(Warm) greetings from New York: We're back at the National Tennis Center for another U.S. Open. Already, a lot has happened. Melanie Oudin is into the second round, as is Kei Nishikori. Andy Roddick is on Arthur Ashe Stadium, cruising 4-0. later tonight we have Venus Williams and Roger Federer. We'll be here chatting every day this week at 3 PM EST, with ESPN2 broadcasting very day starting at 1 PM. Let's get right to the questions...
Who do you think will win both Men's & Women's US Open?
Hey, Chris, good to hear from you ... That's the money question. I'm looking at our Expert Picks, and all but one (Ravi Ubha) picks ether Murry or Rafa. I took Murray, based on the idea that eventually he's going to win one. Also, he beat bother Federer and Rafa in Toronto. The women's side is more difficult to call. I have another upset -- Sharapova -- but Clijsters, the defending champion, is probably a safer call.
What do you think of Venus Williams chances of going all the way and winning it? Are they slim or could it be possible?
Mark: Sim and none -- and none just left town. Venus hasn't played since Wimbledon, complaining of a sore knee. The day of dropping into a tournament with little preparation -- and winning -- I think, are over at the age of 30. Serena probably has a better chance to win -- an she's not playing. There are reports that she's used the downtime from a foot injury (incurred in a Munich bar) to enhance her beauty through surgery...
Who is your surprise in the open tournament on both sides?
Issac: Is it this hot in Texas? As I said, I'll go ff the menu with Shazza and Murray. A number of people (including Brad Gilbert and tennis editor Matt Wilansky) see Victria Azarenka winnng. There's always Federer.
At the slams, do top seeds have a choice of when to play their opening match? Or can they submit their preferred match date? Seems like Federer always plays the opening day of a slam and Nadal always plays his opener on day two or three of the slam...this can't be a coincidence.
Wilon: Since the Grand Slam merchandise is the players, the truly elite ones usually can influence the schedule. When Roger Federer is the second match on at night (as he is on Monday), you can be sure the tournament director ran it by him. Rafa likes to ease into his Slams. The schedule isn't out yet, but there's a chance you won't see Rafa until Wednesday.
hey greg,just wondering what you think about novak's chances this year? how far do u think he can go--especially in the NY heat?
This, Betty, is an intriguing question. I was just looking at the draw, trying to gague Andy Roddick's chance of advancing. He's in the same half as Djokovic. Novak seems to have a clear path to the third round, but Fish and Baghdatis are lurking as potential opponents in the fourth round. Roddick/Davydenko would be there in the quarters. I was alking around outside awhile ago, and it is blazing hot. After watching Djokovic struggle in Paris, when it was 75 degrees, I can't help but wonder how his breathing will be in a warm fourth-rounder.
give us one storyline that comes out of the first week, a federer or nadal loss, maybe a surprise run? keep me posted garberdamus!
Just have a weird feeling Fed and Rafa will both get to the semis. No prmises after that. How about Kei Nishikori today? He reached the fourth round here two years ago (at 18), then injuries took him out of circulation. He looked good today and gets Cilic in the second round.
Just got a sneak look at the Tuesday schedule. Looks like Sharapova and Djokovic in the day and Rafa and Wozniacki (in that order) at night...
What was your opinion of Kim's match against Greta? Kim struggled with her forehand at the beginning of the 2nd set but corrected it in time to prevent from going to a deciding set
Master Ace: Clijsers did look a little sluggish, but she hasn't been playing her best tennis lately. The good news: she has a pretty nice draw.
Hey Greg, what's your take on McEnroe comments about the state of women's game and WTA Tour ?
A typical McEnroe comment: inflammatory, with a grain of truth. The fact is, women play best-of-three sets here, while men play best-of-five. But that doesn't mean they should play fewer tournaments. Johnette Howard did a nice piece for ESPN.com New York on this subject.
What is the atmosphere like there?
Jake -- It's really, really hot. Oh, you mean the buzz factor? The grounds are crawling with people, more than I remember seeing at any Opening Day. There's a genuine sense that the women's draw could be won by at least seven or eight players. On the men's side, it's more predictable, but knowing the winner -- Rafa, Fed, Murray -- is impossible at this point.
How much will the U.S. Open miss Del Potro this year?
Hi, David. Hey, if Fed wasn't seen as a factor and Rafa was just idling along in his usual late-season mode, this event would miss DelPo. As it is, I think it will be exciting. I would say Serena is missed more than the men's defending champion.
Thanks for answering, Greg. Follow up--pure speculation, but why does Rafa like to wait a few days? Why not spread out the matches as opposed to risking seven matches in 12 days, as opposed to 14 days--espec. when rain runs the risk of even further diminishment of rest b/w matches?
This just in: Rafa plays first on Tuesday. About right for him. After playing five matches in six days in the Masters events, 7 in 12 seems OK, even if it is best-of-five...
After Olga missed 2 break points in the 7th game of set 1 especially with the horrible drop shot at 30-40 as Melanie put away an easy winner, do you think Olga's confidence got shaken as Melanie won the last 9 games of the match capped off by winning 24 out of 26 points in the second set?
This is why we call him the Master...
Greg, what's BG like off camera? Does he drink tons of coffee before hitting the commentary booth or is he just naturally amped 24/7.
The man has got ridiculous energy, Joe. I see him a lot during the Slams, and I've never seen him drink coffee or an energy drink. That's why he got along so well with Andre -- and maybe not so much with Murray.
Can you explain why the No. 1 seed doesn't play the 16 seed, 2 vs 15 and so? Seems a little unfair at times.
In tennis, the way they create the draws, it's just a more random process. Amazing that pulling a chip from a jar (luck of the draw) can determine whether Djokovic and Murray play in the top half or the bottom.
Roddick seems to be having his way in this first round match...should he have any worries here?
Paul: He's up 6-3, 4-2 ... no worries. Worry instead about Dinara Safina -- the former No. 1 just lost in straight sets to Daniela Hantuchova.
I am going to the Open on Wed. Do you know who I will be seeing set or do I have to wait until that morning to find out?
Matt: Sked should be out Tuesday night. Check www.usopen.org ...
Seriously, quite a setback for Safina. She's struggled with a back injury this year and won back-to-back matches last week in New Haven -- beating Hanutchova in two tiebreakers.
What is the buzz about Nadal or Murray winning the Open? Nadal has looked horrible on the hard courts this year and Murray will not be due for a major for awhile, he still hasn't taken his game to the next level, he is like an advanced wall, you beat yourself agagainst Murray
With Fed as the wildcard, Rich, these two might be your best prospects. Rafa reduced his schedule (he's only played seven matches since Wimbledon) and Murray played well this summer, beating both Fed and Rafa in Toronto.
How'em I doin' lately?
So far, so good.
Upset Alert: American Robert Kendrick is on serve in the fifth set against No. 17 seed Gael Monfils.
A comment I hear over and over is how can Roger beat the GOAT when there was a player he couldn't beat. Rog is 5-4 lifetime against Rafa without the clay courts. I don't hear anyone ever say Pete never beat Agassi at the French or Aussie Open? Also Nadal has 41 titles (only 4 on hardcourts). Can be the one of the greatest when you don't win on hardcourts.
Good effort, George. That's why Rafa really needs to win a title here. He's been to the semifinals the last two years, but never broken through. This would give him a career Grand Slam.
Dear GregIs James Blake going to be playing in this Open?
