Foot Fault!

Calling all the lines of professional tennis

Let’s Talk About The Men’s US Open Draw, Shall We?

Amongst a slew of raised eyebrows and exasperated headshakes at the appalling handling of the draw ceremony by both the USTA and ESPN, the US Open singles draws were finally drawn and quartered yesterday for the world to see.

For the men’s draw, you couldn’t escape the feeling that it was a complete anti-climax, as for what feels like the thousandth time in the last three years, Djokovic and Federer are seeded to meet each other in one semifinal, with Murray and Nadal in the the other. Yet again, it’s hard to look past those four, and its equally hard not to just roll eyes and shrug like Janko at the rest of the ‘contenders’ in the final slam of the year.

But enough idle discussion. Here’s the men’s draw analysed and discussed.

Djokovic’s quarter
The first few rounds are undeniably soft for Novak Djokovic, but at the same time there’s a hell of a lot of talent in his section, with the most notable names being Richard Gasquet in the fourth round and either Gael Monfils or Tomas Berdych in the quarters. I’d say that Berdych has the best chance of pushing Novak. We all saw him at Cincinnati as he finally appeared to break out of the mediocre form that has defined his year so far, easily dispatching Federer and then looking up to the task of putting Djokovic out of his shoulder-induced misery, before his own shoulder injury struck. Monfils himself took a set off Djokovic at that very tournament, but Berdych is the only player here who has proven that he can step up and produce his very best tennis on the very big stage, and there will always be that (albeit small) chance that he can do it again.

Federer’s quarter
One thing Federer has proven all this year is that playing brilliant tennis in the early rounds means absolutely nothing if you can’t reproduce it in the deep end of tournaments. However, this tough section could be the kick up the ass he needs. Tsonga could beat him, Fish could beat him, Verdas-ok, I’m getting a bit carried away there, but you get the picture. Grandpa Fed is vulnerable right now, so it’ll be interesting to see how this all pans out. One thing I’ll say is that even taking his recent form into account, you would be a fool to bet against him. An idiotic, punkass fool.

Murray’s quarter
For someone who most likely regards the US hardcourts as his favourite surface, his recent results on the stuff have been, well, odd. Over the last two years, he has captured two masters titles on the stuff while simultaneously suffering two early exits in a row at the US Open in addition to first match losses at a grand total of 5 tournaments on US soil in that period

This section could easily add yet another early exit to the list in the form of Wawrinka (last year’s conqurer), Del Potro, Soderling or even Lopez, or else he could ease through his section and into the third round, considering all four are either just coming back from injury or come to the final slam of the year in poor form.

Nadal’s quarter
This, my friends, is what is known on the streetz as a ‘catwalk’. Rafa has been the most vulnerable of all top players recently, but I just can’t see him losing barring a massive disaster for him. Youzhny could well channel his form from this time last year which could give him a good chance of landing the big upset, or else Roddick could play himself into form with his soft draw and begin to resemble the top player again. But yeah, no…

Predictions, predictions, predictions:
Djokovic def. Federer
Nadal def. Soderling

Djokovic def. Nadal (exciting and unpredictable, of course).

Early matches to look forward to:
1R: Gulbis vs Youzhny, Baghdatis vs Isner, Monfils vs Dimitrov
2R: Harrison vs Tomic (which isn’t going to happen, but it’s fun to dream), Federer vs Bellucci (for the laughs), Ferrero vs Monfils

Keep an eye on:
Ryan Harrison

Full draw

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