Author Topic: 2012 (Men) US Open - 8/27 - 9/9: The City That Never Sleeps Discussion  (Read 5650 times)

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Offline masterclass

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It is now just 3 weeks to the start of the final major of the year, the US Open.

Some discussion points:

We should have a pretty good idea of the main contenders and possible spoilers from recent events. Toronto and Cincinnati are the big tournaments prior to the US Open and might help give us even a better idea, especially Cincinnati.

There were complaints from players last year because of the slowness of the US Open courts. Will the USTA react and put less sand in the usual paint resurfacing and speed things up? There have been rumors to that effect, but nobody will know for sure until players start practicing on it, qualifying begins, and the first matches are underway.

How well will the main contenders be prepared and with what confidence levels?
Will Rafael Nadal be able to get enough matches in to be a serious factor after his latest bout with tendinitis? 
Will Roger Federer be buoyed by his Wimbledon win and his simultaneous leap back to #1 to give him the confidence to get back to the Open final? 
Will Andy Murray's Olympic victory carry him to his first major win? 
Will Novak Djokovic be able to regain his mojo on the hard courts to overcome the recent hot players and successfully defend his second major this year? 
Will a healthy Juan Martin Del Potro be able to rekindle his glory at the scene of his lone major triumph after a positive Olympics campaign? 
Do you see any others with a chance to get into the semifinals and advance, or whom do you see as spoilers for the top contenders?

Respectfully,
masterclass
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Offline sid

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The top 4 won't want to see Delpot/Raonic/Isner/ or Fish in there side of the draw.

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Offline no_1_djoko_fan

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As a Djokovic fan, I am going to confess and say that Nole is on a bit of a downer after his disappointing show at Wimbledon. He was so good last year that he is finding it difficult to maintain the same performance levels this season.

Murray on the other hand is on top of the world, so I will go with Andy to win his first slam.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2012, 06:11:49 AM by no_1_djoko_fan »
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Offline ashwin#1

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Based on current form of players, i'd back murray or Roger to win the title..but its still 3 weeks to go & 2 masters to be completed..anything can happen..nole might get back to form..isner/ raonic/ delpotro might get hot..

but right now, its Andy Murray OR Roger Federer for me. :)
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Offline Swish

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It's hard to tell now, everything is up in the air.
 
Fed looked exhausted and taking one week off may not be enough, he's had a tough schedule for a year now. But Fed is the best at being prepared so he should be ready to go.
 
Djokovic is playing Toronto with no break, I think it'll hurt him and he's riding some demoralizing losses.
 
Nadal hopefully will be ready, if the knees are recovered then the time off will be of benefit.
 
Murray should have taken some time off too but he's in excellent shape so will have to be watched match by match.
 
 
The danger men:
 
Tsonga, Berdych and Del Potro. All three can take down the best.
 
Outsiders:
 
Isner and Raonic. Doubt either of these can take it all but they can take out anyone on the way.
 
Would like to see DelPo away from Fed for a change, prefer a Nadal Del Potro QF.
 
Del Potro has played a lot too, he just plays till he drops and will be in Toronto, Cincy and the the USO.
Too much for him, the endurance is a factor here.
 

Offline Clay Death

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great thread. perfect timing general.
 
i think the following have the inside track:
 
1. nole
2. fed
3. murray
 
i expect the clay warrior to lose in the quarters or sooner. he may be done for the year. i hope he doesnt blow the davis cup opportunity now. risk is too great to compound the knee issues further if he slaves away for too long on hard courts.
 
i would let the hard courts go for the rest of the year and plan for strategic early losses.
 
still not sure if murray has the forehand needed to derail fed or nole on hard courts. another player who could do well at the u.s. open is d-pot.
 

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Re: 2012 (Men) US Open - 8/27 - 9/9: The City That Never Sleeps Discussion
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2012, 12:53:35 PM »
Most important questions have yet to be asked.
Will temps exceed 90-100F?
Will there be yet another hurricane?

