August 29th, 2009
12:04 PM ET

Can anyone stop the Williams sisters winning?

Hands up who prefers watching men’s tennis to women’s right now?

Most tennis fans would agree the men’s game is the bigger draw in its current state. Yes, the return of Kim Clijsters has helped the women’s game, but real competition is lacking. How much better would it be if Justine Henin was back with racket in hand ready to do battle on court? Or if Maria Sharapova and Ana Ivanovic could recapture their major-winning form to truly challenge the Williams sisters?

Will anyone be able to get past the formidable challenge of Williams sisters, Venus and Serena?
Will anyone be able to get past the formidable challenge of Williams sisters, Venus and Serena?

It's worth pointing out too that according to the WTA's rankings, Venus and Serena aside, the next best-placed American women's tennis player with a chance of lifting the Flushing Meadows' title is Melanie Oudin, rank 67 in the world. Strength and depth of talent is needed and nowhere more so than in the United States.

As for the 2009 champion, well, it’s hard to look past the Williams sisters, despite their relatively poor form heading in to the final major of the year. But as we’ve seen many times in the past, both can turn it on come grand-slam time.

I’d personally like to see Elena Dementieva win it. She’s overdue for a major, but whether she has the nerve to go all the way, still remains to be seen. I thought after she won gold in Beijing that she’d turned a corner, but still have to be convinced.

Dinara Safina’s another who has the ability to grab a first grand slam triumph. She’s the most consistent player on tour, but as we’ve seen this year in major finals, the temperamental Russian doesn’t seem to believe in herself on the big stage.

The men’s game currently sees the top four some way ahead of the chasing pack. Can you really see someone other than Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic winning the U.S. Open? I can’t.

They are sure to be tested somewhere down the line at Flushing Meadows by the likes of Andy Roddick, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Juan Martin Del Potro, but it would not be the biggest upset to see a top four semi-final showdown, just like at the Cincinnati Masters.

Now he’s won number 15, and claimed his first French Open title, Federer can relax as he goes for a sixth straight triumph in New York. He’s the overwhelming favorite and the winner, if, he plays somewhere near his best.

A lapse could see new world number two Andy Murray clinch his first grand-slam title. You’ll remember that he was Federer’s opponent in last year's final and Murray has admitted that his best chance of major success is likely to come in New York.

Nadal seems to prefer the slower courts of Melbourne to those in the Big Apple, and having just returned from a two-month injury layoff, could be the one to be upset early. Djokovic, meanwhile, is fighting fit, judging by his performance in Cincinnati and is arguably Federer’s greatest threat.

My prediction:
Federer will win the men’s. Serena will claim the women’s.
What do you think?

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Filed under:  Tennis
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Cciza Williams

    I couldn't agree more Candy, Federer is Betterer and with his current form plus a lil' bit more its FedEx all the way. Actually The Maestro should think of retirement and focus on the family but then again there is the "daily bread" there is making us his fans happy so...yeah maybe a few more years. For the ladies im thinkin' Dinara has learned her lesson with the past major finals she could take it but like you said the Williams sure know how to crush the party hahaha!

    August 29, 2009 at 1:47 pm | Reply
  2. Allan Gordon

    I'm a big tennis fan, and I wholeheartedly agree with you. The women's game is in much need of some greater competition. What's worse, when the two Willams sisters play against each ofther (most often in a final), it rarely makes for good tennis.
    I personally find it hard to even care who wins. One sister or the other.

    I miss the days of Steffie Graf, Monica Seles, Martina Hingis, Sanchez- Vicario, Jana Novotna, and the like.

    August 29, 2009 at 9:30 pm | Reply
  3. stoiclook

    so far the williams sisters haven't looked so strong on the hardcouts, but of course historically that is not always an indication of how they will perform. i just wish serena was a little bit more gracious in defeat sometimes. it's awful to see when she does lose her never quite congradulating her opponent fairly (unless it's venus) it's always about how ahe made a meal of it. the ARE players who can outhit her and if they both play their best it's no guarantee she will win. the reason people love fed so much is not only his perfect form, but also his behavior. i fear this stems from the williams sisters never having a real profi coach- imagine what they could have accomplished if they did...

    August 30, 2009 at 12:41 pm | Reply
  4. lis

    you're right. men's tennis is more interesting. i'm not a fan of the williams' sisters so i don't even watch a final involving those two. i do disagree on one thing: i think dementieva has a good shot this time and has the ability and guts to win.

