The Last Week before the US Open

Aug 28, 2009

The last week before the final Grand Slam of the season ends has passed, and there’s only days to spare before the US Open begins.

Still, before we talk about that, there needs to be mention of the final week coming up to the last open of the year. For starters, Roger Federer took the Cincinnati title from under Andy Murray’s reign. The Brit was the favourite, but was knocked out by the Swiss world no. 1 in the semi-finals. Federer went on to breeze past Novak Djokovic in the finals  6-1 7-5.

Other news from the week gone by includes British Laura Robson causing a stir in the US Open qualifying. The teenager was given a wildcard to the tournament, and managed to beat Stephanie Foretz who is ranked 332 places above her. The world no. 460, fifteen year old Robson went through along with two other Brits: Elena Baltacha and Mel South.

Now, as it looms in the near future we need to turn attentions to the US Open.

Ernest Gulbis of Latvia has been drawn to play Andy Murray in the first round, and the fans of the Brit are simply bristling with excitement. This is the grand slam that was so, so close for the Scot. It was almost his, almost a British victory, and it was snatched away from him. Will it be again, or can he actually take that final push to winning in a final? It would at least help to justify why he sits in the number 2 spot, just behind a man who has won 15 of them.

Rafael Nadal will open against the newly returned Richard Gasquet, and Federer will play Devin Britton. The Gasquet/Nadal match up is a particularly interesting one. Both have things to prove; Gasquet is coming back from a messy ban at the hands of the ITF, and this is Nadal’s first Grand Slam since he retreated for some therapy on his knee.

And who is the favourite? Roger Federer, that’s who. No big surprise there then. And having won the Cincinnati title, those arguments about how the new babies will ruin him have got one foot over the windowsill. If he wins at the US Open, they’re just going to fall right out of the window.

Of course Murray is breathing down his neck, and since this isn’t Wimbledon he may, just may, have a chance.

Sharapova is slowly creeping her way back up the rankings, seeded at no. 29, and Kim Clijsters has been given a wildcard for this year after having won the competition in 2005. Dinara Safina has been put in the top seed for the women’s draw, with the Williams sisters languishing at the no. 2 (Serena) and no. 3 (Venus) sports.  

The US Open really kicks off in an unofficial style with the Arthur Ashe Kid’s Day on Saturday 29th, where comedy, music and some all-round fun come together with tennis to celebrate the start of the tournament, as well as being an opportunity for some of the stars at Flushing Meadows to raise money for their respective charities.

The official tournament starts on August 31st, and now the draws have all been released we can sit back and speculate in those twilight hours before the tournament actually begins.

It’s our last chance of the year.

 

-          SophieG

 

Written by: SophieG

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