Friday, 23 August 2013

2013 US Open Draw Predictions: Quarterfinalists

The 2013 US Open will begin main draw action on Monday, August 26th. The draw for men's singles was released on Friday with Novak Djokovic as the top seed. Here's a look at the potential quarterfinal match-ups if the seeds held in the event:

(1) Novak Djokovic vs. (6) Juan Martin del Potro
(3) Andy Murray vs. (5) Tomas Berdych
(8) Richard Gasquet vs. (4) David Ferrer
(7) Roger Federer vs. (2) Rafael Nadal

The tough half of the draw appears to be the top section where Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray share a path to the semifinals. Neither player appears to have any major early round threats however Berdych and del Potro are both dangerous players that have done damage at Flushing Meadows before. The Czech made the semifinals of the event last season while the Argentine is a former champion in the tournament.

The Gasquet/Ferrer quarter appears to be the weakest section of the draw and you have to wonder if it will feature at least one unexpected quarterfinalist. Dimitry Tursunov and Milos Raonic are both playing well lately and they are each in Gasquet's draw to the quarters. Ferrer's draw looks simple enough in the early rounds however contending with a resurging Ernests Gulbis should prove challenging should the two players meet in the third round. Additionally Ferrer may face Jerzy Janowicz in the fourth round, an improving player who made the Wimbledon semifinals less than two months ago.

Rafael Nadal is the hottest player on tour at the moment with back-to-back titles from Montreal and Cincinnati. His opening round match is somewhat tricky as Nadal will face a young talent in Ryan Harrison. However by and large Nadal's draw to the quarters almost looks routine. Nadal could face an inconsistent Fernando Verdasco in the third round, a player that has lost the huge majority of matches against Nadal. Other than that only John Isner looks threatening following recent hard court success in the tournaments leading up the US Open. However it should be pointing out that Isner is a player that plays in a lot of tiebreakers and as a result he is one that is likely to be very fatigued in the mid to late rounds of Grand Slam tournaments.

Roger Federer has to like his early round draw. It is hard to picture the Swiss Maestro falling before the fourth round of Flushing Meadows unless Sam Querrey, a potential third round opponent, brings his best tennis to the 2013 US Open. The biggest threat to Federer ahead of the quarters appears to be Kei Nishikori of Japan and if the two players meet in the fourth round, it could be a very competitive contest.

Here are my predictions for the quarters in Flushing Meadows:

(1) Novak Djokovic vs. (6) Juan Martin del Potro
(3) Andy Murray vs. (5) Tomas Berdych
(10) Milos Raonic vs. (14) Jerzy Janowicz
(11) Kei Nishikori vs. (2) Rafael Nadal

The 2013 US Open looks as though it is Nadal's to lose. There is no major threat to the Spaniard on his half of the draw with Federer continuing to fade little by little on tour. The top half of the draw is much more wide open since Djokovic and Murray both look a little bit off heading into New York. Whoever faces Nadal in the final should be much more worn from battle and that could make the 2013 US Open pretty easy pickings for the former World No. 1.