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    Monday, August 28, 2017

    US Open Analysis And Predictions

    Both the men's and women's draw at the US Open, which starts today, is as wide open as we have seen in over a decade. On the women's side, with Serena Williams taking a leave of absence, the last two majors have been totally unpredictable. Jelena Ostapenko came out of nowhere to win the French and Garbine Muguruza resurrected a terrible year with a Wimbledon victory. And, just as in those two majors, there are a handful of players who could easily win here at Flushing Meadows. Simon Halep, Elena Svitolina, Muguruza, the ever-present Caroline Wozniacki, Johanna Konta, Venus Williams, the resurgent Madison Keys, the slumping Angie Kerber, and current number one Karolina Pliskova all would seem to have an equally good shot at getting to the finals. All it takes is to get hot for a few matches. But, based on the past two majors, don't count out a dark horse to crash the party.

    Prediction: Angie Kerber will salvage a dreadful season by defeating Venus Williams in a three-set thriller.

    One the men's side, a similar situation exists. Both Djokovic and Murray are out of the tournament with injuries and Federer's physical condition is questionable after suffering what is reported as a back injury in the Montreal finals after appearing invincible for the last few months. That leaves only Nadal of the big four as the player coming into the tourney without injury and he is accordingly the number one seed. With the withdrawal of Murray, the draw really opens up for the number four seed Alexander Zverev, the man who ended Federer's undefeated streak in Montreal and who should march unimpeded into the semifinals. Players under the radar who could also benefit from this wide open draw are former winner Marin Cilic, the resurgent Gregor Dmitrov, and the up-and-coming Dominic Thiem.

    Prediction: My heart says Federer should reach the final, but his back injury tells me otherwise. Instead, Zverev dominates a tired Nadal in the final.

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