My dog, Otto the German Shepherd, is nonplussed.
“Who do you think will win the men’s US Open title this year?” he barks at me.
I am none too pleased at being drawn from my morning cuppa while catching up on the funnies in the paper.
“Why do you want to know?” I growl back.
“I need to know because I need to know,” replies Otto.
“Your guess is as good as mine,” I respond.
I switch my attention to the front page. I do not wish to be bothered with frivolities while figuring out a way to help President Obama wriggle out of the debt crisis.
“Do you think it will be Novak Djokovic, the all-conquering Serb?” calls out the insistent hound.
“Well, he does have just one loss this year, to Roger “Smooth” Federer at the French Open. Yes, I daresay, it will be Novak.” I brush aside his agitation.
“But then, what about Rafael Nadal? He’s the defending champion. And do you really believe that Novak can sustain his intensity for a whole year? Even Rafa, when he won three Slams last year, was unstoppable only over five months.”
“You’re right, it’ll be Nadal then.” The red lines in the Dow Jones and Sensex have my attention now.
“So you don’t think that Roger Federer has even the remotest chance of claiming his 17th Slam now that he’s 30?”
“You do know that Roger came back strongly in 2010 in the hard-court season finishing with the WTF title, don’t you?” I counter.
“Yes, that’s why it’s so hard to decide. And then, there’s Andy Murray lurking in the wings and Juan Martin Del Potro, whom experts believe will bring his best to the table at the US Open. He is the 2009 US Open champion after all,” Otto is not one to ignore potential threats.
“Yes, yes, yes, it could be a very open Open.”
I have no intention of becoming another foot-in-the-mouth victim.
“Well, I’m still confused. But I’d make Novak the favourite, followed closely by Rafa,” confirms Otto.
“Good for you. I can tell you who’s going to win the women’s title—for sure.” I smirk.
Quote of the day:
I respect faith, but doubt is what gets you an education. – Wilson Mizner