The last four US Open quarterfinals have set the stage for a blockbuster at the Los Angeles Convention Center in June. The field is stacked with heavyweights – Serena Williams, Li Qi, Jasmine coughing up the money to get there and Jennifer Garner’s long reign over the US Open grass has ensured that only the best of the best make it through to the semis. On the other end of the field, what can happen? Can Renzo Rosso-Bach secure enough Wimbledon glory to lift the trophy on home soil?
It’s not all about the majors, anyway. Andy Murray’s second straight US Open quarterfinal win against defending champion Andre Agassi in Melbourne has highlighted the potential for upset no matter where a player finishes their season. Murray has been playing at his top level but he’s never been this far ahead in a grand final until now. Will he be the first zero American to lift the trophy in Los Angeles?
The answer will have many twists and turns. There is a lot of familiarity in the field of play between the four major players. But then there is also a sense that things could be different. Five years ago, serve by Clay shoulders was a deadly weapon; today it seems like a punching bag. Can unseeded Americans force their way into the quarterfinals of the world open after suffering such a defeat at the hands of clay?
For most people, the answer will come down to experience. Serena Williams has reached the semi-finals for the first time since her Wimbledon quarterfinal victory over Milos Raonic. Her semi-final appearance followed a defeat at the same venue as Jo-Wilfred Tsonga. Williams looked shellshocked and noticeably relieved to reach the quarter-finals after being outclassed.
That kind of performance will not get anyone excited about the prospect of the US Open. And while the tennis top seeds are all experienced pros, they also have the benefit of a big paycheck. So it will be interesting to see how they fare against the top-seed Russians. That should be enough to get fans excited about the possibility of a US upset in the event.
But there is more to this US vs. Russia rivalry than just who is going to win the quarterfinals. This is the first year that the US Open has started offering extra perks to its invitees. For the first time, any player who reaches the quarterfinals will receive an official US Open gift. This means that any player can be a part of the big boost the tournament will be getting this year.
No matter what kind of player you are, or how long you’ve been playing, this kind of opportunity should be taken advantage of. There are several advantages to the US Open’s new four-round robin format. For one thing, it makes it easier to determine who among the players will make it to the semis and who will fall just short enough to miss the cut. Plus, there are several other benefits as well.
To top it off, the four round-robin format is better suited for showcasing new talent that might otherwise slip by. You can choose players with more skill because they would have more difficulty advancing to the semis. As for the format itself, it is easier to decide which group of players will advance to the round-robin and who will be slipping into the lower half. All of these are reasons why the US Open is growing into a much bigger and more prestigious tennis tournament.