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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone! As in previous years, I will be at the Open this year (first six days probably), so I will be posting my daily reports in this thread! To start it off I wrote a little preview :) All of it will also of course be posted on Tennisrulz.com :devil:

US Open Preview

By Pierre Cantin
Hello to all of you!:) As it is my custom as this time of the year, I will be heading towards New York City to attend the 2003 US Open!:) This time, I have tickets for Monday through Thursday and Saturday (Friday is also a possibility) so I should be seing a good amount of tennis! I will of course be posting here on Tennisrulz as well as on Wtaworld myt daily reports and impressions of the matches I see, players I talk to, etc! I am as excited as ever about this tournament, my favourite one out of those I had the pelasure of seeing! Since I am leaving in a few hours, I will write a little about what I expect from the Open, what I think or hope will happen as well as the matches I intend to see. I will also be taking a few hundred photos although I have not turned digital yet so they will not appear on Tennisrulz for a while (hopefully not too long!).

Ok, so I will first dive the draw in 8 sections:)

First section:

Kim Clijsters, the #1 seed and player in the world will have a fair amount of pressure on her in the next two weeks. Already, it seems that the media and some fans have been questionning her #1 ranking, is it deserved? I personally do think she deserves that spot, she has the most titles this year and has been the most consistent. Would Serena be #1 if she was not injured? Yes, probably but we can do a lot of speculation by saying if! So anyway, Kim should not have any problems getting through her first two matches but third and fourth rounds possibly against Kuznetsova and Zvonareva certainly mean she will need to be near the top of her game early! Also in this section is a matchup between two of the young talents in the game, Ashley Harkleroad and Vera Douchevina. While Douchevina is the unknown and lower ranked of the two, she has been doing wonders on the junior circuit and successfully qualified for the main draw thanks to improved play. Add to that the fact that Ashley Harkleroad has been injured since Wimbledon and played only once since, losing her opening match this week in New Haven. I really do hope both can offer a good show and I'll probably be there to see the match! Vera Zvonareva, one of the most unstable players on the tour is capable of the best and the worse so although she probably is the most likely in this section to challenge Kim, I'm not fully convinced she will be able to play enough solid matches to get there!

Predictions:

Kim Clijsters (1) def Vera Zvonareva (13)

Second section:

This is certainly a very interesting section! The top seed here Amelie Mauresmo has been struggling with injuries for... well in fact it seems like since forever! But she does usually come up better in such big events and I think she might be able to pull up her level even though she clearly lacks the preparation. The other seed, Daniela Hantuchova, is clearly one of the saddest stories so far in 2003. Her confidence level is going down quickly and although she is still in the top 10, her tennis is not anything close right now. And in her first match, she will face Marion Bartoli, a young talented player who has defeated a few good players in New York and who with her agressive service return is dangerous for players who are not in full confidence. Although I do hope Daniela can get things back in order, I don't get the impression she'll be able to on this occasion. Two young Russians will also get much attention on my part. First Maria Kirilenko, the 16 year-old who qualified for her first ever main draw in a grand slam. She does not have the game yet to go very far I think (I'll be happy if she surprises me) but count on me to go cheer for her, and look for one of the up and coming players on the tour. The other one, Lina Krasnoroutskaya, is capable of very big performances as she proved in Toronto last week, I do think she could offer a good challenge to Mauresmo and cause a surprise here!

Predictions:

Lina Krasnoroutskaya (26) def Marion Bartoli

Third section:

With Lindsay Davenport in shaky shape right now, this section would be wide open provided that Lindsay withdrew. I do hope Lindsay can in some way get things better and at least be able to win a few matches to be able to rest in between...Other than that, Nadia Petrova, the #19 seed has not been playing her best tennis lately but she does have an ok draw and could do well here! I will also probably go see Daja Bedanova, one of my favourite players, who like many others has been on the downward confidence track this year and desperatly needs some positive to build on!

