The Draws Are Out: Let the Tennis-“Gnashing” Begin!
The US Open Draw ceremony was held on Thursday the 25th in New York. Rafa was on hand to help with the event and presumably sell some more Armani underwear somewhere nearby I’m sure.
But I digress.
There is much to chew on in this year’s US Open draws: at least for the men.
For the women, the only drama was where would #28 seed Serena Williams be placed in the draw, and which higher seeds would she knock out early en route to this year’s title. We now know the answer. Serena will start her title pursuit against Bojana Jovanovski in the first round. Looming in the third round is a potential meeting with Victoria Azarenka, the woman she beat in the Montreal semifinal in straight sets.
There was lots of speculation on whether the US Open would follow Wimbledon’s actions by elevating Serena to a seeding placement more in-line with her actual ability to win the tournament. No such luck, as they adhered to their “by the book” WTA rankings seeding process. It’s a shame. They have so few stars to help sell the game that it’s never good to have them knock each other out before the round of 16.
There are only a few interesting first/second round encounters for the women. Shahar Peer plays Sania Mirza. That could be interesting if Mirza plays like the Mirza of old. Otherwise it will be quick straight sets for Shahar.
Venus, with only two tournaments under her belt this summer – none on hardcourt – has a potential second round match against Sabine Lisicki AND a potential fourth round match against Vera Zvonareva. Honestly though, Venus will be so rusty that it’s conceivable she could get knocked out in the first round. You never know with Venus these days. She could be the “multiple slam Venus”, or she could be the “unsure of how to close out a point Venus”. Let’s hope for the former. Sabine won’t be thrilled with this draw, but I don’t see any reason why she won’t prevail in straights. Sorry V. And Vera, you have nothing to worry about.
Another interesting match-up is the potential match between Christina McHale and Marion Bartoli in the second round. If Christina keeps up her good form and gets to the second round, this could be tricky for Marion. The youngster has notched a couple of big scalps this summer (Woz and Kuzy). Marion won’t want to be another, and should get through.
THE MEN!!!!!! Here’s where it gets interesting.
Even just looking at the potential quarterfinal match-ups would be enough to keep most tennis fans happy! Here’s the list of potential matches:
Novak Djokovic/Gael Monfils
Mardy Fish/Roger Federer
Robin Soderling/Andy Murray
Rafael Nadal/David Ferrer
Hurricane or no hurricane, I’d buy my tickets now if I could! I’ll discuss more in my later predictions.
Some interesting first round matches include Roger versus Santiago Giraldo, Andy Murray versus Somdev Devarman, Rafa versus Andrey Golubev, and Andy Roddick versus Michael Russell. I don’t see any upsets necessarily, but guys with nothing to lose in first round matches are always dangerous!
An unknown in all of this is Robin Soderling. Injury has kept him out of the US Open Series. He will come in very rusty with no match play to set him up for a title run. It could be interesting…or he could be out in the first round. We’ll find out.
Note: Nicolas Mahut and John Isner were placed on opposite sides of the draw and can only meet if they make it to the finals. And I hope that people will give it a break and stop making us all keep reliving the memories of that 3 day nightmare match. ;-)