Saturday, September 03, 2005

US OPEN


It is after a while that I am writing on something other than cricket. The reason is the huge time difference between my part of the world and New York where the final grand slam of the year is staged. Part of the disinterest also seems to be due to the absence of Vijay Amritraj and company as the telecast is provided not by EspnStar but by Tensports.

For the Indians, this year has been a special one with the splendid show put up by Sania Mirza. Her next opponent is Sharapova but that has not in any way reduced the interest. No one predicted Sania to come this far and now she has nothing to lose. Go Sania go. At the beginning of the year, she stated her aim to break into the top 50 and now she has done that. Of course, staying there is the difficult part. One has to run faster to stay there.

Most of the favourites have progressed with the exception of Roddick. That came as a surprise with the American expected to do well on the artificial surface that favours big servers and power hitters. Speaking about big serves, the match between Agassi and Karlovic was a master class by the Las Vegan. Age has not diminished the ability to return. It was something that Agassi used to good effect while dealing with the likes of Becker and Ivanisevic. Of course, Karlovic is not to be bracketed with the German and the Croat though.

Federer and Hewitt are on course to renew their duel while Nadal cannot be discounted. In the womens' section, the ouster of the defending champion Kuznetsova in the first round was not more than a statistical entry. The Russian has done very little since winning in New York last year.

The Indian interest continues with Paes and Bhupathi in the doubles. Paes has stuck to one partner-Martina Navratilova while Bhupathi seems to have perfected the habit of doing well with any partner, with Hantchukova this time round.

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