US Open Tennis 2012: 5 Matchups That We Can't Wait to See
The greatest attribute of the first week of a grand slam is the excitement and anticipation. With the completion of each successive round, the intensity grows as the competition becomes more fierce.
And we get closer and closer to seeing great matchups between the world's best tennis players. Fortunately and unfortunately, we are still a grand proportion of moments away from seeing any of the matchups we all want to see.
The buildup is a good thing. It allows us to appreciate the moment when it comes.
That said, there are opponents we cannot wait to see match up against one another. Here are the most notable.
Juan Martin Del Potro vs. Novak Djokovic
It's very well within a standard logic of reasoning to imagine that you've forgotten Juan Martin del Potro once was victorious at Flushing Meadows. He defeated Roger Federer in five grueling and brilliant sets here in 2009.
Novak Djokovic's win here a year ago is likely more fresh in the mind. Djokovic is the world's No. 2 player, while del Potro comes in at No. 8.
It's hard to get any better than a quarterfinal match between these two men.
Del Potro stands 6'6" and weighs 214 lbs. Djokovic stands 6'2", 176 lbs. It's not that he's small, but in relation to del Potro he comes across as a little punk.
And that is part of what would make this matchup so fascinating. To see the ultra powerful del Potro going against the more balanced skill set of Djokovic qualifies as the intriguing matchup of the quarterfinals.
And we don't have to wait that much longer to see it happen, unless of course, one of the two are eliminated prior to the proposed clash.
Andy Murray vs. Roger Federer
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Is there any tennis fan who doesn't want to see this matchup?
It's been the prominent matchup of the 2012 tennis season. Within a month, the two faced off twice in finals played at London's All England Club.
Federer was the winner of the tennis season's regular tournament, Wimbledon. Murray, however, found some revenge against Federer when he took the Olympic gold medal from him August 5, the final day of the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Both earned coveted titles, yet a feeling remains that the two must play this thing out in another major event to see who is really better.
Historically, it's obvious that Federer has earned that distinction. But for 2012, that is still in question. Round 3, even in a semifinal, must happen for tennis' sake.
Federer/Murray Winner vs. Novak Djokovic
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Novak Djokovic's road to the US Open final is not as arduous as the one Murray and Federer face, though Federer is the No. 1 seed. It's hard to imagine Djokovic not reaching the final, unless he is tripped up by Juan Martin del Potro in the quarters.
We've already brought up what promises to be a greatly anticipated semifinal match between Murray and Federer. Whoever wins that match will gain a spot in the finals.
Either player presents an exciting matchup with Djokovic. Federer is always going to bring tremendous experience and a seemingly inherent greatness to the court. Murray is going to bring youth, grit and a will to win which seems to grow each time he faces one of the world's best.
Tennis could not go wrong matching either man up against Djokovic, the man many consider the current world No. 1, despite the honor being held in Federer's name.
Victoria Azarenka vs. Maria Sharapova
The casual fan, under the age of 20, may not be able to do so without help.
Unfortunately, we've been robbed of this matchup in the previous two grand slams because one or the other failed early in the tournament. For the love all things good, these two cannot starve us of this dream-match a third consecutive time.
It's a shame the two would have to meet in the semis since this feels more like a finals matchup. Nonetheless, a semifinal between these two would be too sweet for even the most casual tennis fan to miss.
Serena vs. Azarenka/Sharapova Winner
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In the previous slide I included an asterisk of sorts, saying that if younger than 20 you may not know of any woman tennis player aside from Maria and Victoria.
But clearly if you're 20 or older, you know the Williams sisters. And Serena is playing some mighty fine tennis right now. In fact, she's taken on a bit of an underdog role, despite being the fourth-seeded player in the field.
As the lone American who seemingly has any chance of winning the tournament, it is clear the New York crowd will get behind her at all cost. And simply based on her personality, she will feed off that emotional burst and use it to carry her to heights she should not be able to reach at her age.
Can she beat Sharapova or Azarenka? Maybe.
The fact is her power game still plays. Sure, Sharapova could probably match it, but then Williams can call on her experience to gain the upper hand.
Against Azarenka, experience would be her primary weapon, and likely the single reason she could defeat her.
Either way, it would be a fascinating women's final. Now the women just need to make it happen.