2013 U.S Open picks: Djokovic vs. Nadal

Djokovic’s quarter

Upset special: Tommy Haas over Juan Martin Del Potro in the fourth round. Haas is not quite as on fire as he was earlier this season, but he is well-rested. Del Potro, on the other hand, may not be 100 percent.
Deep sleeper: Marcel Granollers. His nearest seeds are Fabio Fognini and Benoit Paire and no other unseeded player in the Fognini-Paire section is ranked higher than No. 75 in the world.
Prediction sure to go wrong: Jurgen Melzer in the third round. Melzer is coming off a long week in Winston-Salem and a potential second-round opponent, Igor Sijsling, destroyed him at the French Open.
Winner: Novak Djokovic. Only a 100-percent Del Potro would have a chance of stopping him.

Murray’s quarter

Upset special: Denis Istomin over Nicolas Almagro and into the fourth round. If Istomin can channel what was on display at the 2010 U.S. Open against Rafael Nadal, this is a draw on which he can capitalize.
Deep sleeper: Ivo Karlovic. The 6’10’’ Croat advanced through qualifying without dropping a set or even losing serve a single time. He fired 37 total aces in his first four qualifying sets.
Prediction sure to go wrong: Donald Young over Martin Klizan. Three straight wins for Young in qualifying is an amazing feat by his standards. Asking for one more over a 2012 U.S. Open fourth-round finisher may be too much.
Winner: Andy Murray. The defending champ lost early last year in Cincinnati, too…. And look what happened. No time to panic.

Ferrer’s quarter

Upset special: Dmitry Tursunov over Richard Gasquet and into the quarterfinals. Tursunov is a player who feeds off momentum, and he is borderline on fire right now. He has a clean bill of a health and a relatively short week in Winston-Salem will only help.
Deep sleeper: Feliciano Lopez. The Spanish left-hander is playing well and has been to the fourth round of the U.S. Open twice in his career. He will fly under the radar with guys like Milos Raonic, Jerzy Janowicz, and Ernests Gulbis in this section, but all of Lopez’s opponents will be vulnerable.
Prediction sure to go wrong: Ernests Gulbis over David Ferrer. Based on current form, Gulbis may actually be the odds-on pick to win if this third-round clash takes place. And that’s what makes it scary.
Winner: Jerzy Janowicz. With experience from having reached the Wimbledon semifinals plus an absolute dream draw in New York, the sky’s the limit.

Nadal’s quarter

Upset special: Tommy Robredo over Kei Nishikori and into the fourth round. A revitalized Robredo is an outstanding 31-17 this season. He is 16-11 lifetime at the U.S. Open and has been to the fourth round an incredible seven times, including twice in his last three appearances.
Deep sleeper: Bernard Tomic. It’s not often that nobody is talking about Tomic. A relative slump is the reason, but the 20-year-old Aussie remains dangerous and Kei Nishikori as his nearest seed is not exactly a terrible draw.
Prediction sure to go wrong: John Isner in the fourth round. The Nadal-Isner rematch of their Cincinnati final is already hyped out of control, which is why it just seems destined not to come to fruition. Isner could face Gael Monfils in the second round and Philipp Kohlschreiber—who beat him last year in New York—in the third.
Winner: Rafael Nadal. There are two threats in this quarter and Nadal just took care of both of them in Cincinnati.

Full bracket

First round
Djokovic over Berankis in 3, Becker over Rosol in 4
Nieminen over Kubot in 4, Dimitrov over Sousa in 3
Paire over Bogomolov in 5, Smyczek over Duckworth in 5
Granollers over Zopp in 3, Fognini over Ram in 4
Haas over Mathieu in 3, Gimeno-Traver over Lu in 5
Dolgopolov over Goffin in 5, Youzhny over Mahut in 3
Melzer over Donskoy in 3, Sijsling over Gojowczyk in 4
Hewitt over Baker in 4, Del Potro over Garcia-Lopez in 3

Murray over Llodra in 3, Hanescu over L. Mayer in 4
Young over Klizan in 4, Monaco over F. Mayer in 4
Seppi over Malisse in 4, Devvarman over Lacko in 4
Johnson over Kamke in 4, Istomin over Almagro in 5
Wawrinka over Stepanek in 4, Blake over Karlovic in 4
Baghdatis over Soeda in 4, Anderson over Brands in 3
Benneteau over Przysiezny in 3, Chardy over Stakhovsky in 4
Vesely over Kudla in 4, Berdych over Lorenzi in 3

