US Open – time to separate the men from the boys

Will Federer emerge the victor?

I love Masters tourneys, but they only ever hint at the possibilities of the boys outside of Federer and Nadal.  Sure Masters tourneys are great ends in and of themselves, but let’s not kid ourselves, there is nothing like a Slam.

There are no first round buys, everyone comes out to play, and you gotta make it through seven potential 5-set matches to win the whole damn thing; mad respect for the slam! So while, Ljuby can grab Indian Wells, Roddick, Miami, Murray, Toronto, and Fed, Cincy, all that is just a precursor to the question that the USO answers: who can bring it on the fast, hard surface at Flushing Meadows?

Bring on the noise, the planes overhead, the rowdy night crowds, and the fast courts.

Predicting isn’t for the faint of heart and it’s a fools paradise but I live to be fearlessly foolish. Here goes:

Quarters

  • Nadal vs Nalbandian
  • Murray vs Malisse
  • Roddick vs Fish
  • Cilic vs Federer

Semis

  • Nadal vs Murray
  • Fish vs Federer

Final

  • Murray vs Federer

Winner – Federer

Here are some first round matches I’m hoping to get a peek at:

First Round

  • Gilles Simon vs Donald Young – not because I think Young can win, but because if he has anything to prove, he would do well to win this match.
  • David Ferrer vs Alexandr Dolgopolov – I am going to be front row and center for this match, because it will be fantastic. As David will not blow this kid off the courts, I expect a five setter with Ferrer eventually taking it.
  • Benjamin Becker vs Daniel Brands – Brands had a nice little run at the French Open and I remembered him having a great serve and a good forehand, which should do him well here at the USO. I think he could go far in this little section; heck I have him beating Ferrer the next round!
  • Jeremy Chardy vs Ernest Gulbis – this one is a five setter waiting to happen and I’m leaning towards Chardy taking it but Gulbis should be properly rested and invested enough to duke it out.
  • Fernando Verdasco vs Fabio Fognini – this one could be a squeaker as Fabio took out Monfils at the French and Verdasco in the first round of Wimbledon. I was never a fan of Fabio, but I have a feeling that Verdasco should be worried.

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