Topic: This Year's US Open Stars

I was wondering who you guys think will really stick out this year at the US Open, if you think anyone's gonna be able to pull any big upsets, or if you think someone in the top 10 might really dominate.

I think, obviously, Puig, Kvitova, Kerber, and Keys will all have a lot of energy going into this atmosphere, they all performed so well at the Olympics and these big crowds are gonna love them this year, especially Puig and Keys. I also think If Makarova can beat Serena in the first round and then Ivanovic later on she has a good chance.

On the men's side it's hard to tell but Del Potro, Djokovic, Murray, Johnson, Sock, maybe Nadal have a chance at filling the semis, possibly Raonic, Nishikori. The guys game which was dominated so much by Djokovic early on in the season seems to have unraveled a little at the end of the season and Murray is really butting his way in there. Nadal and del Potro both made noise at the Olympics and expect them to go far as well.

I think the women's finals will definitely have Kerber, Keys, a Williams sister, and maybe Muguruza or Suarez Navarro. The men's final will probably feature Murray, Djokovic, Federer maybe just because he always makes the semis, Nadal, or del Potro.

What do you think?

Re: This Year's US Open Stars

I'm very sure Federer won't make the final wink

Re: This Year's US Open Stars

HundredTennisStats wrote:

I'm very sure Federer won't make the final wink

Lol didn't even know he dropped out until this message :X

Re: This Year's US Open Stars

Two words, gentlemen: Kei Nishikori.

Re: This Year's US Open Stars

Here's my take on the men:

US Open Men’s Preview – 27 August 2016
To my mind there are six men who could be favoured to win this US Open and another three who have a legitimate chance: Kei Nishikori, Stan Wawrinka, and Gael Monfils.  The traditional favourites, Djokovic, Murray, and Nadal, have shown some legendary form this year, but it is fair to question if Cilic, Del Potro, and Raonic will supersede them.

First Quarter
Two of my top six contenders are here, Novak Djokovic (seeded 1) and Marin Cilic (7).  Sporting a 51-5 (win-loss) record for the year and with two slams already in the bag, this year would seem to belong to Djokovic, but he’s been less than stellar since completing a slam at the French and becoming the first man since Rod Laver to hold all four slams simultaneously.  He crashed out early at both Wimbledon and the Olympics. 

In the meantime former USO champ, Cilic, just thumped Murray in Cincinnati and looks to be back in 2014 form when he took the title. Also here are Tsonga (9) and Gasquet (13) who are both capable of at least semi-final (SF) runs.  Up and coming US 18-year olds Taylor Fritz and Francis Tiafoe will probably not it make through their first rounds against US seeds Sock (26) and Isner (20).  And then there’s Kevin Anderson (23) who took Murray out of the Open last year.

Djokovic should beat them all, but with questions surrounding his wrist and with Cilic’s recent form, I’m picking the upset.
Cilic d. Djokovic

Second Quarter
Another two of my top six land in this quarter, Rafael Nadal (4) and Milos Raonic (5).  Nadal stormed back into contention with a fine Olympics, taken out there by the deadly resurgence of Del Potro.  Rafa could run into Lucas Pouille (24) in the fourth round (4R), the 22-year old who made the quarters at Wimbledon.

Raonic skipped the Olympics, but the Wimbledon runner-up has been peaking this year, sitting in 3rd spot in the yearly race.  He could face a very tough 4R against Monfils (10) who is having his best year, finally, at age 29.  Monfils took Raonic out of Toronto, so I take nothing for granted, but expect the Canadian to come through.
Nadal’s draw looks pretty easy, but despite better form of late, I still think he can lose it mentally and let winnable matches slip away.
Raonic d. Nadal 

Third Quarter
Of my top six, only Juan Martin Del Potro lands in this quarter and he is unseeded.  The other possible contender is Stan Wawrinka (3).  There are some tantalizing young talents in this quarter, Dominic Thiem (8), Nick Kyrgios (14), and nineteen-year old Alexander Zverev (27).  There are also some interesting middle-tennis-agers here like Bernard Tomic, Steve Johnson, and Sam Querrey – not to mention David Ferrer (11).  It could get pretty wild in this quarter.