Yes, Chioke, Blake is third on for Armstrong tomorrow. Lost badly in New Haven last week and has said he's considering retirement after a lingering knee injury. He faces Kristof Vliegen after receiving a wildcard.
Fed, Nads, Murray... what are the odds that someone other than this triumvirate takes the Open this year? There's more parity towards the end of the season and the rest of the field have caught up... could we be surprised?
One thought: Fed?
With regard to the "what is brad like," best part of the Agassi book was Brad talking about controlling your cheese to sauce ratio when ordering Chicken Parm at a restaurant. Classic stuff.
Yeah, man. And with that, we wrap things up on Day One at the U.S. Open. Watch the tennis a report back here at 3 PM EST on Tuesday. Thans for stopping by...
Greetings, folks. Thanks for stopping by to chat. It's positively blazing here in New York. Wondering if/when Novak Djokovic -- now playing -- will hit the wall.A lot has happened already today. Young American Beatrice Capra has already won her first match and 17-year-old Shelby Rogers is up a set on Shuai Peng. No. 16 seed Marcos Baghdatis lost to Arnaud Clement in five sets. Mardy Fish split sets and is on serve in the third set with Jan Hajek.But enough scores ... let's get to the questions...
Is Mardy Fish for real?
George: You always cut to the chase. Sure, he's for real. The guy is 16-2 this summer, finished third to Murray and Federer in the US Open Series and is seeded highr than any Slam except one (2004 Wimbledon). The question is, is he too tired to go far? My guess is yes. Seemed to have an ankle issue. Hajek serving for third set.
Greg,What are the odds of Gulbis breaking through this US Open? Also, how far do you think Mardy Fish will go?
Not so good, since he lost to Jeremy Chardy -- in a hurry. Check out our piece on Kei Nishikori, which also mentions Gulbis. Fish, if he escapes this match (no guarantee) could get to the fourth round, opposite ... Djokovic?
Who wins in a Federer-Nadal final?
Getting a little bit ahead, arent we Jordan? They've never, ever met here and it would be sweet. I'd take Fed. Not sure Rafa's spins work well enough on this super-fast court to win a final -- a level he's never reached here -- opposite Fed.
What are the chances that David Nalbandian can pull it together and make it difficullt for some of the top seeds? Also, any sightings of our other favorite head case Safin in his new role of ambassador for Russian tennis?
Nalbandian played great this summer (11-2) and his draw is quite favorable. He could get to the fourth round, because Verdasco (No. 8 seed) and Ferrer (No. 10) are in his quarter. Rafa would be the quarterfinal opponent.
Djokovic Update: Looks like he might lose second set to Viktor Troiki. Starting to breath heavily...
Soderling and Federer are slated to meet in the quarterfinals. Given Soderling's first-round struggles, though, does he have the juice to even make it to the quarters?
Jordan: Looks like a good bet to reach the quarters. He has Dent in the second round. Dent has lost all three of his second-round matches in majors this year.
Since the US Open is in Flushing,NY does any tennis Players catch a Mets or Yankees Game at either Yankee Stadium or Citi Field?
Kim Clijsters threw out the first pitch at a Mets game on Friday. Roddick had a Cincinnati Reds hat on yesterday. That's the extent of my knowledge.
How do you rank the chances of Kitova and Prironkova? After Wimbledon everyone acted as if they were the "next best thing" and not much has been heard from either during the summer
LOVE Pironkova, Catrice. Just checked the draw ... who do you think Venus would play in the third round? Yes, Pironkova, who beat her in the fourth round at Wimbledon. Kvitova is through to the second round and should get to the third, where she'd run into Clijsters
If the three favorites (Nadal, Federer, Murray) make it to the semis, who else do you think gets there?
Big fan of the draw questions, J. Call me a homer, but I'll take Roddick.
I am surprised that Sharapova is not playing in the evening session or even at 1 PM when ESPN2 comes on. Why do you think Sharapova was not scheduled for either time slot? At least, her match is still on Ashe and against a dangerous opponent in Groth.
A good question, Master Ace. She's the No. 14 seed and, although, she's a former champion, they want to throw some love to Caroline Wozniacki, the No. 1 seed.
With Jankovic making almost 50 UFEs in her ugly win, how far do you think she will advance? Also, did fitness play a role as Halep's tank was empty when she served for the match?
Good on you, MA. Yes, Halep was shot, but she's only 18 years old. JJ ... I just don't see her getting too far. Wickmayer would be a handful in the fourth round.
who is the most funniest person from both the men's and women's field
Roddick on the men's side and Andrea Petkovic on women's ... check out her daily blog in Open Book here at ESPN.com Tennis.
The shot that Federer hit was awsome, just like the tweener last year, but it was not mentioned the behind the back, between the legs that Federer hit against Tim Henman a few years ago, that was very cool also....
Yes, indeed, Dana. The big debate last night (see story on our site by Jane McManus) was which between-the-legs shot was better: last night's or last year's vs. Djokovic? The consensus is that last year's -- on the point before match point -- was bigger and last night's was, artistically speaking, better.
Any truth to the Serena boycotting the US Open rumors or just too may conspiracy theorists out there?
Venus said last night -- she didn't guarantee it -- that Serena would be on hand to support her. Probably having too much fun in the Hamptons.
Too tired to make it out of the 1st round (from the looks of it)
Djokovic down a break in the third set. Keep your eye in this one. Even if he wins, this can't be good.
How far do you see Melanie Oudin going?
Another good question, Jordan. I think Bondarenko will be tough in the second round for her, maybe moreso than No. 6 seed Francesca Schiavone
I think Soderling's worst surface is hardcourt due to his movement. He doesn't have a plan B when serve and big ground strokes aren't working, it's over. He is good on clay because his ball can still penetrate the court. Thoughts?
Do not disagree. Goes out to Fed in the quarters...
Update: Shelby Rogers, 17, is two points from winning her first-ever match at the US Open. She won the national 18s. She never even played juniors here.
Do you think Serena has a real chance at catching and surpassing Navratilova'a Singles GS number?
Don't think so, Rodney. Martina and Chris Evert both won 18 Grand Slam singles titles. Serena is at 13. We asked this question after she won a Wimbledon. Can she win five? Sure, but will she stay healthy enough to do it? I'm guessing no. Later next month, she'll turn 29 -- same age as Federer -- when it goes, it gos in a hurry.
Wozniacki, Williams, Clijsters, or Sharapova?
Most folks see Sharapova vs. Clijsters. Me, too. I'll take Shazza in an upset.
Djokovic Update: Troicki serving for the third set. Is there a retirement looming?
Greg, Have you ever seen a scoreline odder at a grand slam than the current score of Fish's match. Looks to me that Hajek's error count has skyrocketed in the 4th and 5th, but i'm unable to see the actual match.
I'm with you on that Robbie. He might win three sets 6-0 -- and win in five.
Not to get ahead of ourselves but Phillip K have a shot against Rafa?
George: Never too early. He'd see Special K in the third. I'll go wth Rafa, although the conditions aren't great for his game.
Folks, time to run. That was a rousing session ... Thanks for your contributions. Watch for our stories on ESPN.com and meet you back here on Wednesday at 3 PM EST...
Hey, folks, welcome back to the U.S. Open, Day 3. It's aready been an eventful day ... No. 10 seed Victoria Azarenka collapsed on the Grandstand Court today, six games into her match with Gisela Dulko. She's been hospitalized and we'll pass along any updates. Ryan Harison, 18, won his first Grand Slam match -- over No. 15 seed Ivan Ljubicic. And Wimbledon finalst Tomas Berdych has lost to Michael Llodra -- a stunner.On to your questions...
