US Open Preview
New York, U.S.A.
by Greg Sharko|
* BIG FOUR LEAD THE WAY – The Top 4 players in the South African Airways 2010 ATP Rankings – Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray – have accounted for nine titles coming into the US OPEN. Nadal leads the way with an ATP World Tour-best five titles and a 52-7 match record. The Spaniard, who has never reached the US OPEN final, was a semi-finalist the past two years. He won the Roland Garros title for the fifth time and Wimbledon for the second time in three years. He’s also won three ATP World Tour Masters 1000 clay titles.
Federer, who opened the year with his 16th Grand Slam crown at the Australian Open, is coming off a title in Cincinnati last week. Djokovic, who reached the US OPEN final three years ago, won his lone title in Dubai in March. Murray, a runner-up in Flushing Meadows two years ago and at the Australian Open this year, won his first title this season in Toronto two weeks ago.
Nadal took over No. 1 on June 7 after his title in Paris, leaving Federer one week shy of tying Pete Sampras’ all-time record of 286 weeks atop the ATP World Tour Rankings. Here is a look at the Big 4 this season:
|Age||2010 Titles||2010 W-L|
|1. Rafael Nadal||24||5 - Monte Carlo, Rome, Madrid, Roland Garros, Wimbledon||52-7|
|2. Roger Federer||29||2 - Australian Open, Cincinnati||39-10|
|3. Novak Djokovic||23||1 - Dubai||38-12|
|4. Andy Murray||23||1 - Toronto||32-12|
Bold indicates Grand Slam or ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament
* THE FIVE-TIME CHAMPION – Last year Federer lost in the final (l. to del Potro in five sets) for the first time after five straight titles. He is trying to become the first player in the Open Era to win six titles in Flushing Meadows and join Ivan Lendl as the only players to advance to the final at least seven consecutive years. Lendl won three titles in an eight-year span between 1982-89. Bill Tilden is the last man to win six US Championship titles, from 1920-25.
In Federer’s first four appearances from 2000-03 he never advanced past the 4th RD before winning 40 straight matches from 2004-09, with the streak ending to del Potro in last year’s final. He has a 51-5 career record at Flushing Meadows. The last time he failed to reach the final was in 2003 when he lost to David Nalbandian in the fourth round. Federer’s Grand Slam record of 23 straight semi-finals or better came to an end when he lost to Robin Soderling in the quarter-finals at Roland Garros in June. He then lost to Tomas Berdych in the quarters at Wimbledon. He’s reached the final in 18 of the past 23 Grand Slam tournaments.
This is the third time he’s seeded No. 2 at the US OPEN (2003, ‘08). He has been seeded No. 1 five times, tying Pete Sampras, John McEnroe and Rod Laver. Bill Tilden was top seed eight
times, according to USTA records.
* TOP 10 MOVEMENT – There are two new faces in the Top 10 since last year's tournament with all 10 positions changing from the 2009 US OPEN: Here is the Top 10 as of Aug. 23 (with ranking going into last year's US OPEN) are: No. 1 Rafael Nadal (3), No. 2 Roger Federer (1), No. 3 Novak Djokovic (4), No. 4 Andy Murray (2), No. 5 Robin Soderling (12), No. 6 Nikolay Davydenko (8), No. 7 Tomas Berdych (18), No. 8 Fernando Verdasco (10), No. 9 Andy Roddick (5), and No. 10/defending champ Juan Martin del Potro (6), who is not defending his title due to a wrist injury. Last year Frenchmen No. 7 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and No. 9 Gilles Simon were in the Top 10.
* NADAL EYES CAREER SLAM – Nadal, who captured his eighth Grand Slam title at Wimbledon last month, is a US OPEN title away from completing a career Grand Slam. The 24-year-old Spaniard reached the
semi-finals in Flushing Meadows the past two years. He would be the youngest player to accomplish the feat and he would become the seventh man to complete a career Grand Slam, joining Don Budge,
Fred Perry, Roy Emerson, Rod Laver, Andre Agassi, and Roger Federer.
* AMERICANS IN TOP 25 – The four Americans in the Top 25 as of last week (Aug. 23) were No. 9 Andy Roddick, No. 20 John Isner, No. 21 Mardy Fish and No. 22 Sam Querrey. It marked the first time since Aug. 7, 2006 four Americans were in the Top 25: No. 6 James Blake, No. 11 Roddick, No. 19 Robby Ginepri and No. 22 Andre Agassi. Roddick is the last American to win a Grand Slam title at the ’03 US OPEN. There’s been 27 Slams played since Roddick’s title.
* NO. 1 UPDATE – Nadal enters the US OPEN as the No. 1 player for the 59th week overall (as of Aug. 30) in the South African Airways 2010 ATP Rankings, the 10th-most (of 24 players). This past week he tied Jim Courier, who held No. 1 for 58 weeks. Nadal enters the US OPEN with a 3,530-point lead over No. 2 Federer and he is guaranteed staying No. 1 after the tournament.
* FEDERER-NADAL DOMINATION -- Since Nadal won his first Grand Slam title at Roland Garros in 2005, he and Federer have combined to win 20 of the past 22 Grand Slam tournaments (except '08 Aust. Open, Djokovic; ’09 US OPEN, del Potro). During that stretch, Federer has won 12 Grand Slam titles and Nadal eight.
