Aussies set for strong showing in New York
Wally Masur previews the chances of Australia's main draw direct entrants for next week's US Open.
Wally Masur, a former world No.15 who last year captained Australia’s Davis Cup team, chatted to tennis.com.au about the prospects of the Australian main draw direct entrants at next week’s US Open, beginning Monday 29 August at Flushing Meadows.
“He’s having an unbelievable year, if you break it down. He’s won two titles now. He is competitive and can win on all surfaces. I tend to think this is a surface that he will enjoy going forward. He played John Isner in the final of Atlanta on a really hot, awkward day and he just handled that occasion really well. So he keeps showing us something. I still think there’s a lot of improvement (to come) in Nick. He will be seeded – I think he’ll be very, very dangerous. I think there’ll be a lot of people looking at the draw not wanting him in their section.”
“Sam had a tough loss early in Cincinnati. But she’s had a good year. She’s played really well in patches. The US Open has been a pretty good place for her – that’s where she won her Grand Slam title (in 2011). I’d like to think that Sam can really threaten in a major, I think the draw is obviouuly pretty important. Sam seems to be the kind of player who, once she can sink her teeth into a tournament, she can go really well, but can be a bit vulnerable in those early rounds. As much as anything at this stage of her career it’s just about being relaxed. Just kind of enjoying all the success she’s had, take a deep breath, smile, get out there and enjoy it. If she’s relaxed, she can play great tennis.”
“He Played well in Cincy. Couple of big wins there (over David Goffin and Kei Nishikori). For Bernie, he is a guy who likes to play a lot of tournaments, a lot of matches, so I think the lead-in for him is perfect. And I think the surface for him should suit.”
“Dasha’s been having a really good two years. She’s improving all the time. Very athletic, she’s a real fighter. I think the women’s game, quite like the men’s, sometimes it just comes down to that first great strike. And there are some women out there who are just so powerful in that respect. And Dasha’s got the great wheels (to counter that). Once again, the draw is absolutely all-important, just the ability to get a few matches under your belt, feel comfortable in the conditions – it’s not easy to play well at the US Open. Obviously along with Sam, she’s our brightest prospect in the women’s draw.”
“He’s a good athlete, he’s fast, he throws everything he’s got into it, he’s ultra professional. Would have been a real kick for him to go down to the Olympics where he played really well against Kei Nishikori. John’s got game. We’ve seen what he can do at the majors, we’ve seen it at the Australian Open and Wimbledon. So I’d like to think that this surface – which I would say would be his favourite – and the hot conditions will suit him, he’s probably one of the fittest blokes on tour. No reason he can’t win some matches.”
“He is just getting better all the time. He’s dragged himself into the top 100 – it’s one thing to get there, it’s another thing to stay there. And that’s what he’s going to start to find now. He had a Grand Slam match against Bautista Agut at Wimbledon – he was directly in there (on his ranking). Bautista Agut was seeded 14th, so that’s a tough assignment. As an unseeded player, where he ends up in the draw is very important. I think this is Jordy’s best surface – he’s very athletic, he moves well, he completely understands how to play on a hard court. So once again, if the draw is right, there’s no reason he can’t go deep into that first week.”