Thursday, August 23, 2012

2012 US Open -- Men's Preview

The Olympics sure did crowd up the schedule. Usually by the time the US Open rolls around it seems like Wimbledon was ages ago. Thanks to the fact that they essentially played it twice this summer, it seems like it was just yesterday. Anyone who showed up to the blog today looking for more wacky adventures of psquared will have to wait until Saturday for that to resume. Men's draw analysis tonight, women's tomorrow.

I'm not as excited about the Open as I usually am. I'm not sure if it's because how quickly it seems to have gotten here or what. But on we go anyway. I'll try to make it as “me” as always. You'll notice that the player's home country is in parentheses. There is no reason for that except that when I copied and pasted the list, that's how I got it. I listed all 32 seeds, but I'm sure you'll figure out quickly who I'm not impressed by.

[About the song: The song is self-explanatory. I took the pics from all the other tennis blog post from the last couple of years. Then I had to download more because I didn't have quite enough.]

1. Roger Federer (Switzerland) – He's beaten Djokovic twice this summer and is one out of two against Murray in major finals. Plus, he's ranked number one again after having to listen to his own eulogy constantly for the past two years. The dial on his smug-ometer will already be well into the red by his first-round press conference. And good for him. I don't think he'll win, only because he's played a lot of tennis this summer and I just don't see how his body and his desire keep going at that level for this long. He wanted that gold medal pretty badly and came out completely flat in the final against Murray. Looking at the draw it's hard to see him losing before the quarterfinals. After that, it could go either way.

2. Novak Djokovic (Serbia) – If anyone should be coming into the US Open motivated it should be the Djoker. A loss in the final of the French Open, in the semis at Wimbledon and a bronze medal in the Olympics. He has had the best “awful summer” in the history of summer. My heart says he's going down against Del Potro in the quarters, but my head and gut are saying he's really glad to be back on hard courts.

3. Andy Murray (Great Britain) – Will he be energized and full of adrenaline from his ginormous win over Roger for the gold medal in his home country? Or will he be completely out of gas from his ginormous win over Roger for the gold medal in his home country? I think it will be the latter. That medal probably will be the catalyst for him to finally win a major, I just don't think it will be this one this year. He's already played two matches this summer that had more emotion and stress attached to them some guys play in their careers. How often does anyone get to play in front of his hometown fans for one of the biggest trophies in his sport, and then have to do it all over again three weeks later? I'm emotionally spent just writing the sentence. However far he gets here, he's had the summer of a lifetime.

4. David Ferrer (Spain) – No.

5. Jo-Wilfred Tsonga (France) – When when when will Jo-Willy break through and win a major. I've said it before, but it bears repeating: he's just too damn French. He's content with being a breath-taking tennis player. His demeanor suffers from a total want of ambition. He's like that sentence I just wrote. It's pretty and all, but it doesn't get the job done nearly as well as, say, he just doesn't seem to want it enough. Still, if he gets into that zone where he just keeps crushing groundstroke after groundstroke, he'll make life difficult for Murray (and possibly Federer).

6. Tomas Berdych (Czech Republic) – He'll go away quietly against Federer in the quarters, unless we all get lucky and he loses earlier.

7. Juan Martin Del Potro (Argentina) – DelPo beat Djokovic at the Olympics on the surface both of them like least, but then got crushed by him two weeks later on their favorite surface. It doesn't bode well for my favorite player on the ATP tour. I keep waiting for him to turn back the clock to 2009 and go lights out for seven matches. Realistically though, it doesn't seem likely here.

8. Janko Tipsarevic (Serbia) – No one in the draw benefited more from Rafael Nadal's withdrawal than Janko. Instead of playing Federer, Nadal, Murray or Djokovic in the quarterfinals, he drew David Ferrer. If he doesn't make it to the semifinals this year, he's probably never going to do it.

9. John Isner (USA) – Here's the guy who benefited second-most. He plays Tipsarevic in the round of 16 for a shot at David Ferrer. I'm just not sure Isner fully embraces the notion that he's a top player with a chance to win a major. I'd love it if he'd prove me wrong.

10. Juan Monaco (Argentina) – Does it make me a bad tennis fan that I don't even know what this guy looks like?

11. Nicolas Almagro (Spain) – Almagro's never gotten past the third round at the Open. Enough said.

12. Marin Cilic (Croatia) – This whole 10-11-12 collection is like furniture. You only notice any of them if one of the stars trips over him.

13. Richard Gasquet (France) – Still French. But he gets Ferrer in the fourth round, so who knows? This could be the year he makes a run.

14. Alexandr Dolgopolov (Ukraine) – If he gets to the fourth round, he gets a rematch with Djokovic. They probably played the most entertaining set of the tournament last year in the first set of their match. Dolgopolov couldn't keep up the intensity after losing the tiebreak, but he's got talent and is fun to watch.

15. Milos Raonic (Canada) – If anyone from the 9-16 section is going to make a deep run, my money's on Raonic. My gut says he's maybe one point away from a deep run in a major. Here are the scores of his French Open and Wimbledon losses, respectively: 7-6(5), 3-6, 7-6(5), 3-6, 4-6 and 7-6(3), 6-7(7), 6-7(8), 4-6. He gets Murray in the round of 16. If Murray is tired, this guy could take advantage of it.

16. Gilles Simon (France) – Blah.

17. Kei Nishikori (Japan) – Blah²

18. Stanislas Wawrinka (Switzerland) – I want to like this guy. I really do. But he's about as interesting as white paint.

OK. I ran out of gas on this post. The only two guys left on the list that are interesting are Andy Roddick and Tommy Haas and neither one of them is getting out of the third round.

Federer def. Tsonga
Djokovic def. Tipsarevic

Djokovic def. Federer in three sets

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