It’s tough to say if Delpo will be able to continue the great form from his silver-medal run at the Olympics in which he took out both Djokovic and Nadal.  I think he will.
Del Potro d. Wawrinka

Fourth Quarter
My last top sixer is Andy Murray (2), and a possible contender here is 2014 runner-up Kei Nishikori (6).  David Goffin (12) has gone off the boil from his fine spring campaign, but the fortunes of Grigor Dimitrov (22) seem to be finally turning around.  He could face Murray in the fourth.
Murray d. Nishikori

Semi-finals
If I’m right, Raonic and Cilic will displace top seeds Djokovic and Nadal and gain a chance to fight for a finals spot.  Their head to head is 1:1 with the last match 3.5 years ago being a tight three-setter won by Raonic.  I really believe Cilic is in title-winning form, but I suspect the desire of the Canadian will trump that.
Raonic d. Cilic

The other semi could be an encore of the gold medal match between Murray and Delpo.  Murray won that episode, but a hungry, healthy (relatively) Del Potro is not to be counted out.  It could be painfully close.  Murray’s loss to Cilic in Cincinnati was not a good indicator of positive head space for the Murray camp.  But after winning Wimbledon and the Olympics, a little mental laxity can be forgiven.  By a hair...
Murray d. Del Potro

Final
I’m predicting the same performers from the Wimbledon final will entertain us on the final Sunday.  It would not surprise me at all if Cilic and Del Potro were here instead, or, for that matter, Djokovic or Nadal.  All have shown scintillating form this year.  If Cilic or Djokovic make the final, I think they will take it.  After that I think Raonic’s chances are almost equal to Murray’s.
Murray d. Raonic

Surveying 21 expert journalist opinions I could locate, there were 10 votes for Murray to win, 7 for Djokovic, 2 for Raonic, 1 for Cilic, and 1 for Nadal.

Odds from bet365.com on 27 August 2016
1    Djokovic    2.2
2    Murray    2.87
3    Raonic    15
4    Del Potro    19
5    Nadal    21
5    Wawrinka    21
7    Cilic    26
7    Nishikori    26
9    Kyrgios    41
10    Tsonga    67
10    Thiem    67
12    Dimitrov    81
13    Monfils    101
14    Goffin    151
14    Sock    151
14    KAnderson    151
14    Tomic    151
14    SJohnson    151
14    Gasquet    151
14    AZverev    151
14    Isner    151
22    Ferrer    201
22    Querrey    201
22    Simon    201
22    Bautista-Agut    201
26    FLopez    251
26    Karlovic    251
28    Kohlschreiber    301
28    Verdasco    301
28    Coric    301
31    Dolgopolov    401
31    Paire    401
31    Pouille    401
31    Troicki    401

2017 Supreme Jedi, 2017 Lord Vader, 2017 Chivalrous Wookie, 2015 Naboo Champion, 2018 Big Fat Nothing

Re: This Year's US Open Stars

And on the women:

US Open Women’s Preview – 27 August 2016
Finally, Serena has a legitimate challenger.  Angelique Kerber has been tearing up the tour this year, making two slam finals, winning the Australian and Stuttgart, and making runner-up at Wimbledon, the Olympics, and Cincinnati.  She will carry a 460 point advantage through the tournament that could have her emerging as #1 unless Serena can better her by that amount.  This means Serena has to make at least the semi-finals to hang on to #1 and break the record she shares with Steffi Graf for consecutive weeks at #1.  But can Serena do it?  She bombed out of the Olympics unexpectedly and has claimed only one slam tournament this year.  She’s still the favourite but the outcome is far from certain.

First Quarter
Serena’s opening against Ekaterina Makarova is far from an easy match.  Makarova has been to the quarter-finals (QF) or better at six slams in her career, including twice at the USOpen.  And she’s beaten Serena at a slam before.  The fourth round (4R) could see Serena facing Samantha Stosur (seeded 16) who beat her in the final here in 2011.  And the QF could bring up Simona Halep (5) whom some are picking to win the tournament.  Also in this quarter are Ivanovic (29), Suarez Navarro (11), and Kasatkina (23).  In all it’s a nettlesome section that will demand Serena be near top form to survive.  It won’t be easy, but she’s still the favourite.
SWilliams d. Halep

Second Quarter
Aggie Radwanska (4) has not done well at the Open, with her best finish here being the round of 16 (4R), something she has accomplished four times.  Can she break through to the QF?  There is little to suggest she might although her draw does not look particularly frightening.  The other seeds, Bacsinszky (15), Bertens (20), and Garcia (25) are not accomplished at the USO, and that might open the door for a deep run by unseeded Eugenie Bouchard, or perhaps the returning from injury Laura Robson.

The bottom half of this section contains the redoubtable Venus Williams (6) and Karolina Pliskova (10) who just stormed through Cincinnati to claim the biggest title of her career.  Breakthrough wins are often followed by retrenchment, so I’ll take Venus for this section, old and fragile though she may be.
VWilliams d. Bouchard

Third Quarter
This quarter is marked by potential and opportunity for players who are just starting to make their marks on tour.  Madison Keys (9) has big enough game to win the tournament, but has not harnessed the consistency to do so in the past.  Will this be the breakthrough for the 21-year old? 

