The top 10 most intriguing storylines leading up to the US Open

The top 10 most intriguing storylines leading up to the US Open

by Alan July 31, 2019 1 Comment

The US Open is less than a month away (!!) and there are already tons of storylines worth following on the both WTA and ATP Tours. 

Here is our top 10: 

1. Will there be Next Gen representation in the final days?

    The repetitive nature of this storyline can get a bit tedious, yet it remains a very valid talking point. When will the likes of Zverev, Shapovalov, Tiafoe, Auger-Aliassime and company break through the sustained dominance of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic? Each Grand Slam brings renewed high hopes and even higher expectations but the overall performance of this group at Wimbledon was perplexing by any accounts (excluding FA2, who was playing at the AELTC for the first time). Zverev has parted ways with Lendl whilst looking alternately lost and despondent on the court this year. Denis Shapovalov has struggled with consistency and under-performed on grass - a surface that should suit his game style and movement. Tsitsipas has had a stellar year, but his dramatic loss to Stan in Paris seems to have taken a bit of a toll on his psyche.

    2. Can Osaka defend her title?

    Naomi was the Champion at Flushing Meadows last year after soundly beating Serena Williams in the tumultuous, highly controversial final. She followed that title up with a major win in Melbourne but since then her performances have been patchy. We weren’t wholly surprised she didn’t get into the second week at Wimbledon as her grass game needs to be honed, but we were surprised she went out in the first round. Naomi wears her heart on her sleeve whilst competing and she doesn’t seem to be channeling the intense fighting spirit she was exuding during the end of 2018 and the start of 2019...

    3. Can Fed capture Grand Slam title #21?

    I don’t think the Fed fans are quite over the trauma of two championship points (and one probable ace clipping the next cord by the slimmest of margins during one of them) alluding the Swiss maestro earlier this month. Even though that match was heartbreaking (and one he likely would’ve converted earlier in his career), 2019 has been an excellent season for Federer. He dismantled the field in Miami, made the French Open semis with very little match practice on clay in recent years and beat his arch nemesis in the Wimbledon semis before outplaying Novak for the majority of the match in the most heart-stopping of finals. Roger has had success in NYC and there’s no reason to think the won’t go deep into the second week again...

     

    4. Can anyone beat Novak?

    Even if you’re a Federer fan, you had to begrudgingly appreciate the superbly clutch tiebreak performances by Nole in the Wimbledon Finals. Novak has come to play in 2019 and many of his wins have made his worthy opponents look like juniors (case in point: Novak’s dismantling of Goffin in the Wimbledon QFs). Can Novak maintain his desire to put in the work required to make him the preeminent force to be reckoned with? At this stage there’s no reason to think otherwise. If so, his title defense could be in the offing.  

     

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    5. Will there be mass upsets in the early stages of the men’s draw?

    Anyone that was part of a brackets competition for Wimbledon 2019 was flummoxed by the early round results at Wimbledon. Coco took out Venus? Tsitsipas didn’t make it past the first round, going down to Fabbiano? Dimitrov lost to an unheralded Frenchman in his first match? The nature of grass court tennis and the short season in the lead up to Wimbledon always makes that Grand Slam prone for numerous upsets to take place. However, could this be a sign of things to come -  particularly in the men’s draw? Was Wimbledon the inflection point where the “lost generation” (an exceedingly harsh term, to be fair) including the likes of Cilic, Dimitrov and Berdych start to permanently fall out of the top 15? 


    6. How will Coco do?

      It’s fair to say that 15 year old Coco Gauff captured the world’s attention with her exhilarating run at Wimbledon this year. She won the junior title at the US Open last year, so she can clearly do damage on hard court. As an American, she will surely get a much-deserved wild card into the main draw at her home Slam. The question is, who would be bold enough to bet against Coco making into the second week? She has shown talent, grit and resilience and now has experience to mix into the equation… 

       

      7. Will Serena do one better than last year and get Grand Slam title #24?

      Serena has been on the brink of capturing her 24th Slam for a couple of years now and has made three finals in that time. However, she has clearly felt the pressure during the Championship matches and not played her best tennis. She looked fit and was moving well at Wimbledon which bodes well for capturing her 7th US Open title if she can keep her nerves in check.

       

      8. Will Delpo be ready to compete?

      Juan Martin del Potro is always a force to be reckoned with in NYC. He won his maiden Grand Slam title at Flushing Meadows in 2009. The widely beloved Argentine gets a lot of fan support and plays exceedingly well on hard court. Unfortunately Delpo had an unlucky accident in London where he fractured his kneecap, had to pull out of Wimbledon and Montreal and is currently rehabbing post-surgery. Clearly if it’s at all possible for him to take the court at the end of August he will make it happen...

      9. Will the weather be a major factor again?

      The heat and humidity combination in Queens during the tournament last year was intense to say the least. Players that had previously excelled in hot weather (i.e. Federer) found the temperature unbearable and wilted on court. The ATP leadership was compelled to change the rules associated with intense heat mid-way through the event to ensure player safety. NYC has already experienced some sweltering days in the summer of 2019, so there is likely to be more of the same this year. Hot days are likely to spur discussions about who gets the coveted evening session slots...

      10. Will Andy Murray enter the singles draw?

        Andy Murray’s retirement announcement in Melbourne was an emotional moment for tennis fans even if they weren’t ardent supporters of the player himself. The outpouring of praise for the British star by his peers verified his popular status in the game. Fast forward to June and Murray is back out on the court looking fresh and agile at the Fever-tree Championships, capturing the doubles title with Feli Lopez. His mixed doubles partnership with Serena at Wimbledon attracted a lot of attention and his level of play looks to be going from strength to strength. Even though Andy has stated that he doesn’t want to return to compete in singles prematurely, there are reports that he’s tempted to come back at the Cincinnati event. 




        Alan Kelly
        Alan Kelly

        Author



        1 Response

        Sue
        Sue

        August 09, 2019

        Will the referees do for Nick Kyrgios again? Or will the shot clock solve all his Rafa problems? Does he have too many injuries to go deep into a slam any more? His fight against Raonic in the AO with two taped knees was in fact really good – but the Oz press gave him grief over that as with everything else.

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