Tricky draw for Murray at US Open

By for MurraysWorld.com on
If Andy Murray is to claim his third grand slam title he's going to have to do it the hard way. The reigning championg could be set for an epic rematch with world number one Novak Djokovic - but this time it would be just to make the final, with the top two in the world up to a week ago having been drawn in the same half of the draw for the first grand slam since the 2012 Australian Open.

But first he could well have to get past another familiar face - that of new world number five Tomas Berdych, who defeated Murray in straight sets just one week ago in Cincinnati. The Scot will potentially have to beat last year's semi-final and final victims just to make the final this year, where the in-form Rafael Nadal probably awaits. The Spaniard has managed to avoid all of the top six apart from compatriot David Ferrer - who he holds a 20-4 head-to-head against.

Thankfully for the Brit the opening rounds look a lot more straightforward. Murray will open against the veteran Frenchman Michael Llodra, before potential matches with Victor Hanescu, Juan Monaco and Nicolas Almagro. But, assuming he doesn't take an early shock exit, the Wimbledon champion will definitely need to find his A game in the latter stages if he is to retain his US Open crown.

Murray's probable route to the title:

R1: Michael Llodra
R2: Victor Hanescu / Leonardo Mayer
R3: Juan Monaco / Martin Klizan / Florian Mayer
R4: Nicolas Almagro / Andreas Seppi / Denis Istomin
QF: Tomas Berdych / Stanislas Wawrinka / Kevin Anderson
SF: Novak Djokovic / Juan Martin Del Potro
F: Rafael Nadal

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 I love his draw.    He could have got a lot worse. Have you seen Nole's draw.   Now that's tough.     I don't think Andy will have any problems up until the QFs
August 22, 2013, 06:48 PM
By backhandslice

Thanks for getting that news item up quickly Luke - such a relief not to have to read the title of the previous item anymore every time I log on!  The SF was bound to be a challenge either way so it's the QFs where perhaps Andy has been unlucky (and I agree a decent draw up till then).  But he has proved he can beat Berdych here so I'm sure he can do so again (assuming they both get that far).  And I bet Nole's fans are groaning when they see he drew Andy in SFs.  Can't wait for it all to get going now.  cmon yeah cmon yeah cmon yeah
August 22, 2013, 06:49 PM
By Ruthie

Realistically he'll have to beat Berdych-Djokovic-Nadal to win the title. If he managed to beat the first two, I don't even know if he'd have enough left in the tank to beat Nadal, especially after Murray's match with Djokovic last year. It's a tough ask.
August 22, 2013, 06:50 PM
By TheMadHatter

Realistically he'll have to beat Berdych-Djokovic-Nadal to win the title. If he managed to beat the first two, I don't even know if he'd have enough left in the tank to beat Nadal, especially after Murray's match with Djokovic last year. It's a tough ask.
So Nadal is already through to the final......that was quick.
August 22, 2013, 07:05 PM
By robbie

Andy has negotiated tougher draws to get to GS finals. I expect Andy to play Nole in the SF. Roger to beat Rafa in the QF.

Would love to see Andy v Roger in the final.
August 22, 2013, 07:46 PM
By syc23

I love his draw.    He could have got a lot worse. Have you seen Nole's draw.   Now that's tough.     I don't think Andy will have any problems up until the QFs
Agreed, and by time we get to the QF's anything could happen.  One things for sure - the Top 8 seeds never all reach the Qtrs so the draw could open up e.g. Berdych and Djoker 'disappear'.

Also, by the time Andy reaches the QF's he'll be well into the tournament and building his form.
August 22, 2013, 07:50 PM
By Mackem

Aren't we underestimating Stan the Man.
August 22, 2013, 07:50 PM
By rob92

Could be a whole lot worse. Have my doubts that on current form Berdych will be that much of a threat or even get to the QF. Federer won't be reaching the final that's for sure.  He has avoided Janowicz or Raonic. I think he can handle Berdych over B of 5. On current form will Djokovic get that far?

Am I the only one who thinks that given this time last year Murray was still in a state of shock after the Wimbledon loss, and the high of the Olympics, and was still slam less.  The fact he then went on to take the US Open with a display of raw courage, and followed it up with reaching the AO final - ( if it hadn't been the psychological and physical exhaustion of having to get over the hurdle of beating Fed in a slam for the first time, he might well have pulled off the AO as well). This year he has also been dealing with all of the emotion relating to Ross H, not mention his back problem, but still managed to beat Djokovic in straight sets,  plus vanquishing history, to take the holy grail of  Wimbledon. If that's all we get from him this year, so be it.  I think we will see a whole new Murray in 2014.

