In what has been a competitive year in the men and women’s tour, the tennis season heads to the fourth major of the year, the US Open at Flushing Meadows, New York. The tournament ends a narrative that started all the way in January with the final chance to win a Grand Slam major in 2011.

In the Men’s Singles Novak Djokovic, Rafa Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray will be the scalps on offer, four players who’ve consistently vied for titles whereas in the Women’s Singles it’s less easy to predict. Injuries and inconsistent form adding coal to the fire about the suspected weakness of the women’s tour.

Djokovic arrives on a supremely rich vein of form having won the Australian Open and racked up a succession of victories, claiming the No1 ranking and cementing his position as the outstanding player of the year by beating Nadal at Wimbledon. Federer, Nadal and Murray lurk behind, eager to end their year on a high after Djokovic’s relentless domination. Federer will want to pour cold water on claims that he is making way for younger athletes; Nadal will be looking to add another title to his French Open success, with Murray looking to finally add his name to the list of Open winners.

…their powerful first serves and athletic ability making them dark horses to win…

However the big four won’t have it all to themselves, with formidable competition in the form of Juan Del Potro and Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, their powerful first serves and athletic ability making them dark horses to win. Not to be discounted either are the Americans Mardy Fish and Andy Roddick, who’ll want to prove that he still has what it takes to compete with the best.

On the women’s side, inconsistent form and injuries have made it difficult to single out an outstanding player. Kim Clijsters won’t be defending her title this year, pulling out with an abdominal strain. The Williams sisters are in with a shout but poor form due to a laundry list of injuries has waylaid bids for consistent match play. Beaten Wimbledon finalist, Maria Sharapova will want to regain her groove after her error strewn performance against Kvitova , who win her first major of the year at Wimbledon. Current World No 1 Caroline Wozniacki will also be looking to put the last few weeks in the back of her mind having been knocked out of successive tournaments by largely unheralded opponents. French Open winner Li Na will undoubtedly be in the hunt as she continues her late career renaissance.

Stay tuned for part 2…

Image courtesy of the US Open 2011


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