US Open 2013
Can’t believe we are already at the start of U.S. Open and the last Grand Slam of year – a tournament that holds a special place for me. I’ve always enjoyed the pulse and vibrant atmosphere of New York and have so many great memories, both on and off the court – from the first time I walked on court at 13 to eventually living there for a short period. Flushing Meadows, with its close proximity to the city, has a unique energy and buzz that combined with late summer weather, incredible match ups and the roar of 20,000 spectators for the legendary night matches gives it a magical quality.
The excitement of the Wimbledon tournament and the triumphs of Marion Bartoli and Andy Murray does not seem that long ago, so it is even more surprising that the French player announced her sudden career end because of physical problems. The unexpected news from the 28-year old came just 6 weeks after her breakthrough victory in London and is a great loss for women’s tennis but it shows once more that the physical and psychological stress in professional tennis are often underestimated.
The top 2 contenders for the women – Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka – just played each other in a close final at Cincinnati with Azarenka coming out on top. Will we see a repeat of last year’s final with these two? Expecting that Li Na, Radwanska and Kvitova, who’ve been playing good all summer, as well as the German girls Lisicki and Kerber will not to make it too easy. As the draw has it one of my favorites Sloane Stephens could meet Williams in the 4th round, should be interesting as they haven’t played one another since the Australian Open. Sharapova unexpectedly withdrew from the U.S. Open on Wednesday due to bursitis in her right shoulder; hopefully she’ll heal quickly and be ready to start next season at the Australian Open.
If you get a chance follow the girl’s junior event – this will probably be the last tournament for Swiss Belinda Bencic and American Taylor Townsend, they have shown some incredible talent and I can’t wait to see how they will transition to the women’s circuit.
On the men’s side, Nadal was impressive in his victories in Toronto and Cincinnati for a total of 5 Master Series victories this year; a record, so far only Djokovic has held – and with that he is the slight favorite in the U.S. Open. Roger Federer will be seeded 7th, the first time he has been outside the top 3 since 2003, but as a five time winner of the U.S. Open he’s not someone to be underestimated as are Isner, del Potro or Berdych. Even though top seeded Djokovic and defending champ Murray had a pretty quiet summer after Wimbledon surely they will be in top form and continue their incredible tennis year.
Let’s see who will hold up the trophies to end the Grand Slam season!
Hard to believe: That 25 years ago I celebrated my first victory at Flushing Meadows. How time flies!