Does Andy Roddick Have One Last Run In His Career?
The US Open Tennis tournament has been largely Un-American the last five years. Andy Roddick's 2003 victory is the last American to lift a singles trophy in Flushing Meadows, New York.
As the most widely watched tennis tournament in the United States, with it's primetime live coverage, the decline of the sport in America is largely related directly to lack of victories in this event. I grew up watching Jimmy Connors, Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras dominate and became a big fan and spent most of my time competitive sports years focused on the sport.
Currently, the most popular tennis players amongst kids are Roger Federer and Roger Nadal, although a growing portion can probably only name Andy Roddick as someone they're aware of. Federer and Nadal are noble role medals, the best in the sport, but that's not good for the development of American tennis.
So can an American make a run at the US Open Championship? Aside from Serena or Venus Williams, it's highly unlikely.
James Blake would have to meet Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals, but in doing so, he'd have knocked out an exciting younger American named Donald Young. You can see that match tonight in primetime on USA Network. If either of these two were to advance to the third round, they'd potentially face yet another American in Mardy Fish. Fish has the talent to potential make a surprising, second week appearance, but has never been too cosistent. Either way, should one of these reach the quarters, it's game-set-match from there.
John Isner, the big 6'9 Georgia Bulldog, has the potential to be a big star if he he could pull off an extended run. However, in the second round he'll meet David Ferrer (4th seed) who cruised to an easy victory earlier this morning, and is playing very well.
Andy Roddick has a favorable draw, but that's never been the problem. Maintaining his focus against fiesty up-and-comers looking to beat the most marketed player in the game has been. A quarterfinal against Novak Djokovic looks likely, as does a loss.
In the bottom half of the draw, Roger Federer should cruise into the semifinals despite his shaky play as of late.
Men's Prediction Rafael Nadal over Novak Djokovic in four sets.
On the women's side of things, Venus and Serena Williams have played up to par in doubles competition over the summer (winning Gold in Beijing), but singles play has been inconsistent. That said, when playing at their potential and healthy, they're unbeatable. Unfortunately, they're both in the same quarter of the draw with a fiesty little Slovak Dominika Cibulkova who's upset Venus already this summer.
Ana Ivanovic should cruise to a quarterfinal matchup with Dinari Safina in the top quarter of the draw.
The third quarter of the women's singles draw could be a toss up and where we see an unranked sleeper sneak in. Elena Dementiava is the favorite, but by no means a lock to get by Kuznetsova, Anna Chakvetadze or my personal favorite Maria Kirilenko who could be an Ivanovic-like star with her looks, and success.
Lindsey Davenport is an intriguing option in the bottom quarter, beating Aleksandra Wozniak, a promising young Canadian. Jelena Jankovic is ready for her big major win, but I like an upset bit from Marion Bartoli as a possibility.
Women's Prediction: Dinari Safina over Venus Williams.
Complete US Open Tennis Draws
Who's your pick?