Saturday, August 22, 2009

The US Open – Not Long To Go

The 2009 US Open is set to kick off on the 31st of August, and this is making a lot of people look closely at Masters Series tournaments preceding The Open. Roger Federer seems to be on course to win his 6th consecutive US Open, but all eyes continue to remain on Nadal. Rafael Nadal is being touted by many bookmakers and fans alike, to be the one person that can make inroads into this Federer territory.

When it comes to betting odds, Federer stands as clear favorite, with odds of 5:4 in his favor. Nadal, despite coming out of an injury induced hiatus, is the second favorite, with odds of 4:1. American Andy Roddick also has a fair chance of taking the cup, with odds at 12:1. Englishman Andy Murray has a better chance of winning according to odds makers though, with odds at 10:3.

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Djokovic and Del Petro’s odds are the same at 12:1 (also the same as Roddick). Robin Soderling and Fernando Gonzalez, although with outside chances, could end up making bettors some good money, with odds of their winning the championship at 60:1, and 100:1 respectively.

While Federer is the favorite for winning the championship, Nadal is the favorite for preventing a Federer victory. However, one should take into account that Nadal has taken a considerable time off this season, even losing his number 2 spot to Andy Murray in the process. What remains to be seen though, is whether Nadal’s knee problems will go away, or whether they will deteriorate further. Considering that he is only 23, he should ideally have a lot of tennis left in him.

In the lead up to the US Open and after coming back from injury, while Nadal didn’t perform too well at the Rogers Cup, he did do considerably better at the Cincinnati Masters. While Nadal needed two tie breakers to get past Andrea Seppi, his game against Paul-Henri Mathieu (#31) was much better, leading to a much easier win. However, after the match Nadal mentioned that his knee tendinitis was still an issue, and this could very well be an ongoing problem.

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Knowing that the hard court surface is hardly forgiving, the possibilities of Nadal being able to give his 100% this year at the US Open do remain a little slim.

Federer, on the other hand, is currently on a role. He has now surpassed Sampras’ record of the highest number of Slams won, and he’s also managed to win the previously elusive French Open this year. He comes into this tournament without any pressure, and would be looking forward to playing some great tennis.

Over the recent years, the only player who has repeatedly managed to stop Roger Federer in his tracks is Rafael Nadal. With doubts about Nadal’s fitness continuing to linger on, Federer surely seems to be the safe bet. For an outside chance and some good odds, the playing field is really wide open.

Written By Rajiv Baniwal

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