My (Un)official Guide to the 2013 US Open – Part 2

This is the second post in a series I am writing about the 2013 US Open. The event begins Monday, August 26 and the draw for the tournament was released yesterday. You can view the first post by clicking here.

I was surprised by several of the matches that could occur before the semifinals at this year’s US Open. In this post, I discuss some of the top players’ draws for this tournament.

The “Big Four”

For the last few years, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Murray have been considered the “Big Four” in men’s tennis. Other than the 2009 US Open in which Juan Martín Del Potro was the champion, one of the “Big Four” have won every Grand Slam since the 2005 season.

The “Big Four” are going to be worth watching throughout this tournament because none of these champions have the easiest draw.

Here is a little speculation about how their draws may work out just to make it to the semifinals:

Djokovic [1] will probably have a bit of a test in the quarterfinals. In this round, Djokovic could potentially play former champion Del Potro [6] or Tommy Haas [12], who has been looking pretty good the last few months.

Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

Murray‘s [3] quarter looks to possibly be a little better than Djokovic’s, but he will likely have to defeat either Thomas Berdych [5] or Stanislas Wawrinka [9] to make it to the semifinals. They have all had a good years, and I would expect that to be an exciting quarterfinal match. In the semifinals, he would face the winner of Djokovic’s quarter.

murray

Andy Murray

Nadal [2] and Federer [7] have ended up in the same quarter of the draw. This sets up a possible quarterfinal match between the two of them, but they will potentially face some tough opponents before they would even get to that point.  Nadal could play either Nikolay Davydenko or Fernando Verdasco [27], who made it to the quarterfinals of this year’s Wimbledon, in the third round.  In the fourth round he could be up against either big-serving John Isner [13] or Gael Monfils, who has had good results US Open. Federer may end up playing Sam Querrey [26] in the third round and then Tommy Robredo [19] in the fourth round.

Since Nadal and Federer might play each other, I have included a great video of them promoting a tournament:

Serena Williams

While the “Big Four” have been several consistent players at the top of men’s tennis lately, women’s tennis has had Serena Williams. Williams, the top seed in the women’s draw, is the defending champion at this year’s tournament. Serena Williams won her first Grand Slam (it was the US Open) in 1999, and she is still an extremely dominating force in women’s tennis.

I would expect Serena Williams to have a good tournament, but she may have the most interesting draw in this tournament.  In the first round she will face Francesca Schiavone. Schiavone won the French Open in 2010. She has also made it to the quarterfinals of the US Open a couple of times. This is a first round match that will likely have the intensity of a match that would take place much later in the tournament.

Serena Williams

Serena Williams

In Serena Williams’ quarter of the draw is also Sloane Stephens [15] and her sister, Venus. Serena Williams could play Stephens in the 4th round. Stephens has had a great year and probably her biggest win was when she upset Serena Williams at the Australian Open. Since then, there has been some controversy about what they think about each other, too.

Sloane Stephens

Sloane Stephens

If they can both make it through four rounds, the Williams sisters would battle it out in the quarterfinals. It’s a little unlikely because Venus Williams would possibly have to have three huge wins against Kirsten Flipkens [12], Carla Suarez Navarro [18] and then Angelique Kerber [8] for this match up to happen, but she has an amazing serve and I would not completely count her out of it

Venus and Serena Williams

Venus and Serena Williams

What about Sugarpova Sharapova?

Sharapova has made some headlines lately. The third ranked women’s player has recently talked about legally changing her name to Sugarpova, the name of her brand of candy. Sharapova was also in the news about a week ago when she lost to Stephens and then fired her new coach, Jimmy Connors.

Sharapova will not be in any headlines at the US Open because she has withdrawn from this year’s tournament due to a shoulder injury.

Until next time,

Hannah

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Four_%28tennis%29

Photo Credit

IMG_7640

IMG_7839

Serena Williams

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As the Semester Ends, Tennis is Heating Up

Yesterday, I played tennis with my friend Sallie after the Branding of Me met for the last time.

Sallie and I at the tennis court

I was feeling a little down before we met up at the courts. Another semester is coming to a close. This has been a great semester. I have learned so much in all of my classes, and I have enjoyed them very much. Also, the conclusion of another semester makes me think about how quickly time goes by at UNC.

Playing tennis today was a great way to clear my mind. I left the courts not feeling down, but happy about all that I learned this semester and that I have the opportunity to spend another year at UNC.

I also left the courts happy because playing tennis and thinking about summer reminded me that tennis, as in the Pro Tour, is starting to heat up.  I am looking forward to watching some amazing tennis this summer.

The comeback story in tennis is that Rafael Nadal is back from his knee injury. Not only is he back, but Nadal is winningNadal may have lost to Novak Djokovic in the final of Monte Carlo over the weekend, but he has made it to five finals out of the five tournaments he has played in since his return. He has won two of the tournaments. Monte Carlo marks the beginning of the clay court season which will lead to the French Open at the end of May.

Photo Credit: Christopher Johnson

Photo Credit: Christopher Johnson

There is a lot up in the air about tennis this year…

Will Djokovic continue his dominance? Earlier this year he won the Australian Open and last year he was victorious at the French and Australian Open. This year could be more of a challenge with Nadal’s return, and Andy Murray and Roger Federer are still very threatening, but Djokovic has looked very good the last few months.

Can Murray win Wimbledon? Talk about pressure…and passion.

Winning his first Grand Slam at the US Open last year will hopefully make it a little easier for him. Also, he was able to win the Gold Medal at the All England Club just weeks after Wimbledon last year. I would love to see him win at Wimbledon, but this year will certainly be a challenge.

Is this the year Federer will not be as relevant? I doubt it, and I certainly hope not. Federer has won 17 Grand Slam titles and I’d love to see him add more to his record this year.  Men’s tennis is as tough, but I still think this year will be good to Federer.

Can anyone stop the big four? Can David Ferrer, Juan Martin del Potro, Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, or anyone else get in the way of Djokovic, Federer, Nadal and Murray? What about Stan WawrinkaHe beat Murray at Monte Carlo and lost to Djokovic 1-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-7, 12-10 in the Australian Open earlier this year. There is the potential for some great tennis in the upcoming tournaments and Grand Slams.

Who will step up in the women’s game? Currently, Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka are in familiar spots on top of the rankings, but can they stay there? I believe Sharapova could have an excellent year if she stays healthy. Azarenka won the Australian Open earlier this year, and took Wimbledon and the US Open last year.  She could continue to be a strong force in the women’s game. Also, Serena Williams is hard to ever count out, and like Sharapova, she will be hard to beat if she remains healthy. With that said, one of the reasons I like the women’s game is because upsets happen often and you never know what will happen.

Until next time,

Hannah

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