U.S. Open 2010 Draw: Rafael Nadal Faces Tough Road To Title

Gregory LanzenbergCorrespondent IAugust 26, 2010

The U.S. Open draw was announced on Thursday from the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Last year's champion Kim Clijsters, who had the honour to fix the draw for the men's singles, gave the World number one a possible semifinal against Andy Murray.

it is always more fun to list the ten ones who can win it and put them in different winning categories : The favorites, the followers, and the dangerous floaters.

1) The Favorites

Rafael Nadal

After capturing for the second time Roland-Garros and Wimbledon on the same year, the world number one could become the 7th player in the history of the game to win all four majors if he wins in New York.

He will be kicking off his campaign against world number 98 Teymuraz Gabashvili and should be facing Andy Murray in the semifinals which would be the ultimate test. However he might have to watch out for Argentine's David Nalbandian if they face in the last eight. Many specialists believed he would never win Wimbledon at the beginning of his career. The same ones are convince he will fail in New York against Murray. History makes me have more trust on the actors themselves. After grabbing his 5th Roland-Garros, Nadal made this year's US Open his priority. The World number one cut his schedule in order to be fresh compare to the other editions where he arrived exhausted. If Nadal is fit  nobody beats him.

Roger Federer

The second seed and five-time US Open winner opens up Brian Dabul of Argentina in what could be a testing route to another possible final.
Federer, who lost out in a classic to Juan Martin Del Potro 12 months ago, could play former winner Lleyton Hewitt in round three while a possible quarter-final with Robin Söderling, who beat him at this year's French Open, and semi-final with Novak Djokovic, or Andy Roddick could also await.
It is very important to notice his recent success over Berdych (CZE) in Toronto, then Baghdatis (CYP), Davydenko (RUS) and Fish (USA) in Cincinnati. The Swiss also managed to defend his title at the same time. When the former world number one is on a winning streak, very few people can upset him. Therefore there is a very high chance Roger should reach his 7th consecutive US Open final.

Andy Murray

Andy Murray's latest grand slam bid will start with a first round clash against Slovakian Lukas Lacko at the US Open, where the British number one has been drawn in the same half as world number one Rafael Nadal.
The Scot could have possible tricky matches against Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI) in the third round, and Tomas Berdych (CZE), recent Wimbledon runner-up, in the quarterfinals.
Murray,who lost to Roger Federer in the 2008 final, heads into the tournament in good spirit after winning in Toronto two weeks ago, defeating by the way both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
The Scot also made the final of the Australian Open this year, where he was once again beaten by Federer, and he hopes to finally go one better this time around and claim that first major tournament.

2) The Followers

Andy Roddick

The 2003 U.S. Open winner never had physical issues until recently when he was diagnosed with a mild version of mono.
It would certainly explain his unexpected defeat to Taipei's Yen-Hsun Lu in the fourth round at Wimbledon this year. However there is reason to have decent hopes. Roddick reached the semifinals of the Cincinnati Masters with victories over Robin Söderling and Novak Djokovic.
Isn't it ironic? Guess who the American could play in the quarterfinals at Flushing-Meadows with the hopes to go further? The Serb of course!
If somehow Roddick can be at the shape he was last March when he won Key Biscayne, there might be room for great things ahead

Novak Djokovic
Djokovic, who is seeded four at Flushing Meadows, will take on fellow Serbian star Viktor Troicki in the first round as he looks to go one better than his runners-up spot at the US Open in 2007. Djokovic already won a Grand Slam title. It was the Australian back in 2008 but he has been struggling recently with breathing issues.
Marcos Baghdatis could stands his way in the last 16, which would be a very dangerous match for the World number 3.
A possible quarterfinal match against Andy Roddick could prove to be very important for the rest of the tournament.

Robin Söderling

The Swede made headlines beating clay court master Nadal at the French Open last year. He finished as a runner-up against Federer. This year's French Open was the opposite to last edition. Söderline stunned Federer and finished as a runner-up against Nadal. The Sweden's number one player is improving as much as the speeding bullets he fires. He is due to meet Roger Federer for the 14th time of his career in the quarterfinals.

3) Dangerous Floaters

David Nalbandian

Nalbandian's hip, stomach and hamstring have let the Argentine down in the past year, leading to large bouts of inactivity. However he is back in business after winning Washington beating Marcos Baghdatis in the final.  He must have extra motivation since he hasn't featured at a Grand Slam since the 2009 Australian Open. Nalbandian could play Rafael Nadal in the quarters.

Tomas Berdych

The Czech player reached his first career Grand Slam final at Wimbledon, where he was  defeated by Rafael Nadal. Berdych also beat had the rare privilege of defeating Roger Federer twice this year - In Miami and Wimbledon-. When a player beats Federer in his favorite tournament, winning a Grand Slam tournament is not far away. He was drawn in Murray's half and could face his fellow-countryman and friend Radek Stepanek in the fourth round.

Marcos Baghdatis

Marcos Baghdatis is capable of beating the best ones. The Cypriot just proved it after knocking out Rafael Nadal in Cincinnati, and Roger Federer in Indian Wells this year. The man from Cyprus was also a runner-up at the 2007 Australian Open which speaks high volume about his talent. Baghdatis was drawn in Novak Djokovic section, which is bad news for the Serb.

Mardy Fish

The American is having the best season of his career by claiming titles in Newport and Atlanta. The world number 19 also reached the Cincinnati Masters final with victories over Andy Murray and Andy Roddick. He was drawn in the Djokovic, Baghdatis, Roddick section, which is without a doubt the toughest section of the entire draw.


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