Sunday, August 29, 2010
This is it, folks, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. No, I’m not talking about the US Open, but rather the latest edition of VANtage Point, which takes a look at the US Open!
Hey everyone out there in DtL world! It’s Van and like you at home I’m pretty psyched about the final Slam of the season. Going in, there are so many questions: Is the women’s title up for grabs for everyone with Serena Williams out? Can Roger Federer add to his Grand Slam tally and prove the doubters wrong? Will Rafael Nadal complete the career Slam? So many questions, but lucky for you, I have so many answers. So let me get to the “Point”!
A Look Back: Usually, this is where I’d take a look back at the previous week’s event or major, but this time I’m going to take a brief gander at the Olympus US Open Series. Great stuff all around, I felt, with Mardy Fish coming into his own, Federer finally winning another title this year and Caroline Wozniacki making a run towards the top spot.
This Week’s Spotlight: I’ve probably mentioned this 46 times so far in this posting but it’s US Open time! In a perfect world, every sports section in every paper would only include US Open coverage: Nothing else matters.
Players to Watch: The good thing about Grand Slam events is you get to follow who’s doing what 128 times in each draw. On the men’s side, look out for David Nalbandian. You saw it here first DtL/VP readers: If he’s playing Nadal in the quarters, don’t be shocked if he pulls off an upset. Will Fish, one of the hottest players on the planet, keep it going? Andy Murray also broke his title-less drought this summer: Can he break Great Britain’s Slam-less streak? I expect a deep run.
As for the women, it’s funny how one player’s absence can shake up everyone’s expectations. A player who I think really needs this title is Maria Sharapova. By almost the same token, you can say the same about Jelena Jankovic. But I think the player everyone will have their eyes on is Wozniacki. Can she handle being the top seed at a major? She’s played a lot of tennis this summer with great results, but it could be a matter of peaking at the wrong time.
The Final Fours: Even though I said Nalbandian could have a real shot against Rafa, I think the Spaniard comes through that encounter to take on Murray. In the bottom half of the draw, it will be Andy Roddick vs. Federer. For the women, I see Sharapova taking on surprise semifinalist Agnieszka Radwanska while Venus Williams and Kim Clijsters go head to head in the other half.
And the Winners Are… : Believe it or not, I’m going with the old guy, that Federer fellow, to beat Murray, while I’m picking Clijsters to defend her title taking out Sharapova in the process. Those are my calls and I’m stickin’ to ’em. Enjoy all the Open has to offer!
Van Sias writes the blog Tennis Talk, Anyone?
[Photo(s): Michael Alan for DtL]