Friday, 27 August 2010

Men's US Open Preview

The final slam of the year will kick off on Monday and the draw is set with the top Men's players ready to battle it out. Rafael Nadal is the number 1 seed and will open up against Teimuraz Gabashvilli meanwhile Roger Federer, the number 2 seed will begin his campaign against Brian Dabul. The number 3 seed Novak Djokovic faces a potentially tricky opener against Viktor Troicki and the Toronto champion and number 4 seed, Andy Murray will face Lukas Lacko. The top 4 have all shown mixed form over recent months so you may have to look further a field at the likes of Soderling, Berdych or Nalbandian to spring a surprise or two.

Quarter 1 - R Nadal (1) v F Verdasco (8)

Rafa Nadal will be happy with the draw with his most significant test before the QF likely to be from the number 29 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber in the 3rd round. Both Ljubicic and Lopez do not look like progressing far based on their recent form so expect a run from an unseeded player, possibly Stakhovsky. Nadal is projected to meet Fernando Verdasco however i am anticipating a 3R exit for Verdasco with David Nalbandian present in this section. David Ferrer has the likes of Alexander Dologopolov and Ernests Gulbis to overcome before reaching a 4R with Nalbandian, which i would predict that David N would win.

Prediction = Nadal v Nalbandian

Quarter 2 - A Murray (4) v T Berdych (7)

Andy Murray has an easy passage to the 3rd round where he is likely to meet Stan Wawrinka. In the 4th round, an even tougher opponent in Sam Querrey will meet Murray however i expect Murray to progress through to the QF without too many problems. Querreys draw looks especially straight forward with the disinterested Almagro his projected 3R opponent. Tomas Berdych should meet Benneteau in R3 who will dispatch of the seeded Radek Stepanek. I anticipate an early exit for Mikhail Youzhny to Golubev and for Berdych to face off against big man John Isner in the 4th round if Isner is fit after his ankle injury. It is here i predict that the Wimbledon finalist will be defeated.

Prediction = Murray v Isner

Quarter 3 - N Davydenko (6) v N Djokovic (3)

Davydenko has a potentially tricky draw with Gasquet in the 2R and then Kevin Anderson or Thomasz Bellucci in the 3R. His 4R opponent should be Andy Roddick who will have to make his way past Tipsarevic and Monfils, two players who can raise their game on the big stage however often fail to perform. I'm then predicting that Roddick who has a significant lead in their head-to-head record, will defeat Davydenko. Djokovic has a good draw to the 3R however danger men in the form of Marcos Baghdatis and Mardy Fish could await in the 4th round. Baghdatis has won all his games against Fish however Fish has been superb of late and i expect him to reach the 4R to play Djokovic where his journey will likely end.

Prediction = Roddick v Djokovic

Quarter 4 - R Soderling (5) v R Federer (2)

Robin Soderling has a solid draw with a likely 3R match-up with Thiemo De Bakker who should defeat the number 27 seed, Fernando Gonzalez. Marin Cilic has failed to live up to his early season performances however he would be extremely disappointed not to reach at least the 4th round with clay courter, Albert Montanes his toughest opponent on paper. Soderling should then meet Cilic in the 4th round where Cilic could pull a surprise or two. Federer has a straight forward passage to the QF with Hewitt in R3 and then either Jurgen Melzer or Juan Carlos Ferrero, both who have struggled on the hard courts.

Prediction = Cilic v Federer

The Winner - I am predicting Andy Murray will win his first GS after beating Nadal in the SF and Federer in the final. I feel it is time for Murray to step up to the plate and prove his credentials at the big stage. I'm also predicting a SF appearance for Andy Roddick and that John Isner, Marin Cilic and David Nalbandian will all be threats in the draw in what should one of the most open GS tournaments in quite a while.

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