August 29, 2014
Andy Murray will need a miracle to win the US Open, after it emerged that he faces a nightmare route to the final. A succession of big-name opponents await him, in theory at least – the heavy price Murray has paid for slipping down to eighth in the world. The best players hit you earlier in the Slams when you drop out of the top four, making it very tough to come through unscathed.
The 2012 champion just beat Matthias Bachinger 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 – and at least put his cramping problems behind him. Now Murray faces Andrey Kuznetsov, who defeated David Ferrer at Wimbledon and just beat Fernando Verdasco in five sets. But the Russian threat is just the start of the Brit’s potential problems.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will probably await him in the fourth round. And if Murray reached the quarter-finals, he would almost certainly face the biggest test of all – Novak Djokovic. By shocking the Serb in that one, Murray could expect to play Stan Wawrinka in the semi-final and Roger Federer might well be waiting in the final, should Murray survive all the previous challenges and still have the energy to put up a fight.
Anyone who defeated such an illustrious line of opponents would certainly deserve their trophy. But it really does look a very tall order indeed.
The American dream is already over for the women’s number eight seed, Ana Ivanovic, She lost 5-7, 4-6 to Karolina Piskova of the Czech Republic. And the darling of the US Open, 15-year-old CiCi Bellis, has also been knocked out, though not before taking the second set 6-0 against Zarina Dyas. The problem for Bellis and her supporters was that the Kazakhstani took the first and third sets 6-3, 6-2 to secure her progress.
Most of the big names are still in the mix at Flushing Meadows, where the tennis is really starting to hot up. It should be fast and furious from this point on!
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