US Open Tennis 2012: Andy Roddick and Biggest Surprises Thus Far
The 2012 U.S. Open has been full of big surprises. Whether it be the rise of a former unknown, the extended layoff of a superstar or the inspired play of a former champion, this tournament has had plenty of big headlines to pique the interest of tennis fans worldwide.
Three of the biggest surprises are discussed in the following slides, so advance forward and be sure to leave your comments on the Open's biggest shockers thus far.
The Great Play of Marin Cilic
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Marin Cilic has been a surprising up-and-comer in this U.S. Open tournament. He has advanced to the quarterfinal round, which is impressive considering that he is seeded No. 12 in the field.
Cilic has had a solid career and uses his 6'6" frame to impose his will on opponents. Marin has won multiple matches in 2012 and has actually been ranked as high as No. 9 in the world, so he certainly has the talent and drive to advance even further.
Cilic's current placement in the quarterfinals matches his best finish in the major; he also surged into the quarterfinals in the 2009 U.S. Open.
However, his next match will be extremely difficult to win, as he is facing the red-hot Andy Murray, who is only a few weeks separated from winning gold at the 2012 London Olympics. Cilic will have to play the match of his life to advance beyond Murray, but he is certainly capable of pulling off the upset.
Extended Injury Layover for Rafael Nadal
Nadal will miss more than the 2012 U.S. Open
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After falling in the second round of the 2012 Wimbledon, Rafael Nadal has missed an extended amount of tennis action due to an injured patella tendon. He was forced to withdraw from the Summer Olympics in London, but still originally thought that the layoff would only last a few weeks.
Then he had to take leave from the 2012 U.S. Open, which is one of Nadal's favorite events. He would have been a serious contender for the title, but his injury issues hold his major championship count at 11 for the time being.
The news is getting worse now for Nadal, as an update from ESPN reports that he will likely miss at least two more months of action due to the torn tendon. If this timetable holds true, than Rafa will miss Spain's Davis Cup semifinal match, among other tournaments.
This injury was a big blow to the U.S. Open tournament, as Nadal is a fan favorite and is one of the most exciting players in tennis. However, it appears that his absence will extend longer than anyone realized. Hopefully the "king of clay" has a speedy recovery and can return to action soon.
Andy Roddick Delays Retirement, Advances to Quarterfinals
Roddick will head into retirement on a high note
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Shortly before the start of the 2012 U.S. Open tournament, American star Andy Roddick announced that he would retire after the commencement of his play at the Open. He has been a major star on the professional tennis circuit for over a decade, but has struggled in the past couple of years to regain his former star power.
With that in mind, Roddick has produced a magical run through the tournament and continues to delay his retirement as we speak. Entering the U.S. Open seeded No. 20, he is now in the Round of 16, which is actually a familiar format for Roddick in this event.
Throughout his career, the United States Open has been Roddick's best major tournament. He won the title in 2003 and has at least reached the quarterfinal round eight times prior to this year.
Therefore, it is only fitting that he capping off his tennis career at the site of his greatest tennis triumph. His 2003 win is the only Grand Slam singles title of his career. He also finished as the runner-up in 2006.
Roddick seems to have one final major run left in him, so it will be interesting to see how far he can take this. Andy's next match is against Juan Martin Del Potro, who is seeded No. 7 overall. He will likely be the betting favorite, but Roddick will surely have the crowd on his side as he attempts to advance in his favorite tennis tournament.