I hope he gets to the Semi at least. Any more than that is a bonus as far as I am concerned. If he ends up in the final and is trounced by Kneedal and his associated pharmacopia, then that will only serve to trigger another debate.

As far as I am concerned Murray is a gold medalist and two times GS winner. Anything else is a bonus, given the quality of the opposition and the decidedly lax attitude of the ITF towards doping.

Others might argue that he hasn't reached his full potential, if he doesn't reach No 1, and win another load of slams - perhaps. I can only speak for myself.
August 22, 2013, 08:06 PM
By Masaka

I don't think assumptions can be made about any draw, particularly if Wimbledon is anything to go by, but Andy's draw seems reasonable enough to me up to the QF, where I think I'd be more worried about Wawrinka than Berdych should Andy or either of them get there.

I'm no tennis expert, but this is the way I see things -

Andy didn't exactly shine in Montreal and Cincinnati (yes I know what happened last year, but last year was last year), but he usually does pick himself up for Slams so let's hope he's 'peaking' here.  Fortunately on paper at least he should be able to ease himself fairly comfortably into the tournament.  With two Slams under his belt though his confidence should be high, but again he's in uncharted territory, having never defended a Slam before.  How far that might affect him even he doesn't know, although fortunately Lendl will be able to give him some guidance on the psychological level.

Djokovic seems to me to be wobbling a bit this year, and the loss of two consecutive Slams won't have helped his confidence.  Whatever, he isn't quite the player he was in 2011.

As far as Nadal goes, whilst his draw seems fairly straightforward, how far can he keep his 'phenomenal' level up?  Also hard courts are harsh on the body, so if his knees are indeed problematic this could be a factor here. 
 
Andy isn't playing him, but just how Federer will fare remains to be seen.  He's flopped spectacularly recently, yet there are those who claim he can still win another Slam.  I doubt he'll win here but I still wouldn't under-estimate him.

August 22, 2013, 08:08 PM
By Aileen

Realistically he'll have to beat Berdych-Djokovic-Nadal to win the title. If he managed to beat the first two, I don't even know if he'd have enough left in the tank to beat Nadal, especially after Murray's match with Djokovic last year. It's a tough ask.
But who is to say Berdych Djoko   Will get that far , Evan Nadal, slams always throw up shocks, still think Andy is ready for the challenge , just my opinion .
August 22, 2013, 08:36 PM
By deb

Andy has negotiated tougher draws to get to GS finals. I expect Andy to play Nole in the SF. Roger to beat Rafa in the QF.

Would love to see Andy v Roger in the final.
  roflmao your so funny.
August 22, 2013, 08:40 PM
By deb

Could be a whole lot worse. Have my doubts that on current form Berdych will be that much of a threat or even get to the QF. Federer won't be reaching the final that's for sure.  He has avoided Janowicz or Raonic. I think he can handle Berdych over B of 5. On current form will Djokovic get that far?

Am I the only one who thinks that given this time last year Murray was still in a state of shock after the Wimbledon loss, and the high of the Olympics, and was still slam less.  The fact he then went on to take the US Open with a display of raw courage, and followed it up with reaching the AO final - ( if it hadn't been the psychological and physical exhaustion of having to get over the hurdle of beating Fed in a slam for the first time, he might well have pulled off the AO as well). This year he has also been dealing with all of the emotion relating to Ross H, not mention his back problem, but still managed to beat Djokovic in straight sets,  plus vanquishing history, to take the holy grail of  Wimbledon. If that's all we get from him this year, so be it.  I think we will see a whole new Murray in 2014.

I hope he gets to the Semi at least. Any more than that is a bonus as far as I am concerned. If he ends up in the final and is trounced by Kneedal and his associated pharmacopia, then that will only serve to trigger another debate.

As far as I am concerned Murray is a gold medalist and two times GS winner. Anything else is a bonus, given the quality of the opposition and the decidedly lax attitude of the ITF towards doping.