It's record breaking hot out here, people!

Cincy gets damn hot and muggy. The players that go deep there may wish they weren't still around. 

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Offline monstertruck

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It's hard to tell now, everything is up in the air.
 
Fed looked exhausted and taking one week off may not be enough, he's had a tough schedule for a year now. But Fed is the best at being prepared so he should be ready to go.
 
Djokovic is playing Toronto with no break, I think it'll hurt him and he's riding some demoralizing losses.
 
Nadal hopefully will be ready, if the knees are recovered then the time off will be of benefit.
 
Murray should have taken some time off too but he's in excellent shape so will have to be watched match by match.
 
 
The danger men:
 
Tsonga, Berdych and Del Potro. All three can take down the best.
 
Outsiders:
 
Isner and Raonic. Doubt either of these can take it all but they can take out anyone on the way.

Would like to see DelPo away from Fed for a change, prefer a Nadal Del Potro QF.
 
Del Potro has played a lot too, he just plays till he drops and will be in Toronto, Cincy and the the USO.
Too much for him, the endurance is a factor here.
Agreed
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Online Babblelot

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It's hard to tell now, everything is up in the air.
 
Fed looked exhausted and taking one week off may not be enough, he's had a tough schedule for a year now. But Fed is the best at being prepared so he should be ready to go.
 
Djokovic is playing Toronto with no break, I think it'll hurt him and he's riding some demoralizing losses.
 
Nadal hopefully will be ready, if the knees are recovered then the time off will be of benefit.
 
Murray should have taken some time off too but he's in excellent shape so will have to be watched match by match.
 
 
The danger men:
 
Tsonga, Berdych and Del Potro. All three can take down the best.
 
Outsiders:
 
Isner and Raonic. Doubt either of these can take it all but they can take out anyone on the way.

Would like to see DelPo away from Fed for a change, prefer a Nadal Del Potro QF.
 
Del Potro has played a lot too, he just plays till he drops and will be in Toronto, Cincy and the the USO.
Too much for him, the endurance is a factor here.
Agreed

Isner is a threat to QF. Raonic doesn't yet seem ready. But Top 4 plus Tsonga, Berdych, and Delpo is correct.
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Offline sid

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Re: 2012 (Men) US Open - 8/27 - 9/9: The City That Never Sleeps Discussion
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2012, 07:50:06 PM »
great thread. perfect timing general.
 
i think the following have the inside track:
 
1. nole
2. fed
3. murray
 
i expect the clay warrior to lose in the quarters or sooner. he may be done for the year. i hope he doesnt blow the davis cup opportunity now. risk is too great to compound the knee issues further if he slaves away for too long on hard courts.
 
i would let the hard courts go for the rest of the year and plan for strategic early losses.
 
still not sure if murray has the forehand needed to derail fed or nole on hard courts. another player who could do well at the u.s. open is d-pot.

Have you any news on how Nadal is with knee issues herc? he just might be well rested by the time the USO starts.

Offline EMBtennis

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Re: 2012 (Men) US Open - 8/27 - 9/9: The City That Never Sleeps Discussion
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2012, 12:34:05 AM »
I think that it will be a little more clear what the current condition of the top contenders is after the Cincy tournament.

As of right now, I would rank them as:

1. Djokovic. He might have lost some confidence, but hard is his strongest and favorite surface. His movement on hard is superb to any current player, IMO.

2. Federer. Even though he has lost the last 3 years at the Open, Federer is always dangerous on this quick surface. Plus, his serve has been tremendous as of late (except during the Olympics final).

3. Murray. The boost he got after winning the Olympics is a serious advantage that might carry him through. Will he finally win a Slam?

My "dark horse" for this Open is Del Potro.