Gasquet over Russell in 3, Robert over Olivetti in 5
Struff over Rufin in 4, Tursunov over Bedene in 4
Lopez over Serra in 3, Klahn over De Schepper in 5
Andujar over De Bakker in 4, Raonic over Fabbiano in 3
Janowicz over Gonzalez in 3, Sock over Petzschner in 4
Kuznetsov over Sela in 4, Tipsarevic over Cuevas in 3
Gulbis over Haider-Maurer in 3, Kukushkin over Martin in 3
Bautista Agut over Bellucci in 5, Ferrer over Kyrgios in 3

Federer over Zemlja in 3, Giraldo over Berlocq in 4
Mannarino over Zeballos in 3, Querrey over Pella in 3
Robredo over Matosevic in 4, Haase over Dancevic in 4
Tomic over Ramos in 4, Nishikori over Evans in 3
Isner over Volandri in 3, Monfils over Ungur in 4
Roger-Vasselin over Montanes in 4, Kohlschreiber over Altamirano in 3
Verdasco over Dodig in 5, Davydenko over Williams in 4
Pospisil over Dutra Silva in 3, Nadal over Harrison in 3

Second round
Djokovic over Becker in 3
Dimitrov over Nieminen in 4
Paire over Smyczek in 4
Granollers over Fognini in 4
Haas over Gimeno-Traver in 3
Youzhny over Dolgopolov in 4
Melzer over Sijsling in 3
Del Potro over Hewitt in 3

Murray over Hanescu in 3
Monaco over Young in 4
Seppi over Devvarman in 5
Istomin over Johnson in 5
Wawrinka over Blake in 4
Anderson over Baghdatis in 4
Benneteau over Chardy in 4
Berdych over Vesely in 3

Gasquet over Robert in 3
Tursunov over Struff in 3
Lopez over Klahn in 3
Raonic over Andujar in 3
Janowicz over Sock in 3
Tipsarevic over Kuznetsov in 4
Gulbis over Kukushkin in 4
Ferrer over Bautista Agut in 3

Federer over Giraldo in 3
Querrey over Mannarino in 5
Robredo over Haase in 4
Tomic over Nishikori in 5
Isner over Monfils in 3
Kohlschreiber over Roger-Vasselin in 4
Verdasco over Davydenko in 4
Nadal over Pospisil in 3

Third round
Djokovic over Dimitrov in 3
Granollers over Paire in 5
Haas over Youzhny in 4
Del Potro over Melzer in 4

Murray over Monaco in 3
Istomin over Seppi in 4
Wawrinka over Anderson in 4
Berdych over Benneteau in 3

Tursunov over Gasquet in 4
Lopez over Raonic in 5
Janowicz over Tipsarevic in 3
Gulbis over Ferrer in 4

Federer over Querrey in 3
Robredo over Tomic in 4
Isner over Kohlschreiber in 4
Nadal over Verdasco in 3

Fourth round
Djokovic over Granollers in 3
Haas over Del Potro in 5
Murray over Istomin in 3
Berdych over Wawrinka in 4

Tursunov over Lopez in 5
Janowicz over Gulbis in 5
Federer over Robredo in 3
Nadal over Isner in 3

Djokovic over Haas in 3
Murray over Berdych in 5

Janowicz over Tursunov in 4
Nadal over Federer in 4

Djokovic over Murray in 4
Nadal over Janowicz in 4

Djokovic over Nadal in 5

Comments and your own predictions are appreciated!


  1. vamosrafa says:

    yup ! lets get started ! vamosss :D

  2. NNY: I’m still puzzled by that early round exit at Wimbledon. Rafa was very sanguine so can only suppose there was more to it than meets the eye i.e. it was strategic rather than anything else. Whatever, he stormed back in better shape than ever. I dont suppose we will ever get over being nervous about his knee particularly before, and during, the majors. Fingers crossed he can win all his early round matches in straight sets – at least up to the QFs. it’s not like he needs match play to hot up this year!

    • nativenewyorker7 says:

      We will never know what went on with that shocker at Wimbledon. For myself, I think it was about the lack of preparation and also the knee. But whatever they did this time with the knee, seems to have worked quite well. I haven’t seen Rafa moving this confidently and quickly on the court in some time. He is obviously feeling good.

      I am always nervous at the beginning of a slam. But I am feeling good about all the match play Rafa got at Montreal and Cincy. I think he’s feeling pretty darn good about it, too!

  3. clayqueen says:

    Murray is the one with the most pressure followed by Djoker. If Murray falls early and Feru does well, Murray could go down to #4. If Djoker doesn’t defend his points and Rafa does well, Rafa moves closer to #1. If Nole doesn’t defend his final; points and Rafa wins the tournament, Rafa will be #1.

    Rafa can relax and just hope to do well. He knows, more than anyone, how to take pressure off himself.

