You know I don’t put much faith in draws but let’s take a look at the draws of the top four seeds.
- Djokovic’s Draw
Djokovic got a pretty friendly draw and if he doesn’t win the tournament he won’t have many excuses in terms of the draw. And I think he will be relieved after he has struggled with his form of late(only by his own high standards) and perhaps an injury niggle or two as well. The North-American hard court swing has not historically been particularly friendly to him and he needs whatever help he can get.
There is no reason he shouldn’t win another title, though, having lost two finals that he really should have won. You’d think with this draw he would at the very least make the final. The first four rounds are easy for him and the quarterfinals should not be a problem either. I hope it’s Nadal so we can see another good roasting, but Nadal already has to cope with Coric in the first round.
It’s hard to believe Djokovic would lose for a second consecutive year to Nishikori, but Nishikori himself has the toughest draw of the top four seeds and he is not guaranteed of a semi-final spot by any means, especially if Cilic catches fire again. But somehow I doubt that. In the final it is hard to imagine him losing to Federer unless Federer is in the zone. But Federer would have to be fresh and win in no more than four sets.
It would be very difficult but not entirely impossible. Murray would be more dangerous probably given what happened in Montreal recently and also at the French Open. If Murray stays aggressive and isn’t too tired from a tough match with Federer for instance then he could win a second US Open title this year.
- Nishikori’s Draw
So like I said Nishikori has a tough draw. His third and fourth rounds will already be very challenging, and then Cilic and Ferrer can both be very difficult to deal with. He is good on these courts though so he is the favorite to get through to the semis.
- Murray’s Draw
That’s a pretty tough first round for Murray, but I think people make it out tougher than it really is. Kyrgios hasn’t done much of late and Murray already once made short work of him. Yes, Kyrgios can be dangerous but I’m not sure he is in a very good mental space right now. I’m hoping Thiem will make the fourth round and defend his points, but Anderson could be a problem.
Murray should be fine with either of them though and it would be interesting if he plays Stan in the quarters. Playing Federer in the semis would be very interesting too. He didn’t do that badly in Cincy when he was physically exhausted and the slower US Open courts would be better for him. The two have only met once at the US Open before in the 2008 final and I’d love to see how they match up now.
- Federer’s Draw
So it turns out that Federer’s title in Cincy didn’t help him much as far as getting the second seed at the US Open goes. He would have been hoping to avoid both Djokovic and Murray before the final but as it turns out Murray landed in his half. Federer also gets Isner or Karlovic in the fourth round and Berdych in the quarterfinals. So I guess he has a pretty tough draw but like we saw last year it doesn’t work out as you expect.
Last year Federer looked to have a cakewalk draw, but it ended up being tough. This year it could turn out differently. Federer could end up having a cakewalk draw. Isner and Karlovic are pretty tough, but they are not baseliners and won’t drain him of much energy, even if it goes to four sets. They are pretty dangerous with their big serves, but historically Federer has dealt well with them. Berdych hasn’t bothered Federer much of late either.
But you never know. If he catches fire he can draw Federer into a long match or beat him even. You just don’t know. Stan and Murray would both be tough and if Federer wants to have a chance in the final he can not afford to be drawn into a long match. If it goes to five sets that would be very bad for him. He’d have to win in four sets at most. All in all a pretty tall order for Federer but on the positive side he didn’t play Montreal this year.
That was a mistake last year and he will be much fresher this time around and he looked in great form in Cincy too. I certainly wouldn’t write his chances off, but he’d have to be clinical and can’t afford any ‘off’ matches that turn into a long physical battle.
All set then! Let me know your thoughts about the draw. I like the draw and of course I’d like to see Djokovic win a second US Open which I feel is overdue, but there are no guarantees and mostly I am just looking forward to some good tennis and matchups.
The is in your court.