Also here is the surging Johanna Konta (13) who has had a break out year that sees her rising from a triple digits ranking a year ago to the gates of the top 10.  And then there’s Belinda Bencic (24), last year’s rising star who has struggled with injury this year.  She’s still only 19 years old and regaining form.  She could be dangerous.

Facing off in the third round could be gold medalist Monica Puig (32) and this year’s French Open champion, Garbine Muguruza (3).  Muguruza’s struggles since her big win in June suggest a letdown may be likely from Puig, but sometimes the confidence a big win can inspire takes hold right away.  Muguruza could be ready to reassert herself despite never passing the second round (2R) here.  She certainly has enough game.

I think Keys can pass all these tests, although she might have her hands full with veterans Kuznetsova (9), champion here in 2004, or Wozniacki, unseeded this year but a finalist two years ago.
Keys d. Muguruza

Fourth Quarter
Angelique Kerber (2) headlines this quarter but there are some other dangerous names here, like two-time Wimbledon champ Petra Kvitova (14), last year’s USO runner-up Roberta Vinci (7), Dominika Cibulkova (12), and Serena’s conqueror at the Olympics Elina Svitolina (22).  Kvitova made the QF last year but has generally not done well at the Open. 

Vinci has had a rather modest year going 22-21 (W-L), but she has quite a fine USO record, making QF or better in three of the last four years.  Most dangerous might be Cibulkova who may be having her career best year, already claiming two tournaments.  The big-hitting Svitolina doesn’t give herself much margin on her shots, but followed up her Olympic upset with a finalist run in New Haven just before the Open.

Kvitova may well take the quarter, but I expect she’ll throw in a bad match somewhere along the line so I favour Kerber to emerge from their potential fourth-rounder.  The other 4R in this section could feature Vinci against Cibulkova.  Vinci could recapture last year’s USO magic and will likely have good crowd support, but Cibulkova is playing some awfully good ball this year.
Kerber d. Cibulkova

Semis
Serena has won 19 slam matches this year, best on tour, while Venus has won 8, which is good for seventh spot.  All my projected semi-finalists are within this range.

Slam matches won 2016
SWilliams    19
Kerber    13
ARadwanska    11
Muguruza    10
Suarez Navarro    10
Keys    9
VWilliams    8

Venus is the only woman in history to claim double digit wins over Serena.  The head-to-head is 16-11.  So anything is possible.  But Serena has to be considered the favourite.
SWilliams d. VWilliams

The head-to-head between Kerber and Keys is definitely in Kerber’s favour, 5-1, and overall I think Kerber’s more consistent game and slam final experience provide a greater probability she will make it this far.
Kerber d. Keys

Final
If Serena and Angelique face off for a third time in a slam final this year, it will start to feel like a dynasty to rival the Djokovic-Murray duopoly on the men’s side.  They’ve split their finals one each this year.  It would be a remarkable year indeed if Serena were to make all four slam finals in one year, something she has never done before, and win only one of them.  Prior to this year, Serena was 21-4 in slam finals.

If Kerber should claim two slams this year, it would be very difficult not to consider her #1 for the year.  But can a player who had previously never been in a slam final, rise to the pinnacle of the sport at age 28?  Will the pressure be too much?

SWilliams d. Kerber

Expert journalist opinion at the start of the tournament had 10 of 20 picking Serena for the title, 3 picked Kerber, 2 each picked Muguruza, ARadwanska, and Halep, and there was 1 vote for Keys.

Odds from bet365.com on 27 Aug 2016
1    SWilliams    2.25
2    Kerber    10
3    Halep    10
4    Murguruza    11
5    Keys    17
6    Kvitova    21
7    KaPliskova    34
7    ARadwanska    34
9    Puig    41
10    Konta    51
10    Bouchard    51
12    VWilliams    67
12    Bencic    67
12    Cibulkova    67
15    Wozniacki    81
15    Safarova    81
15    Svitolina    81
15    Bacsinszky    81
19    Vandeweghe    101
19    Kuznetsova    101
19    Garcia    101
19    Stosur    101
19    Lisicki    101
24    SuarezNavarro    151
24    Ivanovic    151
24    Pavlyuchenkova    151
24    Petkovic    151
24    Kasatkina    151
24    Vinci    151
24    Bertens    151
24    Mladenovic    151
24    Makarova    151
24    Vesnina    151

2017 Supreme Jedi, 2017 Lord Vader, 2017 Chivalrous Wookie, 2015 Naboo Champion, 2018 Big Fat Nothing

Re: This Year's US Open Stars

Holy crap, i'll have to go over this when I have a free evening... tongue