The Buzz: US Open Top 10


1. DON’T YOU DARE BLOW IT: Serena has the Serena Slam and owns her top foes. But playing for history and under “don’t you dare blow it” pressure, can she four-peat to tie Steffi Graf for the most Slam wins in the Open era (22) and become the first player since 1988 and the sixth player ever to claim a calendar Grand Slam? PS: Back in the Stone Age, Laver did it twice.

2. DJOKOVIC ON THE HARD COURTS: Tennis’s best hard court player is a dominant No. 1. But, OMG, he’s actually blinked a couple of times this year, and hasn’t won in NY since ’11.

3. OLD MAN FEDERER: Grace check, variety check, power check, longevity check. He continues to amaze. And Murray matters, too. But can either outlast Novak in five? 

4. SO YOU WANT TO DANCE WITH THE STARS? Nishikori, Wawrinka, Berdych, Raonic, Dimitrov and France’s athletic artists have all fallen short in NY.

5. DAZZLIN’ DAHLINS: Cici Bellis, Vicky Duval and Melanie Oudin all had breakout moments. Who will have their 15 minutes of fame?

6. THE STADIUM: Flushing Meadows has been hard hat city recently. Will all the beams and  towers for the partially built roof have an impact?

7. DOUBLES DAZES: Bethanie Mattek-Sands has won more Slams than anyone this year (four) and Martina Hingis has three. But last year’s champs, the Bryan brothers, haven’t won a men’s Slam in a  year.

8. BOYS PIPELINE: American boys—Reilly Opelka, Tommy Paul and Noah Rubin—have won three of the last five junior Slams. Plus there’s Taylor Fritz, Michael Mmoh, Stefan Kozlov and Kalamazoo champ Frances Tiafoe.

9. NO WAY: Marin Cilic was injured, hasn’t beaten a top 10 player this year, and is “only” ranked No. 8. So there’s no way he can defend his title. Right—and Federer’s washed up, too. 

10. RAFA THE ENGIMA: Rafa’s won 14 Slams, two US Opens and just prevailed on clay in Hamburg. Could he shock in New York? 

BTW: Uncle Sam Wants You: Could No. 13 John Isner, Jack Sock, Steve Johnson or Sam Querrey go deep into the second week? And can a woman not named Williams get beyond Labor Day? Think Keys, Stephens, Riske, Lepchenko.