Means to an end.
The US Open Series, a summer-long game of “what’s the pattern?“
We keep an eye on the early winners, the premier tournament titlists. It’s easy to spot the hot players, the ones that go on a streak and head off to New York with a trail of tennis carcasses behind them and new trophies to be used as flower vases back home.
It’s a little difficult to analyse that success rate of the US Open series winners. The “Roger Federer Years” – may there be more to come – tend to skew our sense of just how much momentum carries over to the US Open from the lead up tournaments, particularly the early ones.
The tendency has been that we phrase every victory as a warning shot ahead of the Open. We build every champion up to be a contender for the Crown. Yet with Querrey and Vika taking home the Stanford and LA trophies on the weekend, I wonder just how much of a contender either really is.
Will Sam Querrey clean up the minor tournaments of the US Open Series and take home the cash, Davydenko-styled? Will Victoria Azarenka be the Caroline Wozniacki of 2009? And does she have the Carpe Diem instincts of Serena, Masha, Rafa, Fed or even del Potro, and seize any slight chance she gets for her maiden slam?
I’m staying off those bandwagons for now.
“I’ve got to be happy getting to the final and having chances to win. I didn’t play my best tennis. Just tired.” – Andy Murray, after losing the final in Los Angeles.
Poor Ahndee. It’s so tiring firing coaches and taking a month off from playing tournaments.
Not much to say on Ahndee and Maria’s losses: can’t be too down on a run to the final, but the truth is, both have been playing uninspired tennis all week, and both looked like they’ve got nothing left to give, or rather, they’ve got nothing left that they’d want to give, by the end of the tournament. It’s too early in the hard court season to succumb to this shit, perk up folks.
If the US Open series is merely means to an end for the ambitious, the spattering of tournaments left in Europe are means to nothing but a fruitful trip to Louis Vuitton. Congratulations to our winners – JCF (def Potato Star Ace 6-4 6-4 in Umag) and Nastya Pavs (def Vesnina 5-7 7-5 6-4 in Istanbul); Nicolas Almago, who defeated an ailing Gasquet 7-5 6-1 in Gstaad and got his genuine Swiss alpine rock.
“My goal for the rest of the season is to reach the Top 10 and stay there.” – Nicolas Almagro.
Lofty goals for a minion. Looks like the US Open series ain’t the only place to be for the ambitious.