Monday, September 7, 2009

Checking In On the US Open Week 1

US Open Day 1

The first week of the 2009 US Open offered its fair share of surprises and upsets. This was particularly true on the women's side of the draw as several high seeds fell in the 2nd and 3rd rounds of action.

Besides four of the top ten women's seeds getting knocked off, fan favorite and potential dark horse Maria Sharapova lost to upstart 17-year old American Melanie Oudin. The other women's favorites falling early were Dinara Safina (1), Elena Dementieva (4), Jelena Jankovic (5) and Victoria Azarenka (8).

Although the men's side was more predictable, one mild surprise was 5th seeded Andy Roddick losing to fellow American John Isner in the 3rd round. Roddick, coming off a hard fought loss against Roger Federer in Wimbledon final that had to bolster his confidence, seemed poised to make a run in his favorite venue, but fell in a 5th set tie break to Isner.

The most compelling story lines for week 2 will undoubtedly revolve around a few Americans. Serena Williams has breezed to this point and appears to be in top form. The fans will also be tracking Oudin and Isner, who both have Georgia roots, in their quest for a major break through. Additionally, Kim Clijsters successful return to the tour and Federer's quest for a 6th consecutive US Open championship will be closely watched. It should be fun, with a few more surprises likely to take place.

Checking in on our friendly contest, Jason the Pro has taken the lead in the first portion of the competition. Jason used his tennis acumen to predict 21 of the 32 round of 16 participants. But, Adidas and I can take heart, as the next portion of the contest gives us ample opportunity to catch Jason and take the tuna.

Each correct prediction for the round of 16 was awarded 1 point. Tomorrow morning, the contestants will offer predictions on the semi-finalists (2 points for each correct pick), finalists (3 points for each correct pick) and champions (4 points for each correct pick) for the men's and women's draws.

Here are the current standings:

Jason the Pro 21 points

Gary the Writer 20 points

Adidas the Cat 14 points

Stay tuned.

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