the expected, natural letdown since. The 20-year-old will be an interesting player to keep an eye on because she has the mental and physical qualities to win any tournament she enters.

Caroline Wozniacki

Now a WTA veteran, Wozniacki has been around a long time and is still searching for that first major. So close so many times, you have to wonder if the self-belief is still there as each year the new waves of young stars continue to complicate her quest.

Maria Sharapova

Since Sharapova did not compete at Wimbledon she must secure a wild card in order to participate in the US Open. Many fans and tennis players are in an uproar about Sharapova being given a wild card given her admission of doping. She was denied a wild card to the French Open for this reason.
These Grand Slam tournaments will also be the focus of many fans of sports betting. In the meantime until the competition resumes, fans could enjoy playing a tennis themed slot machine such as Centre Court. Time will tell how the above players will fare in the upcoming US Open.

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162 comments

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 9, 2017 at 11:48 am

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Hartt; Federer was the first player I ever saw sit down right next to his practice partner during practice before the US Open. It was with Hrbaty. Then they sat together on the changeover in the last set of Hrbaty's career at Wimbledon. Fed introduced this innovation to tennis as far as I know. I had never seen a player sit together with the practice opponent at the US Open until Fed did it with Hrbaty. All the other players sat apart and stuck together with their teams.

  • Chazz · August 9, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    Chazz writes:

    Bellis does it again, takes out Kuznetsova in SS. Impressive that as an 18 year old she is approaching the top 30.

  • catherine · August 9, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    catherine writes:

    I wish I liked Bellis' game more – from what I've seen she's off the WTA production line.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 9, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Catherine; Please refrain from taking subtle shots at CiCi Bellis's game! She is our great American Post Serena Hope! :)

  • catherine · August 9, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    catherine writes:

    Scoop – didn't think my 'shot' was that subtle :) CiCi may turn out the NBT but may on the other hand end up like all the other teenagers who are promising but don't have the games to really deliver as they grow older.

  • Chazz · August 9, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    Chazz writes:

    Escobedo got blown out by Haase. Ugh.

  • Andrew Miller · August 9, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    Andrew Miller writes:

    Catherine, one thing I like about Bellis is her accelerating forehand, accelerates through the point of contact, that's not as common? Is it? And she can volley. She does have a stake in next Gen USA women. But I dunno. She played well in front of a home crowd and then got slammed by the Coco in front of the same home crowd.

  • Andrew Miller · August 9, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    Andrew Miller writes:

    Real deal, Safarova beating Dommie Cibulkova black and blue.

  • Andrew Miller · August 9, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    Andrew Miller writes:

    Mac McDonald playing it safe out in Aptos. Up against Sandgren. We'll see if Sandgren has some momentum.

  • Busted · August 9, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    Zverev "developed" in Germany? I thought the family spent a lot of time in Florida from the time he was a little kid? He speaks better English than most rednecks from the south.

    Don't get me started on Sharapova. She's only Russian on her passport because he father wouldn't let her become a US citizen. And now we all know why – cuz she could get all the PEDs she wanted from Russian doctors. If she ever had to live there permanently she'd shrivel up and die from lack of paparrazi attention.

  • catherine · August 9, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    catherine writes:

    Maybe Zverev should have Floridian nationality – maybe Florida should declare independence and tax free status for all the tennis players who train/live there :)

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 9, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Catherinel; I like the way Bellis is progressing. She had that huge win at US Open vs Aus Open finalist (same year) Cibulkova at age 15 and then continued to develop. Then she decided late '15 to turn pro and she proved that she is a smart girl because it has worked out and her progress has been excellent and consistent. All the signs are there that Bellis is a little better and a little different than the other US prospects of the recent years and her results prove it. So she is not your typical WTA factory product :)

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 9, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Bellis can accelerate that forehand like Rios. I remember Jimmy Arias told me for my Marcelo Rios book that Rios could hit the same swing on a ball but all the sudden the ball came at you 20 mph faster. Same swing but much faster ball. Bellis seems to have this talent too.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 9, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Maybe Zverev will win so many Grand Slam titles that he will make so much money he will buy his own island and become his only nationality: Zverevian :)

  • Chazz · August 9, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    Chazz writes:

    I think a fair question about Bellis is how much upside she has. Yes she is very young and already highly ranked, but does her style of play have a lot more upside? Like top 5 upside or just top 20? She is already extremely consistent, which has been a big reason for why she is where she is.

