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US Open - Live on Ten Sports
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The season’s final slam event, the US Open, begins with Roger Federer the overwhelming favourite to win yet again at Flushing Meadows. The Swiss has a formidable record at the event having won it 5 times in a row. The defending champion has been in brilliant touch this season winning the Wimbledon and the French Open. Back from a break after the birth of twin daughters, the Swiss showed he well prepared for another assault with an impressive win in the Cincinnati Masters in Ohio.

Despite Federer’s dominance, the men’s contest is expected to be keenly fought with top players peaking at just the right moment. In the Rogers Cup in Toronto, the top 8 seeds reached the quarterfinals. In the Cincinnati Masters the top four seeds were contesting in the last four stage.

Federer’s biggest challenge is likely to come from Andy Murray with most expecting the two to clash in the final yet again this year. Murray lost the final in 2008 in straight sets but is a much improved player since and his performance this year has seen him move up to number two in the ATP rankings. The Scot has won 5 tournaments this year, earning over $3 million dollars in prize money. Despite all his success Murray is yet to win a major and will go all out to make amends in the season’s last grand slam.

Third seed Raphael Nadal has won 6 majors in his career but the Spaniard is still working hard to regain the form that saw him dominating last season. Nadal’s season began well this season as he beat Federer at the Australian Open to win his first grand slam on hard-court but tendonitis in his knee has since hampered his progress. A semi-final appearance in Cincinnati has given indications that the Mallorcan may again be a big threat for Federer. Another player looking to end the year on a high is Croatian Novak Djokovic. The world number three has won two tournaments this year but he may well have reserved his best for the last.

In the women’s draw, Dinara Safina is seeded number one but not many will rate her as the favourite. The Russian is yet to win a grand slam event. The punters’ favourite will be American Serena Williams who is looking for her fourth US Open title. Williams is known to lift her game in the grand slam events and is looking for her third major this year having already won the Australian Open and Wimbledon.

The return of Kim Clijsters and Maria Sharapova will also be keenly watched. Sharapova suffered from a shoulder injury which threatened to end her career prematurely. The Russian returned to action in May and is looking good after an appearance in the final of the Rogers Cup in Toronto. Clijsters had retired due to injury and impending marriage. The 2005 champion believes she has the ability to compete with the best.

Indian fans will be keenly watching the progress of Sania Mirza in the singles. There are more chances for success in the doubles with both Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi being serious contenders.

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