US Open

Andy Murray US Open 2012 Champ (USA Today Sports)

The tennis season’s final Grand Slam event, remedy the US Open, cialis begins today in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.  This hard-court slam lasts two weeks and culminates with the Women’s final on Sunday, September 8th and the Men’s final on Monday, September 9th.

This has been a crazy tennis season, with three different men and three different women winning singles titles in the year’s first three Grand Slam events.  Not to mention the big name players that crashed and burned at Wimbledon earlier this summer.

In the spotlight are last years’ champions #3 Andy Murray and #1 Serena Williams with the question of whether they can both defend their 2012 US Open singles titles.

MEN’S SINGLES CHAMPIONSHIP

Murray has reached the final of the last four Slams he’s played and most recently won the title at Wimbledon.  Unfortunately, he’s on the same side of the draw as #1 Djokovic, so a repeat final of 2012 is impossible this year.  I’d look forward to a Murray vs Djokovic semi-final on Saturday, September 7th, assuming that Murray isn’t upset by Tomas Berdych earlier in the quarters.

Djokovic is always a favorite to win and has six consecutive semis-or-better at the US Open.  Djokovic and 2009 US Open Champion Juan Martin del Potro could see each other in the quarterfinals, if everything holds true to seed.

This could be a not-to-be-missed quarter final, as del Potro is the only man outside of the “Big Four” (Djokovic, Murray, Nadal and Federer), that can upset the status quo.  At 24 years old, del Potro is the youngest player in the ATP top 10.

Juan Martin del Potro (Getty Images)

Due to the draw, Djokovic will likely need to also beat Murray and Nadal in successive matches to win the tournament.  This will probably prove too much for even Djokovic.

#2 Rafael Nadal has had a roller-coaster year winning the French Open, but getting knocked out of Wimbledon in the first-round.  But Nadal is 15-0 on hard-court this year, including wins at Indian Wells, Montreal and most recently Cincinnati, and thus has proven his ability on a surface other than clay this year.

Nadal winning the Western & Southern Open final in Cincinnati 8/18/2013 (AP Photos)

Nadal is on the same side of the draw as #7 Federer, so we could see a fantastic quarterfinal between Nadal and Federer.

My Prediction:  If his knee holds up, Nadal is my pick to win the U.S. Open. Nadal has the much favorable draw, his early exit at Wimbledon appears to have been a fluke, and he is undefeated on hard-courts this year. Since Murray is in the other half of the draw from Nadal, Nadal will need to beat only Murray or Djokovic, but not both, to win the tournament.

 

WOMEN’S SINGLES CHAMPIONSHIP

US Open 2012 Champion Serena Williams (Reuters)

On the women’s side, clear-cut favorite #1 Serena Williams will be looking for her fifth career U.S. Open crown and third since 2008.

#2 Victoria Azarenka has proven she can beat Serena Williams on hard courts. She is 2-0 against Williams on the surface this year, including a three-set victory over Williams in Cincinnati, their last tournament before the U.S. Open. Azarenka reached the finals of the past two Grand Slam events on hard courts: a victory in the 2013 Australian Open and a tough fought loss to Williams in the 2012 U.S. Open finals.

Maria Sharapova surprisingly withdrew last week from the US Open because of bursitis in her right shoulder. Even more surprising: Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli isn’t entered in the U.S. Open because she suddenly announced her retirement this month at age 28.

Due to the lack of any real competition, a Williams vs. Azarenka Final seems likely, but with Azarenka’s 0-7 record against Williams in Grand Slam events, this should be Serena’s event.

My Prediction: Serena Williams will repeat her 2012 US Open championship, as long as she isn’t bothered by her persistent abdominal issues of late.

All right Sports Divas, who do you think will win the US Open this year?

US OPEN TV Coverage

TV Coverage is spread over a number of networks: CBS, CBS Sports Network, ESPN, ESPN2 and Tennis Channel, plus you can catch the live stream on WatchESPN.  See US Open TV Coverage for complete listings.

Fashion that Performs SmashingOnline.com (Photo Mike Caplan)

 

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The 2013 US Open, shop golf’s second and most difficult major of the season, tadalafil gets underway on Thursday at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, ailment PA. Between the short, water-logged course and the pairing of Tiger Woods, Adam Scott and Rory McIlory, this major is creating more buzz than usual and is definitely one you will want to turn your attention towards.

If you checked out of the golf scene after Adam Scott won the Masters, it’s time to tune back in this weekend as the season’s toughest major is always unpredictable as the best golfers in the world face off.

