Seven things from Week One
Originally published on 05/09/16 00:00
Murray still the man to beat
Three matches in, and barring a blip against Italy’s Paolo Lorenzi in Round Three it’s all been pretty plain sailing for the man from Dunblane. World No.2 Andy Murray has looked in imperious form thus far and though the challenges get tougher – a certain Juan Martin Del Potro remains in the Brit’s half – he looks ready to take on anything and anyone over the next seven days. With a question mark still hanging over Novak Djokovic the doorway has once again been opened and a fourth Grand Slam title in well within Murray’s grasp.
Robson on the right path to recovery
Former British No.1 Laura Robson may have suffered a first round defeat to compatriot Naomi Broady but Robson should take a great deal of confidence from her time in New York, which saw her qualify for the main draw outright off the back of a tournament victory in the Pennsylvania ITF event. The two events combined saw her compile an eight match winning streak suggesting all the signs are there that she can one day return to the world’s top 100.
The future of British tennis looks healthy
For the first time since 1968, Britain had three men in the third round of a Slam, as Kyle Edmund and Dan Evans joined Andy Murray in the last 32. Edmund’s scalps included two seeds in Richard Gasquet and John Isner while Evans ousted up and coming German teen sensation Alexander Zverev in four sets in Round Two, before a crushing loss to Stan Wawrinka on Saturday. The women also put in a strong showing in week one – Johanna Konta’s determination after collapsing on court in Round Two was backed up by arguably her best ever match at a major when she beat Belinda Bencic for the loss of just three games. After beating Robson in the first round, Broady showed how far she has developed by running fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska close in Round Two.
Serena’s struggles appear to be over
Crisis? What crisis? From the moment Serena Williams graced Arthur Ashe on Monday she has looked imperious. Any talk of injury seems to be well and truly forgotten, as the world No.1 has cruised into the second week for the loss of just 15 games. Having perhaps arrived in New York with a target on her back, Williams has laid down a marker for the rest of the draw and all of a sudden she’s the one they all want to avoid once more.
The roof has been a huge success
In all honesty, it was never not going to work. A tournament frequently hammered by the worst Mother Nature could throw at it has at least been able to continue play on Arthur Ashe when the weather has blown in. Rafael Nadal christened the protective structure, before Murray had his chance to experience playing indoors in the Open’s first week. The cooler conditions might have taken some getting used to, but years of frustration waiting for the clouds to break and using squeegees to soak up the puddles are finally over. $100 million dollars well spent by the USTA.
Top two still don’t look like being challenged
It probably is too early to expect them to be winning majors already, but several noteable names have once again failed to perform. Milos Raonic ended his Grand Slam year on a disappointing note, while former champion Marin Cilic couldn’t back up his Cincinnati victory with a deep run in New York. Alexander Zverev also struggled to make an impression on the biggest stage while Kei Nishikori continues to make heavy going in the early rounds. On the up side, Nick Kyrgios looks as flamboyant as ever, Dominic Thiem has made another fourth round and Jack Sock has got the Big Apple talking.
Plenty of life in Wozniacki yet
Caroline Wozniacki had been threatening a good tournament for much of the year as she continues her recovery from injury. The grass court season promised a lot, but the draws weren’t kind to the former world No.1. Now more match ready, the Dane has shown flashes of the form that took her to the summit of the rankings not so long ago, redording wins over Svetlana Kuznetsova and Madison Keys en route to the fourth round. The two-time US Open finalist might be hard pushed to make the championship match again, but she won’t go down without a fight.