The young Spaniard Nadal is clearly the favorite to challenge Federer. He's a fireball, as opposed to Federer's studied cool, and will play well with the NYC crowd. But will he be able to hang on if Roger brings his A-game? Not likely. He made his bones this year on clay -- no small feat -- but his hard court play has been erratic, from winning the Rogers in Toronto to piking out in the first round in Cincy to perennial Czech also-ran Tomas Berdych. Clearly, the kid has talent and the drive to go after number one. But so did Hewitt in 2001. Let's take a breath.
Monday, August 29, 2005
Open Time Again: Opening day at the U.S. Open got little of my attention today, at least not until New Orleans had cheated fate one more time. Looking at the draws for the Open is tricky this year. It's obviously wall-to-wall with talent, but Federer has raised the . . . er, net again this year, leaving once-promising players huffing. Roddick's phenomenal numbers from the last couple years have gained him bupkus since his lone slam. Lleyton Hewitt played surprisingly little tennis this year for a guy who needs to put up some wins or settle into early-has-been land. And Agassi is . . . what, 43 years old now?