The big enigma is Rafa. We have absolutely no info on his condition and current form.
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Offline masterclass

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Re: 2012 (Men) US Open - 8/27 - 9/9: The City That Never Sleeps Discussion
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2012, 01:19:46 AM »
There is still some time to go yet with two masters to be played and who knows how the US Open draw will pan out.

Still, this has been an excellent first take discussion.  I'll include my first take analysis, based on what we know now.

Assumptions:

1. I'm going to assume that the conditions will be faster this year at the US Open, perhaps to 2009 and earlier levels. There were complaints last year about the slowness, and the USTA usually takes those and makes adjustments to the amount of sand or grit in the paint when they repaint the surface each year.  We'll see.

2. I'll assume that all top players will be relatively healthy and prepared to play.  This may be erroneous, but since we just don't know, I'll make the positive assumption here. :)

3. I'll use the most recent form of the grass season as "current form". I realize this doesn't always translate to good hard court form, so I'll factor in the previous similar hard court form from earlier in the year, such as Dubai.  I'll not place quite as a high a value on the slower hard court performances, such as Miami, or the Aussie Open.

4. Historical form/class - I look at the whole player's career on the surface/event to determine class form. I don't limit history to the past 2-3 years, but I do factor in the trend.  If the player is nowhere near the level they were when they displayed that historical form, then I reduce it's importance.  Example: Andy Roddick has won the US Open. But I don't think he is near the level he was, so though one can never completely discount a former winner at the event, I do not place as high a premium on Roddick's class, as Del Potro's. Opposite example: Obviously Federer. He won the event 5 straight times, albeit 2004-2008.  But he's returned to #1 in the world and never been worse than a final or semifinal since his last win. I therefore give him an extremely high class factor, even though he had the lesser results recently.

So with that, here is my first take:

1. Roger Federer - best class of all, best recent form winning Wimbledon, silver in Olympics, hard court form earlier in the year in similar conditions was excellent, winning in Rotterdam, Dubai and Indian Wells. I think he'll be difficult to beat. His likely #1 ranking also gives him an possible advantage in the draw. Top chances to beat him: Del Potro, Djokovic, Murray

2. Juan Martin Del Potro - good class, won in 2009. Current form, excellent in the Olympics, very good form earlier in the year in similar conditions. It looks like he is very close to being back at his 2009 level. His serve looked very good in his final matches at the Olympics and was hitting ground strokes with incredible pace and accuracy. He's a bit of an upset in the mix here, but deservedly so.

3. Andy Murray - Never won a major, so his class is below Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Del Potro, and even others that have won. However, his recent excellent form on grass, especially in the Olympics, was superb. His earlier similar condition hard court performances were good this year. So though it's difficult to rate him above Novak Djokovic, I think Murray's trend is upward and he may be ready to take it to the next level.

4. Novak Djokovic - Historical class at this event is excellent (but a distant second best), but he is the defending champion, with 5 SF or higher results in his last 5 years at the US Open. However, his most recent form in the grass season was somewhat disappointing. His play earlier in the year in similar hard court conditions was also not at the level of 2011. Now, if he were to win Cincinnati, I might change the order here, but currently this is where I see him. I feel the pressure of trying to equal or better his results of last year has taken a bit of an emotional toll on him. If he can somehow forget all that, and just relax and play his best tennis, I think he he'll do better, but we can't forget other players also want to do the same. It's very competitive now. If he can maintain his health and energy during this part of the season, I see him having a better end to the year than last year. Playing deep in the Olympics, followed immediately by Toronto, Cincinnati, and the US Open will be very challenging.

5. Rafael Nadal - good class at the event with a win in 2010 and final in 2011, however I think he has benefited at this event from kinder draws and slower conditions of last year. I think this is his worst major surface. His recent form, well, it was tough in the grass season, a surprise exit at Wimbledon, followed by a flare-up of his tendinitis and withdrawal since then. Even if he manages to be healthy by the US Open, his form could be suspect. His similar condition hard court performances earlier in the year were good but nothing special, he is a monster on clay and at this stage in his career is rightly focused on that surface. That said, one can't discount him; he like the other 1 time winners at the event has a chance if he gets a good draw and things play out right. I simply can't favor him above the rest at the moment in these conditions.

