US Open 2010: Ranking Roger Federer and the Rest of the Bracket
Six weeks of the US Open Series are nearly complete, and the big daddy of them all is only a couple of days away.
Out of Flushing Meadows, New York, the field again is headlined by Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer as the top two seeds.
The qualifiers are yet to be decided, but Nadal and Federer, along with Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic, will garner most of the attention in this fourth grand slam tournament this year.
David Ferrer (10)
David Ferrer represents one of three Spaniards seeded in the Top 10 at this year's US Open.
After reaching the semifinals in 2007, he has failed to reach that same plateau at a Grand Slam.
Should he get there this year, he'll have his work cut out for him as all three Spanish players—Ferrer, Rafael Nadal, and Fernando Verdasco--are all seeded in the same bracket.
Everything goes through Nadal, as it should for tennis' top seed.
Andy Roddick (9)
Andy Roddick has been a disappointment in Grand Slams since he took the US Open in 2003.
Unfortunately, the American has failed to come anywhere close to that since then.
A trip to the quarterfinals means defeating both Nikolay Davydenko and Novak Djokovic, where Roddick holds winning records against both (4-1 vs. Davydenko, 4-2 vs. Djokovic).
Playing on his home soil where the fans still yearn for Roddick to follow in the footsteps of Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras as a top American in tennis, the road to a championship is gritty.
Fernando Verdasco (8)
Fernando Verdasco is on a crash course to draw fellow countryman David Ferrer in the third round and should he come out victorious for a fourth round match against another Spaniard in the top-seeded Rafael Nadal.
Verdasco reached the quarterfinals in the 2009 US Open, but dropped it to Novak Djokovic.
The man from Madrid experienced a degree of success in 2009 in addition to his quarterfinal appearance, making the semifinals at the Australian Open and a couple of fourth round exits at Wimbledon and the French Open.
The chances of a Spaniard in the quarterfinals appear to be healthy, that much is for sure.
Tomáš Berdych (7)
Tomáš Berdych hasn't had spectacular success at the US Open for a player of his caliber, but his 2010 season looks very promising so far, appearing in the semifinals at Roland Garros and a finals berth at Wimbledon.
A third round match against fellow Czech Radek Stepanek could be followed up by a fourth round fixture against the giant John Isner.
Headlining his bracket is fourth-seeded Andy Murray, who is having a great season of his own.
Berdych's consistent play this year could propel him forward, but a match with Murray may be the tournament's best.
Nikolay Davydenko (6)
Nikolay Davydenko is one of just a few players in the world to have a glimmer of success against Rafael Nadal, holding his own against the Spaniard with a 4-4 head-to-head record.
Another promising fact, Davydenko has reached the US Open Final twice, but that was in 2006 and 2007.
After a quarterfinals appearance at the Australian Open, the 29-year-old comes in New York in search of a formidable finish.
He will have to go through Novak Djokovic to win the bracket, but Davydenko has taken just one match out of five from the Serb.
Robin Söderling (5)
Robin Söderling reached the finals in the French Open in both 2009 and 2010, but succumbed to Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal respectively.
In 2009, he made it to the quarterfinals in the US Open.
The Swede added on to his 2010 season with a quarterfinals berth at Wimbledon, only to lose to a familiar face in Nadal.
Should Söderling breeze past his competition in his bracket, he will have to oust Federer to have a chance to finish better in 2010.
Andy Murray (4)
Andy Murray is in great form, appearing in the finals at the Australian Open and the semifinals at Wimbledon.
The Scot also made the finals in the 2008 US Open, but hasn't returned since.
Murray's great play could have him advancing far in New York, but a draw against Tomáš Berdych later in the tournament will test his commitment towards taking the slam.
Novak Djokovic (3)
Novak Djokovic looks to follow up a semifinal loss at Wimbledon with a good showing in New York.
A potential fourth-round draw against a hot Marcos Baghdatis may give the Serb some problems, but it's nothing he hasn't seen before when playing against the top players in the world.
Should he take that draw, Djokovic owns a 4-1 record against Nikolay Davydenko, his possible quarterfinal match.
After that, just Roger Federer stands in between him and the finals.
Roger Federer (2)
Roger Federer lifted the trophy at the Australian Open earlier in the year for the fourth time, but lost in the quarterfinals at Roland Garros and Wimbledon, giving the crown to Rafael Nadal in both.
The world's No. 2 ranked player won the US Open five consecutive times from 2004 to 2008 and will look to get his name back in the winner's circle in 2010 to split Grand Slam titles with Nadal.
Federer's path appears easy, until he draws Robin Söderling in the quarters. It was Söderling who beat Federer at the French Open just a few months ago.
Coupled with Federer's confidence and familiarity with the US Open, revenge looks to be a huge factor as well.
All signs point to Federer coming out on top in New York, but crazier things have happened.
Rafael Nadal (1)
Nadal claimed the last two Grand Slam Titles in 2010 at Roland Garros and Wimbledon, the second time he's accomplished that feat since 2008.
Despite the Spaniards recent success, he's never appeared in the championship match at the US Open. A finals berth will further Nadal's case as tennis' next big star as Roger Federer slowly fades from his reign at the top.
Nadal is set to meet Andy Murray in the semifinals, where he boasts an 8-3 head-to-head record against the Scot.
Even before then, a quarterfinal fixture with fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco could derail Nadal's chances. Difficult to sweat though, especially when Nadal holds a 10-0 edge over Verdasco.
The world's No. 1 is looking for his third straight Grand Slam title this year, but will likely have to go through Roger Federer to do that.