As the world’s best tennis players take on the hard courts of New York for the last Grand Slam of the season, the usual suspects – Nadal, Murray, Federer and Djokovic all enter with expectations of winning this title. There are some things which are quite different about the US Open this year, for starters Federer who has won this title 5 times is seeded 7th in the Men’s draw! Which is his lowest in the past ten years. The finals of this event have been scheduled on a Monday, which perhaps means that only the hardcore tennis fanatics will be around to cheer their favorite player.
In Women’s tennis, something that really stood out was Maria Sharapova’s idea to probably change her name to Maria Sugarpova in order to promote her candy line. It’s a good thing she decided against, fans would have definitely questioned her seriousness towards the game. However, all this because irrelevant when she withdrew altogether due to a shoulder injury. With Sharapova out of the running, there’s one less main contender for the rest of the players. Next in line is Serena Williams, she has always maintained the same daunting presence on court and although there have been a few unexpected twists along the way .
Azarenka won the Australian Open , and the unassuming Sloane Stephens beat Serena in the quarter finals. Similarly Serena lost to Azarenka in the Doha Open. In terms of other major players like Li Na and Radwanska, they have not been very consistent this year. All this points at Azarenka to be be the hot favourite for this year’s US Open.
Back to Men’s tennis, it’s quite surprising that Federer is seeded 7th. It looks like the Big Four has one again been cut down to the Big Three. Earlier this year it was Nadal who was left out of this coveted clique, this time around it’s Federer’s turn. This year Federer has won only the ATP title, while the other three main contenders have under their belts one major Grand Slam each. It could be that the US Open title may not see Federer in the finals keeping in mind his performance this year. Murray played some fantastic tennis last year, and it appears that he is the favourite this time as well.
Having won this year’s Wimbledon and last year’s US Open, there’s no reason that people should not bet on Murray to win it again this year. But Murray did have a bit of a struggle after the Wimbledon this June, as he didn’t fare to well in his next hard court tune up and lost to No.6 Thomas Berdych. Leaving Djokovic out of the fold would be irresponsible, as he is no doubt a worthy contender. Although he hasn’t won a tournament since January (Australian Open) the Serb has an unstoppable power about him which gives his opponents a run for their money. Rafael Nadal is also a force to reckon with, despite his knee injury his performance this year has been nothing short of admirable.
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The US Open comes with a few surprises this year, like Federer’s lowest seed of 7 in the past decade. Women’s tennis is missing one of the main contenders,Maria Sharapova who had to withdraw because of a shoulder injury. It appears that Andy Murray is the favourite in Men’s tennis but then again the other two main players, Nadal, Djokovic have a fighting chance.