Olympic Tennis 2012: Stars Who Will Launch Medal Wins into US Open Success
The Olympic tennis tournament is now over, and its closing means that only one big tournament remains on this year's calendar—the U.S. Open.
Taking place on the hard courts of Flushing Meadows, New York, the Open places players onto the brightest stage possible.
Actually, it’s literally bright, as this is one of the few times all year the players play under the lights at night.
The U.S. Open is one of the most storied championships in sports, and all of the great legends of the game have won there.
Normally, there's a long two-month gap between the Open and Wimbledon, but this season the Olympics were squeezed in between the two, so there is less than a month remaining until the American championship kicks off.
This means players fresh off Olympic success will have the advantage of momentum heading into New York.
So, let's take a look at a few athletes whose Olympic medals will transfer into deep Open runs.
Juan Martin Del Potro
The big Argentinian already has a U.S. Open to his credit, winning the 2009 iteration of the tournament.
However, shortly after his breakthrough there, he suffered a string of injuries, which have hampered his play over the last three years.
But after his performance in London, it's safe to say he's back.
In the semifinals of the bracket, he pushed Rodger Federer to extras in the third set but just couldn't pull it out.
Now he knows he can once again challenge the top players in the world, which is all that he needed.
Watch out for Del Potro and his heavy serve to make another deep run in NYC.
It's hard to have a better Saturday and Sunday than Serena Williams has had.
On Saturday she won her first individual gold in the Olympics. Then just one day later, she won another gold medal, this time with her sister Venus in doubles.
Add that to her victory at Wimbledon just one month prior, and she's already had an incredible year.
However, Williams can make it one of the best in history if she can claim the U.S. Open.
She'll likely do it too.
Expect much of the same in New York City. As long as she doesn't have an injury, she'll take home the 15th major of her career.
Andy Murray finally broke through.
Sure, it wasn't at one of the four majors, but the gold medal he won on Sunday, in front of his home country, was just as big.
He was under unbelievable pressure to take home a medal for Britain, and, finally, he performed under pressure.
He defeated perhaps the greatest player of all time in the final, Rodger Federer, and beat out Djokovic in the semis.
These were the guys he's never been able to defeat before in his career. Now that he has, he's ready to break through.
Expect that to start at the U.S. Open.
All of the favorites are reeling. Djokovic has struggled, Federer just lost to Murray and Rafael Nadal is hampered by injury.
This leaves the door wide open for the Brit; expect him to smash through in New York.
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