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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 GΓΆrges 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.

  • candy sidhu 6:34 AM Reply

    Hello Beautiful Stefanie πŸ™‚
    Iam looking forward to reading your reviews of the US Open and i wish you all the best during your time in New York πŸ™‚
    It was disappointing to see Kim Clijsters withdraw and this year she had to deal with injuries otherwise she would have done ever so well and i was looking forward to see her defend the title for the 3rd time.
    Djokovic has been outstanding this season too and he had to retire from the final against Murray due to a shoulder injury and i hope he has recovered from it to do really well at flushing meadow.
    I seem to find it difficult to predict the winners in the women’s draw nowadays because it is wide open and anyone playing at their best will have the chance to win the title.
    The 10th anniversary of the terrible incident in New York will be a very emotional for those who were affected by the tragedy and the loss their love ones will never be forgotten.

    Take Great Care and Keep Smiling πŸ™‚
    God Bless To Beautiful Stefanie and Family πŸ™‚

  • S-G-T 7:17 AM Reply

    We forgot waiting for tournaments since your retirement,but we always want to read your articles and reviews.

    God Bless Steffi.

    • noval 9:25 PM Reply

      hey don’t you guys dare say anything about nadal. I LOVE HIM! lol novak is cute and funny and all that, but I’m all the way nadal’s fan

      • Heba 6:25 PM Reply

        I love Serena Williams. She got some temper, so what? It doesn’t make her less tenelted, maybe even helps. She is energetic and strong, and those qualities are essential for a winner! You go, Serena!

        • Medo 5:49 AM Reply

          I am in seventh heeavn. Andy knocks off not just one top three player but two in row. *does backflips in the office* Oh he badly needed this. You can see it on his face, these wins mean so much more than being stuck playing in US tournaments where he beats up on teenagers. You gotta go where the big boys play, and the pay off has already been immense.About Jimmy, it’s curious that Andy would finally start playing the tennis we’ve known him capable of playing only after Jimmy has left the building. That’s a curious one. Maybe playing in front of a legend like him did put too much pressure on Andy, and made him focus on the negatives instead of the positives. That’s one reason why Brad Gilbert makes such a great coach, he always focused on a player’s strengths, not their weaknesses. When Jimmy was tweaking and honing Andy’s backhand, his once powerful forehand mysteriously went away. But now it’s back again. Is it back for good??Please win the title now, Andy. Don’t go losing to Lopez, of all people. On a side note to Craig, I remember your comment about feeling disillusioned after Andy’s crash out from the AO. I felt the same way. In fact I haven’t updated my blog since then. But his performance at Dubai has got the fires blazing again, hasn’t it? I’m happy that Andy is playing so inspired again. πŸ™‚

        • Wanwisa 5:51 AM Reply

          Did you hear the story about the boy that they found in the ceallr. He had been in the ceallr since 2003 when some dude named Roger Federer locked him in the box and threw away the key. This fellow from Mallorca, Spain found this key in Dubai, opened it and out jumped Andy Roddick, feeling fresh and fit after having not played tennis in over 5 years. He went on to beat the guy who let him out of the box and thereafter went on to whip the so-called heir apparent in a thrilling semi-final match. Now Andy who has been locked in a ceallr for the past 5 years is sorry that the No. 1 player exited the tournament early, because by jove he would have given him a whup ass for locking him in that ceallr for so long. Go Andy. Never was a big fan of yours, but glad to see that you are finally winning against the so-called big dogs. Congrats to all Andy fans. Whoo Hoo.

          • Linsey 7:31 AM

            People, eat crow…What do you think of the game yesterday. Nadal plyaed brilliantly and it was obvious who was given to ranting and tantrum throws. Agreed it was a big match for Baghdatis, he kept venting a bit too much of his frustration.And Nadal is definitely better behaved in such situations.Remember the French Open finals where Fed made total mincemeat of him in the first set and Nadal stayed as cool as a cucumber and came back strongly…Also,unlike Jabberwock, I don’t think tomorrow’s final will be a cakewalk for Federer

  • apeksha 4:12 PM Reply

    Hi Steffi,

    Nice article. Just one point of correction- Nadal has been beaten 5 times- i think this year by Djokovic. Nadal last won during Barclay’s ATP World tour finals.I agree that Djokovic has been no doubt the best payer this year, but if he meets Federer, whom would you say as favorite: If federer does not win a GS here, it will be the first time since 2003.
    Also in women’s section, Serena Williams is no doubt the strongest contender, but what do you think about Kvitova? Personally I would love to see Kvitova and Liscki meeting up during US Open- would be interesting to see two future stars and possibly a strong rivalry like 90’s develop between them? Would be great for Women’s tennis.

    Although I have to say that I def miss the time when you used to play. It was so intense and fun. Wishing you a great time in NY and is there a chance that fans like us can meet you? Please let us know if we can meet you in NYC.

    Cheers
    apeksha

  • Neena 6:05 PM Reply

    Novak and Serena are definitely the favourites on everyone’s list but taking a wild guess here and hoping Murray or Woz win their first ever GS title, know that’s a crazy prediction to make but didn’t Gil say ‘dream while you are awake’, so that will my dreamy, crazy predicition for this year.
    Since you are in NY, are you going to the attend the Legend’s ball this year since it is Andre’s HOF induction year?