  • scoopmalinowski · August 9, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    scoopmalinowski writes:

    At 15 she beat a top five player at a major. At 21-25 she can do a lot more.

  • Hartt · August 9, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    Hartt writes:

    Denis Shapovalov just beat Delpo in SS – 6-3, 7-6. Delpo was far from his best but 18-year-old Shapovalov still showed a lot of maturity in getting the win. Unless there is a huge upset with Coric v Nadal, Denis will face Rafa next.

  • Chazz · August 9, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    Chazz writes:

    Sock match never short of drama. He injures his leg in the 2nd set when diving for a ball. Then loses in 3 and doesn't shake the umpire's hand afterwards.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 9, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Hartt; How do you know Denis did not force Delpo to NOT be at his best? Why wouldn't he be at his best? He had a decent run in Washington DC last week. He needs the points and wants to get his ranking up. Shapovalov is that good of a player where he can play with anyone. I highly doubt Delpo subconsciously tanked this match.

  • herios · August 9, 2017 at 6:24 pm

    There is a difference between "not being at his best" and tanking, willingly and unwillingly.

    Delpo struggled with his serve from one side of the court, weirdly, and Denis had little to do with it.

  • Andrew Miller · August 9, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    Andrew Miller writes:

    Poland's champion Kerber and Hungary's superstar Seles. (come on! The Zverev boys are Germans. Otherwise they'd be betting on their own matches!!!)

  • Hartt · August 9, 2017 at 6:59 pm

    Hartt writes:

    Regarding Delpo, his usually reliable FH was not at all consistent today. Very often it lacked power or he hit it into the net. And as helios said, he had a terrible time serving from 1 side of the court, for no apparent reason, such as wind.

  • Dan Markowitz · August 9, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    Dan Markowitz writes:

    Why is Jack such a Sock? I only saw a little of the match, but the guy, especially for a Nebraskan (aren't they supposed to be humble?), is just so full of himself. He has a real problem with lines people and umpires. Sock and Harry should go to Manners School.

  • Andrew Miller · August 9, 2017 at 7:35 pm

    Andrew Miller writes:

    Thought Harry was out of the doghouse?!

  • Andrew Miller · August 9, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    Andrew Miller writes:

    Shapovalov win: It's a home crowd. Del Potro is playing well. The only way for Shapovalov to prove himself is…to keep proving himself. That's tennis. If you play well in front of a home crowd, like Isner, the challenge is to play just as well in front of a crowd that isn't a home crowd. He earned it 100 %. He obviously likes playing on big stages. I like the Russian Shapovalov. That's right Canada! Shapo will pull a Rusedski and play for some other team just like Jesse Levine. Just kidding. I'm still surprised so many years later Rusedski's switch from Canada to the UK. Or Sweeting from Bahamas. Or Jesse Levine to go Canada to team USA.

  • catherine · August 9, 2017 at 8:12 pm

    catherine writes:

    Andrew – yes, of course Zverevs are German. And Kyrgios is Australian and not Greek or Malaysian etc etc. You have to belong somewhere. Of course parts of Germany which used to be German are now Russian. May have been Polish for a brief while as well. Gets a bit dfficult in Europe.

  • herios · August 9, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    The Zverevs are Russian immigrants to Germany. Misha was born in Moscow, so he was once Russian, but his younger brother Sasha was born in Germany.
    They are Germans of course, but at the same token they could choose to play for Russia if they would like to do so.

  • Moxie · August 9, 2017 at 8:38 pm

    That seems unlikely to happen. The Russians have so many that they send them to play for Uzbekistan. Whereas the Germans really need the Zverevs.

  • herios · August 9, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    Moxie said:

    That seems unlikely to happen. The Russians have so many that they send them to play for Uzbekistan. Whereas the Germans really need the Zverevs.Click to expand…

    I agree with you.

