It’s that time of year again, boys and girls.
The end of the summer can only mean one thing…
Big time tennis comes to New York.
And this year’s version of the US Open brings some new names and of course the old favorites back to the World’s Fair site in Flushing.
Believe it or not, we could be partying like it’s 2008 when both Roger Federer and Serena Williams took home the crown. With Rafa Nadal out with a wrist injury and Novak Dkokovic in a very tough draw, the Dark Night looks primed for another run.
” I’m more disappointed for the fans, his fans, and the tournament, you know, who puts up a great event,” said Federer about the ease of his draw. “It’s not necessarily dependent of an event like this, on the one player, but it’s more exciting with him. For us, the players, I mean, we hope (Nadal) gets well and he feels better quickly and all these things and he’s back on tour soon. But at the same time, I think what stands out is the opportunity, you know, to try to take advantage of him, the fact that he’s not here.
“It’s one less really difficult player to beat maybe. I mean, maybe he was not going to be in my section. Maybe I wouldn’t have played him at all, like I have never played him here in the last ten years anyways. I mean, it’s just that the focus is more on you or other players rather than him.”
It’s been a great summer for the 34 year-old who won in Cincinnati and made the finals in Toronto. And even though he is definitely on the decline, all great champions have one last one in them; this could be Federer’s last hurrah.
And that’s because Novak Djokovic is stuck in a really tough draw with the possibility of facing Jon Isner in the fourth round. The No. 1 seed is known to get rattled when the crowd is against him and if America’s best hope is out there, he could get the David Ortiz in the Bronx treatment.
Djokovic will also have to go through 2012 Champion Andy Murray and US Open Series winner Milos Raonic to reach the Finals.
The toughest for Federer will be a showdown with David Ferrer, whom he beat in Cincinnati.
Williams has $4 million reasons to win this thing. The three time champion is the US Open Series winner and stands to get a $1 million bonus in addition to the $3 million prize.
She hasn’t had the best of years, failing to win a major, but that shouldn’t matter too much. Serena excels on the hard courts and with some extra motivation now, she is the player to beat.
“I think [the US Open Series] was good for me because I haven’t played a lot of matches this year,” she said. So technically I should be perfectly fine. I haven’t played that much tennis this year.”
But sometimes it doesn’t always work out for Serena and look for No. 2 seed Simona Halep to make a strong showing, while Canadian Eugenie Bouchard could be a dark horse in the tournament.
And there will be some surprises. Isner is America’s best hope on the Men’s side, and Madison Keys could make some hay on the women’s end.
“We had Madison Keys,” Serena said. “She won a tournament just recently. I think if anything, that just shows that she’s definitely stepped up to the plate. So many Americans are doing really, really well and getting closer to the finals and making, you know, some big steps by leaps and bounds. I have never felt the pressure. I always felt honored to be holding that trophy as the American and leading American tennis. But I feel like there are so many players now that are willing, ready, and able to take that.”
Even with that, the tournament is for Williams and Federer to take, much like it was just six years ago.
But that’s why they play the games.
Let the Open begin/