US Open Tennis 2013: Bold Predictions for Remaining Action
The 2013 U.S. Open has seen its fare share of excitement thus far, but rest assured there is more great action to come as the men enter the third round of action while the women prepare for the fourth round at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Veteran Lleyton Hewitt shocked the world on Friday and dropped No. 6 Juan Martin del Potro in five sets, but can he build on the momentum of an incredible upset victory to advance further into the tourney?
That is just one of the many questions that exist going into Saturday's action and it will be interesting to see how things shake out moving forward.
Let's take a look at some bold predictions for the rest of the tournament.
John Isner Will Upset Rafael Nadal
Isner is primed to upset No. 2 Nadal if the two should meet in the fourth round of the tourney.
But before you go jumping all over me, don't forget about Cincinnati earlier in August when Isner gave Nadal a run for his money at the Western & Southern Open, losing in a tight match in straight sets, 7-6(8), 7-6(3). It just so happens that the Cincinnati Masters is played on a hard surface like the U.S. Open, so the potential parallel is there in that respect.
In the pair's previous showdown on clay at Roland Garros in 2011, Isner pushed Nadal to a fifth set and nearly defeated the Spanish star, but failed to finish after winning the second and third set.
The biggest problem in Isner's way is the fact that he commits a lot of unforced errors, as evidenced by his last match with Nadal in which he had 31 (19 in first set) as compared to Nadal's 16. The TennisTV Twitter feed gave us a graphic of the match stats:
TennisTV (@TennisTV) August 18, 2013
Also important to note is how Isner was better than Nadal in the ace and winners department, so he must build on that advantage while keeping his mistakes to a few if he's to win this match. The American can't expect to beat the best in the world by helping him out.
However, it's clear Isner has been knocking on the beat Rafa door for awhile now, and this year's U.S. Open is as good a time as ever to break through.
Lleyton Hewitt's U.S. Open Will End with Tommy Haas
It's been quite some time since these two have squared off with one another, and despite the fact that Hewitt has the advantage in the pair's history, this one has a Haas victory written all over it, if and when this fourth-round matchup happens.
The history I speak of has Hewitt winning six of the last nine meetings between him and Haas, however they haven't met since the U.S. Open back in 2004 when Hewitt was victorious in the quarterfinal match.
Age and rest will be a big factor for Haas (35) and Hewitt (32) in this one.
While Haas hasn't dropped a single set in the tourney up until this point with a favorable draw, Hewitt had his hands full with del Potro in the second round and had to outlast the Argentinian in five taxing sets. Before that, American Brian Baker was even able to take Hewitt to a fourth set.
Momentum may be on his side after such a resilient and unexpected win, but there's just no telling how much it has taken out of the 32-year-old to get to the third round.
Haas is simply more well-rested, and as long as he doesn't commit the egregious amount of unforced errors that del Potro did, he should be able to handle Hewitt in an impressive fashion in what will be an anticipated fourth-round match for hardcore tennis fans.
American Women Will Fail at U.S. Open Bid
No. 1 Serena Williams may be the favorite in this tournament, but she will have a tough time winning it. The same can be said for the rest of the American women at the U.S. Open.
Because of the way the draw worked out, three of the top American women in the tourney will be eliminating one another and only one will remain on one side of the bracket after Round 4.
Jamie Hampton was dropped by Sloane Stephens in Round 3, but Stephens has her own problems with the prospect of facing Williams in the fourth round. On the other side of the draw, American Alison Riske is still alive, but she has issues with the likes of No. 7 Petra Kvitova in Round 3, and Christina McHale must get passed Serbia's Ana Ivanovic.
Both of those battles are uphill to begin with, but should they advance, McHale still must deal with No. 2 Victoria Azarenka. Riske, on the other hand, has a brighter road with a possible match against Julia Glushko or Daniela Hantuchova should she make it to Round 4.
However, Azarenka would likely be in Riske's way, so that outcome still remains bleak.
The only true hope remains Williams of course, but with potential matchups with Li Na, Agnieszka Radwanska and/or Angelique Kerber, her road certainly won't be an easy one and could lead to an earlier than expected exit.
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