Well, for the fourth straight Grand Slam this year, Federer and Djokovic are on the same side of the draw. There are always complaints about draw fixing, and the seemingly too-high percentage of times that Federer and Nadal are on different sides of the draw after they were no longer #s 1 and 2 in the World is a bit suspicious. Though to be fair, the only way to guarantee that they are on the same side of the draw would be to fix it the opposite way. Do I think draws are fixed? Probably not. But definitely not entire draws like some fans want to think. If there is any draw-fixing going on at all, I would think that it is only things like the top 4 seeds and not every single match like some sensationalist fans would like to think. And the US Open has an arbitrary celebrity or athlete draw the seed number on a chip live out of the trophy, so it would be pretty hard, but definitely not impossible, to rig that.
Enough about how the draw is made. Let's look at the draw itself. We'll rank each quarter from toughest to easiest based on the most likely potential path for the top seed in that quarter to get to the semifinals. I will refer back to my US Open Preview
several times, so if you haven't seen it already it might help to check it out now.
Andy Murray's Quarter:
When I first saw the list of players in Murray's quarter, I was a little taken aback. This quarter is absolutely loaded. Soderling, Isner, Del Potro, Simon, and Wawrinka all have the ability to beat just about anyone on their best days on a fast hard court. Luckily for Murray, however, Wawrinka is the only one of those five in Murray's half of the quarter. We pegged Soderling as a probable early exit in our preview, and with this draw I'd be shocked if he reached the quarterfinals.
Murray's path to the semis will not be so easy either though. His first-round opponent, Somdev Devvarman, is a solid player who has no real weapons to challenge Murray. If Murray's game is off it could get interesting, but I would expect this to be a quick straight-setter. Murray's second-round match could be intriguing, where he could meet Robin Haase. The Dutchman hits huge and, when he is accurate, can really trouble just about anyone. He took Rafa to five sets at Wimbledon last year by basically just trying to hit him off the court. I wouldn't expect him to beat Murray, but if he finds his range it could be a very tight and exciting match.
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. As always, thoughts and opinions are welcome and requested.