US Open Tennis 2012: 5 Favorites on Upset Alert
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The 128-player draw creates the David vs. Goliath matchups that even the NCAA Tournament cannot match. Some of the biggest upsets in tennis history happen at the slams because the players who earn them cannot get into other tournaments throughout the season. Some of the biggest names in tennis will need to be on upset alert as the tournament progresses. Here is a look at possible upsets that could occur during the first round.
Sixth Seed Tomas Berdych vs. David Goffin
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David Goffin “earned” his way into the draw at the French Open as a lucky loser earlier this year. He was entered into the draw after Gael Monfils withdrew because of an injury.
Goffin’s three wins on the red clay made him the first qualifier to reach the fourth round of the French Open since those records have been kept beginning in 1988. Goffin proved it was not a fluke by advancing to the third round at Wimbledon. Goffin, who had failed to qualify for a Grand Slam in four previous attempts, has a 5-2 career record in slams.
Berdych has had a rough summer. His loss in the finals to John Isner at Winston-Salem was the first time he advanced past the Round of 16 since his finals loss to Janko Tipsarevic in the Finals at the World Team Championship in Dusseldorf in May.
Berdych had a 3-6 record in between including losses in the first round at Wimbledon and the London Olympics. He has four losses this year to players ranked 75 or below.
The first-round matchup in Flushing Meadows will be Goffin and Berdych’s first meeting.
Gilles Muller vs. 28th Seed Mikhail Youzhny
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Muller has shown he can perform on the big stage of the slams. He ousted Andy Roddick in 2005 in the first round in New York, reached the quarterfinals in 2008 and made it to the fourth round last year. He also reached the third round at Wimbledon in 2011.
Muller has wins this season over Bernard Tomic, Alex Bogomolov and Mardy Fish.
Youzhny has won only one match since Wimbledon. He reached the quarterfinals there, losing to Roger Federer.
He has had only one trip past the second round in New York since 2007. He reached the semifinals in 2010.
Youzhny owns a 2-0 career record against Muller. Both of those wins occurred on the red clay at Roland Garros.
Sloane Stephens vs. 22nd Seed Francesca Schiavone
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Stephens is one the rising stars on the women’s tour at just 19 years old. Her quality wins in 2012 include beating French Open finalist Sara Errani, Maria Kirilenko, Petra Cetkovska and Tamira Paszek.
Stephens advanced to the third round last year. She followed that up with trips to the fourth round at the French Open and the third round at Wimbledon.
After breakthrough seasons in 2010 and 2011, Schiavone has slid a bit. She was ranked fourth in the world in January of 2011, but she currently is 26th. She has just a 21-20 record in 2012.
Schiavone won their only meeting in straight sets earlier this year in Strasbourg.
Andrea Hlavackova vs. 23rd Seed Klara Zakopalova
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After a very strong first half of the season that has placed her in a position to be seeded, Hlavackova has lost four matches in a row. She has only one win over a higher-ranked player since Wimbledon.
Zakopalova has had a very good summer. She has wins over Dominika Cibulkova and Mona Barthel and reached the Round of 16 in Cincinnati.
Tommy Robredo vs. 26th Seed Andreas Seppi
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Robredo has had consistent success at the US Open. He reached the fourth round seven times in 10 years between 2001-2010 before not playing in last year’s open.
Seppi has never made it past the third round of a career slam. He has just a 6-15 career record in Grand Slams on the hard courts of Melbourne and New York. Seppi and Robredo are currently tied at two matches apiece.