  • apeksha 8:06 PM Reply

    And just as i said it, kvitova lost in the first round! Today’s generation is so fragile- It will be Serena for sure !

  • Neena 4:38 PM Reply

    Hi Steffi,
    Waiting for your updates from NY trip but you and Andre look great at the Legend’s Ball. Hope you had a great time. Looking forward for a great day of tennis, a make or break day for my crazy, dreamy predictions to come true, big hurdles for Murray and Wozniacki in the form of Nadal and Serena who look unbeatable so far. Also, special kudos to Kerber for making it to the SF at the Open.

    • Albin 3:49 AM Reply

      I think Novak could be the best ever. I hope he learns some huiitmly somewhere along the line. The only reason I don’t like him, is he seems very arrogant. He does not seem approachable. I guess we’ll see! THanks Peter.

  • Neena 9:34 PM Reply

    That was some match Steffi, wanted Roger to win and thought he was definitely going to pull it off but have to give to Novak for believing in himself and pulling it off. Great match. Now waiting for Murray-Nadal.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  • Neena 4:11 PM Reply

    Thank you for NY Trip photos but still waiting for the Legend’s Ball updates, heard it was a blast. So much for my crazy predictions but expecting some scintillating tennis between Djokovic and Nadal, esp since Nadal admitted that Novak is in his head. On the women’s side, you are right about Serena. Stosur bet her at FO last year but that was on clay, Serena’s weaker surface and also, Serena is playing with a purpose now.

    • Juan 12:51 AM Reply

      Serena has very high standards. She can be very tough and criiactl on herself. She doesn’t hand out praises like it’s free……nothing wrong with that πŸ™‚

      • Padmakar 8:21 AM Reply

        Oh how I LOVE Audree!!!!!! My choice for you to paint her is nbumer 3!!!!! I cannot wait to see finished pic’s of her, inside and out. Your blog makes me smile. I visit you ALL the time.Blessings and Hugs too, Deanna

  • Neena 4:58 PM Reply

    Well deserved win for Sam Stosur, guessing thet even Mrs.G could not predict this.

  • Neena 12:52 AM Reply

    Thanks for the regular updates during the US Open. Agree with the men’s final, some breath taking tennis and the final score doesn’t say it all. Many times it looked surreal and like Wi Fi tennis, loved the way both Novak and Nadal fought till the third set.
    You and Andre look great in the tennis HOF pictures as well as all the other legends.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

    • Twin 7:11 PM Reply

      Novak Djokovic is a solid player and a world class ahettle, but to stamp him the best player ever is giving him credit he doesn’t deserve (yet). You cannot discount what Pete Sampras, Rod Laver, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal have done and sa y with a straight face that Novak is superior, because that would just be an act of ignorant bliss. Beyond the boundries of the baseline and into the record books is where we would have to delve and the numbers don’t lie. By being the best, you have to trump the best by overcoming their statistical records and multiple grand slam achievements across the board. Any other person who would think differently in this matter, certainly doesn’t have nor know the sport as they claim they would. (Just my honest and humble opinion) ;o)

      • Mohit 5:12 AM Reply

        I saw a small inset about you in Romantic Homes Dec 2011. Would love to see more of the inside of your adolabre little Audree ! I couldn’t choose which exterior its only paint try each & see which receives the most compliments in person ! Good Luck ! Beat Wishes to your girls !

      • Subadhra 7:07 AM Reply

        Deborah: Baghdatis has a lovely peanrsolity alright, but I seriously doubt Nadal is a “spoilt brat” – considering the kind of rigour and focus there is in his game (winning 60 clay matches in a row – a quite astonishing achievement for any 20-year-old, regardless of how talented he might be).Suhas: Well, the flip side is that when Sampras and Ivanisevic and other big servers were at their best, too many games were dominated by great first serves. Hardly any long rallies – in fact there was a lot of talk in the mid to late 1990s about men’s tennis losing its excitement. nightwatchmen: wouldn’t mind Nadal losing to Baghdatis, but I hope he doesn’t somehow make it to the final and then get thrashed by Federer. That would be grossly unfair, because Nadal’s already exceeded expectations by getting this far – and no one thinks he has a serious chance against Fed on grass anyway.

    • Romli 5:03 AM Reply

      I almost didn’t reizcngoe him with that short haircut. I like that kid, and hope he has a great 2009. Some of his quotes are of the “Marat Safin humor” variety, which I find hysterical. Making the AO final will be tough. You saying Rafa ain’t gonna get there, Rich?*rolls up sleeves, prepares for a fight*I mean, wouldn’t you rather watch Rafa in white shorts for two weeks rather than Gulbis?

      • Serjohn 7:36 AM Reply

        What if you painted the bototm Aqua and then Pink Stripes on TopLike the Web site from Linda.. Might be interesting and tie the color to the inside paint. OR a Big Aqua stripe on the bototm where you have the Big Pink stripe???

      • Willow 8:11 AM Reply

        Jai: Agree with you on the big srevers. And while on big srevers, let’s not forget The Scud or Rudeski. Of the current lot, the mercurial Safin comes to mind as someone who has a big serve AND a pretty good all-round game. Baghdatis’ return reminded me of Agassi at his peak…when he’d returned after injury to take the US Open and the Australian open. The angles he got then…erm…strange verification code: panic

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