Preparing For The US Open

How it shapes up for the stars.

Robert Whiteby Robert White

The 2012 US Open Grand Slam gets underway Monday with the tournament shaping up to be the best of the year.

Heading into 2012 Novak Djokovic was widely considered the best player on the planet. He took out the Australia Open in January and it seemed like he wouldn’t lose a Grand Slam all year with the amount of press he was receiving. The hype has dropped off significantly as Rafael Nadal and old hand Roger Federer each captured the Paris and London grand slams, but the Serbian world No.2 faces an easier draw in his journey to the final.

The US Open schedule was released Thursday and Djokovic’s draw sees him avoid Federer and Andy Murray (the third seed due to Nadal’s absence). Murray and Federer, who defeated Murray in the Wimbledon for his 17th grand slam title, have found themselves in the same half of the draw and could potentially meet for an epic semi-final showdown.

Murray will first need to beat French fifth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to get to Federer while Djokovic will have to go through seventh-seeded Juan Martin Del Potro in the quarter-finals, as well as Serb eighth seed Janko Tipsarevic.

Aussie Sam Stosur will have a tough time defending her US Open crown. The fourth round will see a number of threats emerge with three other grand slam champs in her quarter of the field.

Serena Williams, destroyed by Stosur this time last year, is in the other half, decidedly easier than Stosur’s draw.

Stosur’s quarter-final opponent will likely be world No.1 Victoria Azarenka.

World No.8 Caroline Wozniacki suffered some bad news Thursday. She advanced to the WTA New Haven Open semi-finals, a warm up event, but suffered a knee injury in the process. It’s not known how serious the injury is, but it of course has the potential to limit her US Open campaign.