Placed in Tennis
Despite some dramatic moments caused by hurricane Irene, The last grand slam tournament of the year will start as scheduled this Monday in New York and the tennis world will look on with excitement.
The two current favorites for the title in Flushing Meadows are, by most accounts, Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams.
Djokovic has had an outstanding, but intense, tennis season and thus has started to show some signs of physical and mental fatigue, which probably cost him the title in Cincinnati against Murray. But considering that this was only his second defeat in his last 59 matches and he that he has now been able to take advantage of a full week of recovery, I would rate him as the clear favorite. For sure, he will make it difficult for Nadal to find his form on the hard court and defend his title – after all, Djokovic has defeated Nadal in their last 6 matchups. Nonetheless, Nadal is a strong opponent and he still ranks ahead of Murray and Federer on my own list of favorites.
It was good to see Murray playing his best tennis of the season in Cincinnati one week before the US Open and we can only hope that he will stay on this level for the next two weeks. On a less positive note, Federer was eliminated unexpectedly by Berdych and Tsonga in the preparatory tournaments and it remains to be seen if he can repeat the sort of strong performance he put in at the French Open.
Serena Williams showed a lot of resilience this summer by winning the tournaments in Stanford and Toronto ousting Sharapova, Azarenka, Stosur and Bartoli, amongst others. Her winning streak, which now stands at 12 matches since she lost against Kvitota in Wimbledon, will give her a lot of confidence in this tournament and she could very possibly nab her fourth title in New York.
Although Sharapova improved significantly this year reaching the finals in Wimbledon and the recent tournament win in Ohio, the big question for her is if she will be able to keep up with Williams’ athleticism.
Unfortunately, Kim Clijsters will not be able to defend her title this year due to continuing injury problems, however I am looking forward to another good German showing with Lisicki, who just won the Texas Open, as well as Petkovic and Görges all playing very well this season.
Now we can hopefully enjoy two weeks full of exciting matches and because I will be in New York City during the tournament, I will make a point of trying to watch as much of the action on the court as I can.
This year’s men and ladies finals surely will be a bit different from year’s past, as they will occur around the 10th anniversary of the devastating terror attacks of September 11th. The USTA will memorialize the victims in different ceremonies.