My (Un)official Guide to the 2013 US Open – Part 1

The US Open tennis tournament starts on August 26th. It will be the perfect compliment (and distraction) for the beginning of fall semester. I briefly talked about the US Open in my last post, but I thought I’d write a few posts to recap this year’s professional tennis and go into more detail about what I will be keeping my eye on at this year’s tournament.

The Early Rounds

The tennis year started out with very few surprises in the early rounds of the Australian Open and French Open. Then, Wimbledon changed everything.

In the first couple rounds of the Men’s Draw and Women’s Draw, there were many tournament changing upsets.

In the first round of the Men’s Draw, Rafael Nadal [5], Stan Wawrinka [11] and Janko Tipsarevic [14] were among the five seeded players not to advance to the first round. The second round matches resulted in six more seeds exiting the tournament earlier than expected. Roger Federer [3], who has seven Wimbledon titles, went down in this round. Also, the tournament ended at this time for John Isner [18] and Marin Cilic [10] because of injury.

federerIt’s hard to imagine, but the early rounds for the women at this year’s Wimbledon was even more unpredictable than the men. Sara Errani [5], Maria Kirilenko [10] and Nadia Petrova [13] were a few of the eight seeded players who did not make it past the first round. The second round was also not friendly to some of the top ranked players with an additional nine seeds exiting the tournament. Some of those seeds included well known players such as Victoria Azaranka [2], Maria Sharapova [3], Caroline Wozniacki [9], Ana Ivanovic [12] and Jelena Jankovic [16].

I may have gotten a little carried away with the Wimbledon information, but my point is that while it is easy to pass over the early rounds, these first couple rounds can be extremely exciting. You never know when a qualifier or an up-and-coming player will play the match of his/her life against a top player. These rounds are full of tennis that is passionate, exciting and fun.

Love

“Love” is not what a tennis player wants to hear on the court, but this has been a year that some players have gotten attention for it off of the court.

One of the most notable relationships involves Victoria Azarenka. The cameras have been on Azarenka on the court and they have also been on a notable (and easy to spot) guest in her box. Redfoo, of the music group LMFAO, has made several appearances at Azaranka matches. His hair and outfits make him hard to miss. What you may not know is that Redfoo enjoys tennis and tried to qualify for the U.S. Open. He will not be on the court, but may provide some entertainment at Azarenka’s matches and has been known to have appearances at press conferences.I will have another post up about the US Open in the next couple of days.

Until then,

Hannah

photo credit:

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/swiv/206620273/”>Swiv</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

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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