With Azarenke eliminated, who will win the quarter headed by Venus? I would say Venus but there are at least 2 troublespots. They are Pironkova on Friday and Pavlyuchenkova in the quarterfinals if all players continue to win.
Welcome aboard, Master Ace. Ye, many folks had Azarenka getting t the quarters against Venus. Pironkova -- who beat Venus in the fourth round at Wimbledon -- could be tough. Oudin is in that section, but could lose later today to Bondarenko. Venus' knee looked a little shaky in her opening match. Hmmm. Like you, will go with Venus, but reluctantly.
Any good will Berdych built up this year is gone. He is still soft!
Hah! Nice thought, George. A lot of the top players went to five sets in the first round, but Baghdatis and Hewitt were the only ones that lost. Berdych fell to Michael Llorda. Really?
When talking about past players no one comments about how they were physically during their games (like 90% fit or 100% fit); yet when talking about current players, the commentators/reporters always bring the players' conditions to deflate other players' wins. I think it is very biased on the part of the commentators/reports. Shouldn't they be really neutral?
Good thought, Chak. On this topic, no one really knows yet if Azarenka's crash out here was heat related. Lot of stories saying it was, but I'm not so sure.
Greg, U.S. Open being the fastest surface in grand slams, which is the 2nd fastest one-Wimbledon or the Austral Open?
Ro Ro: Not so fast, man. While Roger Federer says the court here is the fastest -- on average -- Nadal and Murray say it's Wimbledon. The balls are softer here, Rafa claims, which makes it harder for him to spin the ball. When it's super-hot, as it has been this week, the Ashe court seems AS fast as the grass on Wimbledon's Centre Court.
Azarenka Update: The USTA just released a statement by tournament referee Brian Earley. Few details, but Azarenka retired with "headache-like symptoms" and that this does "not seem to be primarily a heat-related illness."
I like Kohlschreiber over Rafa in the third round. Philip came close in Cincinnati and is really looking good this summer. Rafa not so much. But then again, not so good for Rafa is still better than most guys on top of their games.
Sammy: Rafa really struggled in his first-round match, while winning in straight sets. I'll go with big-game experience in that one, but like your guts in calling it so early.
Serena just won Wimbledon and probably had a good chance of making up for last year's US Open. She's won two slams this year. The only other slam winner is Schiavone. She may be turning 29, but she sure does have a few more slams in her. Perhaps she'll end up with 15.
or 16? Venus got old in a hurry, didn't she? And she's only 15 months older.
Hi: Why not move a match to another stadium when schedules go long? I don't think it's fair to have players waiting until almost midnight to start a match. I realize it may be hard for fans who paid for tickets vs seat amounts, but something has to give. This goes for both men and women players.
I imagine you are referring to last night's Wozniacki match? I was told last night, the USTA considered moving it. Rafa went on more than an hour late and took a long time to get through three sets. But with Petrova-Petkovic on Ashe, the alternative was the Grandstand. Men's matches have been running past midnight for years, so I don't mind seeing the women get their turn. The USTA has been better the last few years about "gender equity" with respect to late matches.
Can't blame Berdych for today's loss. Llodra played brilliantly.
Indeed, Jason, but a pre-tournament favorite to get to the quarters needs to find a way to survive and advance.
Wozniacki does not seem to generate much respect among the fans and folks in the tv booth. This due to her style of play, not winning a GS yet, or something else?
All of the above, Bob. She's got a nice game, but no serious weapons. She's one of seven women here who have reached the final of a major but never won. With Serena and Henin missing, it could happen for one of them.
Rank the following players by career: Guga, Rafter, Safin, Hewitt, Roddick, Chang
Based on Slams: Guga (3), Rafter, Safin, Hewitt (2), Roddick, Chang (1) ... Safina probably had the most talent and Chang the least.
Did you read Mike Lupica's article today in NY paper? Do people forget that Agassi won a great 5 set match against Pete in the semi's? Was Pete's coach sick then? Also to my knowledge, Roger is the only player with multiple wins over Rafa on clay. He referenced the how can Roger be the GOAT if he can't beat Nadal.
Did not see it, George. But thanks for passing along. It's an interesting debate: Roger as GOAT vs. his record with Rafa. When Rafa wins eight more majors, we'll have that discussion.
Hey Greg, How did Ivanovic look to you against Jie Zheng, and what is her chance of beating Kimmie-- assuming they meet?
Hey, Rodney. Ivanovic ooked terrific, no sign of the sore ankle, winning 6-3, 6-0. She'll probably see Bartoli in the third round and would get Clijsters in the fourth. Not sure she's back THAT far. I'll go with the defending champion...
Have we seen the last of Gonzo, Rusty and Tommy Haas?
I think Gonzo tries to come back. What about James Blake -- he said after Wimbledon he was thinking of retiring. He plays Polansky in the second round tomorrow. If he loses, does he call it quits?
Do you think Andy Murray is relieved not to see Tomas Berdych in his quarter since Berdych routed him at the French Open even though the US Open is played on a different surface?
What do you think, Isaiah? I think he's overjoyed. Murray looked solid today, wining in straight sets. Still picking him to win.
Do you think the potential winner of Wozniacki and Sharapova on Labor Day make the final on Saturday Sept 11?
Venus update: Slow going out on Ashe. Venus is even with Rebecca Marino at 2-all.
Hey Greg I think Murray's happy too. Do you think the absence of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at the US Open is a big letdown considering how good he is on hardcourts?
Until he stays healthy for a prolonged period of time -- and until he wins a major -- I can't get too worked up about Jo-Willy.
Speaking of Wozniacki, do you think the get the ball back and hope my opponent hits it into the net style of play, can win a GS?
I was watching her at New Haven, Rodney, and she has a pretty good backhand. Just not big enough to compete in the serve arena. Sort of has a Hingis-like game, angles and thoughtfully constructed points. Not all bad.
How do you think Roddick will do under the lights against Tipsarevic tonight??
Straight sets, Tennis Girl. He looks good and has a nice little section in the draw.
Well, that wraps up another day at the Open. Thanks for checking in. We'll see you here tomorrow at 3 PM EST for Day 4...
Warm (again) greetings from New York. Thanks for swinging by today. A full slate of U.S. Open action before the hurricane hits us and washes Friday out. Federer is on center court as we speak, top seed Caroline Wozniacki was a 6-0, 6-0 winner - in 47 minutes. Kuznetsova also won easily. The best match so far is Nishikori-Cilic. Cilic, up two sets to one, is serving to level the fourth set at 5-all. Run time is 3:45 -- and counting.To the questions we go...
Saw ESPN2 interview with Ivanovic, Darren Cahill, who is very good at his job, noticed that Ivanovic is smiling well again. Saying that, how far do Ivanovic go at USO? I see a possible rematch b/w Clijsters and Ivanovic where Ivanovic retired due to a foot injury.
Welcome in Master Ace, folks. Cahill IS very good at his job (and he has worked with Ivanovic in his other job as an Adidas coach). Yes, she should get to the fourth round opposite Clijsters. Not sure her game has re-evolved to the point she can play with Kim.
With Pironkova out, Venus has a pretty clear path to the semis...will she be able to capitalize on it and finally win one or falter? I really think this is her last chance (aside from Wimbledon) to ever get another non-Wimby slam and without Serena here it is the opportune moment for her.