  • Moxie · August 9, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    Plus, the Germans can really afford to support them. Notice that Adidas (German company) sponsors both brothers. I don't think they're abdicating from Germany any time soon.

  • Andrew Miller · August 9, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    Andrew Miller writes:

    They seem pretty German to me, that Zverev Alex temper is pure Deutschland! But maybe he eats a lot of borscht.

  • Andrew Miller · August 9, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    Andrew Miller writes:

    I'm having fun with this. I'm not making fun of Scoop.

  • catherine · August 9, 2017 at 11:17 pm

    catherine writes:

    Good work out for Germany's Angelique – slides past Vekic but didn't look exactly like a w/o from the score. Still, wins a win, nicht ? Moxie – adidas sponsor half the circuit seems to me.

  • catherine · August 10, 2017 at 4:34 am

    catherine writes:

    I looked at the completed Toronto matches and thought – almost anyone here can win this tournament now – and then I looked again and thought – Ashleigh Barty ? But wouldn't it be fun :)

  • Andrew Miller · August 10, 2017 at 7:29 am

    Andrew Miller writes:

    Count it: Pliskova Karo will win one of these Masters and be praised as a threat to win the us open. And that praise will ensure she will NOT win the us open.

  • Andrew Miller · August 10, 2017 at 7:31 am

    Andrew Miller writes:

    I've come to believe praise doesn't work. Congratulations on giving a great concession speech, it mattered more than your making the final. (Fire him!)

  • catherine · August 10, 2017 at 8:26 am

    catherine writes:

    Andrew – 'Fire him!' ? No chance. Simona will sail on to a medley of titles and then fall flat on her face at occ-less GSs. (prove me wrong Simo !) I've noticed SH and AK are playing the night matches in Toronto – is this because they're both considered a draw ? Or is it a cunning ploy on Angie's part – crash out in front of ten spectators at midnight and you'll dodge the attention and humiliation. Private tennis – maybe that's best for her at present. And stay in the moment. Ka P is talking herself down. Another cunning ploy. Like, 'my serve is really dreadful' and 'I'm not feeling it', 'I don't care about being No 1' :)

  • Hartt · August 10, 2017 at 8:50 am

    Hartt writes:

    Angie's match is scheduled for 5:00 on the smaller Grandstand court. It follows the doubles team of Bouchard/Pliskova and the Halep v Strycova match on Centre Court may be finished by then. Trust me, the stadium will be packed!

  • Andrew Miller · August 10, 2017 at 8:56 am

    Andrew Miller writes:

    Yes, the tournament will not announce their matches, which will be played on secluded courts somewhere in suburban Toronto under a few trees on a cracked surface with unpredictable bounces. It will be a fierce match that no one sees, and sadly because of ticket prices it will have around the same attendance as early round matches at any venue in the world :(

  • catherine · August 10, 2017 at 9:42 am

    catherine writes:

    Hartt – the site that I follow is very confusing with the times – doesn't translate into GMT – had one of the men's matches ending at 4am ! I assumed Angie's match was following Simona's on the same court. So instead of comfortable seclusion Angie will experience a crowd baying for Sloane S's victory – do Canadians support US players these days ? Wasn't always so. Angie should still play private tennis and stay in the moment. Or get bounced out and seek anonymity in the milling throng.

  • Andrew Miller · August 10, 2017 at 9:47 am

    Andrew Miller writes:

    An idea whose time has come: Public parks championship that involves USA pro players. It would raise the profile of the sport. Or exhibitions in public parks with pro players. There would be a huge buzz. It would be like the barnstorming of the past that made the tours possible. We must have dumb marketers for the sport.

  • catherine · August 10, 2017 at 10:00 am

    catherine writes:

    Andrew – This interesting wheeze has been mentioned before and while it sounds a good idea my response is the same – which pro players would give up one millisecond of their busy lives to grace a public court ? On any kind of regular basis that is. Not to mention the remuneration – who pays ? Those barnstorming days of the past sound romantic now but it was just making a virtue out of necessity. Money over instead of under the counter.

