Sunday is typically viewed as a day of rest, but at the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, there is no down time for the top names in the sport as they attempt to win the final Grand Slam of the season.
Here is all the vital information to enjoy the final Grand Slam of the season and a preview of the best matchup of the day.
|Aug. 31||11 a.m. - 6 p.m.||CBS /CBS Sports Network|
|7 - 11 p.m.||ESPN2|
|Player 1||Player 2||Predicted Winner|
|Roger Federer ||vs.||Marcel Granollers||Federer|
|David Ferrer ||vs.||Gilles Simon ||Ferrer|
|Tomas Berdych ||vs.||Teymuraz Gabashvili||Berdych|
|Grigor Dimitrov ||vs.||David Goffin||Dimitrov|
|Richard Gasquet ||vs.||Gael Monfils ||Monfils|
|Marin Cilic ||vs.||Kevin Anderson ||Cilic|
|Feliciano Lopez ||vs.||Dominic Thiem||Lopez|
|Maria Sharapova ||vs.||Caroline Wozniacki ||Sharapova|
|Jelena Jankovic ||vs.||Belinda Bencic||Jankovic|
|Sara Errani ||vs.||Mirjana Lucic-Baroni||Errani|
|Lucie Safarova ||vs.||Shuai Peng||Safarova|
Best Matchup of the Day: No. 5 Maria Sharapova vs. No. 10 Caroline Wozniacki
Many of the biggest names in tennis are expected to roll to easy victories on Sunday, but one matchup that is guaranteed to create legitimate buzz will be the marquee meeting between No. 5 seed Maria Sharapova and No. 10 seed Caroline Wozniacki.
The advantage on the surface goes to Sharapova. While she is only three years older than Wozniacki, Sharapova has far more experience at an elite level and knows how to withstand the pressure of a ranked opponent. As a previous tournament champion, Sharapova also knows how to win at Flushing Meadows.
To be fair, though, the only time Wozniacki reached the finals of a Grand Slam in her career was at the 2009 U.S. Open.
Thus far in this year’s tournament, Sharapova has been dominant, trouncing Maria Kirilenko in the first round, earning a hard-fought victory over Alexandra Dulgheru in the second and utterly dominating No. 26 seed Sabine Lisicki in the third. She has dropped just one set heading into Sunday.
According to Ben Rothenberg of The New York Times, Sharapova has been one of the most dominant players in the women’s field all season:
Genie Bouchard and Maria Sharapova are the only two women to reach the fourth round or better at all four Grand Slams this year. #usopen— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) August 31, 2014
While Wozniacki is widely considered one of the streakiest players on the women’s side of the bracket, she has been more focused than ever on her play. After dropping a set to Magdalena Rybarikova before her challenger eventually retired, Wozniacki went on to beat both Aliaksandra Sasnovich and No. 18 seed Andrea Petkovic in straight sets.
Wozniacki spoke to The Telegraph about the rhythm she has found on court and her fourth-round challenge, saying, “I think every match I get into a better groove out there, and I'm playing better. It's nice to be through to the fourth round again. It's going to be another tough one, but I'm excited about it.”
Instead of being excited, Wozniacki should be nervous of the power she’ll face against Sharapova.
Who ya got?
Sharapova is one of the hardest servers in the game. She has the ability to push her opponents off the baseline in order to read and react to her powerful first shot, but it is her accuracy and ball control that can make her return even more dangerous.
With Wozniacki on her heels contending with a heavy serve, it will be incredibly difficult for her to run all the way back to the net for the drop shot. Even if she gets back to the net, Sharapova will bury a fast shot at the baseline in order to keep Wozniacki off balance.
Both women have showed great horizontal speed along the baseline, but Sharapova is the taller player and has a wider range. Utilizing her advantage with length and power, the No. 5 seed should be able to beat the No. 10 seed and advance to the quarterfinals.
Predicted Winner: Sharapova defeats Wozniacki, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3
*Stats via USOpen.org.