The US Open: History in the Making
By: Spencer Hagaman
Another tennis season is almost in the books, and with the top 5 all
over 30 years old and 3 of the top 10 out due to injury, this year’s US
Open men’s winner is a mystery.
With qualifiers for the last few remaining open spots underway, the US Open of tennis, the last major tournament of the season, is just around the corner in Flushing, New York, as this year’s men’s tournament is set to be a battle between the Old Guard and the rising stars of tennis. The Old Guard may be a misleading term though with Federer being the eldest at 36 years old despite still playing like he is in his early twenties. Still, the Old Guard, consisting primarily of Federer, Rafael Nadal (31), Novak Djokovic (30), and Sir Andy Murray (30), is battling aches and pains. Djokovic has already ended his season and will not play in the US Open. Murray is struggling with his hip while Federer hurt his back while playing in Montreal; both players withdrew from the Cincinnati Masters to rest up for the US Open. Nadal, in their absence, regained the No. 1 rank during the Cincinnati Masters and looks to be a major contender in the last major of the year.
However, he lost in straight sets to Nick Kyrigos, a twenty-two year American powerful right-hander, in the quarter finals of the Cincinnati Masters. My prediction for the men’s winner: Rafael Nadal. As much as I want to see the thirty-six year old Federer pull down another major win to add to his long and historical career, Nadal is not battling injury and faces a weakened and beleaguered field where three of the top ten players are out (Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka, and Kei Niskikori) and two more are injured (Federer, Murray). Despite not being on clay where he dominates, Nadal has won the US Open twice before and is due for another title. My sleeper pick: Nick Kyrigos.
I usually like eleventh-ranked Milos Raonic for his height and his powerful serve, but Raonic was forced to withdraw from both the Cincinnati Masters and the US Open because of his wrist. Still, I have had my eye on Kyrigos for some time now to win a major. I remember watching him during Wimbledon in 2014 against Nadal and being amazed by his big serve. Kyrigos and Nadal have faced off four times in their careers, splitting 2-2. Not many can say they have an even record with the Spanish left-hander. Nadal’s two victories over Kyrigos came off his beloved clay where Nadal dominates the field and Kyrigos’ service speed is slightly diminished by the absorbance of clay. On hard court similar to the US Open though, Kyrigos holds the advantage 1-0 over Nadal with his win over the Spaniard in Cincinnati last week. Anything is possible though. Federer could prevail with his Swiss magic. Alexander Zverev, who beat Federer in the Canadian Open, could catch fire. Or, A player from outside the top 50 could pull off a Cinderella story. You just never know, and that is the beauty of the US Open.
Spencer Hagaman is a content writer for RevReck.com. Want to read more from him?
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