Saturday, 24 August 2013

ATP US Open: Preview and Predictions

There is one weak quarter, but generally speaking, the challengers are nicely split between the two halves.  Lets' get down to dissecting the mens US Open draw...

First Quarter - Novak Djokovic (1) v Juan Martin del Potro (6)
Novak Djokovic
When you focus on Novak Djokovic's results over the past couple of months, there is no doubt the Serb has been turning in below average performances compared to the extraordinary heights he has reached over the past two years.  He still remains one of the favourites to win the title and should not be troubled before the quarters.  Djokovic takes on Ricardas Berankis in his first match and could meet Grigor Dimitrov in the third round.  Dimitrov famously notched up a win over Djokovic in Madrid, but was well and truly put in his place when he suffered a thumping in a Roland Garros rematch.  It is also possible we could get to see the hilarious mayhem of a Fabio Fognini and Benoit Paire match in the third round.  This would be legendary, but of course we all know these two are not reliable so hold your horses for now.

Tommy Haas and Juan Martin del Potro are on course to meet in the 4th round.  Del Potro has some early obstacles with Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the first round and potentially, Lleyton Hewitt in the second round, who has always given Del Potro some problems including earlier this year at Queens where the Aussie won a three set quarter-final.  Haas's draw looks pretty routine to the 4th round with Paul-Henri Mathieu first up and then potentially, Mikhail Youzhny in the third round.  I see little excitement on the cards for the early stages of the mens draw, but a first rounder between David Goffin and Alexandr Dolgopolov should be one to earmark as a quirky match-up.

1st Round Predictions: Djokovic to beat Berankis in 3 sets, Becker to beat Rosol in 4 sets, Paire to beat Bogomolov in 5 sets, Haas to beat Mathieu in 3 sets, Goffin to beat Dolgopolov in 5 sets, Youzhny to beat Melzer in 3 sets, Hewitt to beat Baker in 4 sets and Del Potro to beat Garcia-Lopez in 3 sets

Moo's Quarter-Final Prediction - Djokovic v Del Potro

Second Quarter - Andy Murray (3) v Tomas Berdych (5)
Andy Murray
For the first time in his career, Andy Murray will be defending a Grand Slam title having beaten Novak Djokovic in an epic five set finale last year.  It has not been a great summer hard court season for Andy, who lost third round in Canada to Ernests Gulbis and quarters to Tomas Berdych in Cincy.  Murray has drawn Berdych in the quarters again and it will take a significantly improved performance if he was to get past the Czech number 5 if they did meet.  Before that can take place, Murray opens his defence against Michael Llodra.  It is possible he could make the quarters without passing by a seed.  The seeds in this section are not exactly convincing; Juan Monaco has a tough opener against Florian Mayer, Andreas Seppi has been disappointing all year and Nicolas Almagro... well he is Nicolas Almagro and has a 6-5 W-L record since losing to Tommy Robredo in a heartbreaking 4th round loss at Roland Garros.

Berdych's draw looks equally satisfying; Paolo Lorenzi is a first round opponent and Jiri Vesely or Denis Kudla are unlikely to trouble the Berd in round two.  The draw does get tougher in round three where Berdych is projected to meet his first seed in Julien Benneteau, who he has a 2-1 head-to-head record against.  Stanislas Wawrinka and Kevin Anderson are the two other seeds in this section and could meet in the third round.  Wawrinka has struggled for form since making the French Open quarter-finals and although I would favour him over Berdych, I think he will struggle to get that far in the draw.  Anderson is solid enough, but will have little to no chances against Berd if he made the 4th round based on a woeful head-to-head record.

1st Round Predictions: Murray to beat Llodra in 3 sets, Klizan to beat Young in 5 sets, Flo.Mayer to beat Monaco in 5 sets, Seppi to beat Malisse in 4 sets, Istomin to beat Almagro in 4 sets, Wawrinka to beat Stepanek in 5 sets, Blake to beat Karlovic in 4 sets, Anderson to beat Brands in 4 sets, Chardy to beat Stakhovsky in 4 sets and Berdych to beat Lorenzi in 3 sets

Moo's Quarter-Final Prediction - Murray v Berdych

Third Quarter - Richard Gasquet (8) v David Ferrer (4)
David Ferrer
If you thought the womens third quarter was slightly lacking in quality then the third quarter of the mens takes the biscuit.  The two players from the top eight who have displayed the most shaky form since Wimbledon, David Ferrer and Richard Gasquet have been paired up in a free-for-all quarter.  Gasquet has looked to be struggling for confidence since a crushing loss to Stanislas Wawrinka in Paris.  A third round match-up with the suddenly-in-form, Dmitry Tursunov could be a real tester.  Milos Raonic is also in this section and has been handed a complete dance of a draw.  Feliciano Lopez is his first projected seed and if he was to get through that, then I think he is in the quarters.  I am not a Milos fan and I think he is currently in an over-inflated ranking, but he should be taking advantage of this draw.

