Road to the Flushing Meadows
Posted by Sports Snob on August 13, 2006
Dmitry Tursunov, James Blake, Arnaud Clement, Tommy Haas, Andy Roddick, Kim Clijsters, Maria Sharapova, Paaty Schnyder, Nicole Vaidisova, Vera Zvonareva.
No, I’m not putting up a random collection of names here. These are the top 5 men and women in the US Open series.
The US Open Series is a 6 week hard court build-up to the Grandslam tournament with the highest viewership. It covers 10 tournaments across USA and Canada, culminating in the US Open. The top 100 men will be competing in this pre-grandslam buildup that has been on since 2004.
The top three in the Series have a shot at a grand prize which could lead a doubling of the prize money!!! You need to finish in the top 3 in the Series and then you could win bonuses for reaching various stages of the US Open. Kim Clijsters took home $2.2 million last year!!!!
Technology, the way forward
The US Open Series is using the Instant replay in the current series.
… Once a player challenges a line call, an official replay will be provided simultaneously to the television broadcast and in-stadium video boards, allowing players, officials, on-site fans and television viewers the opportunity to see the live results of a player challenge. …
The Wimbledon champion is in action for the first time since The Championships. Playing in the Rogers Cup (nice name!!!), Federer won his match against Mathieu in straight sets and has struggled to the finals. I expected that this tournament would see Federer play Nadal in the finals, on hardcourts, after a long break. Following Nadal’s shock defeat, we will have to wait longer for that one. The rivalry will continue to build-up till the US Open and will hopefully climax in a Federer triumph in the Arthur Ashe stadium on September 10.
More importantly, this series should be a good indicator of the form of the various leading players and a sign of things to look forward to in the US Open.
Andy Roddick is looking good and will be a serious threat on the hardcourts in New York. Lleyton Hewitt more and more looks a spent force. A player who has survived on his fighting instincts but has been left with a bamboo stick to defend himself against tanks, a glorified Michael Chang maybe. Will Hewitt make me eat my words? Safin in form is a threat on any surface to any opponent. And while I would love to see Agassi go far in the tournament, I would be surprised to see him in the last four.
Serena Williams is back in action and I expect she will be a strong force if she can hold her service and nerves together. Mauresmo and the 2005 Champion Clijsters are my frontrunners for the women’s title. I would like to see Henin and Hingis in the semi-finals but on current form, Sharapova is a much better bet to make the final four.
I will try and make a prediction on the US Open at the end of the US Open Series presented by Lever 2000.