Of the others, Tomáš Berdych has a disappointing historical record at this event, and he had a very disappointing grass season. He might surprise, but I think it unlikely at the moment.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has a lone QF result at the US Open, losing in straights to Federer. He had a fair grass season, but couldn't rise to the level needed. His earlier play on similar hard courts was good. I can't see him going beyond the QF.
I see John Isner and Milos Raonic has potential spoilers/upset candidates. At the moment, I still don't think they can go 7 rounds in a major. Though their service games are top-notch, their all around games are still too limited. Of the former winners, I think Lleyton Hewitt's game has been on the improve since his foot surgery. I would not be surprised to see him go deeper than he has in a long time - possibly to the QF. Andy Roddick looked like he had found a little something at Eastbourne and Atlanta, but disappointed in the big grass events. He could obviously upset, but I can't see him going all the way.

Ok, enough from me, long post again. :shrug: :)

Respectfully,
masterclass

« Last Edit: August 07, 2012, 01:26:42 AM by masterclass »
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Offline Clay Death

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Re: 2012 (Men) US Open - 8/27 - 9/9: The City That Never Sleeps Discussion
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2012, 01:43:41 AM »
great thread. perfect timing general.
 
i think the following have the inside track:
 
1. nole
2. fed
3. murray
 
i expect the clay warrior to lose in the quarters or sooner. he may be done for the year. i hope he doesnt blow the davis cup opportunity now. risk is too great to compound the knee issues further if he slaves away for too long on hard courts.
 
i would let the hard courts go for the rest of the year and plan for strategic early losses.
 
still not sure if murray has the forehand needed to derail fed or nole on hard courts. another player who could do well at the u.s. open is d-pot.

Have you any news on how Nadal is with knee issues herc? he just might be well rested by the time the USO starts.

sup general sid. general masterclass has just informed me that the clay warrior is back on the practice courts.

he has posted some pics of nadal practicing at the castle sports bar at the general discussion/non-tennis section. check out the pics when you have a chance.

Offline Clay Death

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Re: 2012 (Men) US Open - 8/27 - 9/9: The City That Never Sleeps Discussion
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2012, 01:47:26 AM »
great first take and superb analysis general masterclass. i will give it some thought and post tomorrow evening here when i get back from hattiesburg.
 
great stuff general. keep it coming.

Offline masterclass

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Re: 2012 (Men) US Open - 8/27 - 9/9: The City That Never Sleeps Discussion
« Reply #15 on: August 07, 2012, 01:54:14 AM »
great thread. perfect timing general.
 
i think the following have the inside track:
 
1. nole
2. fed
3. murray
 
i expect the clay warrior to lose in the quarters or sooner. he may be done for the year. i hope he doesnt blow the davis cup opportunity now. risk is too great to compound the knee issues further if he slaves away for too long on hard courts.
 
i would let the hard courts go for the rest of the year and plan for strategic early losses.
 
still not sure if murray has the forehand needed to derail fed or nole on hard courts. another player who could do well at the u.s. open is d-pot.

General, super post, I think you have the right cast of characters for the semi's.  We'll probably need to see how they play in Cincinnati and the draw before making further predictions.  Everyone is close now. It will probably come down to who is better on that day.

Respectfully,
masterclass
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Offline monstertruck

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Re: 2012 (Men) US Open - 8/27 - 9/9: The City That Never Sleeps Discussion
« Reply #16 on: August 07, 2012, 06:12:45 AM »
Most important questions have yet to be asked.
Will temps exceed 90-100F?
Will there be yet another hurricane?

It's record breaking hot out here, people!

Cincy gets damn hot and muggy. The players that go deep there may wish they weren't still around. 

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Huge factors indeed.  They may well have an impact on the results.

