Roger Federer's Toughest Potential Matchups at U.S. Open Before Quarterfinals
Roger Federer will have a tough time going deep at the 2013 U.S. Open.
Rafael Nadal looms in the quarterfinal, and the Spanish star is as hot as anyone in the sport right now. However, Federer could run into a decent amount of trouble before he even reaches that stage.
The Swiss veteran has had an up-and-down year and has especially struggled against top competition. He is only 1-6 this season against players ranked in the ATP Top 10. Before he has a chance to redeem himself in this category, however, he will have to survive an onslaught of tough opponents.
These players are certain to give Federer problems in the early rounds in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.
American fans do not have too many legitimate contenders to root for in this tournament, but Sam Querrey and John Isner represent the best hometown options to make a deep run.
Of course, the fans will not be the only factor to make Querrey a tough out. He is playing on his favorite surface on hard court, where he has 18 of his 22 wins this season. This has helped him in the past at the U.S. Open, where he has reached at least the third round in each of his last four starts.
Querrey is also coming off one of his best tournaments of the season when he reached the semifinals at Winston-Salem.
If the American can get some consistency down on his second serve, he can win a lot of matches in this event.
While Tommy Robredo has not had any career success against Federer (0-10), the veteran has been around the block and should come into a match against the superstar without any fear.
Robredo actually has more tournament titles than Federer this season and has fared relatively well at the U.S. Open.
The problem is that the Spanish player is much better on clay and has struggled on all other surfaces this season. His inability to adequately return serves on hard courts will allow Federer to keep the advantage and likely advance past the No. 19 seed.
Unlike Robredo, Kei Nishikori is at his best on hard courts, where he has won each of his three career titles. His consistent play has seen him shoot up the rankings this year from the mid-20s to as high as No. 11.
However, he still has not proven the ability to go deep in quality tournaments in his young career. He has only reached the quarterfinal of one Grand Slam and has only reached one quarterfinal since February.
These recent struggles make it hard to trust him to make a deep run at the U.S. Open, especially with so many talented players around him in the draw.
While the Japanese star still has a chance to be an elite competitor down the line, he is just not there yet.
There are no expectations on the 20-year-old Australian to win matches in this tournament. In fact, Bernard Tomic has only reached the second round in two appearances at the U.S. Open.
However, the pure skill of the 6'5" player is undeniable. He has a strong serve and has won 86 percent of his service games this season. This is something that would give Federer a lot of trouble if the two were to face each other.
Additionally, the young player has shown great endurance on long matches, winning six of 10 this year that have gone to a decisive third or fifth set. If Tomic were able to make a run into the third round, he would have a decent chance of upsetting Federer to reach the quarterfinals.
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