Look at Zack, breaking it down. I agree with you. Two years-plus since she won a Slam (on the grass she loves at Wimbledon), mans the window is closing. I will go out on a (short) limb and say the 30-year-old is going to stay on No. 7 for her career.
Horrible loss for Andy last night. Tennis channel had the Hewitt/Andy US Open match on classic tennis last week. Watching made me wonder even more what happened to the Roddick forehand. Does Brad ever give an opinion on that? Went from one of the biggest forehands to this spinny shot that players feast on.
The Fearhand, as BG likes to call it, was missing in action last night. Evry time you expected him to unload and come to net, Roddick stayed on the baseline. He's been trying to play more consistent (i.e., play with more margin and kep rallies going longer) and pick his spots with power. He was the best player overall in March, at Indian Wells and Miami, but six months later, he's still recovering from mono.
After yesterday play on the WTA, do you see a Williams vs Clijsters semifinal on Sept. 10?
Yes, sir. Don't see any other scenario that would trump that one. I'll take Clisjters, by the way...
With loses like last night, does Roddick become less of a guy who suffered from playing in the Federer era and more of a one slam wonder? Mocking Tip's grunting was inexcusable...
He was feeling it last night. The interesting on ws the objection to the first foot-fault call. Actually, he objected to the explanation. The linesperson had the wrong foot touching the line -- bu touch the line his foot did. There two others later and I think Roddick was just trying to get himself fired up, ala McEnroe. The mock grunts were a tad over the top, but Roddick congratulated him at net, gave him a verbal jab, and Tipsarevic sort of head-butted his chest.
My friend said that he did not think Roddick would EVER make another grand slam semifinal in his career...I say he could make a Wimbledon, US Open, or potentially an Australian semi at least once. Assuming Roddick plays through 2012, what do you think?
Mardy Fish was just saying that his friend will work hard and come back. But how far, how high? I'll make the ovr-under on GS semis at two.
What do you think of Nadal's chances winning the U.S. Open?
Hi, Kelly ... The best chance he's ever had ... and he still might not win. Rafa doesn't like the court here, or the balls or the wind. He said this before the tournament. The one thing that has held him back (fatique) is not an issue this year; he's only played seven matches since Wimbledon. But, in the final analysis, I think he gets psyched out when he comes here. I think he'll win here -- but not this year.
Why does Roddick and his camp seem to be the only people on earth who think he should be playing a defensive style when everyone knows that if he ever wants to win another major he needs to just rip his forehand any chance he gets.
Good question, Joseph. If you watched Tipsarevic, he was going for everything. High-risk tennis ... rewarded.
Roddick clearly needs to fire Larry Stefanki since his coach must be promoting Roddick's defensive playing style, right? I was shocked to hear Roddick say he executed the gameplan last night and still lost last night; that means the gameplan was flawed!
Ditto, for Giuseppe.
Did you see Tip's comment last night about the Roddick forehand? Ivan L pretty much called him a pusher earlier in the year...time to reunite with Brad
Oh, boy. BG would bust out the Fearhand!
Even other players like tipsarevic recognize roddick's forehand stays so shallow and spins right up into their strike zone so what's the point of hitting it consistently in right to other players' strike zone, am I missing something?
I think the way Tipserveic played yesterday it would not have mattered who was on the opposite side of the court (fed,Nadal). He was really hitting the ball well.What do you think
I agree, Venkat. As an objective observer last night, I wondered how people would play the match. The typically negative slant would be that Roddick was ultra-passive and gave the match away. I think Tipseravic played terrific, almost out of his (beautiful) mind.
What can you tell us about Istomin?
The guy who has to play Nadal in the second round is a 6-foot-2 from Uzbekistan, who has floated arond No. 100 for the last several years. Qualified for both Toronto and Cincy (losing to Fed) and got to the final a week ago in New Haven. Ranked No. 39 -- the best of his career.
I was thinking of that epic Wimbledon finals loss to Federer last summer after Roddicks loss last night. I think if he wins there, the last year and a half go differently for him.
Good thought, Brian.
Andy won the first set and seemed to drop his intensity. Venkat is crazy...No way Rog/Nadal lose that match
Maybe Rafa in his current state of mind.
Too many times Roddick is given the "he played out of his mind" out. Players like Fed or Nadal impose their will on guys and never lose matches in the 2nd round. Too many of these loses for Andy in his career.
That's George laying down the law. Th kid WAS on der fire, as Yevgeny Kafelnkov used to say.
So is it safe to say that Serena has the Australian Open in the bag? First, she missed the US Open (her home slam) and it will be 2011, an odd year, which Serena has won every odd year with the title since 2003.
Of corse that's just the way it would go with Serena. For all the talk of distractions and injuries, she's managed to go Down Under and take the title five times.
Update: Nishikori and Cilic are going th distance. Fifth set, match time well past four hours. In this heat. Terrific stuff. Nishikori up a break at 1-0.
Well, folks, that's going to be a wrap. Have to finish up Open Book, our ESPN.com notebook. Mardy Fish will be featured today, along with Beatrice Capra. See you tomorrow for a soggy chat at 3 PM EST...
Welome to our final chat of the week here at the U.S. Open. It's a dreary day here as Hurricane Earl is just starting to touch the National Tennis Center with some rain. Play was suspended for about 25 minuts, but play is resuming. Clijsters, Dementieva and Stosur are all through, though. Ryan Harrison, the 18-year-old American, is in the fifth set with Sergiy Stakhovsky.To the questions....
Which American man do you think has the best chance of advancing to the final? Querrey looked strong yesterday, Isner is a threat, Dent is a sleeper, and Mardy Fish is many experts' sleeper pick for the Open. So, who ya think?
Harrison is down a break and Isner is even in the third set against Chiudinelli. Blake and Querrey are still alive, but I'll go with Mardy Fish. Should get Djkovic in the fourth round and he thinks he can play with him.
Since the U.S. Open has been in Flushing,NY for a Long time, Have you been to Shea Stadium & Citi Field?
Hi, Chris. Went to Shea a number of times, but haven't cross the threshold at Citi yet. It looks beautiful at night here from the tennis center.
Mr Garber.... Please stop bringing up Murray beat Federer in Toronto thing every time to justify your pick....Dude Murray has beaten Federer outside of grand slams many times.. But he can't beat Federer in Slams...... remember 2008? and Remember this year Aussie open......Please bring some other valid point to justify your pick... this is getting old.
ss: Thanks for the formal title ... and your advice. One of these days Murray will win a major. The kid is playing well, so maybe it ill be here.
Who do you think Djokovic(if he win his matches) will face in the quarterfinals b/w Gasquet, Anderson, Monfils or Tipsarevic?
IF he gets by Fish? That is a wide-open draw with three Frenchmen left in the section. I'll go with Monfils...wouldn;t that be fun to watch?
Hey Greg,I have always felt Gasquet has a solid game, but he does appear to be mentally fragile. Other than getting stronger mentally, what do you feel he could improve on to help his game?
Zach: He has always had a ton of talent (and a sweet backhand), but he's never been consistent since crashing onto the scene as a 16-year-old. He was ranked No. 8 in 2007 but he has had some knee issues and, well, you remember last year's three-month doping suspension. He needs to string together some matches, stay healthy and work hard. Could be into the fourth round; faces Kein Anderson.
Update: Ryan Harrison got broken by Stakhovsky in the fifth set to fall behind 1-3. He's at deuce on his serve.
