Thursday, August 20, 2009

US Open 2009 - Preview

As I write this blog post, Cincinnati Masters is underway as the warm-up to US Open 2009 which starts in a week's time. All the top players use this Masters tournament to find their rhythm. In another tournament, Rogers Cup, which concluded last week, Murray played amazingly to lift the crown. Federer and Nadal lost before the semi-finals. In this post, I will analyze the chances for the potential contenders for the US open 2009 crown.

Roger Federer will start as the defending champion. Last year, he dismissed Murray in staraight sets to win US open. He was in very bad condition last year having lost all the majors coming to US open. He is in a far better position this year having won French open and Wimbledon apart from regaining the World No 1 title. However, he is not in good form in hard courts this year. He lost the Australian open final to Nadal. He also lost the Rogers cup match last week to Tsonga which was sort of a collapse. With Federer, one never knows. He can lift his game to very high level in Grand Slams. I think he is the favorite to win US open.

Rafal Nadal has come back from a knee injury. He was scratchy in Rogers cup and lost to Del Potro in straight sets. But having won the Australian open this year, he will be confident of turning out well in US open as well. My only concern is that Nadal has not changed his game in spite of the knee injury. I do not think that running around after every ball is going to help his knees either. Nadal, however, is a master tactician. He will certainly come out with some new game for the US open. Having pushed to No 3 in the world, he does not need any other motivation to deliver his best in US open.

Andy Murray has been playing amazing tennis over the past 2 years. The only glitch is that he is not able to win any major till now. I am sure that he will not want himself to labelled Henman V2.0. Murray has the perfect game for the hard court. On current form, I would label him as the favorite to win US open next only to Federer. Murray's only weakness is that he tends to stutter against weaker opponents in major events. I am sure he would be careful in US open. Having become No 2 in the world, Murray would want to set up a title clash with Federer which will surely be a cracking one.

Andy Roddick is the former World No 1 and former US open champion. He is coming back after that epic Wimbledon final defeat to Federer. Roddick played amazing tennis at Wimbledon and played some exceptional tennis in the Semis and Final. He has improved his game at nets. His serve as always is very tough to break. I hope he will give very tough fight to the top 3 in the world.

I think these 4 will set up Semifinal clashes at US open depending on the draw. Other than these, there are few others who may upset any of these 4 in the earlier rounds.

Novak Djokovic
is not playing his best tennis at the moment. But he is quite dangerous on his day when he plays to his potential. Del Potro is playing amazing tennis over the past one year having defeated Nadal last week. One should not be surprised if he produces a few upsets. Tsonga is an unpredictable player capable of producing few upsets. Soderling is a fighter and all top players are aware of that. He was the one who sent Nadal packing at French open this year. Hewitt, who is a former World No 1, has found his rhythm over the past few months and he is a dark horse in the US open championship race.

There are other fighters like Fernando Verdasco, Fernando Gonzalez, Ivo Karlovic, and Nikolay Davydenko who can create few headaches for the top ranked players.

I am expecting a lot of fireworks in US open this year. I expect a Federer-Murray clash in the final show down. Other players considered above may have alternate plans though.