Upsets are often the buzz that drives the talk of any tournament, but it is the favorites that bring ratings. The Grand Slams are no different. The 2012 U.S. Open has not had any shocking upsets thus far, as most of the favorites have rolled through the tournament.
However, the dominance shown by the favorites—especially on the women's side—is likely to end, with some tough matches in the next few days.
Serena has had an amazing year and appears back at the top of her game. She has yet to lose a set and has dropped only 12 games through the first three rounds. She should cruise through her next match against Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic before she gets tested.
Ana Ivanovic looms in the quarterfinals, with either Angelique Kerber or Agnieszka Radwanska most likely in the semifinal.
After very nearly being whitewashed by Williams at the Olympics, many were questioning where Sharapova’s head would be entering the final Grand Slam of the Year.
Through her first three rounds, Sharapova has yet to lose a set and has lost only seven games. After not playing a seeded player through the first three rounds, Sharapova’s draw gets significantly tougher.
Azarenka has had a breakthrough year. She captured her first Grand Title at the Australian Open and advanced to the semifinals at Wimbledon. She topped that off with a bronze medal in singles and a gold in mixed doubles with Max Mirnyi at the Olympics.
Through three rounds, Azarenka has matched Sharapova’s total of just seven games dropped. She has had two bagel sets. She dominated the 28th seed Jie Zheng 6-0, 6-1 in the third round.
Azarenka next plays Anna Tatishvili of Georgia in the fourth round before the challenges begin. Defending champion Samantha Stosur is looming in the quarterfinals and Sharapova in the semifinals.
When the Fed Express was rolling in the beginning of the 21st century, his dominance of opponents was expected. If a player even won a set against him, it was considered an upset and a moral victory for his opponent.
Federer has cruised through the first three rounds not yet losing a set and dropping just 27 games. After winning Wimbledon and earning a silver medal at this year's Olympics, many are praising his renaissance at this late stage of his career. Federer’s draw will get tough if he reaches the quarterfinals. Tomas Berdych looms in the distance.
Djokovic's 2011 season was one of the greatest in tennis history. He won three Grand Slams and finished the year 70-6. He repeated in Australia this year and advanced to his first final at Roland Garros.
His run thus far at the U.S. Open shows he is ready to defend his title at Flushing Meadows. Through his first two rounds, Nole has dropped just five games, winning both matches in straight sets. His next two matches should be relatively simple before he is likely to face either American sentimental favorite Andy Roddick or Juan Martin Del Potro in the quarterfinals.