Predictions:

Nadia Petrova (19) def Lindsay Davenport (3)

Fourth section:

I have been told quite a few times that Chanda Rubin is the most under-estimated player on the tour and unfortunately never had a chance to see her play enough to actually pass a judgment on that. Her high ranking and a few big wins in the past months would lead me to agree with that opinion but this year's US Open might be a good occasion for her to really get some recognition because she does have a good draw and especially when you consider that Lindsay Davenport is far from her best right now. I do think Chanda might be able to a bit farther than her previous attempts this year if she is able to consistent

Predictions:

Chanda Rubin (8) def Conchita Martinez (12)

Fifth section:

In my opinion, this is the strongest part of the draw. I do think #6 seed Jennifer Capriati is in a very good position to perform very well here, with little attention on her and a confidence builder in winning her tournament in New Haven. But she does have a very interesting road. In her third round, she could meet 16 year-old Russian sensation Maria Sharapova. Masha, surely one of the next stars on the tour is still capable of poor performances like any girl of her age. But at her best, she has showed great signs! Then, if Capriati gets there, she could meet Elena Dementieva who is playing outstanding tennis right now. Elena's serve is a problem but other than that she has been hitting the ball with power and depth and certainly is someone to look out for.

Predictions:

Jennifer Capriati (6) def Elena Dementieva (11)

Sixth section:

Some sections could be weak given some new players announcing they would withdraw but this section, marked by the absence of Venus Williams is without a doubt the most open. Other than Ai Sugiyama, the two top seeds, Silvia Farina-Elia and Francesca Schiavone are now known for their hard-court abilities and I don't really see who could get out of this section. Klara Koukalova has been playing good tennis, Srebotnik posted some good wins, Schiavone is also dangerous...

Predictions:

Ai Sugiyama (15) def Katerina Srebotnik (33)

Seventh section:

Well this section counts on two players that I like very much, Anastasia Myskina and Jelena Dokic. Both, although Jelena even more, have had some tough years and are looking this as a final opportunity to start a good end of year and hopefully end things in a good way. Myskina has quite an easy road ahead of her while Dokic would have to beat perhaps Pierce and Maleeva in rounds #2 and #3, wins she "should" get in normal circumstances but given her low confidence level, it will not be something easy to do. I really do hope that both do well here although I fear one of them will not make it to the fourth round...let's ohpe I'm wrong!

Predictions:

Anastasia Myskina (7) def Magdalena Maleeva (10)

Eigth section:

This section, will probably not be much of a problem for Justine Henin-Hardenne with her high confidence level and perception that she should win every match she enters. But there are many players that should be interesting to look for here, namely, Safina, Gullickson, Benesova

Predictions:

Justine Henin-Hardenne (2) def Anna Pistolesi (21)
Quarterfinal Predictions
Kim Clijsters (1) def Lina Krasnoroutskaya (26)
Chanda Rubin (8) def Nadia Petrova (19)
Jennifer Capriati (6) def Ai Sugiyama (15)
Justine Henin-Hardenne (2) def Anastasia Myskina (7)

Semifinal Predictions

Kim Clijsters (1) def Chanda Rubin (8)
Jennifer Capriati (6) def Justine Henin-Hardenne (2)

Final Prediction

Kim Clijsters (1) def Jennifer Capriati (6)

So I guess I will be wrong on most predictions but what I will not be wrong about is how much fun this will be:) So that's all for now, I'll post my Day 1 report Monday evening:)
 

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I visit your site everyday.

So please watch Marissa and take lots and lots of pics please.

Thanks.
 

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Thanks Russianfan.

You're my new best friend.
 

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Hi Russiafan :) pleaseeee watch the match between angie and momo coz it's going to be really exciting... would be great if you could take some pics of angie and post a report on the match...