  • Hartt · August 10, 2017 at 10:10 am

    Hartt writes:

    Andrew, I wish the site did have a few trees, would provide some welcome shade! Catherine, I don't know that the crowd will necessarily support Sloane, she has been away for so long with her foot injury/surgery she may be under the radar now. And Kerber is a well-known player these days. Sloane seems to have fan appeal (which I never totally understood, outside of her good looks and nice smile), so it will be interesting to see who they root for. I don't know that Canadian crowds are especially pro-American. For example, Aga had way more support than CoCo – no contest in that dept.

  • Hartt · August 10, 2017 at 10:25 am

    Hartt writes:

    Catherine, the Rogers Cup website, http://www.rogerscup.com, has an easy to follow OOP. Then you can just add 5 hours to get British times. There are several good daytime matches, starting with Osaka v Pliskova at 11:00 am Toronto time.

  • catherine · August 10, 2017 at 10:32 am

    catherine writes:

    Hartt – thanks for the info. I should be able to fix the time I can follow matches now.

  • catherine · August 10, 2017 at 10:44 am

    catherine writes:

    Hartt – BTW I asked about crowd support because I had a couple of Canadian friends, from Toronto, who had quite strong feelings about the US – mostly negative. Not sure why – possibly some kind of envy, resentment of bigger power etc. But I wouldn't be surprised if the crowd supports Sloane because she'll be seen as the underdog. That won't help Angie if she starts to lose her confidence. So I wouldn't see a Sloane victory as an astonishing upset.

  • Duke Carnoustie · August 10, 2017 at 11:22 am

    Duke Carnoustie writes:

    Can't wait for this Kyrgios-Zverev showdown. I think Nick will make it 3-0 against his buddy. Counting down till the match starts.

  • Hartt · August 10, 2017 at 11:42 am

    Hartt writes:

    Catherine, Canadian attitudes towards the USA are complex. In many ways there is a lot of interaction between the 2 countries, and many Americans live in Canada and vice versa. I went to graduate school in the States and then worked there for a year. Graduate school was one of the best times of my life and I made some close friends. But I was surprised at how homesick I felt for Canada, not just my hometown and province, but for the country as a whole. Outside of Quebec, which is still largely French, we speak the same language. Canadians watch American TV and movies, consume American news, read American books and magazines. So we know a lot about the US and admire a lot of American culture. But, at the same time, Canadians want our own culture to be acknowledged and I would say that Canadians have become more nationalistic than we used to be. I am annoyed with some of the anti-American sentiment that still exists. I think some of that does spring from jealousy towards a large, powerful neighbour that has such a big influence on us.

  • catherine · August 10, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    catherine writes:

    Hartt- thanks, that's filled in a few gaps for me.

  • Hartt · August 10, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    Hartt writes:

    I am interested in the development of young tennis players. The sportsnet.ca site has an interesting piece, "Growing Pains," on Denis Shapovalov, written when he was at the Granby Challenger recently. One of the things discussed is the dual existence for a player at Denis' ranking. One week he is playing Wimbledon, thanks to a WC, where he rubs shoulders with top players and enjoys the luxury of a Slam. "You go from playing Wimbledon, one of the classiest tournaments in the world, to playing – like Gatineau is a good tournament, it's run very well, but at the end of the day, it's Gatineau." On a rainy Monday in Granby Denis is playing video games and wanting to contact his family. But the motel Wi-Fi is not working properly and he can't Skype his parents. It can be especially lonely for an 18-year-old on the road. At least in Montreal his parents are there and presumably he has a nice hotel, and is spared fast food. And of course he enjoys the adulation of big crowds as he wins his first 2 matches. But next week it is back to the grind of the Challenger tour, although the next stop is a big city, Vancouver. And then he must battle it out in the qualies of the USO. Denis acknowledges that there is motivation in wanting to get to the next level of tennis, "so that, you know, eventually I can be at the nice lounges, and the nice hotels, and live a nice life," he says, laughing. But there are more Granbys in his immediate future before he gets to tennis' promised land.

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