Saturday, August 29, 2015

2015 US OPEN: Men's and Women's Draw Analysed

The last major tennis tournament of the year starts on Monday August 31. I'll be at the U.S. Open next weekend (Sunday and Monday) to watch the tennis live and maybe run into Serena Williams on her quest to win the first calendar slam since 1988. The draw was released on Thursday and in this post I will analyze the highlights.

Men's Draw
The potential men's quarterfinal match ups are:

Novak Djokovic (1) versus Rafael Nadal (8) or Milos Raonic (10)
Kei Nishikori (4) versus David Ferrer (7) or Marin Cilic (9)
Andy Murray (3)  versus Stan Wawrinka (5)
Roger Federer (2) versus Tomas Berdych (6)

There are basically three main contenders to win the title (Djokovic, Federer and Murray) and although he has Murray and Wawrinka in his half Federer generally has a pretty gentle draw in the early going while Djokovic has both 2014 finalists in his half, although he will likely only have to face one of them (in the semifinals). If Federer and Djokovic do make the final, I like Federer's chances to win his record 18th major.

Women's Draw
The potential women's quarterfinal match ups are:

Serena Williams (1) versus Karolina Pliskova (8) or Venus Williams (23)
Maria Sharapova (3) or Ekaterina Makarova (13) versus Ana Ivanovic (7)
Petra Kvitova (5) or Garbine Muguruza (9) versus Carolina Wozniacki (4)
Simona Halep (2) versus Lucie Safarova (6) or Angelique Kerber (11)

The entire tournament is revolving around whether Serena can win her record 7th U.S. Open (4th in a row) and clinch the calendar Grand Slam. She does have a pretty rough draw, potentially facing Sloane Stephens (or Coco Vandweghe) in the 3rd round, Madison Keys (or Aga Radwanska) in the 4th round and her sister Venus or Karolina Pliskova in the quarters, Sharapova, Makarova or Ivanovic in the semifinals and Halep, Safarova, Kvitova, Kerber or Muguruza in the final! Despite all that, O am fairly confident she will get through. The danger is in those 3rd and 4th round matches versus the young Americans. If she gets past those, I'm very certain she won't crack later in the tournament. And if not, she can always go for Steffi Graf's 22-major record in 2016!

First Round Matches To Watch
Dominika Cibulkova vs Ana Ivanovic
Coco VandeWedghe vs Sloane Stephens
Andy Murray vs Nick Kyrgios
Fernando Verdasco vs Tommy Haas
Jarkko Nieminen vs Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

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