The US Open Series is a group of seven tournaments leading up to the US Open throughout different cities in North America. Players accumulate points by participating and advancing in these tournaments with the top 3 in the final US Open Series standings receiving bonus price money after they are finished playing in the US Open in Flushing Meadows, NY.
The series starts on July 19 with the BB&T Open in Atlanta. Without further ado, here is Season’s Over’s preview for the 2014 US Open Series:
Last year’s standings
This year's projected standings
After an impressive showing at Wimbledon where he reached the semi-final, Raonic looks to continue his positive momentum into the summer’s hard court series. With one of the most powerful serves on tour (At one point winning over 30 straight points on his serve against Nick Kyrgios), Raonic looks to make another impressive follow up on last year’s fourth place finish in the Series. Raonic has continued to improve his game since he joined the tour in 2008.
Still very young at age 23, Raonic is on path to join the ranks of the elite. I predict that he will come out of the gate looking to prove something this summer, and walk away with the US Open Series title and a strong seeding at the US Open.
Rafael Nadal (ESP)
Don’t get me wrong, Nadal is probably still a better hard court player at this stage in his career than Raonic is, but he has two things working against him here. One, is that he more than likely won’t play every tournament (Or even half of them) in the Series due to his health history and in order to get proper rest before the US Open (Most of the big players such as Nadal, Federer, and Djokovic only play two of the seven tournaments).
The other is that Raonic is coming into the series on an absolute tear after Wimbledon, where Nadal lost early and was playing golf as the Canadian got important grand slam experience.
When the US Open rolls around Nadal will be one of the top two seeds- and he should be- but he won’t bring home the US Open Series title. I expect him to make the finals in both Toronto and Cincinnati, the only two tournaments he is currently signed up for.
Dimitrov is another youngster (age 23) who had a great showing at Wimbledon, losing to Djokovic in the opposite semi-final from Raonic after splitting the first two sets. The Bulgarian broke into the Top 10 of the Emirates ATP Rankings after his impressive performance at Wimbledon and seems to be gaining momentum and confidence heading into the summer’s action.
He’s earned the nickname “Baby Fed” for his similar style of play to that of tennis legend, and one of his biggest role models, Roger Federer. He should fare well enough in the tournaments he plays in (I expect him to play in at least three of the events) to earn a third place finish.
John Isner (USA)
The American is quite the enigma. Isner to me is similar mentally to Gael Monfils in that one minute he can look like he has it all together, and the next he looks absolutely helpless. He has a big serve (similar to Raonic) but he lacks the necessary athleticism at 6’10 to really utilize his height, rarely making his way to the net.
He is already 29 after completing a career at the University of Georgia, which makes it hard for me to see him becoming anything other than a 4th round threat at majors who is capable of winning some of the smaller tournaments (He is signed up for Atlanta and Winston-Salem, among others).
Isner is taking the smart approach for someone of his skill set however, signing up for 5 of the 7 tournaments in order to have a better shot at accumulating points. Unfortunately for the Greensboro, NC native, I don’t see him earning enough points to qualify for the top 3 and the bonus prize money that comes with it.
Novak Djokovic (SRB)
What can I possibly say in order to convince you any further that this name belongs on this list? The 2014 Wimbledon title holder comes into the summer on a roll, and is signed up to play in both Toronto and Cincinnati as of now. Djokovic has a good shot at facing Nadal in the finals of these two tournaments, winning the Roger’s Cup tournament (Which alternates between Toronto and Montreal) in 2007, 2011, and 2012, but not owning a title from Cincinnati.
Only playing in the two events will allow for Djokovic to get the necessary rest to play well in the US Open and make amends for his 2013 finals loss to Nadal. Simply making the finals in both tournaments he plays in should allow for Djokovic to accumulate enough points to retain his spot in the top 5 of the Series standings after winning the title in 2012 and finishing 5th last year.
- Roger Federer (SUI)
- Tomas Berdych (CZE)
- Sam Querrey (USA)
- Jack Sock (USA)
*Del Potro is out for the remainder of the 2014 season after injuring his wrist in the Sony Open in March.