Weather Alert: They're still playing and the local radar suggests rain will come back around 7 or so. So a good afternoon of tennis ahead. We hope.
Who do you think will be the semifinalists from the 2nd quarter of the draw for the WTA? Jankovic has survived two three set matches so far. I say that Jankovic either loses before the quarterfinals or make the semifinals or better.
I'll go with Wickmayer. She got to the quarters here a year ago. Zvonareva might sneak into the quarters opposite her.
Harrison has broken Stakhovsky back and it's 3-all in the fifth
I just wanted to point out that there were some wrong numbers earlier this week when a poster claimed that Rafa has only won four titles on hard courts and that ?[doesn?t] win on hard courts.? Rafa has actually won seven titles on hard court- plus an Olympic medal. Those number may still seem small- but when you see that five are Master?s titles, one is a grand slam, and one is a gold medal- his hard court titles are pretty hefty. It is true that he wins most of his titles on clay, he has never reached the USO final and also true that his head to head with Roger may be skewed since they have not met on hard courts that much. It is also true that the faster courts plus the balls of the USO cause him a lot of trouble. But I think people are too quick to say that Rafa can?t play on hard courts and is useless on the surface. He can- he may not be the favorite but he can play on the surface. I think to characterize him as essentially on the scrub on hards is untrue and unfair.
Good catch, Chelsea. I'm writing a big story on Rafa's chances of winning three straight majors in the same year -- no one has done that since Rod Laver.
did you see that guy get hit in the face
Yeah, man. It's all over YouTube. Fight in the stands during the Djokovic match last night. Pretty good pop.
Well, that's going to wrap things up for today - and for the week. Thanks for chiming in over the first five days. Come back next Tuesday at 3 PM EST and we'll break down the quarterfinals...
Warm greetings from New York.A busy, busy day at the National Tennis Center. Sam Querrey trails Sta Warinka by a set and Stan the Man is serving fro the second. Andreas Collarini, the teenager from New York (and Argentina), who knocked of the top seed earlier, won another match today in juniors. Later: Venus Williams vs. Francesca Schiavone and, tonight, Kim Clijsters vs. Sam Stosur and Rafa vs. Feliciano Lopez...To the questions we go...
Just read through your blog and came across your comment about Andy. I'd like to ask: what do you think of someone who humiliates another person in order to get himself hyped up to play better?
Gil is refering to Andy Roddick's foot-fault tirade in his (losing) match against Janko Tipsarevic. A fair point, but nothing John McEnroe didn't do all the time. Roddick was playing flat and it seemed he was trying to charge himself up. I think all the oficials understand what's going on. Some people thought bhe should have been fined ala Serena...
What Round do you think that Roger Federer will lose his match in?
Hey, Chris ... this is a valid question since he's got Soderling tomorrow in the quarters. Fed was 12-0, but lost the last one, at Roland Garros in the quarters. It could be close, but I have this feeling Fed is going to get to the final versus Rafa. Not a dangerous pick, but a solid one, I think.
Why are the Bryans not playing the Davis Cup title in Colombia next week? Congratulations to Fish, Isner, Querrey and Harrison for making the team.
Master Ace: This was sort of lost in the wake of Patrick McEnroe's announcement that he was stepping down as Davis Cup aptain after the tie with Colombia. No one really addressed it, except the Bryans said they looked forward to playing for the NEXT captain. Hmmm. Someone told me that he as afraid of the high altitude and wanted an extra singles player (Ryan Harrison) and that he asked the Bryans if just one would go. They apparently declined. It's just speculation, but it would explain what happened. Looks like Jim Courier is the front-runner for McEnroe's job.
Another tiebreaker for Querry and Wawrinka. The Swiss player is up a mini-break at 3-2...
Now that Andy Murray is out, who is your pick to win?
Thanks for reminding me, Jordan. BOTH my picks are out, with Sharapova being gone. I'll go with a Rafa-Fed final and take Fed to win his sixth title in seven years here.
Why is Young questioning McEnroe's decision on putting Harrison on the DC team even though Harrison will not play unless it is a dead rubber? And, who do you think will be the next US captain?
The Donald, who was not treated kindly in Patrick McEnroe's book, is just Tweeting off some steam. He's ranked way higher than Harrison, but I think it wuld be a dead heat. Harrison has WAY more upside. Jim Courier, Todd martin and Paul Annacone would be the lead candidates, but Courier said publicly he was interested in the job.
John, Sam is milktoast, he's melba. He's too boring. He reminds me of my dad, black sneakers, white socks, monotone. What he needs is a stylist. Someone to dress him better, get him a nice haircut, get rid of that goofy hat. He doesn't needs to become a Nasty or a Johnny Mac but until we seem some shred of personality, we will clammor for more of Andy Roddick. Sam doesn't need to become a boisterous individual. Look at Roger. Quiet, and reserved. But elegant, polished. Talk to Sam, John. Hopefully, he'll listen. Otherwise we still be wishing we were watching something else.
Nice breakdown, Brenda. I think we ALL need a stylist.
Hi Greg, did you hear the exchange between Mary and John earlier? She seems to really have it in for Serena and his remarks were not just gracious but accurate. Why do some members of the tennis media hate Serena so much?
This is a common refrain. I don't think the media hates the Williams sisters ... just not loved universally, I think. Typically, they have marched to a different drummer and not always been terribly accomodating. They don't give you much in a press conference.
Do you think Dementieva could potentially get into the Hall of Fame? Even though she was never no. 1 or a grand slam winner she does still have the Olympic Singles Gold PLUS she is still considered the best player not to win a slam, that should count for something.
Not so sure, Zack. Jana Novotna (my favorite example) won one, Wimbledon in 1998 at the age of nearly 30 ... and she got in. Dementieva is definitely the best player who hasn't won one, but she had the chance at Roland Garris in 2004 and lost to Anastasia Myskina -- 6-1, 6-2. Needs to win a major, but it may be too late for that. Maybe she's Amelie Mauresmo who won two in 2006, at the ages of 26 and 27. Dementieva is still 28.
Federer vs. Soderling, round 2. Sod knocked off Fed in the quarters of the French; can he do it again in the US?
It all comes down to how much stock you put into that win at Roland Garros, Jordan. It ended a 12-0 drought and it may have changed the way Soderling thinks about Fed, which Fed acknowldeged in his last presser.
So when are we going to see a Graf/Agassi pairing in the mixed doubles draw?
Zack, you are obsessed with this tag team. Would be fun to watch though. They had a press conference last year in Paris and it was mobbed. People LOVE to see them together.
Greg, how many times does Murray need to passively flame out at slams before experts stop picking him to win? You would think that this guy has a trophy case full of Slam awards given the amount of ESPN analysts that constantly peg him as the favorite in the next slam. I know you guys want to be on the cutting edge, but let's be honest, any pick that doesn't involve Nadal or Fed at this point is just plain silly. They have won 23 of the last 25 Slams! Come on!
Right on, G. I said if Murray didn't win THIS one, I was done with him. I'll never pick him again, but you watch, he'll winin Australia 2011...
Who would give Nadal more trouble if they both made the semis? Wawrinka or Querrey?
Sam Q -- because he brings the heat. Rafa's had problems with that here.
Who is your pick for the next Davis Cup coach? I say Todd Martin would be the best.
Seems like it's Courier's job for the asking...the question is: Will he ask?