What You Need to Know

  • The US Open is the hardest Major of the four (the Masters, the US Open, the (British) Open, and the PGA Championship) played each year. The USGA (United States Golf Association), the governing body of golf and creator of the rules, makes the course so difficult to promote a winning score around par.  The average winning score for PGA Tour events is well under par.  The USGA sets the course up to rattle the nerves of the steadiest players, and frighten the over-confident. They lengthen the rough and make the greens blistering fast.  The US Open is about survival.

Merion Golf Club will be a challenging test for the players at the US Open

  • The 2013 US Open will be played at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, PA, located about 15 miles southeast of Philadelphia.  It is an historic venue that hosted a 1981 US Open and the 2005 US Amateur.  Its signature is that each green does not have a flag, but a post with a red wicker basket.  The course will be extremely challenging, but will also be a much shorter layout than recent Opens. At 6,996 yards this will be the first US Open course under 7,000 yards since 2004.
  • In addition to the course’s challenges and the pressure of performing in a major championship, players will be faced with the wrath of mother nature. Tropical storm Andrea dropped 3 1/2 inches of rain on the course last Saturday.  This has caused flooding on the course.  Subsequent rainfalls have not helped and with thunderstorms in the forecast it could get even dicier. Talking about the weather will not be small talk this week.

Who to Watch For:

The USGA always tries to create a pairing that has a large buzz factor and this year will not disappoint. The top three players in the world will be paired together for the first two days of the championship.  Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and Adam Scott will tee off at 1:14 PM EST on Thursday and 7:44 AM EST on Friday. (Pictured in this article’s featured image.)

The two past Major winners in Rory McIlory (2012 PGA Championship) and Adam Scott (2013 Masters) are still overshadowed by Tiger’s dominance in 2013. He’s won 4 of the 8 events he’s played. Absurd!  Even though he recorded his worst nine hole score in his PGA career earlier this month at The Memorial, never count him out.  He has un-matched focus. All he cares about are Majors. This could be his fifteenth, and fourth US Open.

Adam Scott

 

My “sleeper pick” for the week is Rickie Fowler (33rd in Official World Golf Ranking).  He is an incredible young talent with a bold fashion sense. He brings something different to golf, but has the game to back it up.  He played in the most prestigious team Amateur event, The Walker Cup, at Merion in 2009. He played extremely well.  No matter how wet the conditions, because of his young confidence and good memories he could get into the mix come Sunday.

Rickie Fowler dresses and plays to impress

When to Watch (All Times Central)

Thursday, June 13

8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.: ESPN

2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.: NBC

4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.:  ESPN

Friday June 14

8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.: ESPN

2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.: NBC

4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.: ESPN 

Saturday, June 15

11:00 AM to 6:30 PM NBC

Sunday, June 16

11:00 AM to 6:30 PM NBC

 

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Paula Creamer US Open
Today begins the ultimate test for professional women golfers, order the US Women’s Open. The Championship will be contested at Black Wolf Run in Kohler, viagra WI July 5-8.  Just like the Men’s US Open last month, this is the toughest test in women’s golf.
Only two Americans have won the US Open in the last five years, Paula Creamer and Cristie Kerr.  Since winning the Open, neither has won a professional tournament in two years.  How will the 1998 Champion, Se Ri Pak (Say-ree-pak) fair in the Open’s return to the site where she became the youngest winner (at the time) in the Championship’s history? Pak’s win was the inspiration for the “Korean Invasion,” making the LPGA a truly international tour. Check out players’ reactions to her historic win and other US Open info.

Players to Watch:

Yani Tseng (Ya-nee Sen) is the youngest player ever to win five majors. Even better than Tiger!  She is the most dominant player in the world right now (man or woman) with 10 wins in the last two years!

Yani Tseng won her 5th major at the 2011 Women's British Open

Paula Creamer, known as the “Pink Panther”, would love to make her first win in two years be her second US Open.

Stacy Lewis just recently surpassed Cristie Kerr as the best American golfer in the world.

 

Michelle Wie is the most scrutinized woman in golf. She was heralded as the American come back on the LPGA tour when she turned pro at 16.  Since graduating Stanford this year she has had a shaky summer. Yet, the power she wields on the golf course always makes her fun to watch.  Be sure to keep an eye out for this fashionista Hawaiian’s hair styles and cool fashion choices!

Just because she hasn't graduated high school, doesn't mean Lexi Thompson is not a contender this week.

Lexi Thompson became the youngest player to qualify for the US Open in 2007 at age 12. Last August she became the youngest winner in LPGA history at 16.  She is a fearless competitor, accustomed to the grandest of stages. She wears colorful and playful Puma outfits.

 

 

Cristie Kerr has been knocking on the door of the winner’s circle the last year with many top ten finishes. The consummate competitor who loves this Championship will be working hard to hoist the trophy on Sunday.

