The latest on the shambolic CWG 2010 preparations is that all the venues will miss the September 10 deadline. I wonder why have the deadlines in the first place when you can't adhere to them. And the culprit this time is the monsoon rains in Delhi. Apparently, the Delhi CM, Mrs. Sheila Dixit, is praying to the rain God in the hope that it stops raining in the national capital and that they can complete all the construction works. Maybe, Mrs. Dixit should refresh her nursery rhymes and design her own version of the popular rhyme. It could go something like this:
It may sound like a cliche. But, the fact is: The 2010 US Open promises to be the most open "Open" for a long time.
Lets cut to the men's analysis:
We have the usual suspects as the favorites for the men's singles title. World Number 1, Rafael Nadal is probably the biggest bet to win the title even though he has never won "it" before. He has been consistent throughout the European summer winning his 5th French Open and 2nd Wimbledon titles. Yes, the surface at the US Open is the fastest among all the grand slams and probably the toughest surface for Nadal to conquer. However, the same was said about Nadal before he won his first Wimbledon and then his first Australian Open. It is a known fact that Rafa is no more a one-trick pony and is one of the greatest of all times. He has had a decent enough preparation on the North American hard courts even though he dint win any titles(this may actually be a boon to him in the context of the Open) and he looks definitely a prime contender to go deep into the second week in New York.
World Number 2, Roger Federer has had a very up and down season till now starting with the high of his 16th Australian Open title and the "lows" of QF exits in Paris and Wimbledon. Mind you, a QF exit for any other player would be considered a major success. But, considering the "monster" that he had created for himself, any other than a GS win is considered a failure. Anyways, he has not had the best of seasons by his standards by any means and losses to the big-hitters, Soderling and Berdych did seem to have hurt his psyche a little bit. He has come back after a break in fine form reaching the final in Toronto and defending his Cincinnati crown. The marked improvement in his game was in his aggressive backhand which he used to good effect and the overall temperament has been nice and positive. The question is, can he translate this once-again-found success on the GS arena. Looking at his pedigree, I wouldn't bet against him.
1936:Fred Perry 2010:Andy Murray?
That is the question on every Brit and Scot tennis fan. Will Murray translate his obvious talent into a Grand Slam title? If there is any surface which will suit him, it is the Deco Turf in Flushing Meadows. He has had a rough mid-season starting with the clay court season and extending till the Wimbledon. The start of the US hard court has re-invigorated him and he had a good run in Toronto clinching his first title of the season against a clearly out-of-sorts Federer, who for some reason decided to shelf his aggressive game for a day. Murray, who has been weighed down by the huge pressure back home to become the first player since Fred Perry to win a GS title needs to constantly take it match by match and not get carried away by the British-media. Will the Brit-media be cheering their hero by the end of the fortnight or will it be yet another long wait for the British/Scot fans? Time will tell.
Among the other contenders are Novak Djokovic and Robin Soderling. Add Tomas Berdych and Andy Roddick into the mix and you have a really good US Open in the making. Anyone among the mentioned names could win the title on their day. Djokovic, even though he is ranked 3rd in the world, has not shown the kind of performance and consistency in Grand Slams as he has done in the other tournaments. He has been found wanting in his fitness especially when playing in the heat and NY could be more of the same. If he can improve his fitness and mental fortitude, I believe, he should have more to show to his grandchildren than the 2008 Australian Open crown. Soderling is ranked Number 5 in the world and has entered the big league of tennis players. Now, he needs to do the big thing. Win the thing. However, I am not very sure if his time has come yet.
Overall, a very open field at the US Open and anything can happen. But, can anybody look past Federer or Nadal to win the title? After all, they have won all but two of all the Grand Slams played in the last 6 years. If you want to know where I have put my money. Well, it is in my bank!