cheers
 

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6-2 6-0 for Amelie is really exciting?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hello to all of you!:) Well it is my pleasure to be back after a great day of tennis to write about the matches I saw... There are a few I was not able to or did not get a chance to see but in general I would say that I am very happy with my day!
A sunny and fairly hot day was forecasted and so I headed towards the USTA center and arrived a bit before 10AM. It is my fourth year here so no big surprise for me but it always feels great to enter the atmosphere when I enter the grounds..
Since the security was a bit longer than I had expected I entered the grounds a bit later and headed not much later towards grandstand stadium where Ashley Harkleroad was set to play against Russian Vera Douchevina. I do like Ashley a lot and was eager to see Vera play, hoping it would be a good quality match. But for some reason it was not a very tight match after all. I think Ashley played some solid tennis and was able to dictate pretty much all the points to my surprise. Vera served a few aces but in the end, she just did not seem to want the win enough, perhaps it was just an impression but the desire seemed much greater on Ashley's side.. and so I left after seeing a 6-4 first set, pretty impressed with Ashley's game...
I then headed to see Vera Zvonareva, she was playing Lubomira Kurhajcova, I got there after the first set and it didn't take me long to see this was a complete mismatch. Lubomira was able to hit heard with Vera... but for only 1 or 2 shots.. As soon as rallies got to a tougher level, an error came from Lubomira.. And as any of you who have seen Vera play know, it's all or nothing with her and fortunately today she was playing well, not being impatient and was concentrated! Let's hope she can keep it up!
After seeing Vera, I saw that Nadia Petrova had already ended her match so I headed to see Patty Schnyder who faced Bea Bielek, the one-time sensation. I say that because Bielek made herself a name at the 2002 US Open but has been unable to do much out of the numerous wild cards and improved ranking she received from that performance. And today quite frankly, I watched the first set of a match that seemed a bit ridiculous. Patty was not even trying anything, just getting the ball back with her usual spins. Meanwhile, Bea was trying impossible shots, hittiting some incredible winners but mostly hitting error after error, often missing by pretty long ranges.. I left after that and apparently things did get a bit more tight in the second set but frankly I don't see any way Bea could have hurt Patty...
The fourth match I wanted to see was Flavia Pennetta and Svetlana Kuznetsova. I had never seen Pennetta play and was looking forward to seeing the beautiful Italian player but it was not a very exciting match after all! Flavia simply did not have anything to go to to try to hurt Svetlana. She seemed to be hoping to see her opponent lean back and play some long rallies but Svetlana did not cooperate as instead she would go into a second gear with power and depth, a nice performance by Svetlana, she did look impressive!
Alina Jidkova... ahhh, well she can be great but like a few other Russians, she can break down on bad days and unfortunately that is what happened today. Although emotionally she seemed to contain herself, I was not able to see much positive from her match today, she simply was not able to get anything going:(
I then went to see a few practices, something I often do in smaller tournaments but rather rarely in grand slams because of the number of interesting matches! Anyway, I watched a bit of Capriati, Krasnoroutskaya and Gagliardi practice but then I heard those famous Australian cheering sounds on a nearby courts, so I followed the sounds and arrived in time to see what turned out to be an interesting match as Alicia Molik played Jelena Kostanic. The atmosphere was great with Grosjean playing on the next court (in a match that was already close to 4 hours long) and Alicia who was battling hard! Alicia was playing some good tennis and it was very interesting. I do think she will need to take down her number of backhand indirect errors though if she wants to go a bit further in the tournament... But anyway, I had a great time there, it's always great to see how patriotic Aussies are when encouraging their players, it did help Alicia a great deal in my opinion and she was nice enough to thank them after the match for their support:)
After being a bit disappointed with Vera Douchevina earlier, I was really hoping that Maria Kirilenko would be able to play some good tennis and wow did she impress me. It started off a bit strange as she faced unranked Theresa Logar, an American wild card. The two players were perhaps nervous as the first few games were filled with errors with neither player really able to establish much momentum. But things changed when Maria broke for 5-4. After being unable to hold for a while, she started that game with a serve-and-volley that cought her opponent by surprise and led a momentum to take the first set. And in the second set, it was a whole different ballgame as Maria was very very impressive with her volleying and her variety. She seemed to come up with the shots at the perfect moments and was hitting hard at times, beautiful angles, many nice volleys... The crowd was certainly pretty impressed and I'm glad I saw the entire match. I'm sure Maria has many things to work on and winning some other matches will be quite a challenge but she did show some impressive things and will surely be one to look out for in the coming months and years.
During Maria's match, I was made aware that Lina Krasnoroutskaya had started her first round match. Big deal I thought as she would have no problems defeating Anca Barna with her new confidence following a final in Toronto. But while heading towards court #11, I heard the umpire say the match was now 1 set all. WHAT? I entered and was releived to see it was 1-6, 6-0 for Lina, probably just a bad start, and in a few minutes Lina would be back. Right? Wrong:( In one of the big upsets of tne day, Lina went down in the third set... I only saw that set but in my opinion, Lina did not seem to have any match plan. She did not really know when to go for the big shots, when not to, how to build up points against the German veteran, etc... Sadly, when Maria Kirilenko steps on the court on Wednesdsay, it will not be against Lina but rather against Anca Barna!:(

So that was it, my first day is now over, I come home very happy with my day, impressed mostly with Kirilenko and disapointed most by Krasnoroutskaya! Tomorrow should be an interesting day as I will be seing more entire matches (Dokic, Myskina and Sharapova hopefully). I will also be on centre court to see what promises to be a great 1st round, Andy Roddick vs Tim Henman!! So more about all of that tomorrow, feel free to ask any questions:)
 
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