Wednesday, August 31, 2011

U.S. Open: Early Round Action!

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The early rounds of the 2011 U.S. Open has had it's high-lights and it's low-lights thus far.

Here are some early rounds odds and ends--

On the men's side:
  • So far so good for most of the Top 10 players in the world. Some of them had to sweat it out in the first round (i.e. No. 2 Rafael Nadal and No. 5 David Ferrer) but most of them have moved on to the second round. Only No. 6 Robin Soderling (withdrew because of illness) and No. 10 Nicolas Almagro (lost to wild-card entry Julien Benneteau) did not make it past the first round.
  • Two other players who were ousted in the first round were No. 15 Viktor Troicki and No. 16 Mikhail Youzhny. Troicki is perhaps the second best player out of Serbia but if he's going to close the gap between himself and the best Serbian player, he's going to have to perform a lot better than this in Grand Slam tournaments. Right now Troicki is at least 2 light years away from catching up to Serbia's best player, Mr. Novak Djokovic. As for Youzhny, his ranking points are going to take a major beating when the tournament is over. As a 2010 semifinalist, Youzhny had a whole lot of points to defend and losing in the first round was certainly the worst thing that could've happened to the Russian.
  • So far so good for the 2009 champion and No. 18 Juan Martin del Potro. Del Potro easily won his first round match 6-3, 6-1, 6-1 against unseeded Filippo Volandri of Italy. So how deep in the tournament can the Argentine go? Will he go deep enough to clash in the quarterfinals with No. 4 Andy Murray? We'll see.
  • The interesting match of the second round is: No. 27 Marin Cilic vs. Bernard Tomic. If Tomic prevails, he will more than likely face No. 3 Roger Federer in the third round, which could turn out to be a very interesting confrontation. As we may remember, the 18-year old Tomic caught the attention of the tennis world by reaching the quarterfinals at Wimbledon.
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On the women's side:
  • It hasn't been a good U.S. Open for 2011 Grand Slam champions. Australian Open champion Kim Clijsters withdrew because of injuries; French Open champion and 6th seeded Na Li was ousted in the first round; Wimbledon champion and 5th seeded Petra Kvitova was also ousted in the first round. So regardless of who wins the tournament, there will be 4 different Grand Slam winners in 2011 on the women's side.
  • The 8th seed Marion Bartoli of France was stunned in the second round (6-7, 2-6) by American teenager Christina McHale. Kudos to the Jersey girl on the biggest win of her career thus far.
  • Two-time champion Venus Williams withdrew from the tournament right before her second round match due to illness. She was scheduled to play Wimbledon semifinalist Sabine Lisicki who has raised a lot of eyebrows in recent times.
  • The interesting match of the second round is: No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki vs. Arantxa Rus. Rus is best remembered for ousting then-World No. 2 Kim Clijsters in the second round at the French Open. But just keep winning Caroline. Hopefully you can finally get the monkey of your back at this Grand Slam.
To be continued....

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