Everyone Loves a Cinderella Story

Written By: achangeofends - Sep• 03•10

Last year we had Melanie Oudin. She was 17, kind of green and beating some of the best players on tour to make it to the quarterfinals of the US Open. America fell in love. This year, she crashed out in the second round and is now ranked below Bethanie Mattek Sands, not exactly what we were all hoping for.

When the Williams sisters retire, there will be a huge void of American women in tennis. We’re all waiting for some fresh faced junior to be the next Serena, just as we’ve been waiting for the new Andy Roddick for quite some time. For Americans, there’s no better time to peek then at the US Open, and this year we’ve already had a couple could-be Cinderella stories.

It’s the women’s third round and the only American women left in the draw are Venus Williams and Beatrice ‘Trice’ Capra. I’m guessing pre-USO you hadn’t ever heard the name Beatrice Capra. Don’t worry, neither had I, but sure enough she’s through to the third round. Will she be this year’s Melanie Oudin (I hate that everyone’s comparing them, btw)? Oudin beat Maria Sharapova in her dream run last year, and that’s exactly what Trice will have to do to continue on to round number 4. Do I think she can do it? short answer, no. I don’t know much about Trice, but I do know that Maria Sharapova is not the same player she was this time last year. Last year, Maria could barely get a first serve in to save her life (or career as it were.) This year, she’s one of, if not the favorite to win the title. Oh, how times change. I watched Maria’s match on TV on Thursday night and she looked great (and I don’t just mean the dress.) If you’ve read my USO preview, you know Maria is my pick to go all the way. Take that for what you will, I also said Andy Roddick would make it to the semifinals, but maybe that was just my wishful thinking. Look for Capra to make a statement sometime next year. For now, she’ll fall to Sharapova in two and fade back into oblivion.

18 year old Ryan Harrison beat Ivan Ljubicic in the first round. The media had a field day. Could he be America’s great hope for the future of men’s tennis? What about Sam Querrey? John Isner? Mardy Fish even? Not to mention that we still have a top 10 player named Andy Roddick. Nope, America’s big thing is the 200 something ranked Ryan Harrison (who has only won one match in a Grand Slam, this one) instead of the rest of these players floating around the top 20. Did ESPN really think Ryan had a better shot than the rest of these guys? Come on. I actually wrote this post before his match, so here was how the rest went…

The kid’s cute, I’ll give him that, but I’m going to need to see some more results before I stick him on my list of future contenders. He plays his second round match against Sergiy Stakhovsky, who’s fresh off his Pilot Pen title. I’m going to have to take Sergiy in this one, sorry Ryan.

Alright, so I was right, Sergiy won. What I did not predict was some awesome fight from Ryan Harrison, playing a tie-breaker in the fifth. For a guy who’s only won one Grand Slam match in his life, that’s pretty good. Maybe he is the next big thing. Who knows.

If you’re looking for American men with a shot of making it to week 2, keep an eye on Sam Querrey, Mardy Fish, and surprisingly John Isner. Sam hasn’t been able to do much at the Masters and Slams, but the guy’s a beast at the smaller events. He’s got a killer forehand and is due to make a run sometime soon. Unfortunately, he’ll face Murray in the fourth round, a repeat of this year’s Wimbledon. There’s always next year, Sam.

So, let’s talk Mardy Fish for a sec. We all know he’s lost weight. Was it 30 lbs? Seriously, the tennis media can’t get enough of this story and I kind of don’t blame them. Talk about a Cinderella story. This aging underachiever does a 180 when he realizes he’s running out of time and becomes a real threat. I think this is a much better story than the youngsters. Everyone wants to believe it’s never too late to live your dream. Mardy’s been dealt a dream draw, and if he can make if past an ailing Djokovic (let’s hope they get a steamy day match), I like his chances of making the semifinals at Flushing Meadows for the first time. He would probably get Federer in the semis. You’ll remember that these guys played a tight final in Cincinnati just a couple of weeks ago. Could Mardy Fish actually make the final of a Grand Slam? Could he win? Far fetched, but nothing’s impossible. Yes, I know I’m getting way ahead of myself here, but I’m a tennis writer. It’s what we do.

Finally, John Isner rounds out this talented trio. Everyone was convinced Isner would pull out of the draw due to the serious ankle injury he suffered in Cincinnati. Apparently we all forgot that this is the marathon man. He is not a mere human. Somehow he rehabbed the ankle in time to play his first round on Wednesday. I expected him to come up lame, but he actually looks really good. Best of luck to John this week. I just hope he doesn’t push it too hard and end up with a more severe injury.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2011-2017 A Change of Ends All Rights Reserved -- Copyright notice by Blog Copyright

Theme Customization by Fitr Theme Options