Hot and Not: A pre-tournament analysis of the 2015 US Open
The post-Wimbledon lull is a thing of the distant past. With the US Open 2015, the last Grand Slam of the year barely a week away, things have been heating up.
Soon after Wimbledon, there was news of Philip Kohlschreiber winning the Austrian Open at Kitzbuhel and Dominic Thiem winning the Swiss Open in Gstaad, Switzerland. Rafael Nadal kindled fans’ hopes by showcasing the fight he still has in him when he took down Italy’s Fabio Fognini to clinch the Hamburg Open.
However, the real excitement of the hard court season started with the Citi Open, followed by the Montreal Masters in Canada. While some players did all the talking with their game, there were others who stooped to shameful, abominable levels .
Here’s why the hard court season of 2015 has been the most exciting so far among several hard court seasons in recent years.
8.HOT – Ivo Karlovic crosses 10,000 aces!
At 36, Dr.Ivo is still busy filing new tennis patents on his favorite subject - aces. The latest one is for firing 10,000 aces.
With some ballistic serving at the Montreal Masters he ousted the home favorite Milos Raonic in straight sets in the opening round. Karlovic’s run at Cincinnati was far better as he reached the Third Round where he lost a hard fought 3 Set battle to Stan Wawrinka. All three sets went to a tie break. What was significant about Karlovic’s run at Cincy is that he inched closer to Goran Ivanisevic’s record for highest number of aces (10,183). Averaging at 23 aces per match this Zagreb native will definitely go past his fellow Croatian in about 5 to 8 matches.
8.NOT – Pova and Tova are down and out for now
Mononucleosis hampered the legendary Roger Federer in 2008. It ended the careers of players like Mario Ancic and Robin Soderling.
Petra Kvitova was troubled by a sore throat and fatigue since the run up to Wimbledon. After a lackluster showing at Wimbledon, which she has won twice, the illness continued to show up. After a slew of medical tests, it was confirmed that Kvitova had contracted the ‘kissing disease’. This has hindered her recent performances and her chances at the US Open look equally glum.
Maria Sharapova pulled out of the Rogers Cup and Cincinnati owing to a right leg injury. Though it was a wise decision keeping the US Open in perspective, she ended up losing her No. 2 Ranking to Simona Halep.
7.HOT – Sloane soars, finally!
Sloane Stephens has been in the eye of the storm for a long time now. After a forgettable season in 2014 her turn around began when she hired Nick Saviano as her Coach. Saviano, who helped sky rocket Eugenie Bouchard to dizzying levels of performance in 2014, took about four months to weave his magic for Stephens.
After a decent run at the French Open and the Wimbledon, Stephens was able to put all the elements of her game together to clinch her first ever WTA title and put to rest all criticism that had hounded her for a whole season. Now the next step for her is to find the consistency required to trouble the top seeds.
7.NOT - The Bouchardian drop continues!
Any coaching relationship in a Sport takes time to mature and show results. Bouchard is unable to fathom this and is hiring and firing coaches at the drop of a hat.
Rumor mills went overdrive when Bouchard did hint at dropping her coach, Sam Sumyk, after an early exit from Wimbledon. She put them to rest by parting ways with Sam Sumyk just before the Rogers Cup at Toronto. “I'm looking for someone who can help me improve all areas of my game,” she said. “I think it's very important to be able to address the technical side, the tactical side, the mental side and the physical side.”
Though she has now picked a short-term Coach Marko Dragic, injuries and poor form have continued to plague her, resulting in a free fall in the Rankings.