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

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