Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Far from an Open and shut case

Expect some surprises at the final Grand Slam of the 2012 season

  • Print

NEW YORK -- This might be the year to expect some surprises at the U.S. Open.

Play in the year's final tennis major begins today at 10 a.m., with defending women's champion Samantha Stosur getting the honour of opening on Arthur Ashe Stadium against Petra Martic of Croatia.

And the first men on Ashe court will be third-seeded Andy Murray, the newly crowned Olympic champion, and Alex Bogomolov Jr., who once played as an American and now represents Russia.

This summer has been jam-packed with the insertion of the Olympics into the short space between Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. And because the Olympic tournament was played on Wimbledon's grass courts, hard-court preparation time has been compacted even more.

Chris Evert, a six-time U.S. Open champion who will be doing television commentary for ESPN, said this Open is particularly hard to predict.

"Look at the women right now," Evert said. "Maria Sharapova, she pulled out of two tournaments because of a virus. I think the players already have shown signs of fatigue."

Brad Gilbert, another former player and ESPN commentator, agreed with Evert. "I think the hardest transition is going from grass to hard court because hard court, it's the surface that's the toughest on your body.

"Novak Djokovic went right from playing the last Sunday of tennis at the Olympics to playing right away on hard courts in Canada."

Djokovic, the defending men's champion and seeded No. 2 this year, flew straight from London to Toronto after losing the bronze-medal match at the Olympics. He played six matches in Canada and won the tournament, then flew to Cincinnati and lost in the final to Roger Federer. Of the loss, Djokovic said, "Mentally, I wasn't there, I wasn't fresh. It's been a very busy time and maybe that caught up with me at the end."

The top-seeded man, Federer, begins his quest for his sixth Open title and first since 2008 on today. He will play American Donald Young in a night match, just after three-time champion Kim Clijsters, who is retiring after this season, plays American Victoria Duval.

Rafael Nadal, the 2010 Open winner and owner of 11 major titles, is out of this Open because of the same knee injury that caused him to skip the Olympics after his second-round loss at Wimbledon.

A beneficiary of Nadal's absence might be American John Isner, who is seeded ninth and is in the quarter of the draw led by fourth-seeded Spaniard David Ferrer.

Isner could get to the semifinals now without facing Nadal, Federer, Djokovic or Murray, who is still searching for his first Grand Slam tournament victory.

Nadal, Federer, Djokovic and Murray, in some combination, have appeared in the men's finals of the last eight majors — Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open.

Also what doesn't change is the expectation that fourth-seeded Serena Williams will contend for her fourth Open title and 15th major. She is coming off decisive championship performances at Wimbledon and the Olympics. Williams, who hasn't won here since 2008, said she isn't tired at all.

"I look forward to this," she said. "It's almost like a launching pad for what I want to do for the rest of the hard-court season."

 

— Los Angeles Times

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 27, 2012 C12

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Kevin Cheveldayoff announces Maurice contract extension

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Local/Standup- BABY BISON. Fort Whyte Centre's newest mother gently nudges her 50 pound, female bull calf awake. Calf born yesterday. 25 now in herd. Four more calfs are expected over the next four weeks. It is the bison's second calf. June 7, 2002.
  • JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Local-(Standup photo)- A wood duck swims through the water with fall refections in Kildonan Park Thursday afternoon.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What Western Conference teams will emerge from the first round of the NHL playoffs?

View Results

Ads by Google