|Posted on August 28, 2009 at 2:59 AM|
US Open Draw Challenge Analysis
New York, U.S.A
by Greg Sharko - 27.08.2009
ATP stats and information guru Greg Sharko analyses the US Open Draw. Use his insight to boost your chances of winning the US Open Draw Challenge game.
The final Grand Slam tournament of the season gets underway Monday in Flushing Meadows and the question going in is "Who can stop Roger Federer?"
The five-time US Open defending champion looks to become the first man to win three straight Slam tournament titles in the same season since Rod Laver completed the Grand Slam in 1969. American Bill Tilden is the last man to win six consecutive US Championships from 1920-25.
Federer has won 34 consecutive matches at the US Open since losing to David Nalbandian in the fourth round in 2003. The Swiss superstar has only been extended to five sets twice during the streak.
Federer, who has won 26 of the past 27 matches since mid-May with four titles, opens against American teenage wild card Devin Britton. The first seed Federer could meet is No. 31 and 2001 US Open champ Lleyton Hewitt in the third round (Federer leads 15-7, winning 13 in a row). In the fourth round, Federer could face No. 14 seed Tommy Robredo (Federer leads 8-0) or No. 21 James Blake (Federer leads 9-1). In the quarter-finals, Federer is a combined 29-0 against the four possible seeds in his section -- No. 8 Nikolay Davydenko (12-0), No. 12 Robin Soderling (11-0), No. 22 Sam Querrey (2-0) or No. No. 26 Paul-Henri Mathieu (4-0).
In the second quarter of the draw, No. 4 Novak Djokovic and No. 5 Andy Roddick are the highest seeds and possible semi-final opponents for Federer who has advanced to the semis or better in a record 21 straight Grand Slam tournaments. Djokovic opens against former World No. 3 Ivan Ljubicic (Djokovic leads 3-1) and he could take on No. 29 Igor Andreev in the third round (Djokovic leads 4-0). In the fourth round, Djokovic could meet No. 15 Radek Stepanek (Djokovic leads 3-1) or No. 23 Philipp Kohlschreiber (tied 1-1). Roddick plays German veteran Bjorn Phau in his opening round match and his first seed is No. 28 Victor Hanescu in the third round. Hanescu plays John Isner (11-5 this summer) in the opening round. In the fourth round, Roddick could play No. 10 Fernando Verdasco (Roddick leads 9--2, won seven straight) or No. 20 Tommy Haas (Haas leads 7-5, Roddick 4-3 on hard). Roddick owns a 4-2 lead over Djokovic, winning the last three meetings this season. It will be hard not for Djokovic or Roddick to get through to the semi-finals.
In the bottom half of the draw, in the third quarter, No. 3 Rafael Nadal finds himself not seeded No. 1 or 2 in a Grand Slam tournament for the first time since 2005 Wimbledon. The Spaniard opens with Frenchman Richard Gasquet (Nadal leads 6-0) and the first seed he could meet is countryman and No. 32 Nicolas Almagro (Nadal leads 3-0). In the fourth round, possible seeded opponents include No. 13 Gael Monfils (Nadal leads 4-1) or another countryman No. 18 David Ferrer (Nadal leads 8-3, tied 2-2 on hard). In the quarter-finals, No. 7 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (Nadal leads 3-1) or No. 11 Fernando Gonzalez (Nadal leads 6-3) are the highest seeds and No. 17 Tomas Berdych is also a threat (Nadal leads 5-3, winning last four). Berdych and Gonzalez could meet in a third round showdown (tied 3-3). Nadal will be tested early but look for the Spaniard to gain momentum and make a charge deep into the second week.
In the final quarter of the draw, last year's runner-up Andy Murray is the first British man to hold the No. 2 seeding since Fred Perry in 1935. Murray, who owns the best hard court record (34-3) this year and who is a winner of five ATP World Tour titles, takes on free-swinging Latvian Ernests Gulbis in the first round (Murray leads 3-0). Murray could have a tough third round assignment with big-serving Croat Ivo Karlovic, the No. 27 seed (Murray leads 3-0). In the fourth round, Murray's possible seeded opponents are No. 16 Marin Cilic (Murray leads 3-0) or No. 19 Stanislas Wawrinka (Murray leads 5-3, including 4-1 on hard). In the quarter-finals, Murray could take on No. 6 Juan Martin del Potro, who has reached the quarters or better in three of the past four Grand Slam tournaments. The 20-year-old Argentine is coming off a title in Washington (d. Roddick) and runner-up in Montreal (l. to Murray). He opens against countryman Juan Monaco and No. 25 Mardy Fish is a possible third round opponent (Fish leads 2-1). In the fourth round, No. 9 Gilles Simon (tied 1-1) or No. 24 Juan Carlos Ferrero (Ferrero leads 2-0) are possible foes. Murray and del Potro are solid choices for a run into the final eight