Sunday, August 28, 2011

2011 Men's US Open Preview -- Young Gun Edition

Verdasco's a must have
The mens. Mens, mens, mens. My favorite thing about writing the men’s preview is looking for and posting the pictures. I’m a bit tired of the same ole same ole though. To mix things up a little, I’ll be posting pics of the next generation of potentially great players (but only the ones that are 18 or older – I’m not interested in being THAT creepy). If I remember I’ll caption them to let you know who they are. And there will probably be some of the regulars mixed in as well. Enjoy!

Grigor Dimitrov
1. Novak Djokovic -- As if he needed any help, there isn’t a single seed in his quarter of the draw that is likely to take a set off of him. The only thing that can keep him from winning this tournament right now is his shoulder. If that holds up and everyone else plays as well as they have the rest of the year, he might go two weeks without losing a set.

2. Rafael Nadal -- Most of his game is built on the idea that you can’t out muscle him and that he is sure he can beat you. Both of those things are pretty intimidating. And neither of them is true right now. It’s hard to imagine him winning it all, and when he doesn’t believe he can win it all he often loses earlier than he should.

3. Roger Federer -- He’s under the radar and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga isn’t in his quarter, so the Fed is probably good to go. I think him beating Djokovic in the semifinal is at least very unlikely, if not impossible. If Ryan Harrison can get to the third round, it will be a great TV match for Labor Day weekend.

Young American Ryan Harrison
4. Andy Murray -- It’s become painful to watch a major final when he’s in it, but we may just have to do it again. If it happens it will almost certainly be the same result as always – the only difference is this time it won’t be entirely his fault. I’ve never really enjoyed watching him play anyway, but there’s not even anyone in his quarter that will provide a decent match to watch. You can probably just change the channel or fast forward your Tivo when you see one of his matches being televised.

5. David Ferrer -- It’s a bit sad that I can say with complete confidence that the chance of any of the 5-8 seeds winning this tournament is virtually nil. Ferrer could have an interesting matchup with Andy Roddick if they both make it to the round of 16. Of course, the only real reason it will be interesting is to see if Roddick can play better as the complete underdog than he has in matches here where he’s been the favorite. While neither of them has a shot at winning the title, it’s possible that one of them could end up in the semifinals.

Milos Raonic is hurt,
but he's gonna be good
6. Robin Soderling -- This is mostly wishful thinking on my part because of how much I don’t like him but I see Soderling going out in the third round to John Isner.

7. Gael Monfils -- Jo-Wilfried Tsonga gets most of the media attention (beating Federer twice in a couple months will do that), but Monfils is the top ranked player in France. Not that that means much. He’ll be taken apart by Nole in the quarterfinals, but if you get a chance to watch his first round match against Grigor Dimitrov then do it. That may end up being the most entertaining first round match of the tournament.

8. Mardy Fish -- Fish had a great summer. He won the tournament in Atlanta and made the final in two others. It remains to be seen if he can translate that summer sizzle into major success. He’ll potentially have a tough fourth round match against Tsonga just to get the chance to play Federer (probably) in the quarters. It would be the feel-good story of the summer if he were to end up playing Djokovic in the semifinals, but I wouldn’t count on it.

Another young American Jack Sock
9. Tomas Berdych -- There’s very little interesting about Berdych’s game and even less about his section of the draw. Either he or Monfils will end up in the quarterfinals, but that’s as far as either goes.

10. Nicolas Almagro -- You’d have to look really hard to find a less accomplished top ten player. Even on his favorite surface (clay), he’s never been past the quarterfinals of a major. He’s never even gotten out of the third round in New York. Maybe he can score tickets to Mary Poppins and make the trip worthwhile this year.

11. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga -- There’s no way this guy shouldn’t be a top five player. But he’s essentially the reincarnation of Marat Safin, only with not as good a work ethic. You never know what’s going to happen when he shows up on court. If he gets to play Mardy Fish in the fourth round, that could be a very entertaining match. If he gets to the quarterfinals, can he beat Federer for the third straight time. It says no right here.

Ryan Harrison and his legs

12. Gilles Simon -- He never really seems to care, so why should we?

13. Richard Gasquet -- Gasquet vs. Alexandr Dolgopolov in the third round could be a fun match.

14. Stanislas Wawrinka -- It gets really boring down at the end of the seed list.

15. Viktor Troicki -- Yawn.

More Grigor
16. Mikhail Youzhny -- Ditto.

Del Po
18. Juan Martin Del Potro -- Del Po has struggled to get his game back this year after missing most of last year with a wrist injury. He won here in 2009 however and he’s got a pretty soft draw to the quarterfinals. Once there, he’s got the best of the four to have to play – Andy Murray. It would be nice to see him back in the final four.

21. Andy Roddick -- As I said earlier, it will be interesting to see if Roddick can perform better from out of the top 20 than he did from inside the top ten. He’s had a pretty lackluster year though, so don’t expect a lot.

22. Alexandr Dolgopolov -- Dolgopolov is the highest ranked young gun. He could make it to the fourth round, where his reward will be a tennis lesson from Djokovic.

28. John Isner -- Isner is in the same section with Del Potro. If they get to play it will be a battle of the giants. Either one of them has a decent chance against Murray.

Djokovic def. Federer
Murray def. Ferrer

Novak Djokovic

1 comment:

  1. Great blog post, but I must say there's nothing wrong with being a little creepy. LOL, I am kidding. ( kinda)