US Open Tennis 2012: Predictions for the Weekend's Events
We all have them. Some keep them to themselves. Some of us boldly put our thoughts on paper or on the Internet.
I chose cyberspace over a fish wrap.
The U.S. Open is one of the tennis' grandest stages, where a player is certain to bring us to our knees with joy or make us jump to the heavens in excitement.
That 2011 champions Samantha Stosur and Novak Djokovic have lost a spot or two in the world rankings tells us this could be a weekend that sees players move toward greatness or toward the airport and a flight home.
This being a two-week tournament, anything is possible, even a move by unseeded players who were once golden in our eyes but have fallen from grace because of injury, talent, fortitude, or all three.
Here are some things to watch for this weekend.
John Isner Will Move Toward the Quarterfinals
This may not be as bold as some might think, but the Americans have not been the strongest in major tournaments as of late.
Isner is the best hope for the United States to possibly win a Grand Slam title this year. But let's be honest, I don't see this happening any time soon.
There are too many factors that have to break in his favor to capture the title here in New York. But he is seeded in the top 10, and that will give us fans something to hold on to as we watch over the weekend.
Watch out for the Unseeded Players
Slovvakian-born player Martin Klizan sent the fifth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga packing on Thursday.
Could there be more upsets over the weekend?
Mardy Fish almost fell. Agnieszka Radwanska could have seen her time in the States cut short.
There is always someone who gets their racket handed to them.
Klizan could be someone to watch and someone who makes some noise over the holiday.
While the seeds state they are not the two best players in the world, I believe the play of both of them right now suggests otherwise.
And you can believe the tennis gods want to see the two most popular players on the women's side face each other again like they did in the Olympics.
Andy Roddick Still Has Something Left in the Tank
He has one Grand Slam title to his credit and looked to be the next Andre Agassi.
But in the end, Andy Roddick only teased us with his tennis excellence.
Now, the 30-year-old American is retiring after this tournament.
Maybe it is only fitting since this is where he won his only Grand Slam title back in 2003.
Let's see if Roddick has something left in the tank like Agassi and Sampras, who defied the odds to create magic toward the end of their careers
Could We See Two Brits Charge Toward the Finals?
Not likely, but Laura Robson did beat Li Na in three sets on Friday and will face defending champion Sam Stosur in the fourth round.
Especially on the women's side, there could be unseeded or low-ranked players in the final two rounds of the tournament. It just seems to work out that way in Grand Slam events.
Robson was the story on Friday, and maybe she will be again this weekend.
Djokovic Is No Joke
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While we are waiting to see what happens with Andy Murray and whether he can get through to the finals, the defending champion, Novak Djokovic continues to roll.
His dominant straight-set win over Rogerio Dutra Silva is proof this guy is a great player on hard courts and is a threat to win again in New York.
He may be the most silent second seed in recent history. Everyone is talking about Roger Federer or what Murray will do. This could play right into Djokovic's hands.
David Ferrer Is the One to Beat
Again, this may not be as huge as say an unseeded player breaking through to the finals or maybe Lleyton Hewitt showing off some of his old form, but Spaniard David Ferrer could be the champion when all is said and done.
That Rafael Nadal is not here really helps Ferrer's cause. He is the fourth-seeded player in the tournament and fifth-ranked in the world and should be able to give the "Big Three'' fits in the quarterfinal and semifinal matches.
If he continues to play consistent tennis, he could be holding the championship trophy at the end of next week.