U.S. Open Early Rds
- September 2, 2009
Well the first round is in the books for the men. It always moves kind of slow in the first week here at the Open, but the top players all look in excellent form, and I’m expecting them to all move forward considering they are very well rested. Most of the top players only played Montreal and Cincy, which gives them very fresh legs and that plays a huge role in making a deep run.
I was impressed with Rafa today – he looked a lot more offensive minded. He served bigger and played more aggressive, which should help to put a little less stress on his body. He had no problem dispatching Dicky Gasquet, who hadn’t played in over 4 months and it really showed. Roger Federer is the only top player who has advanced to the third round, and he looks to be on cruise control. He now plays Rusty Hewitt, who he absolutely owns – I’m sure Rusty wasn’t too pleased when he saw that third round draw. I also give Fed an A+ for his black gear with a touch of red, it looked extremely sharp. I had a feeling that the quick courts would help the American men, and it definitely has with 10 advancing to the second round. And props to long shot 26 year old Jesse Witten, who at #270 qualified and then dropped a beat down on Igor Andreev in the first round. He also has a very winnable 2nd round against Maximo Gonzalez- these are the types of stories that make the slams a lot more fun.
On the women’s side we have already had some big scares, Safina and Venus both struggled mightily to get through. This shows that there is a lot more depth in the women’s game now, definitely not as many easy matches to be had in the first week like in the past. Ivanovic also went down early for the second straight year here, and since obtaining that number one ranking she has really been heading in the wrong direction. Kim Clijsters had an impressive win against Marion Bartoli, and she looks to be on a collision course with Venus in the round of 16. Serena Williams has had a 20-9 record in WTA tour events with no titles, but when it comes to the slams its a whole other story. She is 18-1 in a slam play with wins at the Aussie and Wimbledon. She is somehow able to find an extra gear when it comes slam time and she looks to be continuing that pattern hear at the Open. Fed and Serena are still the players to beat and my two runner-up favorites are Del Po and Clijsters, who I both expect to be in the mix for the title.