It's been an absolute 'pig roast' here this summer.
The heat and humidity have been disgusting.

I know it gets hotter in other areas, but I think the equivalent would be for Houston to have 6' of snow and below zero temps over the course of a winter.....

It's official, I've actually sweat my *&%$'s off. ;;)
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Offline oracle86

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Re: 2012 (Men) US Open - 8/27 - 9/9: The City That Never Sleeps Discussion
« Reply #17 on: August 07, 2012, 06:32:58 AM »
I think there is a very good chance that the Olympics semifinalists may meet each other at the US Open semifinals too.
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Offline Gawdblessya

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Re: 2012 (Men) US Open - 8/27 - 9/9: The City That Never Sleeps Discussion
« Reply #18 on: August 07, 2012, 10:14:08 AM »
There is still some time to go yet with two masters to be played and who knows how the US Open draw will pan out.

Still, this has been an excellent first take discussion.  I'll include my first take analysis, based on what we know now.....

Excellent analysis MASTERCLASS   I think it will be between Djokovic & Murray.  Murray appears to have exorcised his demons & is playing free. With the OG gold win, & having defeated Djokovic & Federer en route,  he will have gained confidence. More importantly, he seems to be enjoying the challenge a lot more & seems less burdened by it then was the case a few months ago.
Djokovic seems somehow subdued at present, but he could find form at the USO. If so, he'll be hard to beat.  Del Potro too is looking better, and seems more settled & grounded of late.  He could be a contender. I love that big forehand of his.

Federer could yet do it but to me, the hard courts may be too much for him now. Much depends on the draw, and as you say, the speed of the courts could make a difference too. I'd love to see him do it, but I don't think he will.

It would - as always - be great if an "outsider" were to make it.   That would really mix it up for this year & looking forward to the next season!
« Last Edit: August 07, 2012, 10:16:17 AM by Gawdblessya »
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Offline masterclass

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Re: 2012 (Men) US Open - 8/27 - 9/9: The City That Never Sleeps Discussion
« Reply #19 on: August 07, 2012, 11:59:48 AM »
There is still some time to go yet with two masters to be played and who knows how the US Open draw will pan out.

Still, this has been an excellent first take discussion.  I'll include my first take analysis, based on what we know now.....

Excellent analysis MASTERCLASS   I think it will be between Djokovic & Murray.  Murray appears to have exorcised his demons & is playing free. With the OG gold win, & having defeated Djokovic & Federer en route,  he will have gained confidence. More importantly, he seems to be enjoying the challenge a lot more & seems less burdened by it then was the case a few months ago.
Djokovic seems somehow subdued at present, but he could find form at the USO. If so, he'll be hard to beat.  Del Potro too is looking better, and seems more settled & grounded of late.  He could be a contender. I love that big forehand of his.

Federer could yet do it but to me, the hard courts may be too much for him now. Much depends on the draw, and as you say, the speed of the courts could make a difference too. I'd love to see him do it, but I don't think he will.

It would - as always - be great if an "outsider" were to make it.   That would really mix it up for this year & looking forward to the next season!

Nice post Gawdblessya. Yes, it's still early yet. Much can happen.  A player could get on fire prior to the Open and seem invincible. Even after the draw is out, it doesn't always play out as one would think. Upsets can happen, and a draw that looked tough on paper can open up.

As always for me, whether an outsider makes it or not, I enjoy watching great tennis. :)
Now, my definition of what I see as great tennis and another person's definition may differ, so that can always be a bit of stumbling block, but as long as we can agree to disagree and move on, then all is good. :)

For example, I thought the Del Potro - Federer Olympic semifinal match was great tennis.  It was mostly played by both players at a very high level.   Winners far exceeded unforced errors, even when both players were tiring.   It was really a shame that the match was not for the gold.

If we get some great tennis matches in the US Open, especially at the end, then I'll be happy. :)

Respectfully,
masterclass
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