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The action at Flushing Meadows in New York, is just about the culmination of the entire tennis season. It is the fourth and final Grand Slam of the season, the second hard court Slam alongside the Australian Open. It is actually the US Open and not Wimbledon, which is the oldest tennis Championship around, with its first edition held all the way back in 1881. The Billie Jean King National Tennis Center has produced some of the most famous scenes in tennis history.
The US open action will start all over again for its annual renewal on August 25th, 2014, with the final scheduled a fortnight later on September 8th. The winners took home $2,600,000 each home with them in 2013, with half of that sum going to each runner up in the respective men’s and women’s draws.
Spaniard Rafael Nadal holds the current title, after winning the US Open for the second time in his career in 2013. He took out Novak Djokovic in the final over four sets, following up his first win back in 2010. Nadal has been to three of the last four finals (W2 L1), his defeat in that run coming back against Djokovic in 2011. With a strong current track record at the event, Nadal should get close to his third title in 2014.
Three of the last four US Open finals has seen Novak Djokovic v Rafael Nadal on the cards. So that would be a big trend to roll with again, and not a bad dual forecast bet to see them get back to the Arthur Ashe Stadium for another final showdown. So Serbian Novak Djokovic, who has been to each of the last four finals, losing the last two on the bounce against Andy Murray and then Nadal last year, should make a strong case for a return. The great Roger Federer, who won it five consecutive season between 2004 and 2008 inclusive, will also have backers, but he hasn’t been back to the final since a loss to Juan Martin del Potro in 2009.
The men’s draw is generally a little bit lopsided. However, with Federer falling away from genuine contention compared to Nadal and Djokovic, and Andy Murray (the 2012 Champion, winning his first ever Grand Slam title) struggling for form in 2014, it could open the door for surprise win, just as the 2014 Australian Open did, when Stanislas Wawrinka came though. He, along with Tomas Berdych look the best dark horse shots in a field, from which a winner will still probably come from one of Nadal, Djokovic and Murray.
Serena Williams won her fifth US Open title last season in beating out Victoria Azarenka in the final. Williams v Azarenka has been the final lineup for the past two seasons, two of the big powerhouse players on the WTA clashing. Williams has won out on both occasions, and having such a great affinity with the event, and hunting down Chris Evert’s record of six wins in the Open Era, her power hitting and home support behind her should carry her far.
Given her track record of having reached the final for the last two seasons, Victoria Azarenka should attract attention. It has been a quiet season from her after pulling out of Doha with injury and losing against world number 66 Lauren Davis at Indian Wells in early March, there could be a long way back for her. Russia’s Maria Sharapova is a past winner, lifting the title in 2006 over Justine Henin, but the darling of the tennis courts hasn’t been back to the final since then surprisingly. She has a great hard court game though and should be in the final four. The other main contenders should be Agnieszka Radwanska and Li Na.
With Kim Clijsters, Justine Henin and Serena Williams having taken eight of the last eleven US Open editions, it points to backing previous winners. Of course, Clijsters and Henin aren’t around anymore and the last real upset was Sam Stosur’s win over a hot-headed Serena WIlliams in 2011. Young Romanian Simona Halep looks the most genuine dark horse shot to spring another such surprise.
|2013||S|D||Rafael Nadal||Leander Paes / Radek Stepanek|
|2012||S|D||Andy Murray||Bob Bryan / Mike Bryan|
|2011||S|D||Novak Djokovic||Jurgen Melzer / Philipp Petzschner|
|2010||S|D||Rafael Nadal||Bob Bryan / Mike Bryan|
|2009||S|D||Juan Martin Del Potro||Lukas Dlouhy / Leander Paes|
|2008||S|D||Roger Federer||Bob Bryan / Mike Bryan|
|2007||S|D||Roger Federer||Simon Aspelin / Julian Knowle|
|2006||S|D||Roger Federer||Martin Damm / Leander Paes|
|2005||S|D||Roger Federer||Bob Bryan / Mike Bryan|
|2004||S|D||Roger Federer||Mark Knowles / Daniel Nestor|
|2003||S|D||Andy Roddick||Jonas Bjorkman / Todd Woodbridge|
|2002||S|D||Pete Sampras||Mahesh Bhupathi / Max Mirnyi|
|2001||S|D||Lleyton Hewitt||Wayne Black / Kevin Ullyett|
|2000||S|D||Marat Safin||Lleyton Hewitt / Max Mirnyi|
|1999||S|D||Andre Agassi||Sebastien Lareau / Alex O’Brien|
|1998||S|D||Patrick Rafter||Sandon Stolle / Cyril Suk|
|1997||S|D||Patrick Rafter||Yevgeny Kafelnikov / Daniel Vacek|
|1996||S|D||Pete Sampras||Todd Woodbridge / Mark Woodforde|
|1995||S|D||Pete Sampras||Todd Woodbridge / Mark Woodforde|
|1994||S|D||Andre Agassi||Jacco Eltingh / Paul Haarhuis|
|1993||S|D||Pete Sampras||Ken Flach / Rick Leach|
|1992||S|D||Stefan Edberg||Jim Grabb / Richey Reneberg|
|1991||S|D||Stefan Edberg||John Fitzgerald / Anders Jarryd|
|1990||S|D||Pete Sampras||Pieter Aldrich / Danie Visser|