In the immediate its Madison Keys – then it could be Venus Williams or Anett Kontaveit followed by one of the following Kristina Mladenovic, Ekaterina Makarova, Eugenie Bouchard or Roberta Vinci in a potential semi-final. This is what lies between fourth round Serena Williams and a final at this years US Open in her run to try and win all four Grand Slam tournaments in a calendar year. She will be favourite against any opponent but we have not seen vintage Serena at Flushing Meadows this year. In the second round her opponent, qualifier, Kiki Bertens, served for the first set but ultimately lost it and the match in straight sets. In the third round fellow American, Bethanie Mattek-Sands won the first set and was within two points of victory but could not get over the line as the 21 time grand Slam winner won the second set and ran thought the third 6-0. Maybe her form is not up to where we might expect, but mentally she is on it. Some pundits think that her older sister Venus might be the biggest hurdle (as a potential quarter final match up), but for me that’s a non starter as there is no way I can see her own flesh and blood denying her the opportunity of the calendar Grand Slam. Firstly Venus is no where near the level of her best tennis plus if you saw their fourth round clash at Wimbledon this year (a routine win for the younger sister) there is in my opinion anyway a ZERO chance of an upset – for me Keys in the fourth round is more likely to beat the World number one. I’d like to be proved wrong but I just cannot see it. I’m expecting the 33 year old to make it to the final so it will need to be someone in the bottom half of the draw to end the dream but, whoever that may be will have to right on their game not just physically but mentally too.
HOW DO YOU SOLVE A PROBLEM LIKE NADAL!!!!!!!
Life on the tennis court is not great for Rafael Nadal at the moment. His defeat to Fabio Fognini in the third round of the US Open as the Italian battled back from two sets down (the first time Nadal has lost a match from being two sets up) caps a poor year (in a Grand Slam performances sense) for the Spanish tennis legend. It is the first time he has not won a Slam as well as the first time he has not reached at least the final of one Grand Slam since 2004. He has had setbacks before noticeably in 2009 and 2012/13 when he recovered from injuries to win the top titles and up his count to 14, joint second with Pete Sampras and only three behind Roger Federer (a man who he has a 23-10 winning record against), but at 34 the Swiss player has had a renaissance and is looking like a man who can win the majors again unlike the Spaniard. Nadal turns 30 next year so has time, but with the pressure he puts on his body with his all action power game it is thought he will not continue further into his thirties as some others might (and have done). Some people have questioned if the successful partnership with his uncle and coach, Toni, has reached a plateau and whether he needs to look elsewhere for guidance. I’m sure he will take a break and mull things over for a few weeks as you feel that a strong end to the year is needed so he can go into the 2016 feeling confident that he can get back to a position where he is challenging for the Slams as currently (and worryingly as he will know himself) he is a long way off where he needs to be.
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