A lot of people have got Ernests Gulbis down as David Ferrer's conqueror at the US Open this year.  Gulbis and Ferrer could meet in the third round and Ernie certainly has the game to disrupt the Daveed machine.  I think Ferrer is being somewhat overlooked because the Spaniard has had a superb year and could easily click through the gears in New York.  For the second Grand Slam in a row, Jerzy Janowicz has drawn a blinder.  His first seed is Janko Tipsarevic, who is woefully lacking in form and then he is projected to meet Ferrer-Gulbis in the 4th round.  Janowicz's form was so-so through the summer, but he took his chances at Wimby and something he tells me he could do it again.

1st Round Predictions: Tursunov to beat Bedene in 3 sets, Sock to beat Petzschner in 5 sets, Tipsarevic to beat Cuevas in 4 sets, Gulbis to beat Haider-Maurer in 3 sets, Bautista-Agut to beat Bellucci in 4 sets and Ferrer to beat Kyrgios in 4 sets

Moo's Quarter-Final Prediction - Raonic v Janowicz

Fourth Quarter - Roger Federer (7) v Rafael Nadal (2)
Roger Federer
The one quarter I didn't want to see Roger Federer land in was Rafael Nadal's and of course, that is how the draw gods have worked it.  It is not that I am a big Federer fan, but I would have been more excited by Federer-Djokovic or Federer-Murray in the quarters.  Federer showed some encouraging signs in Cincy where he edged past Tommy Haas in three sets and then gave Nadal a really tough quarter-final, eventually falling in three.  Federer's draw up to the quarters looks routine, but I am slightly wary as we thought a Federer-Nadal quarter at Wimbledon was a foregone conclusion and we know how that one turned out.  

Fed takes on Grega Zemlja in the first round and his draw is likely to pass by Sam Querrey (round three) and Kei Nishikori (round four).  Nishikori did beat Federer earlier this year in Madrid, but his form has been patchy of late.  He also has a difficult draw with Albert Ramos or Bernard Tomic in the second round before a potential third round with solid-as-a-rock, Tommy Robredo.  It also worth noting that the Brit qualifier, Daniel Evans opens against Nishikori, which will be a great test for Evans.

Nadal bookends the draw and takes on always-unlucky-with-the-draw-gods, Ryan Harrison in the first round.  He could meet the Canadian bloomer, Vasek Pospisil in the second round.  Nadal convincingly won both Montreal and Cincy and there is no doubt he goes into this tournament as the favourite.  His draw is probably the toughest of the big three as Fernando Verdasco, Nikolay Davydenko, John Isner and Philipp Kohlschreiber are potential opponents in the third and fourth rounds.  Isner, coming off the back of a terrific run in Cincy, has drawn a stinker as looming in the shadows is a fascinating second round match with Winston-Salem finalist, Gael Monfils, which is already being lined up for a showstopping Ashe night match...

1st Round Predictions: Federer to beat Zemlja in 3 sets, Querrey to beat Pella in 3 sets, Robredo to beat Matosevic in 4 sets, Dancevic to beat Haase in 5 sets, Nishikori to beat Evans in 4 sets, Montanes to beat Roger-Vasselin in 4 sets, Verdasco to beat Dodig in 5 sets and Nadal to beat Harrison in 3 sets

Moo's Quarter-Final Prediction - Federer v Nadal

Moo's Final Prediction - Nadal d. Del Potro

This is the first time I have gone for Nadal at a hard court tournament and I feel it is a slight cop out, but the guy is just awesome right now.  I always had a feeling DelPo would shine at the US, but I have my reservations too.  Still, I see him knocking out both Djokovic and Murray.  I also thought I would go for a Murray-Nadal final, but my feelings have swung away from Andy.  This should be a fantastic tournament once the draw gets going and it is possible we could get three sensational quarter-finals.

Please leave your predictions in the comments section :-)

Full Predictions for the ATP draw at this year's US Open can be found HERE


  1. Yes Moo! Nadal on hardcourt! Its very tough to have Murray,Djokovic and Del Potro all in the same half.
    They'll give each other a beating. Especially if they meet back to back late in the tournament. Murray has to get past Berdych as well. Its definietly the more exciting half. Although I think Janowicsz will give Nadal more trouble this time around. A very 'intriguing' top half as they beat each other to semi-pulp after which Nadal awaits with fork and knife haha. Only Djokovic and Murray have a chance to come out of that hellish draw with a chance to beat Nadal. I think Nadal will have more trouble with Janowicsz this time around but other than that its a dream draw for him.

  2. Before it was about beating Federer(for all those years),and then Nadal and now Djokovic. I don't think Djokovic's standards have gone down rather its Murray and Nadal who've finally adapted to him. He is the no 1 still and the player to beat. 2011 was inevitably his because of his sudden surge in level and tactics while Nadal and Murray needed to revise their gameplans. It will be interesting how Djoko responds in tactics,mindset to Murray and Nadal in the following year. He's never been in that position before to evolve in response to losing his no1 ranking if that happens. I have my doubts-he might slump again mentally and there might always be a player to beat him in the Grandslams. Murray is in a steady ascension. As a side note if Fed were still in his prime he'd still dominate the hardcourts.

  3. Goffin to win Dolgopolov??????)))))) Never. i cant trust to this prediction,sorry)))

  4. what do you think about De Scheeper- Klahn match? Why bookmaker are quotin Klahn as favourite?

  5. I went De Schepper although looking at them in detail, De Schepper hasn't won a match since making R4 at Wimbledon and Klahn won a Challenger event recently and will have home support too.