US Open Tennis 2012 Draw: Best Candidates for Surprise Runs in New York
Heading into the 2012's U.S. Open, there are a few underdogs to watch that could make deep runs into the tournament.
Just like in any tournament, a players' draw goes a long way in determining just how far they can get in a tournament. In a tournament pool featuring the best players in the world, there's no such thing as an easy draw, but there are players that have a more than favorable path to the marquee matches of the tournament.
These are the players that could surprise in the early rounds of the tournament.
Stosur comes into the U.S. Open as an underdog in the sense that she has been non-existent as a player in the biggest stages of late.
Stosur is still ranked as a top-10 player in the world, but her 31-17 record this year hasn't been on par with that ranking, and she is coming off of disappointing showings in both the Olympics (eliminated in first match) and Wimbledon (eliminated in second round).
Can Samantha Stosur get back on track at the U.S. Open?
While it would be easy to dismiss Stosur as a contender in this tournament with so many women playing well, Stosur has no better opportunity to get back on track than at the U.S. Open.
She is the defending champion of the tournament, having beaten Serena Williams in the 2011 final, and her draw sets up favorably for a run. Looking at her potential matchups, she should at least make an appearance in the quarterfinals against Li Na.
Considering Stosur has a perfect 6-0 record against Na, there's no better player for her to play to earn a berth into the quarterfinals against top-seeded Victoria Azarenka.
Almagro is just outside the top 10 players in the world currently, but could make waves with a run to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open.
A potential matchup with Florian Mayer looms in the third round, but Almagro has traditionally handled Mayer and is 4-1 all time against him. The biggest obstacle between Almagro and an impressive quarterfinals run will be the current No. 7 player in the world, Tomas Berdych.
Berdych has a 6-3 record against Almagro all time, but it is important to note that the last time the two met on a hard surface Almagro won the match in two sets on U.S. soil. With the confidence of beating Berdych on the same surface earlier this year, Almagro could be on his way to his best performance at any grand slam.
At No. 21 in the world, Haas definitely isn't considered a favorite to make a run in this tournament, but his draw has him in a position to advance farther than you would think.
Haas' first ranked opponent should come in the form of Richard Gasquet in the tournament's third round, but Haas should have a good chance to beat him, as he holds a 2-2 record against the Frenchman and has done well against him on hard surfaces.
Beyond that, a matchup with David Ferrer awaits. Haas would be a huge underdog in the match, but the U.S. Open has always been his best grand slam tournament with a 32-14 record for his career. A quarterfinals appearance would be the most relevant run that Haas has had in years.
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