In your opinion, who's had the more impressive career: Andy Roddick (1 slam, 4 slam runner-ups, 29 titles overall) or Lleyton Hewitt (2 slams, 2 slam runner-ups, 28 titles overall)?
Tennis editor Matt Wilansky: Ask Roddick who's career he'd rather have. Probably the two Slams. Plus, he'd be retired by now , giving him more time with his swimsuit model wife Brooklyn Decker.
On the WTA side, who plays for the title on September 11? Wozniacki finally got that signature win against Sharapova while the bottom half has stayed true to its seedings.
Hey Greg, I say the winner of the Venus/Clijsters semis will defeat Woz in the finals...Woz may have the defensive tools to take down a non-100% Sharapova but the power of Venus or Clijsters is TOO much to defeat them unless she tries to be more offensive.
Look at Zack and The Master ... Woz vs. Clijsters (assuming Venus looks her age)? I think it's up to Woz ... she's looking stronger and hitting a little bigger this year. Might be ready to win first Slam.
If we're lucky enough to see Federer-Nadal on Sunday and it's all square after 4 sets, who do you think wins?
Yeesh, put me on the spot. I'll take Fed. I think Rafa won't win here until Fed is done -- closer to it.
How would you evaluate Safin's career in comparison to guys like Kuerten, Hewitt, and Roddick?
Comparable. Safin won 2 Slams, while Kuerten won 3 -- all at the French Open. Matt Wilansky's order: Hewitt, Kuerten, Roddick and Safin...
Why do people think Venus could beat Wozniacki if they were to play? When was the last time Venus won a grand slam that wasn't played on grass? Wozniacki would exploit the erratic Venus forehand all day.
That's all legit, RGS. I agree.
Biggest surprise so far in the tournament aside from Murray folding like a deck of cards.
Roddick loses in second, two French finalists still in it - Stosur and Schiavone.
Greg, I disagree with Fed winning a 5 set final against Nadal...I think the longer it goes the better chance Nadal has to win, if Fed wants to beat him it better be in straight sets.
Querrey-Wawrinka update: Stan the Man serving for 5-4 lead in third. Might be looking at another tiebreaker.
Will we ever see another true serve and volley player win a grand slam?
Ryan Harrison? Maybe not, Clarion.
With Wawrinka showing adequate skills (and him and Federer obviously a good doubles team) why don't they just focus on Davis Cup for one season and get the title?
Good call, Zack. Why don't you send that memo out?
I agree with Greg actually. I think the "new" Federer will not try to wear down and rally with Raffa. I think the return of the power forehand will help Federer beat Raffa.
I think even though she hasn't won a non-grass slam since 2002, Venus is still a force to be reckon with and not underestimated...she has the home crowd and she has no fear of Serena, she can definitely go all the way. I think a Venus/Clijsters semi will be better than whatever the final is...whether it is Venus/Woz or Clijsters/Woz
Well done, Zack. Thanks for carrying us today. I'll be back here tomorrow, Wednesday, at 3 PM EST for another chat. We have a great night card, with Wozniacki and Federer-Soderling.
Warm greetings from the National Tennis Center. A full day of tennis to look forward to, now that the appetizers are out of the way. Zvonareva-Kanepi is on serve in the second after Zvon won the first. Djokovic-Monfils is next and at night we have Wozniacki and Federer-Soderling.To the questions...
Even though the odds are against him, could Roddick still win a Wimby or another US Open before he retires?
Looking less likely to me, Zack Attack. He wins his first seven years ago and then ... 2011 he gets his second? I think the window closed with those three great finals against Fed, in 2004, 05, and 09.
Not 100% I will relay this correctly but during the Roddick match, Gilbert talked about whether Andy should try and hit his 2nd serve bigger. I believe McEnroe scoffed at this. What's your take? I think Brad Gilbert has a little better idea as to the Roddick game, no?
Think that's right. It's always tough to all the second serve. Sharapova had nine in her loss to Wozniacki, but she was trying to be aggressive. The new-and-improved Roddick builds a little more margin into his game for consistency, but once in awhile you're waiting for him to unload that forehand -- the FearHand!
With the wind blowing on Ashe at the moment, who win the match between Monfils and Djokovic and why? Wind is causing Zvonareva and Kanepi problems at the moment
Indeed it is, Master Ace. 4-all in the second. The consensus on press row is Djokovic in three or four. He's playing well -- as he always does here. Last three years: final and two semifinals.
Greg what do you think of monfils chances against the djoker tomorrow?
Reminds me a little of Murray, in that he has a ton of talent but has yet to string together six wins and take a Grand Slam singles title. Really, really fun to watch, though.
Is it true that no one in history of tennis achieved the career grand slam...of retirement?? Still can't believe Djoker missed it out again this year... Also has no qualifier in history of tennis won a slam? The best result I've found so far for a qualifier was SF.
A terrific question, which has yet to be answered. When Djokovic went five sets in his first-round match, we all went scurrying to the record book. If/when he bails we'll get right on that.
Why do you think Samantha was able to push their match to three sets? Also, why do you think Samantha's serve was not a factor?
The wind was really recking havoc on those big serves, MA. Neither player really seized the moments that mattered, until Clijsters finally bore down at th end f the third. The look on her face said it all; she was angry.
great chat today Greg!
Your check is in the mail.
Do you think Wozniacki will be emotionally flat tonight after winning against Sharapova on Monday?
No. Every time you think she's over-played, will come up flat, she comes up big. Woz has won more matches than anyone on the women's side and I think she'll beat Cibulkova in straights. Remember, she reached the final here a year ago. Is this the event she breaks through for her first Slam?
Which Stadium was Older Arthur Ashe Stadium or Shea Stadium?
Terrific (and obscure) question, Chris. Just spent two minutes looking it up. Shea Stadium opened on April 17, 1964. Louis Armstrong, built for the New York World's Fair was originally alled the Singer Bowl because it was sponsored by the sewing machine company. It opened April 22, 1964, a week after Shea...
In terms of whose career has been more impressive so far: Roddick or Djokovic?
So far, Roddick -- because of all the record that have come with longevity. But they both have one major and Djokovic at 23 is nearly five years younger and has much more upside.
Update: Vera Zvonareva has just won her quarterfinal match with Kaia Kanepi 6-3, 7-5. She'll get the winner of tonight's Wozniacki-Cibulkova match.
How ironic would it be for Murray to never win a slam but win Olympic Singles Gold in 2012 in London?
Pretty ironic, no?
What will be Monfils game plan against Djokovic? Also, Soderling's against Federer? Will Federer charge the net more against Soderling since Soderling will basically win the baseline battles?
Fed and Soderling is a fascinating matchup. Imagine, losing 12 straight matches to a guy -- then dropping the first set in the quarters at France ... and then Soderling ripped off three straight sets and knocked Fed out of the tournament. 1-12, but a big 1 ... the last match they played. Think Fed will HAVE to be aggressive. Can't wait.
It looks like Kanepi is going to fall at the quarters again, do you think she has the game to breakthrough to semis and finals in the future?
When someone gets there three times by the age of 25, you have to think she'll get another shot. Some players, like Sam Stosur, bloom late. Seems like it's happening more often, doesn't it?
hi garber could you let me know how nadal got his serve tranformation and will it brings goods to nadal or affect his playing style....?
