Hi, folks. The US Open schedule for day 1 is out and the top half will play first, which, of course, means no Roger. Roger will probably play on Tuesday then as there is no Nadal in the draw. That gives Roger one more day of rest after the physically taxing weeks he had in Toronto and Cincy. Even though that means Roger will have a packed schedule from Tuesday onward I definitely think this is for the best. Roger just seems to be in the flow right now and everything is working out for him. Already the draw has worked out very well for him, which is what I’d like to get into in more depth in this post. In my first draw post, I didn’t focus as much on the draw because I didn’t want to look too far ahead as there was too much hype for me about Roger’s apparent easy draw. But since the hype has subsided slightly I want to take a closer look at the draw.
Roger opens his campaign against Matosevic who he played against once before in Brisbane this year and won 6-1, 6-1. Matosevic has been in the top 50 and is a decent player, but he hasn’t been in the greatest form of late. He should be the ideal first round opponent for Roger to get adjusted and settled. I am quite looking forward to seeing how Roger deals with Matosevic after his recent Masters title. Roger must be brimming with confidence and this could get ugly for Matosevic. Should Roger progress he will face Groth or Ramos-Vinolas. Roger have never played Groth and he played Ramos-Vinolas once in the first round of Wimby 2012 and beat him 6-1, 6-1, 6-1. I haven’t seen Groth, but I think he has a big serve which Roger is very good at handling anyway. So really as far as the first two rounds go Roger has the ideal start.
He has an extra day of rest and then shouldn’t have to expend much energy in his first two matches. You’d expect him to win both in straight sets given his recent form. Then Roger’s third round match will probably be on Sunday and there he can face Karlovic who could potentially be tricky. But again Roger is so good at dealing with big servers like we saw in Cincy against Raonic again and should he face Karlovic he could well get another straight set win. The points will be short anyway and it won’t be very physical. Roger could go into the second week without having dropped a set if he keeps his recent form up. If he does that he will still be very fresh for the second week. In the fourth round, he will probably play Bautista-Agut or Fognini, which should be a very comfortable match for him if Roger’s recent form is anything to go by.
There’s that sweet outfit again
Neither player possess any significant weapons and can be overpowered by Roger in quick time. I expect Roger to still be very fresh come quarter finals time. And he needs to be because then he could have a potentially tough match with Dimitrov or Monfils. Even though Roger performed very consistently of late he has had some long three setters in Toronto and Cincy and you never know when he could just be slightly off his best, in which case Dimitrov or Monfils could potentially make things difficult for him. I don’t expect him to lose to either of them, but he doesn’t want to expend too much energy. If he drops one set that would be fine, but five sets could potentially count against him in the semis or final. I’m not even sure who Roger could face in the semis. That third quarter is quite open.
I’d expect Ferrer to get through but what if he gets upset? Then it could be just about anyone. I don’t expect much from Berdych as he has been in dire form of late which again is good fortune for Roger. I guess any one of Cilic, Lopez, and Gulbis also have their chances to make semis. Probably Cilic is the second favorite to make it after Ferrer. Roger owns Ferrer 16-0 now and it’s very hard to see him beat Roger in New York. Cilic could potentially be tough, but again for a semi-final opponent in a slam it has to be considered a pretty damn nice draw. Gulbis can be a danger too, but I don’t expect Roger to lose to any of these if he gets this far. Probably the quarter finals will be Roger’s biggest test before the final, assuming he gets there. That brings us to the top half of the draw.
The top half is much tougher than the bottom half. You have Djokovic, Isner, Murray, and Tsonga all in one quarter, and then you have Nishikori and Raonic in the other. I would imagine Raonic will come through in that quarter. In the semis, it is hard to predict who he will face. Most people will say Djokovic, but I am not so sure. He hasn’t looked very good at all in Toronto and Cincy. I know that doesn’t necessarily mean much and that Djokovic could make the final, but for me his chances are about equal with Tsonga and Murray. I wouldn’t even be surprised if he is upset by Isner. Tsonga looked great in Toronto and Murray looked to be on the brink of something good before Roger halted his progress in Cincy. I find that quarter really tough to call and it will make for interesting viewing.
Roger looked calm but confident in his presser
For Roger’s sake, it would probably be the best if Djokovic does not make the final. But then again it would give him the opportunity to reverse the Wimby final result. I just think Murray or Tsonga would be slightly less dangerous, simply because Djokovic is a better player. Whatever the case may be Roger couldn’t have asked for a better draw and it does look like he might well win #18 here. It is an exciting time for Fedfans and how special it would be if Roger lifts the trophy in about two weeks from now. But we have to remember that Roger still has to make the final, and whoever waits there will probably be battle hardened given the draw while Roger could lack a serious challenge. I am just happy with the current situation and Roger seems relaxed and at peace too. Everything is going well for him with his new family, new coach, and new racquet.
I have said plenty of times that the new low of 2013 could well be what propels Roger to a new high and that it was necessary if Roger was gonna win #18. It sure would be amazing if Roger wins a sixth US Open and hold the record for most US Open titles all by himself. That would be unbelievable, not to mention that he would be in the running to return to the top spot of the rankings. But between Roger and that new high stands an abyss of two weeks of the toughest opposition in world tennis which he first has to cross.
Good luck champ!
Roger’s pre-tournament presser:
Update: Somehow I completely forgot about Stan. Even though he has been horribly inconsistent since winning the Australian Open it is not out of the question that he can make semis or final even. He certainly has the ability to do so, but it’s unlikely given his lack of consistency of late.