Saturday, August 26, 2006

US Open 2006

Women's Singles
Defending Champion: Kim Clijsters

Quarter I
Let's start with the most brutal part of the draw - top seed and two-time Grand Slam winner this year alone, Amelie is out to a Roger(05)/Martina (97), win everything but Roland Garros in a calendar year. She has the most difficult part of the draw, but didn't we say that for Roger last Wimbledon and he lost just a set en route to Slam Number 8?

Challengers that may rise to the occassion include Montreal and US Open Series winner Ana Ivanovic, Dinara Safina, showing he steely nerve on the hardcourts of North America; but more importantly on this year's comeback kids Serena and Martina. It's a good mix of past and present, of guile and power, of fitness and patience. All I'm asking for now is that the order of play fit my schedule appropriately.

QF Match: Amelie vs Martina

Quarter II
Maria Sharapova may have a difficult match against the other little sister in the opening round, but from then on, it should be smooth sailing - her draw is littered with injured players that it's almost going to be a forfeit: Mary, Nadia, Anna, plus Anastasia who, other than her claycourt final in hardcourt season, hasn't been playing well of late. But, I'm more likely to pick a player who can play badly over a player who might not be playing at all.

QF Match: Maria vs Anastasia

Quarter III
In contrast to QI, which featured great players that drew in the buzz, this section is gifted with players of the same talent, but of less stellar power. Of Svetlana, Jelena, Samantha, Anna-Lena and Elena, i truly doubt that a good deal of them will be station at the Arthur Ashe anytime. However, that will be no excuse for fantastic plays, if only they could all be consistent. The only player who has been consistent is Venus, who recently withdrew due to a wrist injury.

Do watch out for the opener with Chanda and Nicole, it would be nice to see Rubin play again.

QF Match: Nicole vs Elena

Quarter IV
It makes you wonder if how long will Lindsay still go on - I do hope that she still believes that that last Slam will come to her - pity that there are two relatively easy quarters, and she got the one that'll meet Justine in the QF. I'm sure that the schedulers will give her extra time to rest after New Haven, but she'd probably need more to get past the number two seed who hasn't missed a Grand Slam final appearance all year.

QF match: Lindsay vs Justine


Men's Singles
Defending Champion: Roger Federer

Quarter I
The Fed is fast approaching Pistol Pete's Slam record and looking forward to number 9, and that loss in Cincinnati just made him hungrier to win. No problems, until he meets Ferrero who finally got his game back on by reaching the Cincy Masters final (about darned rotten time!).

Four qualifiers are fitted in the bottom part, with James Blake, who started the year on high, but recently has been stifling through tournaments. Im expecting a Berdych-Blake matchup in R16, and Blake will win just to appease the crowd.

Do watch out for the all Brit-affair of Henman vs Rusedski. Winner gets tea time with Roger in 2R.

QF Match: Federer vs Blake

Quarter II
Perhaps my favorite part of the draw - it will always be drama considering Safin and Coria back in the mix, Nalbandian and Davydenko trying to salvage a good follow-up year, and this season's US Open Series standouts Andy Murray ang Fernando Gonzalez.

Gonzo has had his breakthrough in Flushing Meadows 02, but hasn't really gone all the way; Murray on the other hand gets a boost for defeating Fed and joins the company of Nadal as a member of the "I've beaten Roger"-class of 2006. Too bad though, they're slated to meet in 3R.

Haas has been quietly going working through the year with minimal fanfare, and perhaps with the draw opening up, this could be his time to shine.

QF Match: Haas vs Murray

Quarter III
Given the draw, the Andre Agassi farewell tour will not have the same pretty fairytale ending as the Pete Sampras Written Off-Resurrection gig of 2002. His first major task would be Pavel, then Melbourne runner-up Baghdatis. Expect a delightful match right there, and a tribute.

Life will go on with the rest of the draw though, a rejuvinated Roddick (thank you, Jimmy Connors) will find his footing after crashing out in Day One last year, Gasquet will rebound from a horrid first half 2006, Hewitt will outplay Fish in 3R, but it will be Ljubicic that will get on board the last 8.

QF Match: Roddick vs Ljubicic

Quarter IV
Honestly, there isn't much to choose from this quarter, save for Nadal. Ferrer would have been a good choice and would probably live up to his seeding, but the latest results don't bode well. Robredo has yet to prove himself on American soil, and Monfils' debut party hasn't exactly happened yet.

I'd love to put my money on Nieminen the Finn, he's much improved over the last year, but a pass to the final 8 is blocked by Nadal.

QF Match: Ferrer vs Nadal

0 talkbacks: