All of ESPN’s tennis experts got together and picked a number of different things to watch for and bet on in this year’s US Open. Among their picks were a few interesting nuggets:
- Every single expert picked Serena Williams to win. Every. Single. One. How does that make the 28 people ranked ahead of her in the WTA rankings feel? Any time Serena feels like showing up, she’s immediately the best player in women’s tennis.
- The changing of the men’s guard may be fully underway – five experts picked Novak Djokovic to win, and two picked Andy Murray. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal got two and one votes, respectively. Djokovic has been dominant, certainly, but is this the sign of how tennis is going to really look?
- Andy Roddick wins the “Men’s Sleeper” vote. Which means that apparently he’s gone full circle – up-and-comer to superstar to bust to annoyance to guy who yells at reporters to guy we forgot was on tour, and back to up-and-comer.
- Venus Williams got two votes for “Women’s Sleeper.” Let me be clear: that does not count as a sleeper. That’s like Chris Paul being a sleeper for being pretty good at basketball, just because there’s this LeBron guy who’s good too.
- I can’t pronounce anyone‘s name on the women’s side. Azarenka, Petkovic, Zvonareva, Kvitkova – it’s just mean.
Generally, though, they’re solid predictions. Djokovic is a hard guy to bet against right now, and there’s not a healthy woman on tour who’s shown she can beat Serena with any kind of consistency. My one wild card, though, is the fact that Federer and Nadal are both going to be so much loved on the Flushing courts (they always are, it seems) that it might rattle their opponents. Naderer knows how to win here, and the crowd loves them here; the Djoker and the Murrster have a huge hurdle to get over.