Ai Miyazato (Aye Me-ya-za-toe) is a Japanese superstar! She has already won two events this season, including last week’s tournament in Arkansas. Nothing would be better than having her tenth LPGA win be her first major. She has one of the most beautiful, flowing swings on tour.

What’s Next:

Sit back, relax, and enjoy watching the best in women’s golf compete for its premiere Championship.

July 5-6 ESPN 2 4PM–8PM

July 7-8 NBC 3PM–6PM

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Will Tiger Woods win his 15th major?  Will an 8th grader find himself in contention? Both are possible as history has shown that anything and everything can happen at the US Open.  The 112th US Open begins today at The Olympic Club in San Francisco.  Like all US Opens, capsule the golf course is set up to be the toughest test of the year, diagnosis so be prepared to watch the best players in the world sweat it out.

As the most difficult major tournament of the season that is open to any qualifying pro or amateur golfer, the US Open is always fun to watch due to all the possibilities and Cinderella stories that could unfold.  Now, with Tiger back in the hunt and competing with the international fashion-forward young guns on the tour, this is definitely a year you don’t want to miss. Here’s what you need to know and who you need to watch for:

What You Need to Know About the US Open:

  • The US Open is the second of the four majors played each year:  The Masters, US Open, Open (British) Championship and the PGA Championship.  Majors are golf’s biggest events of the year: each one bringing it’s own unique challenges and pressures.  In addition to the most exposure and the toughest competition, the Majors have the largest purses (cash prizes) and winners receive the most FedEx Cup Points – the point system in golf.

    The Olympic Club

  • 156 players from around the world qualify for the US Open, but only 60 players with the best scores from rounds on Thursday and Friday make the cut and will play the final two rounds on Saturday and Sunday.  The course is so tough, be prepared for some big names to “miss the cut” – Tiger has done this for numerous tour events since his epic fall from grace 2 years ago.
  • The purse of the US Open is $8 million this year with the winner receiveing $1.4 million and 600 FedEx Cup points, in addition to being exempt from qualifying for the Open for 10 years.
  • What makes the US Open different than the other Majors is that anyone can qualify – it is open to any pro and/or amateur with a USGA Handicap not exceeding 1.4.  However, only half of the 156 slots are really open for new players – the other half are players that are exempt from qualifying – and in most cases won a major in the past that automatically gets them into the Tournament.

Players to Watch: 

  • Tiger Woods:  Wood’s last Major win was the 2008 US Open at Torrey Pines in CA.  One of the most dramatic major finishes in history he won it on one leg with a torn ACL!   Tiger is four majors away from surpassing Jack Nicklaus and establishing himself as, hands down, the greatest player in history.  Despite injuries, and shaky “major” confidence, he’s still a favorite. Tiger is lurking and ready to pounce.  Tiger will be grouped with his nemesis Phil Mickleson and the surging Bubba Watson, making it a 3-some made for TV.
  • Andy Zhang, a 14 year old amateur, non-professional, is the youngest contestant in US Open history!

    Andy Zhang

  • Rory Mcllroy, from Ireland, is the defending Champion.  At 23 years old he is ranked number 2 in the world.  Rory ran away with the US Open last year will be hungry for his second win.

    Rory McIlroy

  • Luke Donald is the number 1 player in the world – and also one of the best looking on the Tour.  This British Northwestern grad holds the #1 spot in golf but still has yet to win a Major.  His major-less record haunts him and is always the focus point whenever he is playing.   He is poised to dispel any doubts with a win this week.

    Luke Donald

  • Bubba Watson is this year’s Masters Champion.  He plays with a pink driver, not afraid to cry happy tears in public, and is a new father to his adopted son, Caleb.  The most creative guy in golf today. (He’s never had a lesson!)  He will be hitting booming drives, and looking to be in the mix on Sunday.

    Bubba Watson

Groups to Watch (Thursday tee times)

  • 7:33 PDT Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Bubba Watson
    • 19 majors between them.  Woods is the only one with a US Open title; Mickelson has come in 2nd at the US Open five times!
  • 8:32 PDT Adam Scott, Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson: ranked 32, 26, 27, good looking, 12 PGA Tour wins among them, Keegan won the only major in this group last year.
  • 1:29 PDT Luke Donald, Rory Mcllroy, Lee Westwood: ranked 1, 2, 3 in the world respectively, yet only one Major between them.
  • 1:58 PDT Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson, Ryo Ishikawa: Rickie is the most fashion forward young-gun on the PGA Tour, DJ is a good southern boy.

What’s Next:  It promises to be an exciting weekend. The leader board could dramatically change throughout the tournament.  Schedule is below.

US Open Coverage

Thursday June 14 and Friday June 15th

ESPN 12-3 PM EST

NBC   3-5 PM EST

ESPN 5-10 PM EST

Saturday June 16 and Sunday June 17

NBC   4-10 PM EST

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