You got all amped after you saw the Rafael Nadal and Venus Williams matches over the weekend, right? You were probably like, "It just can't get any better than this! We got Lucas Pouille, Gael Monfils, Angelique Kerber, Roberta Vinci, Novak Djokovic and Jo-Jo Tsonga! This is gonna be ...
... the biggest tennis letdown ever. Here's hoping Vinci, Tsonga and Ana Sevastova heal up, which is most important. Second most important is griping about such a balloon-popper of a tennis day at the U.S. Open. Obviously, it's not the fault of the players that their bodies cannot hold up consistently over a 17 1/2-month season. I'm gonna take the higher road here and not rant about the silliness of how the tennis season is set up, but there is likely a TWA therapy session coming up on this very topic.
Let's instead take a look at what's ahead, and hope for better days and also hope that all banana peels are promptly picked up in the players' quarters. The last thing we need is another injury.
Ana Konjuh and Karolina Pliskova: A TV commentator pointed out that you don't see a lot of young guns advancing deep into tournaments anymore, so Konjuh is a complete anomaly right now. Pliskova's had a good summer, and at 24, she's basically a spring chicken compared to just about anyone in the top 10. I'd give the nod to experience, but Konjuh seems to offer more variety in her game, which can defuse power well. So I'm going to live on the edge here and pick no one. (See what I did there?)
Kei Nishikori v. Andy Murray: Way back in the day, I predicted that Murray would win majors. It took a lot longer than many people thought, but here he is, a favorite to win the tournament, even as the second seed. I believe Nishikori also has the game to win majors, and as with Murray, it's going to take a little longer than most people think. Nishikori has been impressive, especially in handling Ivo Karlovic's serve in the previous round. But Murray's on a different level right now and he'd have to take quite the dip for Nishikori to even pick up a set here.
We got Serena Williams v. Simona Halep: I'm going Serena unless some emotional self-sabotage takes place during this match. Everyone's talking about how great Halep's playing right now. I don't see anything different. She's always had a solid game. The problem is her head, and if she really believes she can beat Serena, well, then, we have a problem. I don't think she has the weaponry, so this one is up to Serena.
Oh my god Stan Wawrinka and Juan Martin del Potro: I want you two to drop and give me five sets and a tiebreaker, stat!