    August 30, 2009 at 3:25 pm | Reply
  5. corvedacosta

    It's anyone's game. The Williams' sisters are simply amazing. Players must be at their best to beat them

    August 30, 2009 at 4:31 pm | Reply
  6. Mwamba

    Your predictions are well supported. The Fed Express is on the right track to claim a sixtenth title but I only hope he wont derail during the tournament.
    For the women, I have my money on either one of the Williams sister. I dont foresee much of challenge as long as the two sisters do not slip up.
    Looking forward for an entertaining two weeks.

    August 30, 2009 at 6:57 pm | Reply
  7. lulu nxumalo

    l couldn't agree more, the womens game lacks competition it becomes so obvious who is going to win, having said that the williams sisters game is got substance and its a joy to watch if only other women like sharapova can concetrate more on their tennis game and give us a run for our money becoz she can, safina needs to work on her temper and start winnining majors it would be great.

    August 31, 2009 at 11:28 am | Reply
  8. Samantha

    I don't think that because the Williams sisters are so dominant in tennis that it spells trouble for the sport. In fact, I welcome the fact that the US has such dominant female players. The same can't be said for male US players! We need a 'Williams sisters' for male tennis players!

    It's funny that people are whining and complaining that the Williams sisters are taking over the sport but if they were to retire, everyone would complain 'Why are they retiring? Blah, blah' . Worst yet, suppose the Williams sisters were British or Australian, then the Americans would complain that the US doesn't have good female tennis players! My goodness, you please people at all!

    All athletes deserve praise for their hard work and dominance in their sport. Venus and Serena in tennis, Michael Phelps in swimming, Kobe and Lebron in basketball and Tiger Woods in golf. Shouldn't we just be proud that they're AMERICAN and do so well to represent their country in their sport?

    Good luck to Venus and Serena in the US Open!

    August 31, 2009 at 5:21 pm | Reply
  9. Brian Nkwanga

    oh yes,have had aquick read out of people's views bout the on going us.open and the williams at large.i do not underestimate everybody's idea even if l'm in country where the game has isolated us for so many centuries(uganda).lets not take too long to remember how the game changes with how it has evenly more changed,but i do put alot of trust in the two williams sisters that there in for it just like you've already been briefed how they know to crash the party,whoooo at the same time with the come back of Nadal well known for his logic serves that went out with great wins over the current person you are praising as of now.i feel he's good but the spaniard is arguably good all the and l'm only hoping to see him cry again just like he did at early start of this year in january at the australian open.so i strongly tip Nadal to be aturf nut to crack any time,may be may be not.

    August 31, 2009 at 5:48 pm | Reply
  10. tering

    del pedro is the one who is going to be the dark horse and as for women it has to be Dementiava

    August 31, 2009 at 10:09 pm | Reply
  11. chyke

    candy,i agree with u,but still believe that d mens tennis is being more boring this days,bcos is federer all over,if it was when nadal was fit ,u can think of mens real finals,but till he bcomes fit,i believe there no one out there to challenge him,coming to womens side,williams have all it will take to clinch d trophy,but d big question is,will they really give their best ,u know this girls re really good if they wanna be n they dnt care abt their fans when they dnt want,hope they will really play this time with their heart

    September 1, 2009 at 6:18 am | Reply
  12. Mike

    I think rafa is going to shock the world with a victory,for the women i couldnt agree more,serena is going to win.

    September 1, 2009 at 6:53 am | Reply
  13. bigges.be

    Our Kim Clijsters will win...
    Watch out Justine Henin, she will also come back soon !

    September 6, 2009 at 10:15 pm | Reply
  14. fcm

    For the men I would definitely put my money on Federer on taking it with maybe an outside chance of rafa upsetting roger for the title. On the women side, here too I agree with you that it will most likely be serena but if anybody else might have a chance to take it, it would be clijsters, either way the winner of the serena / clijsters semi’s will win the title.

    September 11, 2009 at 9:36 am | Reply
  15. Zohaib Ahmed

    I think this is the time that the sisters should be allowed by tennis federation to play against men. Only they can beat them.

    September 15, 2009 at 6:31 pm | Reply
  16. jason

    i don't watch tennis to often so don't be mad but i don't think that anyone can beat teh williams sisters when it comes down to it. i do know that one of them lost the us open singles and that was great but they will win 99.9% of the time.

    September 20, 2009 at 3:29 am | Reply

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