Some quick thoughts on US Open men’s draw which is now out on the US Open website.
First, where did the 3-4 seeds, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, fall? Murray ends up in the Rafael Nadal half while Djokovic is with 5-time champion Roger Federer. That means Murray might have to beat Nadal then Federer to win the title. Or Nadal would have to beat Murray then Federer for his career Slam.
As for the quarters:
Top seed Nadal should feel at home with his Spanish hombres all in his section. In the top quarter Nadal is joined by countrymen and friends Feliciano Lopez, David Ferrer and Fernando Verdasco. Also lurking is the ultra-dangerous David Nalbandian, Phil Kohlschreiber and Ivan Ljubicic who could still put up a good result on a fast court. Nadal will open with the combustible Teimuraz Gabishvili. Otherwise, Nadal’s draw looks good but a Nalbandian quarterfinal would be formidable.
In the second quarter, Murray and Tomas Berdych are the two top guns. Murray could see Stan Wawrinka in the third round, then likely Sam Querrey. Berdych has Michael Llodra, who could be tough start, but the Czech should get out to a big quarterfinal showdown with the Scot.
Djokovic is the slight favorite in a weak, wide open third quadrant which is also home to Nikolay Davydenko, Andy Roddick, Marcos Baghdatis, Mardy Fish and Gael Monfils. Djokovic has a tricky first rounder against his countryman Viktor Troicki with either Baghdatis or Fish looming in the fourth round. Roddick could hardly have asked for a better draw. Once again the American is in Djokovic’s quarter at a Slam and his highest seed in his section is Davydenko. Roddick opens with Stephane Robert, then likely Janko Tipsarevic before Monfils.
Federer also has to be pleased with his draw. He could face Lleyton Hewitt in the third round, possibly Jurgen Melzer in a very weak fourth rounder and then Robin Soderling or Marin Cilic in the quarterfinals.
Overall, I thought the draw came out pretty evenly weighted. Nadal’s might be the toughest section with Nalbandian, Verdasco and even Gulbis. I think Murray and Berdych look good to the out the quarterfinals.
Roddick also has a good path the last eight. Djokovic, however could get tripped up by either Troicki, Fish or Baghdatis. I think Federer has the best path of any of the Top 4 to the semifinals.
By seedings, the quarterfinals are: 1 Nadal v 8 Verdasco, 4 Murray v 7 Berdych, 6 Davydenko v 3 Djokovic, 5 Soderling v 2 Federer.
Semifinals: Nadal v Murray, Djokovic v. Federer
An early semifinal prediction is Nalbandian v. Murray, Roddick v. Federer in the semifinals. Subject to change of course!
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