The US Open men’s bracket is out, and looking over the draw things look promising for the “big three”, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.
The bigger question was again where would Novak fall, and this time he lands in the lower half which is now occupied by the second-ranked Federer. Nadal has the fourth-seeded David Ferrer in the top half. It’s good to be No. 1, isn’t? it
I won’t get into my picks yet, but I’ll quickly break it down quarter by quarter.
New No. 1 Rafael Nadal has what I think is an easy road to at least the quarterfinals. A couple of qualifiers, and then maybe Philip Kohlscrieber or Victor Troicki could get a set but they are not going to ruin the Nadal party. In the fourth round the Tomas Berdych-Ivo Karlovic winner might be waiting and then in the quarters James Blake or David Nalbandian are the seeds in the section. Blake, though, could meet Paul-Henri Matheiu in the third round while Nalbandian is slated to face my man Gael Monfils. Berdych gets Sam Querrey in a good first rounder and Monfils v. Robin Soderling could provide some second round fireworks.
The second quarter on the surface looks the easiest but it’s strong. Ferrer is really a weak No. 4 seed so I like the Juan Martin Del Potro-Gilles Simon winner to get through to the quarter. In the lower portion Andy Murray is more than capable of a deep run, though he’ll have to get by Feliciano Lopez in the third round and possibly Stan Wawrinka in round four. Murray v. Del Potro in the quarters would be a great match. Del Potro, who has won 19 straight matches, starts things off against countryman Guillermo Canas. Fun stuff!
Andy Roddick and new coach Patrick McEnroe have their work cut out for themselves. Roddick, who’s in the Djokovic third quarter, opens with Fabrice Santoro, then either Ernests Gulbis or Thomas Johansson with Fernando Gonzalez or Nicolas Kiefer potentially ahead. And that’s just to get to Novak who really has little in the way of trouble in a section which could see Marat Safin v. Jo Tsonga meeting.
In the final quarter, you could argue that Federer is now at the stage of his career where he needs good draws. Well, he got one in a big way. The defending champion shouldn’t have a problem getting to the semis with only Radek Stepanek in the third round, Fernando Verdasco in the fourth round and Nikolay Davydenko or Richard Gasquet in the quarterfinals. He’s got to be more than happy with the hand he’s been dealt.
The women’s field is wide open though somewhat top heavy. The quarterfinals according to draw order shape up to be Ana Ivanovic v. Dinara Safina, Serena Williams v. Venus, Elena Dementieva v. Svetlana Kuznetsova and Vera Zvonareva v. Jelena Jankovic.
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