This Article was first published on 10sballs.com as : US Open Preview: Time for Federer/Nadal Showdown Or The Name ‘Djokovic’ Will Elude Them Again? Written by: ApekshaHA on 26th August 2011
The biggest GS is all set to start from Monday! And with the draws released yesterday, it promises to be one of the most entertaining events of the year. Before we start with the preview: here are some interesting facts:
1) In last 20 years, only 6 times, a player has won RC and US Open together in a year.
2) In last 20 years, only 4 times a player has won Cincy and US Open together in a year.
3) Only 3 players have won RC and Cincy in last 20 years (So not a surprise that Djokovic felt a bit tired at the end of Cincy. These back to back masters take a toll on players physically as well as mentally )
4) In last 20 years, only two players (Pat Rafter and Andy Roddick) have won all RC, Cincy and US Open together!
5) Of the current lot, only 4 players have won US Open in last 8 years:Roger Federer (5), Rafael Nadal, Juan Martin Del Potro and Andy Roddick. Dominance of RF!
After watching the draws yesterday, it was no surprise that Federer/Djokovic ended in the same draw and Nadal/Murray in the other. Such is the dominance of these 4 at present that it is hard to recognize the effort of Ferrer being No.5 or Gilles Simon climbing up from 43 to being seeded no. 12 at present in US Open.
Novak Djokovic: He has an easy draw for US Open until SF where he can possibly meet Federer. If Nole’s shoulder is alright, he shouldn’t have much of a problem reaching SF. Berdych/Monfils might be waiting in QF but I don’t think they are still ready to take down the best player of the year so far.
Roger Federer: He has a comparatively tougher draw in the top 4 but it might be actually good for him this year. As we saw in FO SF, glimpses of old Roger, it’s a strong possibility that getting a tough draw might awaken the champion in him. Frankly speaking, after winning 16 GS, You need something extraordinary to reignite yourself and this might be the trigger to show to the whole world- What RF is all about! So Tsonga/Fish/Cilic might be there, but if I were you, I would want to put my money on RF. If he doesn’t win this one, after 2003, it will be the first year without a GS for him.
Rafael Nadal: For him, it is a perfect draw where he can easily reach SF and must be feeling confident. His poor performances prior to US Open does not account for his competence as playing in a GS is a totally different stage. It could be a repeat of last year when he played his best tennis at US Open. He might face Ferrer against whom he has 13-4 record and not withstanding that Ferrer might still have after effects of left hand injury! So a cakewalk for Nadal if he doesn’t let his emotions get better of him and play it out tough.
Andy Murray:He looks quite upbeat after his Cincy win. He has one major threat though -Del Potro in his way. Since Soderling will be coming back from an injury, I don’t see him leaving any mark. Del Potro hasn’t been consistent this year so I would want to pick Murray till SF. Plus Murray has 5-1 record against him! Wawrinka is also there but I think this time Murray is well prepared to take him on and battle out the tough conditions in New York- Thanks to his training session in Miami at 100F!
My Semi-Final pick would be Djokovic/Federer and Nadal/Murray. Federer will be double motivated if he faces Djokovic as no one has been able to defeat Nole this year except him so he would want it to keep it that way. Although if Djokovic’s shoulder is fine by then , it will be a showdown to watch and probably the second best match of the year! (Also the most awaited match, more than Fedal or Nadal/Djokovic match). In Nadal/Murray - I will pick Nadal. Although Murray will be motivated to defeat him as already his counterpart Djokovic has done it-5 times a year- So he has a point to prove this year. But after seeing his match against Fish, at crucial moments, people will agree a touch of frustration still creeps up in his play. Although Mardy was not able to capitalize on it, Nadal is not that sort of a player to let go of this weakness easily. Wimbledon SF a perfect example!
In the end, I will go for a FEDAL final and Federer would be my pick this year to win!
I will pick Mardy Fish as my dark horse- he is the one out of all (Del Potro, Sodering/Ferrer etc) who can cause a real upset and if he does that, then I think there is no stopping Djokovic from claiming his first US Open title! Also one thing to remember- The curse of Federer is something to keep in mind: Del Potro, Tsonga & Berdych;) Need I say more!
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