Monday, August 25, 2008

US Open 2008: Men's Draw

Men's Draw
Defending Champion: Roger Federer

First Quarter

It's been a golden run so far for Nadal, and what an exclamation point would it be to end the year in electric NYC? Given his stellar gameplay in the past months, it's hard to imagine that he'll coast through the draw, Berydch in R16. His opponent, is a bit of a toss up. Nalbandian, Fish and Monfils might show, but based on past performance expect Blake to bring the noise, and put on a fight in Flushing Meadows.

QF Match: Nadal vs Blake

Second Quarter
After winning four straight tournaments in a row, the obvious summer pick is Del Potro. He's got a breakthrough draw, whose major threat is Ferrer, who ended up playing on clay after Wimbledon. On the bottom section of this quadrant, choices come around aplenty. Fireplace Stan (sorry, I didn't get the joke in Beijing), Youzhny, and Lopez have equal chances to go beyond the final 16, but I would pick on Murray (despite his Olympic flop) after his win in Cincinnati.

QF Match: Del Potro vs Murray

Third Quarter
Comparing with the past section, this one is completely stacked. You've already got Djokovic in Federer's half, but Nole has a lot more things to take care of before getting to the final 4. He's up against recent winner Cilic, or Safin, then will move on to the winner of the Gulbis-Roddick match. Perhaps Olympic medalist Gonzalez? Keep your eyes peeled for this section, as fireworks are sure to come on.

QF Match: Gonzalez vs Djokovic

Fourth Quarter
The good news is Federer has the easiest draw of them all. The bad news is, this hasn't been his year. It's his last chance to salvage a Slamless season, and with Nadal's star burning so brightly, Roger will need to have an amazing two weeks to get past Djokovic and Nadal. It's not that he's been having a bad year, it's just he hasn't been playing up to standard as of late. Can Sampras sleep better now that his Slam record is safe?

QF Match: Gasquet vs Federer

Some matches to watch:
Clement vs Djokovic in 1R
Roddick vs Santoro - Who will turn up to be the better showman?
Johansson vs Gulbis - A battle of the Baltics
Safin vs Moya in 3R - Former #1s chasing past glory, one may be too late, one had a dream run in Wimbledon
Women's Draw
Defending Champion: Justine Henin

First Quarter
Though top seed and current World #1 Ana Ivanovic has had spotty results post-Roland Garros, her consistency is still the buoyant force in her game. I actually like this quadrant, and here's to hoping that Daniela to get some sort of resuscitation in her clump of late. Still, one wouldn't expect her to get far, as this year's biggest (and most consistent) revelation in the women's tour Dinara lurks in R16.

QF Match: Ana vs Dinara

Second Quarter
Really, nothing happening in the section of the draw, except for a Williams sisters showdown. Of all the Eastern European ladies threatening to rain on that party, I would choose the lanky Agnieszka to have the best chance of ruining a repeat of this year's Wimbledon final.

QF Match: Serena vs Venus

Third Quarter
When Elena landed that silver in Athens, she was also able to bag 2 Grand Slam finals. Now with a gold in tow, it's her best chance to graduate from the Non-Slam Winners club. It's reasonably, soft, and mostly a Russian army in the wings (8 out of 32 in that quarter alone).

QF Match: Elena vs Svetlana

Fourth Quarter
I'm not sure whether former world #1 Jelena (so what if it's a 1 week reign) still has gas in the tank, but hopefully she has one final spurt to run up to a Grand Slam. Still, her time is running out, and without a finals appearance to show, she'd better cut down on those tourneys and get herself some rest.

QF Match: Vera vs Jelena

Some matches to watch:

Na vs Shahar in 1R - Na missed bagging a medal in her home Olympics, but expect her to carry the momentum here. Compatriot Jie had a wonderful run in London, so why can't she?
Lindsay vs Vera in 4R - If Davenport gets past young Canadian Wozniak in the opening round, treat this as a final song in the American's encore year.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008


This blog has mostly been quiet the past few days. Before I get a close with the Olympics and dust up for the US Open, I'm filling this blog with a boring entry. Yaaaawn. Next week?