Contrary to what commentator Chris Evert says, Serena Williams is the GOAT. She, the Martinas, everyone else is out. But having said that, the odds are against Serena that she is going to win the US Open and complete the calendar year Grand Slam. The pressure build up is too great.
She’s already given herself an out, saying if she does it or not, she’s just ready for it to be over. The week before the US Open, she’s been more omnipresent than the entire Kardashian clan. I’m just not feeling it, especially once the draw came out.
In her opening match again Russian rookie Vitalia Diatchenko it will be an occasion to take Serena’s temperature. In the third round against fellow American Sloane Stephens or maybe Coco Vandeweghe, the pressure will immediately be on. Then she is looking at maybe Madison Keys or sister Venus, opponents that have stretched her to the limit. Then maybe Maria Sharapova, who she has had little trouble with during her career, but this would be a whole ‘nother meeting with different implications.
How badly do you think Maria Sharapova would like to be the one who crushes Serena’s Grand Slam dream?
Pressure is a whole other opponent.
But let’s get to the 2015 US Open draw by quarter:
Top 4 Seeds: (1) Serena Williams, (8) Karolina Pliskova, (12) Belinda Bencic, (15) Aggie Radwanska
Floaters: Coco Vandeweghe, Monica Puig, Madison Keys, (23) Venus Williams
Notes: As noted, the third round is when it gets interesting for Serena with Stephens likely, with Keys or the struggling Radwanska waiting after that, then Bencic or Venus. Yikes. (29) Stephens starts against fellow American Vandeweghe, and (23) Venus against the Puerto Rican riser Puig.
Top 4 Seeds: (3) Maria Sharapova, (7) Ana Ivanovic, (10) Carla Suarez Navarro, (13) Ekaterina Makarova
Floaters: Alison Riske, Dominika Cibulkova
Notes: Sharapova starts against some young talent with an opener against fellow Russian Daria Gavrilova then either Croat Ana Kohjuh or German Tatjana Maria…Tough start for struggling (25) Genie Bouchard against the American Riske, and (7) Ivanovic opens against the veteran Cibulkova.
Top 4 Seeds: (4) Caroline Wozniacki, (5) Petra Kvitova, (9) Garbine Muguruza, (16) Sara Errani
Floaters: Jamie Loeb, (22) Sam Stosur, (26) Flavia Pennetta
Notes: Dull as dishwater, with no early challenges save for the American college stud Loeb against the injury-ridden (4) Wozniacki. Should be easy advancements for the seeds. Watch for Errani-Stosur in the third round.
Top 4 Seeds: (2) Simona Halep, (6) Lucie Safarova, (11) Angie Kerber, (14) Timea Bacsinszky
Floaters: (20) Victoria Azarenka, (24) Sabine Lisicki, (27) Alize Cornet
Notes: Some lower-seeded talent in the bottom quarter possibly positioned to upset the apple cart, with Azarenka-Kerber set for the third round, and Halep-Cornet third round.
In the end I’m going with a Keys vs. Halep final, with Halep taking the title. Stephens beats Serena in the third round in a battle of “frenemies” where Stephens has nothing to lose and Serena finally feels the pressure.
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