Chris:Wrote about this in a piece to be published within the hour. New grip, flatter serve. Hit 135 last night againt Lopez. Only player here not broken yet.
did Andy Roddick apologize to umpire for bad behavior on a good call for foot fault
Not at the time. And not to my knowledge since. Some folks thought he should be fined like Serena was last year, but it certainly didn't escalate to that level.
Do you believe that the win by Zvonareva over Kanepi was because she had better footwork and tactics playing in windy conditions?
Certainly a factor, MA. Just a steadier player on that stage. Zvon was a Wimbledon finalist this year -- that's an accomplishment.
Do you think the Venus/Clijsters semi will be the best match of the women's tournament?
It has the potential, Zack. They've both been a little sketchy in ther matches but, hopefully, they'll bring out the best in each other. Who do YOU like?
hi garber could you tell me pls why cant the tennis courts have roofs on them coz the wind and rain can affect the players momentum and also bring down the spectators...
Chris: Good call. The Aussie and Wimbledon both have a roof. French is thinking about it. Existing U.S. Open stadium is so huge, it's probably not feasible to add one on. Wind here today is brutal, really whipping.
Update: Monfils and Djokovic on court now, warming up. Djokovic holds a 4-0 career edge. Five year ago, they went five sets here in the first round, Djokovic winning 7-5 in the fifth.
What does Rafa, as the underdog, need to do to beat Fed if they were to meet in final here in 4 days? They say topspin shots won't jump up to Fed's backhand like they do on clay or even on grass.
This is true. Rafa flattens it ut. Speaking live on ESPN2 as we speak...
Wow, the conditions are brutal out there! This isn't about tennis talent any more. It's now about mentally surviving. So sad.
True, that, Paul.
Well Clijsters is obviously playing well and the defending champion but Venus has yet to lose a set, has the crowd behind her, doesn't have to worry about little sister Serena at any point...she's my pick for the entire tournament and if that doesn't work she can blind her opponents with her pink sequined outfits!
Look like the Bryans will be playing Bopanna and Qureshi for the ATP doubles title if Bopanna and Qureshi do not lose serve leading by a set and 3-1. Qureshi has had a good USO as he made the mixed doubles final with Peschke. Do you think either yourself on ESPN2 or get Pete Bodo on tennis.com to do an article on Bopanna and/or Qureshi before the ATP doubles final on Friday?
Lot of stuff going on, MA. No promises, but appreciate the love for doubles
Do you think the crowd will be pulling for La Monf?
It's early, but I detect some sentiment...
Fed's playing well, but he will not beat Rafa on the baseline. His only chance to take back the title rests on his approach shots/ net play.
Thanks, Joe. On that note, we will bring things to a close. Only two more chances to chat ... next is Thursday at 3 PM EST. See you then. Thanks all.
We'll be back on Thursday for another chat LIVE from the U.S. Open at 3 p.m. ET!
Brisk greetings from the National Tennis Center. We're getting close to the first men's quarterfinal today: Youzhny-Wawrinka. Later tonight it's Rafa-Verdasco.Let's get to the questions...
Now, we have two good WTA semifinals tomorrow, who will actually play in the final on Saturday night? Are you sticking with Wozniacki and Clijsters?
Master Ace, appropriately, kicking things off today. The Venus-Clijsters match is a classic. Kind of karma after last year's semifinal between Serena and Clijsters. Like Clijsters, although Venus has been sharp. Woz in a walk. Not sure who wins the final. Thoughts?
Greg, if Nadal was to meet Federer in the final and win, he would not only be the only person to beat Federer at all four grand slams but also the only person to beat Federer in all four grand slam finals...that is pretty crazy!
Hey, Zack. Good call. It would be another interesting historical meeting. Talked with Ivan Lendl recently and he said something interesting. He talked about Fed's motivation. Is he playing to win Slams at this point -- or playing to prevent Rafa from winning them? If Fed wins it's 17-8 ... if Rafa wins it's 16-9..
i was wondering what you think of Novak Djokovic's chances against Federer on Saturday? Both of them seem to be in pretty good form...
Feliciano: How's the weather down there? Djokovic is in terrific form. One of two guys in two years to get to 4 straight semifinals. Other one was Fed. The way he played against Soderling, you can't pick against Fed. Masterful.
Do you think Federer can repeat his serving performance against Djokovic. who is much better returning than Soderling?
Peter Bodo on Tennis Magazine said last night he had never seen Fed serve better -- and the wind was howling. Yes, Novak returns better, but I don't think it will matter.
I'll continue to harp on my point from earlier in the week---Venus hasn't won outside on Wimby since 2002---why should any of us believe she can beat Clijsters and Woz back to back when both players will exploit her forehand with long rallies.
I've always marveled at her ability to win matches right out of the box. No matches between U.S. Open and Wimbledon and she wins five in a row here. The forehand is her unsteady side and you're right both players can keep the ball in play longer than anyone she's played.
Should I play Robert Meachem tonight over T.O. Sunday
I'd go with TO ... in the preseason, the Bengals were really trying to get the ball to him. I see 6 catches for 80 yards and a TD.
While the wind obviously impacted the match, do you feel even more confident about the stats of Federer's game after watching him hit the ball from both sides last night?
He looked like 2004 Fed, didn't he? Taking ball on both sides, right at the baseline, a foot in the air. It was amazing how he handled the wind. Soderling had some great chances in the first set, but couldn;t convert.
I would think Federer is trying to reach 20 as he has stated, but if he got there quick, why wouldn't he try to prevent Nadal, although he shouldn't be concerned until Nadal reaches between 12-14.
Every meeting in a final is really worth TWO, as far as Grand Slam totals are concerned. Rafa's won five between them ... so RF could be past 20 already if Rafa hadn't been born?
WTA final will be Wozniacki vs V Williams. You can make an argument that Venus has been the best player in the tournament as she had to step up her game a notch against Marino, Peer and Schiavone
Master Ace, breaking it down. How weird would it be for Venus to win in New York at the age of 30. Nine years after her last Open title.
What chances for you give Novak in beating Roger and Raffa back to back?
Tennis editor Matt Wilansky says he's got an 18 percent chance. Now, that's precise.
Update: Stan Wawrinka and Mikhail Youzhny are warming up as we speak. I'll go with the Russian.
JERAMY MACLIN (PHI) VS mIKE wILLIAMS (SEA) WHO WOULD YOU START?
A push, but if I was forced to pick, I'd go with Williams.
If its a Nadal vs Fed final, my edge would be to Nadal, and here my argument. Nadal beat Fed at the height of Fed rein 2008 Wimbeldon, and Nadal is better now and Fed has dropped off since then. Flawed logic?
RMI: Sounds about right. A good way to frame the debate.
I think without Rafa, Roger would have multiple calendar slams. A quick question, will Rafa's serve finally be broken tonight or does he win in straights?
Yes, Jaime, on the calendar Slams. I'll give Verdasco a set. Generous?
If Federer defeated Soderling, Djokovic, and Nadal to win his 6th USO title, would that quiet the critics saying that Federer is on the decline?
It would be kind of cool, actually. Critics, however, will always be critics.
Do you think the saints can pull a Big win against the vikings tonight?
I like the Saints, Chang.
Update: Wawrinka serving for 2-1 lead over Youzhny.
OK, folks, that wraps it up. Thanks for joining us at Sports Nation. See you back here tomorrow, Friday, at 3 PM EST..
Warm greetings and welcome to our final chat at the 2010 U.S. Open. To the questions...
Will Nadal finally run into somebody who can give him trouble in Youzhny? After all, Youzhny did beat him here in '06.
