It’s ‘Open’ Season For Tennis Fans

By Richard Kent
Updated: August 20, 2008

CONNECTICUT — There is no better tennis event in the world. The U.S. Open starts in Flushing Meadows on Monday. Qualifying is taking place this week for all the remaining sports in the draw.

Admission this week is free and there are few if any better bargains in sports.

James Blake, coming off of an upset of Roger Federer in the Olympics is seeded ninth. Serena Williams is seeded fourth and her sister Venus is seventh. They won the Olympic doubles and are expected to do the same at the Open.

Blake is playing good tennis and always plays his best at the Open as it is close to home in Connecticut and he has a sense of comfort there. He also is a great hard court player with all of his speed.

Serena and Venus would probably be seeded higher if they had played in more events this summer. Venus won at Wimbledon in the last major. The women’s field is wide open with the retirement of Justine Henin.

There are a number of Russians towards the top of the draw.Maria Sharapova is out with an injury. The rest of the top players in the world are playing.

Rafael Nadal is the No. 1 seed on the men’s side, overtaking Federer as the top player in the world. He won the French, Wimbledon and the Olympics so he deserves the high rating.

He and Federer are still expected to meet in the finals even though Federer is not playing well as of late. He looked very tough in warmups on Tuesday at the Open. He was hitting the ball very well against a top collegian. He usually warms up against a lefty and he did the same on Tuesday. Nadal is also a lefty.

Tickets still remain for many of the sessions (call TicketMaster) and the best time to go is during the first week when there are loads of matches to watch at once. Look for Donald Young to have a good Open as the surface is very good for him also.