Friday, 26 August 2011

The US Open Draw

Fanatic Omes:

Having listened to the confusion that was the 2011 US Open draw on a barely functional radio (who had the temerity to switch back to the studio just when Rafa, who was on hand to help with the ladies' draw was about to be interviewed) whilst also being ill, I needed a few to recover. So after the intital ooohs and aaahs, I now bring you some attempted analysis.

For the men, bottom line, if you're a fan of the top four, you can sleep easy. And you can also start to unbelieve the coincidence of the stars aligning ever so nicely tournament after tournament for your guy.

Nole, the heavy favourite, is very likely to remain untroubled till the semis. The only notable threats for him are Monfils and Berdych - you know the guys who an injured and ailing Nole beat on the way to the final in Cincinnati last week - the kind of threats you toast to.

Rog has a testier route to the semis, with pesky Jo-Willy who just relishes beating the guy, and a very in-form Tuna Fish Mardy Fish in his quarter. Jo-Wills and Tuna could battle it out in the round of 16 before the winner takes on Rog in the quarters.

The biggest threat for Muzz en route to the semis would be Delpo, who he could face in the quarters. But with Delly P a little bit out of sorts and with Muzzard coming in from victory at Cincy, he should be cool with that.

Rafa also has a sweet deal, with his biggest threat being Daveeeed (of the Ferrer variety) in a potential quarter-final match. Daveeed is just coming back from injury but nevertheless a third round appearance at Cincy bodes well. Even still Rafa, brains and burns-permitting, should be more than ok.

So everything is set, some would argue quite literally, for YET another Rog vs Nole and Muzz vs Rafa semifinal. Fine then, we'll take it.

1st rounders to watch: Cilic vs Harrison, Gulbis vs Youzhny and Isner vs Baghdatis (who just played each other at Winston-Salem yesterday - Izzie won).

The biggest threat to top seed CaroWoz, would be Petkovic for a potential quarters match up, IF Caro finds her form. If not, then Hantuchova and Vinci are also in there. Just sayin. Li Na could also potentially meet Woz in the quarters, but she would have to get through Petko first, and her form is kind of questionable at the moment.

Vika (no.4 seed), poor poor Vika, is the lucky sod in who's quarter Serena lies. The two could potentially meet in the third round. There there Vika.

Masha (no. 3 seed) has Aga and Kvitty to contend with on her way to the semis. That could be tricky as Kvitty was the one with the audacity to deny her her 2nd Wimbly trophy; and Aga's shown us what's she's capable of in this year's US Open Series, even if she was a one-armed bandit. But Masha having just won Cincy, Masha is super-confident and unsurprisingly most people's favourite to win the whole thing behind Serena.

Bepa (no. 2 seed) has enough on her plate with Sabine and Venus (who has enough on her plate with Sabine - the two could play in the 2nd round!). If Bepa doesn't bring her A game, I expect an upset, but she seems to be performing well enough.

1st rounder to watch: Penetta vs Rezai.

And there you go. Let's hope Irene doesn't ruin it all. She's already gone after Arthur Ashe Kids Day. Wench.

(Pic: Getty)

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