  4. vamosrafa says:

    I think djokovic has the most pressure…Murray should not be having much pressure…

    I feel this USO is most important for djokovic , then nadal and then murray…

  5. rafaisthebest says:

    Look who showed up for Rafa’s practice session, the Fed himself! Hahaha, first it was Muzza, now Fed, all that’s left is Novak and the whole HC specialist triumvirate will have turned up to marvel at the new HC specialist:

    • clayqueen says:

      Well, I never!!!!!!! Who’d have thought!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • clayqueen says:

      Who let him in????

      Muzz has already been practicing with the King of Tennis.

    • Raindrops says:

      Was that really Roger watching Rafa’s practice? I can’t believe it. Maybe it was just a phtoshopped haha. Can’t imagine what might Rafa have in mind knowing that Roger is watching him practicising.

      Don’t get distracted Rafa, focus on your own game and play with no “presion”. Enjoy playing in a many matches as you can and give all your best to win them all. Just be careful. All eyes on you !!!

      Vamos !!!!

    • nativenewyorker7 says:

      I can’t believe what I am seeing! Fed is sitting right there in plain sight! Rafa knew he was there. This is really something!

      I think Fed is openly scouting Rafa to get more answers. Unbelievable! Our Rafa is a marked man!

  6. Shireling1 says:

    I think that if Rafa’s knees let him play close to his 100 % and if he gets to the 2nd week (not sure if he will), then there will be no stopping him. Doesn’t matter who he plays against. IMHO

  7. Struff, Tomic, and Nishikori all up breaks in their matches

  8. Conspirator says:

    Blake retiring??????


  9. Dont count your chickens before they are hatched Ricky :-P

    Evans 2 sets up against Nishiikori
    Rufin 2 sets up against Struff
    1 set all between Tomic and Ramos – Ramos a break up in the 3rd

  10. rafaisthebest says:

    Kei bites the dust……

  11. rafaisthebest says:

    Can Albert Ramos take this annoying Tomic out?

  12. Dan Evans has just put out the No.16 seed! What a feather in his cap…

  13. clayqueen says:
  14. Yay Dan and Yay Laura too!

  15. One of Ricky’s semifinalists – Jerzy Janowicz – is out. Maximo Gonzalez, who defeated JJ, comes from same hometown as Juan Martin del Potro and Juan Monaco!
    But, there was something wrong with JJ’s back – he received treatment during the match.

  16. clayqueen says:

    Mr Sharapova is out.

  17. monalysa13 says:

    So both Jerzy and Janowicz are out!!!! Very interesting and beaten by relative unknowns!!!

  18. monalysa13 says:

    Isner seems to be heading towards Rafa’s way!!!!

    • clayqueen says:

      Looks like it. I hope someone takes him out before that Rafa doesn’t need the agro. Volandri was worse than useless.

      • monalysa13 says:

        Im telling you, last thing Rafa needs, but if they do met Isner intends to make a statement!!!…………but so doees Rafa!!!

        Someone on another site was saying that they feel that the stars are aligned and its Rafa’s year!!! Boy oh boy oh boy! I feel the same way!

        GSlam no.13 in 2013!!!


    • rafaisthebest says:

      Good, I want Rafa to be tested before he meets the big guns. Keeps him sharp mentally.

  19. @wc 7.25
    Just what I was thinking :( Though JJ was injured/sick wasn’t he? That bit of the draw even wider open now.

  20. vamosrafa says:

    nice…dimitrov out, JJ out, gulbis out…wow…shocking

  21. I hope that maybe the hype will die down with Jerzy now. I know that he had a back problem in that match, but he didn’t look good against Blake in the first round at Cincy. People seem to forget that at Wimbledon, both Rafa and Fed got knocked out early. That helped Jerzy to get to the semis.

    I remember when Cilic beat Murray in the fourth round at the 2009 USO and then got to the semis at the 2010 AO, everyone was calling him the next great player, baby Delpo, whatever. But he hasn’t come close to doing anything like that again.

    Dimitrov cramps up in best of three matches. How would he possibly trouble any of the top guys? Gulbis is the ultimate head case. He has pretty much thrown away his career.

    Raonic has a opportunity now in his part of the draw. Maybe he can take advantage. But things are looking good for Ferrer if he can play decent tennis.

  22. wc0206@August 27, 2013 at 7:25 pm
    _future of tennis looking good_.

    Better than good – Vasek Pospisil lost. He had more than 5 match points!

  23. clayqueen says:

    Raonic is the worst of the Futures in my humble opinion. He simply has no game. Harrison is far more talented but not good enough to beat the very top like the likes of Rafa did as a teenager, If Harrison gets a few lucky draws he would do well.

  24. clayqueen says:

    If Rafa makes it past the Qtrs. he’ll have done the hard part.