2010 Wimbledon Rafael Nadal d. Tomas Berdych
2010 Roland Garros Rafael Nadal d. Robin Soderling
2010 Australian Open Roger Federer d. Andy Murray
2009 US OPEN Juan Martin del Potro d. Roger Federer
2009 Wimbledon Roger Federer d. Andy Roddick
2009 Roland Garros Roger Federer d. Robin Soderling
2009 Australian Open Rafael Nadal d. Roger Federer
2008 US OPEN Roger Federer d. Andy Murray
2008 Wimbledon Rafael Nadal d. Roger Federer
2008 Roland Garros Rafael Nadal d. Roger Federer
2008 Australian Open Novak Djokovic d. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
2007 US OPEN Roger Federer d. Novak Djokovic
2007 Wimbedon Roger Federer d. Rafael Nadal
2007 Roland Garros Rafael Nadal d. Roger Federer
2007 Australian Open Roger Federer d. Fernando Gonzalez
2006 US OPEN Roger Federer d. Andy Roddick
2006 Wimbledon Roger Federer d. Rafael Nadal
2006 Roland Garros Rafael Nadal d. Roger Federer
2006 Australian Open Roger Federer d. Marcos Baghdatis
2005 US OPEN Roger Federer d. Andre Agassi
2005 Wimbledon Roger Federer d. Andy Roddick
2005 Roland Garros Rafael Nadal d. Mariano Puerta
* GRAND SLAM CHAMPIONS IN FIELD – Five-time US OPEN champion Roger Federer is one of six Grand Slam winners (accounting for 29 Grand Slam singles titles) in this year's main draw. Here are the active Grand Slam champions in the draw:
|Roger Federer||29||16||2003-07, '09 Wimbledon; 2004, '06-07, '10 Aust. Open; 2004-08 US OPEN; 2009 Roland Garros|
|Rafael Nadal||23||8||2005-08, '10 Roland Garros; 2008, '10 Wimbledon; 2009 Australian Open|
|Lleyton Hewitt||29||2||2001 US OPEN; 2002 Wimbledon|
|Novak Djokovic||23||1||2008 Australian Open|
|Juan Carlos Ferrero||30||1||2003 Roland Garros|
|Andy Roddick||28*||1||2003 US OPEN|
* Turns 28 on August 30
* THREE IN A ROW – Nadal, who won Roland Garros and Wimbledon titles in the same season for the second time in three years, is trying to
become the first player to win three Grand Slam titles in a row in the same year since Rod
Laver completed the Grand Slam in 1969. Nadal won Roland Garros and
Wimbledon in the same year in 2008 before Federer pulled it off last
season. Bjorn Borg won both titles in the same season in 1978-79-80.
* ACTIVE PLAYERS TO RANK NO. 1 – Nadal, who became the 24th player in the history of the South African Airways ATP Rankings to rank No. 1 on Aug. 18, 2008, is one of six active players to rank No. 1:
|Player||Reached No. 1||Age||Weeks|
|Rafael Nadal||Aug. 18, 2008||22 Years, 2 Months||59 +|
|Roger Federer||Feb. 2, 2004||22 Years, 5 Months||285|
|Andy Roddick||Nov. 3, 2003||21 Years, 2 Months||13|
|Juan Carlos Ferrero||Sept. 8, 2003||23 Years, 6 Months||8|
|Lleyton Hewitt||Nov. 19, 2001||20 Years, 8 Months||80|
|Carlos Moya #||Mar. 15, 1999||22 Years, 6 Months||2|
+ As of August 30 # Injured, not playing
* ALL-TIME GRAND SLAM CHAMPIONS – Federer is the all-time leader on the Grand Slam singles titles list:
W-L US OPEN Titles
1) Roger Federer 16-6 5
2) Pete Sampras 14-4 5
3) Roy Emerson 12-3 2
4) Bjorn Borg 11-5 0
Rod Laver 11-5 2
* 2010 TITLE LEADERS – Here is a look at the multiple title leaders on the ATP World Tour this season (Querrey is the only player to win on three different surfaces):
|Juan Carlos Ferrero||3||3|
* TOP-RANKED PLAYERS AT OPEN – Of the 24 players who have ranked No. 1 in the history of the ATP Rankings (since 1973), 15 have captured the US OPEN during their career. Since 1978, every US OPEN champion has ranked No. 1 at one stage in their career. The only players to win the US OPEN since 1973 without ranking No. 1 are: Guillermo Vilas (1977), Manuel Orantes (1975) and Juan Martin del Potro (2009).
* US OPEN FLASHBACKS –
- Five years ago (in 2005)…Roger Federer captures his second title, defeating 35-year-old and two-time US OPEN champ Andre Agassi 63 26 76(1) 61
- Ten years ago (in 2000)...Marat Safin defeats Pete Sampras 64 63 63 to become the first Russian winner in US OPEN history
- Twenty years ago (in 1990)…Pete Sampras, at 19 years, 28 days, becomes the youngest man to capture the title as he beats rival Andre Agassi 64 63 62 for his first of 14 Grand Slam crowns
- Twenty five years ago (in 1985)...Ivan Lendl earns his first of three straight US OPEN titles as he takes out long-time rival John McEnroe 76 63 64
- Fifty years ago (in 1960)…Aussie Neale Fraser defends his title over countryman Rod Laver 64 64 97