The US Open starts later this morning, Australian time. So I guess it’s time for my annual predictions. I did pretty well last year (named 1 winner and the 2 finalists). Let’s see if I can top that. 😉
For the Men’s, well, I’ll have to say Roger Federer again. He’s clearly the best player in the world and if he doesn’t win it, it’s hard to imagine who else would. Djokovic has a chance, I guess; he’s got the game to win a Grand Slam. Nadal, I’ll probably regret saying this, but I just can’t see him winning; he’s not playing well enough right now and he’s been injurred. Which leaves Lleyton Hewitt as my Dark Horse. If he gets through the first few rounds, he could sneak through to the final. Where he’ll lose to Federer in 4 sets.
The Women’s is more open. Henin would have to be the one to beat, though, and she’s my prediction; she played her first tournament in a month earlier, and I think she won it without dropping a set. Maybe Jankovic has a chance, and Sharapova is always popular in New York, but I can’t see her winning again this year. My Dark Horse would be Ivanovic. She’s playing okay and I think she’s ready to take the next step. But Henin is really going to take some beating.
The thing which amazes me about Federer, though, is he just seems to go to another gear in the Slams. In last year’s final against Roddick he hit 69 winners in 4 sets. That’s just ridiculous; if he does that again, no-one has a chance. If he does win, he’ll have made the finals of all 4 Slams in a year for two consecutive years, and won 3 out of the 4 slams in a year three times in his career. And in his three best campaigns for the French crown, he would have lost to one man all three times – Nadal. I wonder if he never wins the French, will history remember that? How close he came, the closest since Laver? I doubt it. But Nadal surprised me at Wimbledon, so I have to give him credit too – he’s made more progress on grass than Federer has on clay. We’ll just have to see what happens.