Steve Flink, the noted tennis historian, journalist and author of the new book THE GREATEST TENNIS MATCHES OF ALL TIME, is tipping Britain’s Andy Murray and American Serena Williams to win the singles titles at the 2012 US Open.
“Murray has probably the toughest draw,” said Flink of the men’s field. “He might play Milos Raonic in the fourth round, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the quarterfinals, Roger Federer in the semifinals and then Novak Djokovic in the final. Despite that daunting draw, I pick him to win the tournament. His triumph at the Olympics has given him the greater belief he needed, and he is at his best on hard courts. He is long overdue to win a major. I believe he will come through at the Open this year.”
While saying that Federer, Djokovic and Murray are head and shoulders above the rest of the men’s field, Djokovic may have a slight advantage since the lesser-regarded David Ferrer, seeded No. 4, is in his half of the draw, benefitting the most from the absence of 2010 US Open champion Rafael Nadal, who withdrew from the tournament with knee problems.
Said Flink, “Djokovic got the best draw of the ‘Big Three’ because Murray ended up on Federer’s half, so Djokovic would only have to defeat one of his two key rivals to take the title, and he is projected to meet No. 4 seed David Ferrer in the semifinals. Murray and Federer figure to keep each other out on court for a long while and their semifinal – if it comes off – could be an exhausting duel.”
Flink said that as many as seven men have a serious chance to win the tournament.
“One of the “Big Three” will almost surely prevail but others in the hunt will be 2009 champion Juan Martin Del Potro, Tsonga, John Isner and Raonic. I don’t think Raonic is ready to win a major yet but he is very dangerous and he could serve anyone off the court. Isner could have a shot if he can play the way he did early in the season when he beat Federer, Djokovic and Tsonga in a short span. Del Potro is very close to where he was in 2009 and Tsonga is a very complete player who has been in the last two Wimbledon semifinals.”
As for the women, Flink is placing Williams, the solid favorite, as the one to raise the trophy, but not without challengers if she is not in top form.
“In the case of Serena, the draw doesn’t matter much,” said Flink. “She won 19 matches in a row including Wimbledon and the Olympic Games before losing to Angelique Kerber in Cincinnati and she is playing perhaps the best tennis of her career. She has not win the Open since 2008 but I see her taking her fourth title this year convincingly.”
“While Serena is the clear favorite to win the Open this year, I see five other women who could prevail under the right circumstances: Victoria Azarenka, Maria Sharapova, Petra Kvitova, Li Na and Sam Stosur. All five have won major titles over the last two years. Li Na and Kvitova have been playing great tennis on the hard courts in recent weeks, Stosur is the defending champion, Sharapova has been performing with immense consistency at almost every Grand Slam tournament, and Azarenka won the Australian Open on hard courts this year. They are all strong contenders, but none of them will stop Serena if Williams is anywhere near the top of her game.”
Flink’s new book THE GREATEST TENNIS MATCHES OF ALL TIME features profiles and rankings of the greatest matches of all time dating from the 1920s featuring Bill Tilden and Suzanne Lenglen up through the modern era of tennis featuring contemporary stars Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova. Flink breaks down, analyzes and puts into historical context the sport’s most memorable matches, providing readers with a courtside seat at these most celebrated and significant duels. Other champions featured in the book include Don Budge, Maureen Connolly, Rod Laver, Margaret Court, Billie Jean King, John McEnroe, Bjorn Borg, Jimmy Connors, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf among many others. Flink’s fascinating “greatest strokes of all time” section ranks and describes the players who best executed all the important shots in the game through the years.
THE GREATEST TENNIS MATCHES OF ALL TIME, a hard-cover book that retails for $28.95, can be purchased via this link http://m1e.net/c?96279190-dIXQhHMIwcXJ2%407802041-wqpikqevcxBzQ at www.NewChapterMedia.com and where ever books are sold. The book is available in electronic formats, including on Amazon.com’s Kindle here: http://m1e.net/c?96279190-BOArfjn1xtfhc%407802042-kkXRpT9OLkT56
Flink, one of the most respected writers and observers in the game, is currently a columnist for TennisChannel.com. A resident of Katonah, N.Y., he is the former editor of World Tennis magazine and a former senior columnist at Tennis Week.
Founded in 1987, New Chapter Press (www.NewChapterMedia.com) is also the publisher of “Roger Federer: Quest for Perfection” by Rene Stauffer (www.RogerFedererBook.com), “The Bud Collins History of Tennis” by Bud Collins, “The Education of a Tennis Player” by Rod Laver with Bud Collins, “The Wimbledon Final That Never Was” by Sidney Wood, “Acing Depression: A Tennis Champion’s Toughest Match” by Cliff Richey and Hilaire Richey Kallendorf (www.CliffRicheyBook.com), “Titanic: The Tennis Story” by Lindsay Gibbs, “Jan Kodes: A Journey To Glory From Behind The Iron Curtain” by Jan Kodes with Peter Kolar, “Tennis Made Easy” by Kelly Gunterman, “On This Day In Tennis History” by Randy Walker (www.TennisHistoryBook.com), “A Player’s Guide To USTA League Tennis” by Tony Serksnis, “Boycott: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games” by Tom Caraccioli and Jerry Caraccioli (www.Boycott1980.com), “The Lennon Prophecy” by Joe Niezgoda (www.TheLennonProphecy.com), “Bone Appetit, Gourmet Cooking For Your Dog” by Susan Anson, “How To Sell Your Screenplay” by Carl Sautter, “The Rules of Neighborhood Poker According To Hoyle” by Stewart Wolpin, “People’s Choice Guide Cancun” by Eric Rabinowitz, “Lessons from the Wild” by Shayamal Vallabhjee among others.
In December of 2012, New Chapter Press will publish “A Backhanded Gift,” a novel by Marshall Fisher, also the author of “A Terrible Splendor,” a book on the Don Budge-Gottfried von Cramm Davis Cup match from 1937. It is available for pre-order here: http://m1e.net/c?96279190-OZVji3tpjvKBs%407802043-odHXPhvwb0LXQ