  25. With all 32 matches completed for the bottom half of the draw, Ricky has a very respectable 69% success rate for his predictions. (Y)

  26. Six seeded players have already bitten the dust after just two days play.

    Gulbis’ frank comment maybe ‘I got carried away seeing my name in BOLD in the draw’ might equally well apply to Jerzy and Dimitrov.

  27. Gulbis just doesn’t care enough. He thinks that his talent should be enough and that he shouldn’t have to do anything more except show up on court. He will never put in the hard work necessary to be successful in this sport.

    Ferrer’s part of the draw is beyond easy now. There is only Raonic. Tipsy isn’t playing well right now, so I don’t see him doing anything. If Ferrer can’t make it through for whatever reason, then goodness only knows who could show up in the semis!

  28. I find everything about Gulbis deeply unattractive. And I’m not amused by his conceited responses in press interviews. Net result: I get a deep sense of satisfaction whenever he gets egg on his face.

    Daveed has gone off the boil somewhat but he should be able to handle Raonic if they both get to the QFs.

  29. rafaisthebest says:

    Hehehe! Fedal are not fans of the gluten-free hocus-pocus;

    RT@AmyFetherolf: “Q. Some players are interested in the gluten free diet. What do you think about that? ROGER FEDERER: Oh, no, I have extra gluten.

    “Nadal is not even convinced gluten-free will be the top athletic diet in the next few years. The same way people believe Twitter and Facebook could be overtaken by the next social media site, Nadal says gluten-free dieting could lose its standing.

    “Now, it seems like the gluten-free diet is great,” he said. “After three years or four years, we will find another thing that will be great too. Then the gluten-free will not work anymore.”


  30. Well, it works for Nole, is all I can say. But would also work for anyone who wants to lose a load of weight, athlete or not.
    Completely agree with you re Gulbis. Spoilt little rich boy, or what? Just shows that talent alone will not cut it. As Dan Evans discovered this Summer, you gotta put in the work.
    Couldn’t resist a plug for Dan, folks. ;) He is another “one off.” Top 50 material too, if he keeps working.

    • rafaisthebest says:

      I am more inclined to believe Muzza when he says he felt lethargic when he tried a gluten free diet and he stopped. How can you be in a high insurance sport and not eat carbs? Nonsense. Nole is fooling people.

  31. clayqueen says:

    deucy, how do you know that gluten free diet works for Nole? It’s like the Exercise Videos that the stars bring out leading everyone to believe that’s what did it for them when in reality they live on lettuce leaves and have had a tummy tuck and a face lift.

    • rafaisthebest says:

      Well, works for Nole in the same way water turns green when he screams at it. Am not making this up, read his book.


  32. clayqueen says:

    Someone please take Isner out before the 4th round, PLEASE!!!!

  33. @Clayqueen
    Lol :) and I remember a certain TV “personality” forced to admit she’s had a gastric band fitted…yukkety, yuk, yuk.
    Well, Nole used to retire from matches with breathing difficulties, not doing that any more. Now he is incredibly fit. I rest my case.
    Feel the same about Berdych as you do about Isner. Please someone, anyone, take him out b4 the quarters!

  34. vamosrafa says:


    This is magic from rafa :D

    And I read JJ served a couple of underarm serves, threw his water bottle on the court and said his lower back felt like it was being stabbed by a knife…DISGUSTING

    • I saw the Jerzy match and he did serve underarm at one point. Then he got into a fight with the chair umpire screaming and yelling all over the place. His attitude on court is quite unappealing. The commentators were talking about the problems he had in school. He was always in trouble. There are some serious issues with this guy.

  35. Ricky! I noticed the Recent Comments Widget at the bottom of the front page. Is it there to make a visitor to scroll down the page ? :)
    I would prefer to see ‘POPULAR RECENT ARTICLES’ and ‘Recent Comments’ widgets near each other (wherever they are).

    • it’s there because recent comments widget is kind of worthless.

      but i will think about your suggestion. thanks!

  36. Bernard Tomic is looking the most comfortable on and off the court for some time. Keep an eye on him….

  37. clayqueen says:
  38. Ricky’s prediction success rate (62.5%) for the top half of the draw was slightly down on the bottom half score (69%)

    Overall for the first round 65.6%.

    Not bad.

  39. Stephan Shun says:

    Rafael Nadal will have a breeze in this tournament. He hasn’t lost a single set until the Round of 16. He is unbeaten on hard courts this year, winning back-to-back titles recently with an additional Indian Wells title to add to it. With his defensive barrier allowing no winners from his opponent, and adding an aggressive style to his hard court play, an opponent the speed of even Usian Bolt won’t be able to catch his winners. Djokovic, I suggest you better watch out! Rafa will beat you in 3 easy sets .

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