The six-week US Open series is underway, and you have to say it’s off the slowest start in its six year history.
The lone event on the Series this week is Indianapolis which suffered a serious exodus of top players including Andy Roddick, Juan Carlos Ferrero and Ivo Karlovic. Even James Blake, who they hoped would replace Roddick, turned the event down, though apparently over money issues (now we see where the priorities really lie).
Indianapolis was once one of the premier events of summer. I remember watching Patrick Rafter, Pete Sampras, Boris Becker and John McEnroe and NBC.
The 2009 version of the event doesn’t quite have that feel and star power. Dmitry Tursunov, Robby Ginepri and Sam Querrey are fine players, but hardly the kind of ticket draws a tournament of such tradition is after.
Another tournament well off its heydays is Hamburg, which is also this week (the week of the has been events?). Hamburg of course use to be a Masters level until last year when the ATP decided more cash could be had by handing that Masters sanction to Madrid and demoting Hamburg to a 500 level event.
To its credit, the tournament managed to attract many of the B-level dirtballers including Gilles Simon, Tommy Robredo, David Ferrer, Robin Soderling, Nico Almagro, Nikolay Davydenko and Igor Andreev. So a good field under the circumstances.
The quarterfinals for tomorrow look like Paul-Henri Mathieu v. Victor Troicki, Almagro v. Pablo Cuevas, Ferrer v Simon Gruel and Victor Hanescu v. Davydenko. The top-seeded Simon continues to struggle, losing second round the Zverev who partnered with Michael Stich in the doubles (they lost first round). Simon has just one quarterfinal showing since March!
So again, a slow, if uneventful beginning to the summer but in light of all the action and history we went through at the French Open and Wimbledon, maybe a welcome breather for some.
And with the schedule, the summer blues continue next week in Los Angeles, where again very few of the top players are scheduled. The names they have listed include Fernando Gonzalez, Marat Safin, Tommy Haas, Marcos Baghdatis and Sam Querrey.
Regardless, hopefully we’ll get some good tennis to liven things up in the tennis world.
Oh wait, looks like we have a Tamira Paszek sighting. Remember Tamira? Great backhand, great future, but she’s been on a milk carton the last 18 months until now. Paszek is under doping investigation for a substance she was using to treat her bad back. Oh the drama…
Anyone for Roger Federer baby watch? Nah, not yet.
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