Others might argue that he hasn't reached his full potential, if he doesn't reach No 1, and win another load of slams - perhaps. I can only speak for myself.
   clap you speak for me to , in a nutshell   hug
August 22, 2013, 08:41 PM
By deb

Realistically he'll have to beat Berdych-Djokovic-Nadal to win the title. If he managed to beat the first two, I don't even know if he'd have enough left in the tank to beat Nadal, especially after Murray's match with Djokovic last year. It's a tough ask.
I couldn't agree more. However, they all have their own mountains to climb let's not forget upsets can and do happen to them all. I hope not to our Andy though. He's used up his quota. w00t

Let the tournament begin! racquet
August 22, 2013, 09:58 PM
By lashurst

So it looks like Nadal has already made the final - looking at how well Federer played against him in Cincinnati, I reckon it could be either of them in the final! However I agree with the majority, Murray's first four opponents shouldn't give him many problems, I think all of the players in his section have a combined 4 wins against Murray, so on paper he should breeze through to at least the quarterfinals. Berdych is a tricky opponent, but in a best of 5 match I think Murray has the edge - he's always had trouble with Berdych in 3 set matches, but at the slams Murray had become probably the most consistent guy out there, last time he failed to make the final was last year at the French Open. In the semis Djokovic will be lookin for revenge for his loss at Wimbledon, as well as for last years final, so that one will be really close to call. I'll predict a Murray-Nadal final, after which I think it's anyone's guess! However I think if anyone other than Nadal reaches the final, I don't see them beating Murray.
August 22, 2013, 10:00 PM
By James

Aren't we underestimating Stan the Man.

No.
August 22, 2013, 10:02 PM
By ProdigyEng

If it does end up being Novak in the semis then Rafa in the final, and that's a big IF, beating 2 of the big 4 in one slam competition is another monkey i'm sure he and all of us would like to see him get rid off, it would also validate his achievement for once among the so called tennis experts who think he got lucky in both his slam wins. not that any of us here care what they think, but it would be nice to shut them up.

Still i expect they would still look for some excuse as to why he won, Djokovic all of a sudden would be tired from his 1/4 final match and then Nadal's knees would obviously playing up in the final if he lost to Andy  Whistle
August 22, 2013, 10:15 PM
By The Gnome

Just came home and was surprised to see first reactions to the draw. I did not even know that it would be made today. The good thing about GS is the fact that you start fairly easily in contrast to Masters where Andy normally faces tougher opposition in R2. Now, that he has lost his No 2 ranking, which he might have avoided with one more victory before, I am really not sure what to make of the potential SF or F clash: is Nole a better draw than Nadal? Yes, Berdych can be a tricky player for Andy, you cannot get rid off all of these big hitters, though. Thank God, Janowicz/Raonic are not in his way.
August 22, 2013, 10:15 PM
By counter_ puncher

So it looks like Nadal has already made the final - looking at how well Federer played against him in Cincinnati, I reckon it could be either of them in the final! However I agree with the majority, Murray's first four opponents shouldn't give him many problems, I think all of the players in his section have a combined 4 wins against Murray, so on paper he should breeze through to at least the quarterfinals. Berdych is a tricky opponent, but in a best of 5 match I think Murray has the edge - he's always had trouble with Berdych in 3 set matches, but at the slams Murray had become probably the most consistent guy out there, last time he failed to make the final was last year at the French Open. In the semis Djokovic will be lookin for revenge for his loss at Wimbledon, as well as for last years final, so that one will be really close to call. I'll predict a Murray-Nadal final, after which I think it's anyone's guess! However I think if anyone other than Nadal reaches the final, I don't see them beating Murray.
Thanks for your welcome and sensible input James. Smile
August 22, 2013, 10:28 PM
By Aileen

Go`andy.  It's a tough ask, but he's a champ & a fighter. He can win a 2nd slam in New York.  Just be aggressive, keep hitting those passing shots & serve big.  Good luk, Andy!
August 22, 2013, 10:56 PM
By Linda Sargant

How I would dearly love Andy to get through Djokovic in the semi's and Fed to squeeze his way past Rafa. I just have a tiny hankering for Andy to beat Fed in a grand slam final before Fed hangs up his racquet. In some ways, if that happened, I guess you could call Fed a surprise finalist given the year he's had.

It's a tough ask to beat two of the top players to win, but just because Andy hasn't done it before it doesn't follow that he can't. Andy's done a lot over the last year or so that some suggested he wouldn't do, and his form in the majors had been amazing in that time, so I wouldn't rule him out.

I still wonder about Nadal though. I know he's done well so far on the hard courts this year, but best of five is different to best of three. It will be interesting to see how it goes.
August 23, 2013, 11:12 AM
By teejay1

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