With the U.S. Open kicking off today on the hardcourts in Queens, we're taking a look at five key talking points for this year's tennis championships.
Do American Players Stand a Fighting Chance?
On last week’s "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel," right before Plaxico Burress’ tell-all about shooting himself in da club and ruining his white Chuck Taylors with his own blood, there was a great piece on America’s fall from grace in the world of tennis and how none other than Mr. Composure, John McEnroe is trying to revive (watch it below). Since the great days of Agassi and Sampras, all Americans are left with are Roddick’s unbelievable talent at sweating through his clothes and the Williams sisters’ massive traps. The one man flying under the radar is Mardy Fish, who’s currently ranked #7. Could this be the year an American takes back the US Open men’s title?
Can Rafael Nadal repeat?
We caught Rafa’s press conference on Tuesday in NYC, celebrating his new role as the face of Bacardi's “Champions Drink Responsibly” campaign. While spilling the beans about how he burned his fingers at a Japanese Restaurant in Cincinnati and what motivates him in tennis, it was clear that his confidence hasn’t phased despite being ranked #2 behind Novak Djokavic going into the tournament. He’s become a veteran and knows what he needs to do to take care of business. Look for Rafa to come out swinging. Back to his role with Bacardi, admitting he’s usually the first one to go out, Nadal spoke about keeping things within limits. Afterall, it’s tough being a mediocre athlete, let alone the best in the world, if you’re crushing jungle juice until 4am.
Is Djokovic Worthy of #1 Ranking
It says so it the rankings, but can he man up and take his first US Open title by knocking off none other than Rafa or Roger? He’s only lost two matches all year, but it sounds like a daunting task, especially with the raucous crowd at Arthur Ashe. If he does win, however, expect to see him face deep in models and bottles in Meatpacking.
Can Serena Williams Return to Dominance?
Serena’s ranking were annihilated with her last bout of injuries, igniting plenty of controversy for her having to face tougher players in earlier matches. Coming in at number 29 she has an uphill battle, but if she can stay healthy, watch out. She could very well swoop in to take her 4th US Open Championship.
Can we expect the triumphant return of these?
Sadly not, they’ve been forever reduced, but we can always dream.