Monday, August 26, 2013

U.S. Open Notebook: Winner's, Sleeper's, and Toughest Road

The 2013 US Open officially kicks off today in Flushing Meadows, New York. At the Billie Jean King Tennis Center over the next two weeks, the best tennis players in the world will compete for the final grand slam championship. On the women’s side, Serena Williams looks to defend her 2012 US Open Championship as Andy Murray will be looking to do the same on the men’s side. This will be the first time Murray will ever have the role of defending his crown. With all the top seeds healthy on the men’s side, and the fierce new rivalry between Serena and Victoria Azarenka, the next two weeks should be full of surprises and wonderful play.

Men’s Sleeper: Juan Martin Del Potro

Del Potro has had a spectacular hard-court season this summer and is looking like the Delpo who won the US Open in 2009. Unfortunately for Juan Martin, he drew a tough draw and has a possible quarterfinal match-up with Novak Djokovic. These two met in the semi-finals at Wimbledon and played an epic 5 set match, resulting in a Djokovic win. Del Potro will be looking for revenge. I believe the winner of this possible match-up will go on to face Rafael Nadal in the championship. Watch out for Juan Martin Del Potro in this year’s US Open.

Women’s Sleeper: Sloane Stephens

This might be my patriotism taking over, but I believe Sloane Stephens plays her best tennis on the big stage and there is no bigger stage for an American than Flushing Meadows. With a possible fourth round match-up with Serena Williams, Sloane could give her a run for her money and make some noise in this year’s US Open. With the crowd behind her, Stephens has the potential to make a deep run.

Men’s Toughest Road: Roger Federer

The aging Roger Federer has fallen off his crown this past year and dropped to the No. 7 seed. Unfortunately for Federer he landed in the quarter of the bracket with Nadal who I believe is the hottest player in the world right now. Fed is going to have to beat multiple top 5 players if he wants to win a grand slam this year. As hard as it will be, you can never count the Fed out. History could be in the making if Federer finds some of his old form.

Women’s Toughest Road: Angelique Kerber

Kerber simply has the toughest road because she is in the same quarter of the draw as Serena Williams. Even if she were somehow to make it out of that quarter, she would have to take down Radwanska or Li Na in the semi-finals, followed by Azarenka in the final. This means in order to win this year’s US Open, she would most likely have to beat three top 5 players in a row. Seems like a pretty tough road if you ask me.

Men’s Winner: Rafael Nadal

As I mentioned earlier, Rafael Nadal is the hottest player in tennis right now and is looking very good on hard courts. He has had the best summer ever and seems to be in good shape as well. I believe Nadal will have a tough match with Isner and Federer,  but I expect him to cruise past his semi-final match and face either Djokovic or Del Potro in the final. In the end, I believe Nadal is simply playing too well to be beaten this year and I expect him to take home the championship and end the year ranked No. 1.

Women’s Winner: Serena Williams

She has dominated tennis and the US Open for the past decade and I expect her to do the same this year. Serena will face tough opponents like Sloane Stephens, Kerber, and Li Na on her path
to the championship. I do think the final match will be a tough test. Azarenka has been playing wonderful tennis and is coming off a victory over Serena, however, I expect Serena to win this one in a tight three set match. Serena Williams will take home another US Open.

Those are my picks for this year’s US Open. I expect to see some great matches this year and I highly suggest everyone tune in over the next two weeks! Should be some very exciting tennis! Leave comments on who you have winning this year’s Open!


Michael Proska is a freshman at Drexel University from Springfield, PA pursuing a Sport Management degree along with a minor in Statistics. Along with being a writer for the SMTSU blog, The Sports Complex, he has an internship with Drexel Athletics in the promotions and marketing department. Michael is a member of the Army ROTC at Drexel University.  Michael is the Secretary for the SMTSU.  Follow Michael on Twitter @mikeprosk.

Connect with Michael Proska on LinkedIn.


  1. Nothing like an early scare for Stephens there. Your sleeper had a little trouble there, Mike. Hah.

  2. I predict the Brian brothers will win. Doubles is more fun to watch, for the true tennis aficionado.