US Open Preview – ATP Edition

Roger Federer could get upset. Unless he’s not.

Federer looks to have a breezy first-rounder, but then it could get complicated. He will most likely play Thomaz Bellucci in his next match, a lefty with huge topspin forehand. Federer just loves those guys. After that he could be looking at next generations Bernie Tomic or Ryan Harrison, which could be tricky. Unless it’s not.

Novak Djokovic sleeps in a pod.

Or maybe he just naps in it. It’s some sort of pressurized chamber designed to simulate high altitude, stimulate blood flow and increase athletic performance. Djokovic admits to using the egg-shaped device that Robin Williams rode in from Ork. It’s another reason he’s had such an amazing year. Along with giving up gluten, fixing his service motion, impersonating Sharapova, and never missing a backhand.

Rafael Nadal wrote a book.

Yes, a 25 year-old who spent his entire life in the sheltered cocoon of tennis stardom has a story to tell. Some of the more gripping revelations: He was upset by his parents’ separation, Roger Federer is a worthy opponent, clay is a groovy surface, and his left arm is unusually big.

Mardy Fish is America’s best hope.

It’s a nice story: Fish fixes his forehand, gets in shape and has a late-career renaissance. Everybody not named Fish had given up the idea of him cracking the top 10. There are 14 U.S. men in the draw and Fish is playing better than all of them. And in four or five day stretch he would potentially have to beat Federer, Djokovic, and Nadal to win this tournament. I’m sure there will be lovely parting gifts.

Andy Roddick got old fast.

Roddick is an honest, blunt sort, and deserves to be treated with candor. He kinda sucks this year. That said, he does have a pretty decent draw up to the round of 16. If he gets three wins on the board, maybe he can ride the momentum to the second week. But if he loses to American teenager Jack Sock in the second round I don’t want to be the mini-bar in his hotel room.

Juan Martin Del Potro is better than his ranking.

It’s true that 18th seed doesn’t do Delpo justice. He won in Flushing in 2009 and didn’t get a chance to defend last year due to injury. (During his matches commentators will repeatedly point this out. Every. Single. Match.) But in ’09 he was riding like a 20-match win streak. This summer hard-court season? 3-3. The guy is good, but he could also be Safin.

Can Andy Murray avoid another bridesmaid’s dress?

I hope he likes the color.

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