Hey, Jordan. Did you see him torch Verdasco? I have never seen Rafa play so aggressive. The kid looks ready to win this thing for the first time, giving him three straight majors and a career Grand Slam.
Mr. Garber: Being the known epicurean that you are - what is your favorite restaurant stop at each Grand Slam? And which Grand Slam facility has the best food choices?
An off-the-menu question, eh, Freedy?Never been to Aussie Open (Super Bowl conflict), but let's go: Paris (Le Grand Cobert), London (Rules) and New York (Sparks Steakhouse) -- where John Gotti was shot. Thanks for asking. Now I'm hungry for lunch...
What did Nadal do to suddenly add 10 mph to his serve? He did NOT have a 130 mph serve back at Wimbledon (or even Toronto or Cincinatti). Was he always capable of 130 mph, and then just suddenly decided to unleash it at the US Open?
Rafa has explained this in pretty good detail the last several days, Jason. He knew he needed a few more mph for a few more free points on his serve. He tweaked his grip so it's a little less wristy and more flat. He's actually swinging a ittle harder, too, in big moments. He's hit 135, up from, say 126, 127. Big difference. Placing it better, too.
will Venus win?
Tough match, Dave. Clijsters has won the last four -- all on hardcourts. Venus went to three finals at beginning of recent century -- then not again. Would be first final here in eight years.
I found it offensive to here the commentators of diffrent channels being blown away because v. willams was resetting her dress before serving the ball; and actualy counting this; if this nessary PLEASE DO COUNT THE NUMBER OF TIMES R. NADAL DIGS IN HIS BEHIND
Wow. That's all I've got, Mark. Wow.
I think Paul Annacone has really been helpful to Fed! His experience with taking over the coaching of Sampras in a similiar situation, after Pete had already shown he was one of the all time greats, I think has really helped him work with Roger. Your thoughts??
Hard to know, exactly, Mike. I've talked to Annacone for years and he always had some interesting thought on Fed's game. I think he's the right guy at the right time, given how he navigated Pete through that last U.S. Open in 2002.
Update: Vera Zvonreva has taken the first set from No. 1 seed Caroline Wozniacki. She played a terrific set, showing power and -- on set point -- some nice defense. Woz is 15-3 in the Open for her career, but in trouble here trying to get back to the final again.
Brad Gilbert has stated that the implications of a Federer-Nadal final on Sunday would make it the biggest match in the history of tennis. What do you think? Do you agree with B.G.?
BG is a hyperbole guy, makes him fun to be around. Heading in, he might be right. Just can't possibly measure up to that 2008 Wimbledon encounter ... can it?
Greg: Doesn't Fed have more to lose in a Roger - Rafa final? Seems like a risky proposition. If he loses than Nadal has major victories over him in every major. I feel this will get overblown, when the fact of the matter is that Nadal didn't make it to the finals of AO and USO until this so called decline end of RF's career.
Good point, Javier. Fed is clearly past his prime -- the days when he'd win three of four ... and Rafa could take thre of four this year -- and for the next several years. This is one Fed could steal, which could significantly alter the career major totals -- and change their legacies.
Seriously good point. What else have you got, Mark?
Mr. Garber. How do you see the match Nadal-Youzhny. The latter has a chance? Do you expect a final Federer-Nadal
I was looking at the head-to-heads, Roger. Rafa's won 7 of 11, but Youzhny has given him trouble. Raf is 3-4 against Youz on hard courts. Beat him 6-0, 6-1 in Chennai two years ago. Interesting.
harrison or mendahall for the start?
Update: Woz was down 15-40 in the first game of the second set ... and escaped. Set even at 1-all...
Djokovic's only major so far is on a hard court. Can he do it again on a different hard court?
Remember when everyone was making fun of Djoker during that first-round match that went five sets? How he was closing in on the career Retirement Slam? Well, here he is in the semifinals for the fourth year in a row. Only one other guy has done that in the last 20 years -- Roger Federer.The way Fed is playing, it will be tough. Still, seems possible.
Greg - the implications, not the quality of play.
What chance do you give Djokovic? The 10-5 head-to-head is skewed since Fed started 4-0, plus the last three years, while routine wins for Fed, have been tight sets. I say about 35% chance Djokovic gets the upset.
I'll go 25 percent. Fed was fabulous in the wind against Soderling. Incredibly steady in a windstorm...
I doubt it would be a better match (if it does happen - let's give some credit to Youzhny and Djokovic), but it might be more important. First, Fed can reassert some dominance, and up that GS total one more, while Rafa can really finish Fed off, and lay claim to the one land that Fed still has over him.
Point well taken.
Would you still consider Federer the GOAT if he were to lose on Sunday to Rafa?
Yes, until Rafa hits No. 16.
If Venus were to beat Clijsters, is her fitness good enough to take out Wozniacki (or Zvonareva) in the finals? After all, she is 30.
Yes, she is, Jordan. But she's looked solid here after not playing any matches since Wimbledon. Common sense says she can't beat Clijsters and Woz/Zvonareva at that age with such a distance between Slam wins here. On the other hand, it's tough to say a Williams can't do it. Usually, they do.
Update: Zvonareva has broken Woz and she's serving at 2-1 in the second.
Greg - if you come to Chicago let's grab a beer and talk tennis and how to get more tennis covered on ESPN.com
Done, Javier. Let's get Mike from Portland in on that one, too.
Uncle Toni is to Nadal what Paulie was to Rocky Balboa. What was the deal with his product placement last night?
Guy's got to make a buck, J. can't blame Uncle Toni. Wonder what Rafa pays him? Or does Toni pay Rafa?
Has wind ever played this much of a factor before? And is it supposed to continue this weekend at the same pace?
Pam Shriver has been to 33 Opens, and she says this one is the worst in terms of wind. A number of players have said it's the breeziest they've ever seen it. It really affects the quality of the match -- and reduces the enjoyment factor, too.
Well even though we don't have any US men left in singles at least the Bryans can still give the US titles at slams.
Zack: There you are. Nice that you could jump in. Rode in today on the bus with Wayne Bryan, their dad. He was nervous about the match ... Bopanna and Qureshi are TOUGH. Big hitters. Bryans stole one, there. In the first set they were down 1-3 and the IND/PAK Express blew a forehand volley that might have locked down the first set. Good for the Bryans. I think Mark Woodforde is right -- with the pressure of breaking the all-time title record gone, they will settle down and win bunch more.
Hey Greg, the Bryans are only 2 slams away from catching the Woodies...if they do because the Woodies have a Gold & Silver at the Olympics would history still consider them the better pairing?
Yes, and another cool piece of history: Bob Bryan in winnng the mixed doubles Liezel Huber, he become the first man to win both titles at the U.S. Open in 28 years.
Hey Greg, did you know that Bob is the first man to win both the men's and mixed doubles titles at the SAME US Open since 1982?
Oddly enough, Zack, I did You have got to get out more. You're scaring me.
Update: Woz hanging in there. Serving to get to 3-4...
Who's your pick Sunday if it is RF vs. Nadal? Will weather alter your pick? I'm out! Thanks for all the chats this GS season it makes the tourneys much more fun!
Thank you, Javier. Today was lively. I'll go with Rafa, solely on the basis of where the two players are in their careers.
Woz holds. She has two more cracks at breaking Vera's serve.
Well, that's it for the Grand Slam season. Thanks everyone for dialing in and carrying the tennis conversation. Enjoy the rest of the Open...