US Open Series – Rafa takes control of the standings

Rafa-CincinnatiIt’s the big one before the US OpenThe Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati – the last combined ATP Masters 1000 and WTA Premier event before tennis’ final Grand Slam of the year. Typically, after Cincinnati, most top-ranked players head to Flushing to prepare for their run in New York. Coming off wins in Montreal and Toronto, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams maintained focus and found themselves in the finals again…another victory for Rafa and a tough defeat to Victoria Azarenka for Serena.

Nadal is now 53-3 in 2013, with five ATP Masters 1000 titles, nine titles overall. The only loss suffered outside of a final was his first-round exit at Wimbledon. A surprising statistic: Sunday’s win in Cincinnati was the first time he’d ever won back-to-back hard-court titles; and he had to go through John Isner to do it, winning in two tie-break sets 7-6(8), 7-6(3). It was the first time Nadal had ever reached the finals in Cincinnati, and he undoubtedly has the most momentum of all the top-players heading into New York. John Isner’s had a great Summer with the Emirates Airline US Open Series with a win in Atlanta and now finals appearances in Washington D.C. and Cincinnati. Though he dropped to #22 in the world last week after his first-round loss in Montreal, he’s back up to #14 with Sunday’s finals appearance and carries a ton of confidence into the US Open…after all, John defeated world #1 Novak Djokovic earlier this week in the Cincy Quarterfinals.

  • In the Men’s Doubles final, Bob and Mike Bryan defeated Marc Lopez and Marcel Granollers 6-4, 4-6, 10-4 to win Cincinnati for the 4th time. The Bryans earned their 4th ATP Masters 1000 title of the year, 10th title of 2013, and their 92nd career title overall. Now with 25 career ATP Masters 1000 titles, Bob and Mike are tied with Canada’s Daniel Nestor for the most career ATP Masters 1000 titles. As the reigning Australian, French and Wimbledon champs, they head to Flushing to defend last year’s US Open title.

On the ladies side, the Western and Southern Open featured a rematch of last year’s US Open final with Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka. While Serena won the Open in three-sets last year, Azarenka has owned Serena on hard-courts this year. Vika defeated Serena in Doha back in February and picked up another three-set win over Serena in Cincinnati 2-6, 6-2, 7-6(6). Williams and Azarenka are 2-2 on hard-courts since Serena’s win at last year’s Open, and it sure feels like we could see this battle again on September 8th.

  • In the Womens Doubles Final, Su-Wei Hsieh and Shuai Peng defeated Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Kveta Peschke 2-6, 6-3, 12-10. It was Groenefeld and Peshke’s second consecutive finals appearance with the Emirates Airline US Open Series. Last week, they lost in a match tie-break to Jelena Jankovic and Katarina Srebotnik 10-6.

This week: It’s the fifth and final week of the Emirates Airline US Open Series, as the 2013 U.S. Open officially gets underway this coming Saturday with Arthur Ashe Kids Day. The guys will be in Winston-Salem for the Winston-Salem Open; while the ladies will be in Connecticut for the New Haven Open at Yale.

2013 U.S. Open Series Standings:

The Fellas:

  • Rafael Nadal (ESP) 200
  • John Isner (USA) 185
  • Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) 130
  • Milos Raonic (CAN) 85
  • Novak Djokovic (SRB) 70
  • Kevin Anderson (RSA) 60
  • Tomas Berdych (CZE) 60
  • Dmitry Tursunov (RUS) 50
  • Vasek Pospisil (CAN) 45
  • Tommy Haas (GER) 40
  • Marinko Matosevic (AUS) 40
  • Andy Murray (GBR) 40

The Ladies:

  • Serena Williams (USA) 170
  • Victoria Azarenka (BLR) 145
  • Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) 130
  • Samantha Stosur (AUS) 100
  • Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) 95
  • Sorana Cirstea (ROU) 95
  • Na Li (CHN) 90
  • Jelena Jankovic (SRB) 60
  • Petra Kvitova (CZE) 55
  • Roberta Vinci (ITA) 55

Win Series and get paid at the OPEN

  • Winner - $1,000,000
  • Finalist - $500,000
  • Semifinalist - $250,000
  • Quarterfinalist - $125,000
  • Round of 16 - $70,000
  • Round of 32 - $40,000
  • Round of 64 - $25,000
  • Round of 128 - $15,000