The plot lines for the upcoming 2009 U.S. Open are the most interesting in a while.
First, can Roger Federer win an unprecedented sixth consecutive title? Actually, he is not only the current title-holder of the U.S. Open, but he is also the current champion of the French and Wimbledon. So only a fifth set loss at Australia is what separates Roger from the calendar year Grand Slam.
However, I would not count him out yet. If he wins in New York, he could still attain the Federer Slam by winning the 2010 Australian Open. Also, he would like to be the first man to win the Paris to London to New York Triple.
Second, can Rafael Nadal come back? Actually, the insider’s have always said that he was too tired by the time the U.S. Open came around. But, this time, he will have had plenty of rest. Will it help him?
He would dearly love to win his second grand slam of 2009 and thus tie Federer with two slams apiece. More importantly, just as winning the French gave Roger a career grand-slam, Rafa could also attain a career grand-slam were he to win the U.S. Open.
Third, can Murray win his first grand slam? After all, he was in the finals in 2008. He got swept by Federer partly because he was on the big stage for the first time. He will want to atone for his semifinal upset at the hands of Roddick at Wimbledon.
Fourth, can Roddick continue his amazing run? He was fantastic in London. His loss to Federer hinged mostly on a blotched and easy backhand in the second set tie-breaker. The hard courts should suit him even more than the grass at Wimbledon. It’s important to avoid Federer’s half of the draw. Otherwise, they could meet in the quarters.
Fifth, can Soderling continue his fantastic play? Is he only a journeyman player having a hot streak? Of is he for real? I think he's for real. Maybe Nadal was a little subpar in Paris which would partially explain Robin’s tremendous upset. But, let’s be fair to Robin. He was fantastic and then reached the final before losing to Roger.
At Wimbledon, he advanced to the round of 16 before again running into Federer.
What a match it would be if Robin were to wind up in Nadal’s half of the draw and meet him in the round of 16! I hope the draw gods are kind to us. Some other potentially great matches include Soderling vs. Murray or Soderling vs. Roddick. How about Roddick vs. Murray?
What other plot lines are there that you see?