As the U.S. Open gets underway, many started speculating who might win this US Open; Federer, Nadal, and Murray are the main ones of course yet players such as Robin Soderling or Tomas Berdyech can surprise us all this year.
Robin Soderling has been the star Roland Garros last year, Del Potro was the star of last year's US Open and maybe Berdyech the star of this year's Wimbledon.
Soderling and Berdyech have been somewhat this year's underdogs. Both inflicted painful defeats to Federer either in Roland Garros or Wimbledon this year and will be looking to do the same again against the top four whenever given the chance.
Although they were not as good at the Toronto and Cincinnati Masters, I believe they can definitely reach the semifinals or more at this year's US Open and who knows maybe they can be the stars of the future. They are undeniably potential Grand Slam winners.
Here is a look at each player individually:
He has been stealing the limelight since last year's Roland Garros when he defeated Nadal in the fourth round. He was the first ever player to defeat him in many years and it was a start of many things to come from this rising star. Later that year, he had some on and off results but there were still many signs of good things to come from him.
Later that year, he made his debut at Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London and he did not fail to disappoint as he ousted Nadal again from the Round Robin but lost in the semifinals to an already established Del Potro.
Then again at Roland Garros this year, he broke Roger Federer's record of reaching 23 consecutive semifinals in Grand Slams, which was a very sad moment for Federer fans (including myself).
Is it his time to shine at the 2010 US Open? Yes.
Although he has already inflicted major defeats to major players such as Federer and Nadal, I think he can go one step ahead at the US Open. He was not the Soderling we know in Toronto and Cincinnati and I think he is eager to fix it and get the record straight.
His big serve and big hits from the baseline are very useful tactics against many top players and it shows. These two weapons definitely help on the hard courts.
I think he is more established one out of both of them. He definitely has more potential. He has reached his peak this year; one year later than Soderling. They both have the same weapons – huge serves and big hits from the baseline.
This year, he defeated a painful loss to Federer in Miami – match point down. Then he went on to continue his amazing year by reaching the semifinals of Roland Garros defeating John Isner and Andy Murray along the way but falling to Soderling in five sets. Afterwards, he went on steal the limelights again at Wimbledon with an even more emphatic and significant win. He defeated Federer at his 'fortress' at Wimbledon in the quarterfinals. It was by far the most painful loss he has received this year.
He did well in Toronto even if he lost the match while serving for the match against Federer. Cincinnati was not too good according to his standards but just like Soderling, it was a sign of amazing things to come.
Is it his time to shine at the 2010 US Open? Without a doubt, yes.
One area of his game that he really worked on was his anger and temper. In Miami, when he was match point down against Federer, he smiled and it showed how much he enjoyed his time on the court and then went on to close out the match.
He does have what it takes to be a potential Grand Slam champion. If he has the will to go on and with the same effectiveness, we may be looking at a potential surprise at the US Open and for many more Grand Slams to come.