Google Down the Line!: VANtage Point: See ya in Cincinnati!

Monday, August 17, 2009

VANtage Point: See ya in Cincinnati!

So, what did I miss?

Hey DtL readers, it’s the return of VANtage Point! Sorry I’ve been away so long, but the past few months have been kind of hectic with tendinitis in the knees forcing me to take some time off. Then my wife gave birth to twins and … well, let’s just say I’ve been busy, but now I’m back. And if you aren’t familiar with VP, here’s the scoop:

Each week, I look at one of the tournaments on the ATP and WTA tours, then give my predictions from the semifinals on, as well as look at some of the players I think will make a big move during the week.

Anyway, without further adieu, here’s VANtage Point!

A Look Back: So much has happened since the last edition of the Point, and to recap all that would take up a lot of precious Internet space, so I’ll spare you. Last week was pretty big, though, with the Roger Federer-Rafael Nadal stranglehold on the top two spots being broken by Andy Murray, who went on to win the ATP 1000 tournament in Montreal. Jelena Jankovic came away with a big title, too, picking up the crown in Cincinnati over Dinara Safina. Jankovic looked really good, I thought, in those last two matches and could be poised to challenge for the top spot by the end of the year.

This Week’s Spotlight: Since Cincy was such a hotbed of activity last week, why not keep it going by looking at what the men will be doing there? The ATP World Tour makes its annual visit to the Midwest with the ATP 1000 Cincinnati stop. All your favorite top tenners are there, led by Federer, Nadal, Murray and the gang. It’s a tough tournament for the second week in a row for the guys, but I guess you couldn’t ask for a better tuneup stretch heading into the last Slam of the year, the U.S. Open.

Players to Watch: There are three players I’m really going to have my eyes on this week. First is the top dog, Federer. Is he ready to get back on a roll again? I think he’ll do fine here. Then second, it’s Nadal. Last week, he managed to get in a few matches to work the rust out. I’m not too sure about how successful he’ll be here with a tough draw. And lastly, the other player I’m interested in seeing how he makes out is Juan Martin del Potro. He’s been playing lights out the last couple of weeks, but it look liked he show some signs of fatigue against Murray in the Montreal final. Those two are on track for a rematch in the quarters here.

The Final Four: In the top half of the draw, I’m expecting it to come down to Federer and Murray, with the Scot winning that matchup. On the other side, I’m picking Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (who I think will beat Nadal in the quarters) over Novak Djokovic.

And the Winner Is: Murray’s making it a habit of winning ATP 1000 events, and there’s no reason why this shouldn’t continue. It’ll be a tough final, but he has the game to handle big hitters like Jo-Willy. That’s my call and I’m sticking to it. Check back next week to see how I made out!

Van Sias writes the blog Tennis Talk, Anyone?

(image via getty)

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