The Picks, US Open, Day 1


FROM THE US OPEN — On Monday, on the US Open radio (listen to Matt), we talked about everything, who is playing, why, when and how?  We talked about Rafa Nadal, the favorite, in my opinion; Andy Murray (who won today)[ Stan Wawrinka (who beat Grigor Dimitrov); Juan Martin del Potro, Marin Cilic, and another two favorites: Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. All of them have won championships.However, Federer and Djokovic could face each other in the quarters. The Serbian beat the Swiss in Cincinnati, in straight sets, on the hard courts. While millions of people love Federer, they have to realize that Djokovic is getting better every week. He was hurt for months, he rose up at Wimbledon, which he won, and now he is definitely one of the favorites. Don’t forget that he beat Nadal 10-8 in the fifth in the semis at Wimbledon. Here in New York, he wants to do again.

If Federer and Djokovic are not playing well this week, someone else can seriously push them. Assuming he is healthy enough, Nick Kygious could reach the third round to play against Federer and that should be a terrific contest. But first, they have to get there. Yes, Kyrgios and Federer can out dance them, but the Frenchmen Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Benoit Paire can threaten them, too.

Djokovic is pretty safe. Of course, either Lucas Pouille or Pablo Carreno Busta, (who reached the semis last year at the US O;en) can threaten or frustrated him, but the 13-time Grand Slam champion will hang in there. A few months ago, he couldn’t. Now he can.
Both Federer (against Yoshihito Nishioka in the 1st round) and Djokovic (versus Martin Fussovics in the first match) will move into the second round. And then?

Guess who is playing tomorrow? The 5-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova against the former top-10 er Patty Schnyder. Over the past year and a half, Sharapova has been hurt frequently. When she feels healthy, she is still pretty good. She is not great yet, but she always tries very hard, and soon enough, she will rise again. However, with all that said, she has to find a way to feel just fine. That includes her sore body.

Schnyder retired in 2011, she was done, but four year slater, she decided to play again. However, she can’t escape the years and now, she is 39 years old. The older you get, the harder it is to sprint. You just can’t be super fast, running and stringing. However, you can mix it up and be very patient. That is why she qualified at the US Open, beating three players. A very smart cookie. 

Can she out-hit Sharapova? I doubt it. They played eight times, from 2004-2008, and Maria won seven times. They had a classic contest at Roland Garros in 2007 and Sharapova won 9-7 in the third. Maria smiled, and Patty cried for a long time.  

They have played six, three-setters, which has been darn close. So, it should last for a solid two hours. The Russian always figures it out and will attack the Swiss, again and again. I would think that Ms. Maria will win in three fun sets.