Monday, September 7, 2009

US Open Men's Draw, Update #1

While the women's field has been decimated, there are no such upsets on the Men's side. No teen-aged sensation to talk about either (I think that spot may be reserved for Grigor Dimitrov next year...) All the top 16 male players made it to the 3rd round, the first time in Open-era history, and in the Round of 16, the 14 of the top 16 made it.

The only two casualties? #9 Frenchman Gilles Simon, who had to retire in his 3rd round match vs former #1 (and former King of Clay before a guy named Rafael Nadal came around) Juan Carlos Ferrero. JCF was a finalist here a few years ago, so it's not like he's a pushover on the hard courts. Too bad for Gilles, who was in a bit of a slump during the clay season... he was starting to get good results again, the knee injury came at a really bad time for him.

The other casualty is #5 Andy Roddick, who got served out of the court by the unseeded 6'9'' giant John Isner in another heart-breaking (for Roddick) scoreline of 7-6 (7-3), 6-3, 3-6, 5-7, 7-6 (7-5)

The only match I saw Roger play so far was the first one, against 18yo American Devin Britton. He played well enough there, but according to some reports I read, he didn't seem to be as precise in his match against Hewitt. Same thing with Rafa, I only saw his first round match. He easily dumped the just-returning-from-my-coccaine-ban Richard "Reeshard" Gasquet and I was really impressed with his shots and his movement. It didn't seem like he came from injury at all. It will be interesting to see if Roger can hang on to his good pre-US Open form, and if Rafa can keep his body injury-free even while playing 5-set hardcourt matches.

Dark horses? Last year's US Open runner-up Andy Murray and Juan Martin Del Potro. Murray didn't play well Wimbledon, where the hometown pressure may have been a factor. This time he doesn't have as much pressure to win, so he might be able to pull this off. On the other hand, JMPD doesn't have to deal with much pressure. In fact, not much attention has been given to him since most of the contender spotlight still falls among the top 4. That may be good for him (I predicted that he'll go all the way to the finals... so he better not screw this up, at least for my sake.)

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