Rusedski makes his picks for the US Open

August 26, 2011

The men’s side of this year’s US Open is going to be very interesting.

Will Novak Djokovic’s shoulder hold up and can he win his third major of the year? Will Roger Federer win another major with one of the toughest sections of the draw? Can Rafael Nadal get his form back to defend the title? Will Andy Murray win his first major? And finally, who are the dark horses?

Djokovic’s first two rounds look comfortable, then his route gets interesting with a possible match up against Nikolay Davydenko in the third, Richard Gasquet in the fourth and Tomas Berdych in the quarters before he most likely meets Federer in the semi-finals, if Federer gets there! Berdych could be the danger man in the section if his shoulder recovers from Cincinnati.

Federer’s opening match should be comfortable, but from the second round onwards it will get tough. He will most likely play the big serving Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci, then the dangerous Marin Cilic in the third, Victor Troicki in the fourth, and in the quarterfinals either Mardy Fish or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for a place in the semi-finals against Djokovic. Tsonga or Fish are definitely capable of upsetting Federer at the quarters-final stage.

Murray’s section looks very good. His first test will be Feliciano Lopez in the third, but I believe he will come through in four sets. Then he will likely play Stanislas Wawrinka in the fourth round who knocked him out last year. He won’t falter this year because of the experience and help of Darren Cahill and Sven Groenveld. He is having his best results in majors with their help. In the quarter-finals he could play Gilles Simon or Juan Martin Del Potro. Expect Murray to be in the semi-finals, with a great chance to get to the finals this year.

Nadal’s first two rounds look pretty comfortable, but he needs to get his confidence back, maintain depth of ground shots and serve better. Nadal is one of the greatest players who has shown in the past that he’s able to get his form back during an all-important major. From the third round it gets interesting. He will most likely play Ivan Ljubicic, then Jurgen Melzer or Mikhail Youzny in the fourth round, with David Ferrer in the quarter-finals. I’d say that Nadal will get to the semi-finals just because of his sheer desire.

If Djokovic is healthy expect him to win his third major of the year.

On the women’s side it will be interesting to see if Serena Williams’ amazing comeback will continue. Serena has got to be the favorite to get to the finals and is my pick to win the tournament. Her confidence is back and she has won two events this summer. On the bottom half of the draw Maria Sharapova has to be the favorite to meet Serena in the finals having won in Cincinnati. The other players to look out for in the women’s draw will be Petra Kvitova, this year’s Wimbledon Champion and Li Na, the French Open Champion. Can either of them find a way to win their second major?

Enjoy the US Open; it’s going to be a good one.

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