US Open Tennis 2013: Updated Predictions for Men's and Women's Singles
With the exception of two quarterfinals in the men's draw, we've now reached the semifinals of the US Open. And thus far, there haven't been too many earth-shattering shockers.
No. 2 Rafael Nadal advanced to the semifinals, where he'll face No. 8 Richard Gasquet, who survived an excellent five-set quarterfinal against No. 4 David Ferrer. No. 1 Novak Djokovic and No. 3 Andy Murray are still alive, and each should survive No. 9 Stanislas Wawrinka and No. 21 Mikhail Youzhny, respectively.
On the women's side, the biggest surprise of the entire tournament, Flavia Pennetta, will take on No. 2 Victoria Azarenka. Meanwhile, most people's pick to win the tournament, No. 1 Serena Williams, will face a tough task in No. 5 Na Li.
That's the background. Let's predict how this tournament will play out for the men's and women's singles draw.
It's really hard to imagine either Djokovic or Murray losing their quarterfinal, so expect to see those two face off in the semifinals in a rematch of the Australian Open and Wimbledon finals (Djokovic won the Aussie title, while Andy Murray finally gave the Brits a long-awaited Wimbledon title).
Djokovic leads the series between the two players, 11-8, and is 9-6 against Murray on hard courts, so he gets the slightest of nods in what will be a championship-worthy semifinal.
Who will win the men's title?
In the other semifinal, is anyone going to bet against Nadal? Anyone? That's what I thought.
That will leave Nadal and Djokovic to face off in the final. Nadal leads the all-time series 21-15 and has won five of the last six against Djokovic, though the Djoker is 11-6 on hard courts in the rivalry.
Still, Nadal has been so good this season—he's 53-3 and has won nine singles titles, including two in a row leading up to the US Open—that it isn't smart to pick against him right now. Stick with the hot hand and get ready to see Nadal collect his second Grand Slam title this season.
Is anyone going to bet against Williams?
It probably wouldn't be smart if one did. Williams is 8-1 all-time against Li and has won the US Open four times already in her career. She's also 60-4 on the year, has won eight singles titles and reached the finals in all three of her tournaments leading up to the US Open, winning two of them.
So, yes, it's hard to imagine Williams failing to reach the final. And it's hard to imagine she won't face world No. 2 Azarenka.
While Azarenka and Pennetta have met just twice, splitting those matches, Azarenka has now won 10 matches in a row, including the final at the Western and Southern Open over Williams.
Expect a rematch.
So, who will win between the top two female players in the world? Williams is 12-3 all-time in the series, but Azarenka has won two of the last three and all three of her wins against Williams are on hard courts. This is far from a forgone conclusion.
Still, Williams will win the final. She's been so good for most of this year and has yet to lose a set in the US Open. When in doubt, roll with the most dominant player in the women's game.
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