US Open Draw 2015 – Murray in Federer’s Half

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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
  • Souza
  • Haider-Maurer/Pospisil
  • Seppi
  • Goffin
  • Nadal/Raonic
  • Nishikori/Cilic
  • Murray/Federer

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
  • Paire
  • Ilhan/Stepanek
  • Dolgopolov/Robredo
  • Tsonga/Monfils
  • Cilic/Ferrer
  • Djokovic
  • Murray/Federer

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
  • Kyrgios
  • Mannarino
  • Bellucci
  • Anderson/Thiem
  • Wawrinka/Simon
  • Federer/Berdych
  • Djokovic

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
  • Mayer
  • Darcis/Baghdatis
  • Kohlschreiber 
  • Isner/Karlovic
  • Berdych/Gasquet
  • Murray/Wawrinka
  • Djokovic

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.

Posted in Grand Slams, US Open.

26 Comments

  1. As I expected Murray is in Federer’s half.

    Either ways Djokovic is the favourite. Murray in Djokovic’s half could have made things interesting but nevertheless it is alright and I don’t think Federer will pull it off. Nextly, Murray if he is to seriously contend for this title has to first get past Wawrinka I guess which is a tall order in itself. Beating Murray, Federer & Djokovic in a row is not something which I expect from Murray. Bottomline it will be a shock to me if the Djoker doesn’t win this. Nadal has no chance of even winning a set against him.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    It does look good for the Djoker, doesn’t it? The draw is similar to Wimby except this time no Wawrinka is Djo’s half. It’s like you said, if Federer wanted to have a chance he probably needed Murray to be in Djo’s half. If Murray plays Federer he won’t make things easy for him. It won’t be like Wimbledon or Cincy. If he doesn’t beat Federer he’s give him a tough match before a potential final with the Djoker. That definitely won’t help his chances. I think Djokovic is way overdue for a USO title and I’m gonna be pretty disappointed if he doesn’t get it. Luck was against him at the FO again this year. Hopefully, it turns in his favor for a change.

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    Hari Reply:

    You say luck was against him in the French Open which based on the draw I totally agree but I believe it was his own fault for not finishing off Murray in 3 sets. That was the turning point of the tournament. Not saying Wawrinka would have lost the final then but even if you are the best, its not easy coming back the next day and winning the title match. The muscle needs rest and it is simply not easy recovering fast. And yes he is the favourite for the US Open by a long margin.
    If Murray needs to win this, he should hope Federer exits early and he beats Wawrinka without wasting too much of energy.
    Well, for Federer, I said – finish all matches in 3 or max 4 sets and hope for positive things to happen. And even if Murray loses early and Federer gets a cakewalk semi final it wont be easy in the final if Djoker stands there.
    Anyway, excited for the tournament :-)

    [Reply]

    Hari Reply:

    Not finishing Murray in 3/4* sets

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Well, I have already written about this issue. Murray was many people’s favorite to win the FO and didn’t lose a match in the clay season up until then. I think you are being overly critical on Djokovic, especially given how well Murray played in the 3rd and 4th sets. Djokovic didn’t let it slip. Murray took his game to a new level. And he may have lost to Stan in the final anyway. It happens.

    [Reply]

    Hari Reply:

    No I am not being over critical. I have a reason. Him being stretched was not the issue, in a top 3 clash it is not a surprise if you struggle. But I felt Djokovic became a little passive after the 1st 2 sets. Had he played his usual tennis I don’t think the match would have gone to the next day because I believe a firing-on-all-cylinders Djokovic could have beaten him in less than 5. Just an opinion you can surely have a different thought there Nee chaptai

    And Offtopic: Nadal refused to play with Krygios. Your thoughts there? :-P

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Well, I guess that is not impossible but my personal feeling watching that match was that Murray started playing better, not the other way around. I’m not saying you are wrong. But to me it looked like Murray was kind of in the zone and hitting the ball really big. Kind of like Stan did in the final. Not sure there was much Djokovic could do. Either way we agree that it was a brutal draw. He could easily have had another long match with Nadal as well, but he overcame his nerves in the first set and straight-setted him. Then Stan in the final was just unreal.

    I think it’s good Nadal refused to play with Kyrgios. The more Kyrgios is embarrassed the better.

    [Reply]

    Charlie Reply:

    Ru-an I am just interested as to why you think Murray is the second favourite for the USO rather than Federer. Not saying you are wrong, but I think Murray has lost something like the last 10 sets against Federer, so there is no guarantee he can make it a close match, and also Federer beat Djokovic in Cincinnati just like Murray did in Montreal, so they both have a fairly equal chance of beating Novak as I see it. Just wondering what prompts you to think Murray is the second favourite. Obviously who we call the favourite doesn’t really matter, as Federer once said, draws aren’t as important as people say they are, we talk about them and the players just play in them without worrying. But it’s an interesting discussion nonetheless.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Where did I say Murray is the second favorite, Charlie?

    [Reply]

    Charlie Reply:

    Sorry Ru-an I just looked through your post and I agree with you. Just realised it was something I read on Jonathan’s blog as I read that just before reading yours. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

    Charlie

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Lol. He said that? Must have a lot of faith in his own player :))

    [Reply]

    Nambi Reply:

    Faith and Practical thinking doesn’t needs to be same :-)

    [Reply]

  2. Murray getting ready to “bang” Kyrgios in Round 1 :-) He better hope someone takes out at least one of Wawrinka/Federer/Djokovic, as the recent records are not that great:

    vs Wawrinka: 0-2 in recent meetings (both in 2013), 1-2 at the US Open, losing 4-6, 3-6, 2-6 in 2013, lost 5 consecutive sets

    vs Federer: 0-5 in recent meetings (since 2013), 0-2 in Slams, lost 10 consecutive sets (+ can’t even break serve nowadays!)

    vs Djokovic: 1-8 in recent meetings, 8-match losing streak, 0-3 in recent Slam meetings

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Lol. Nice stats Krish. Murray’s road looks difficult like at Wimby if I recall correctly. Doesn’t look like he’s winning it this year. All in all this draw is perfectly set up for Djokovic to win a 2nd USO. Hopefully, that is the incentive he needs to raise his level and break his recent finals losing streak.

    [Reply]

  3. I hope Stan is in form; he adds big x-factor to the proceedings. Murray has, potentially, a brutal draw.

    Can’t wait for the tennis. Lights, camera, Nole. . .

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Stan is for sure an x-factor. And he’s made the SF the last couple of year and lost in five set both times. He may just be ready to make the next step. Even Djokovic is not safe if he catches fire.

    [Reply]

  4. Remember what I said after the FO? Never thought that loss would have a devastating effect on Djokovic like many people did. Then he goes right ahead and wins his third Wimby in devastating fashion. Good article:

    http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/136447662/novak-djokovic-wins-wimbledon-roger-federer?tcid=tw_share

    [Reply]

    Krish Reply:

    Now THAT is a well-written article. Not the first time he’s bounced back from a tough loss at the French either.
    Now he needs to overturn his US summer record and try to score another win in NYC.

    Of course, this US Open is a very significant Slam. Djokovic is looking for his 3rd Slam title of the year to continue his pursuit of the Open Era record. However, the historical aspect is coming on the women’s side, where Serena Williams aims to win and complete the prestigious Calendar Year Grand Slam. This would elevate her to 22 Slams (tied with Graf), giving tennis its first CYGS since 1988 – it would be nice to see the pinnacle of the sport being reached.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Glad you liked it, Krish. Exactly like you said, he had to come back from a tough loss before and that was much tougher to deal with. This year was nothing compared to that and he needed hardly any time at all to recover.

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  5. Seems like a fairly balanced draw, no real surprises. Djoker is the favourite, but I don’t see him as the overwhelming favourite like I normally would. I’m not sure he’s at his best at the moment, we’ll have to wait and see. But even a slightly sub-par (if we are to judge from Montreal and Cincy) Djokovic would still be the favourite. I’m scratching my head wondering how he “only” holds one title at Flushing Meadows, knowing how good he is on hard-court. I guess it’s a matter of time before he wins it again, so why not this year. Though on the other hand, winning 3 slams in the same year is extremely demanding both physically and emotionally. He has done it before, but that doesn’t mean it will happen again.

    With this in mind, I was thinking maybe the time has come for Murray again, but he does have a difficult draw on paper. Though you never know how it plays out and he is probably the biggest contender next to Djokovic. For anyone else to win would be a surprise, in my opinion. Stan is just too inconsistent to be anything other than an outsider. I would love to see Federer win, and it’s not impossible, but it does seem unlikely. I wonder if he will continue with his tactic of being super-aggressive on the second serve return. Anyway, I’m looking forward to the tournament.

    Oh, and how about that 1st round Murray vs Kyrgios draw. Tough luck for Kyrgios. Can’t help but wonder if it’s some kind of disciplinary action :))

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I think the USO has also been a bit of an unlucky slam for Djokovic, although not as unlucky as the FO. There he just seems flat out cursed. I think Djokovic should have three USO titles by now given his HC capabilities, but the 2012 and 2013 losses were somewhat controversial. I think the wind played a big role in the 2012 final and in 2013 Djokovic was still scarred from that FO loss to Nadal.

    But he lost those matches and that is all that counts. The important thing is that he now takes advantage of the draw and get that all important second USO title. Then I frankly couldn’t care less what happens for the rest of the year. He’s got such a big lead in the rankings that he won’t be passed for a long time to come anyway.

    [Reply]

  6. Hey Ruan! Are we going to have our prediction game for US Open?

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    We can look into that Smit. I don’t have much time, but it is kinda fun. It also means I will have to make another post before the tennis begin. I have to see the schedule first.

    [Reply]

  7. Off the top of my head no one has made it to all 4 major finals in a calendar year since 2009 (Roger, of course). It’s pretty difficult to do but Djokovic has a good chance of doing it this year.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Even a better chance now that Nishikori has lost to Paire. And yes, it’s very difficult to do. Djokovic has never done it I think.

    [Reply]

  8. I think you’re right Andrew.

    Also, please note that when Nadal and Djokovic had their 3-slam years (2010 and 2011), neither made it to the finals in the fourth major. Nadal lost in QF at AO 2010, and Djokovic lost in SF at FO in 2011.

    Roger played in all four finals in 2009, but also in 2006 and 2007. Of course, those are only the years I happen to know about…

    And apart from Rod Laver, who won all four finals of course, I think Lew Hoad played in all four major finals once back in the 1950s, so it’s not seen very often.

    [Reply]

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