New York, New York…..

“New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of, there’s nothing you can’t do….”
-  Jay-Z. He’s not a businessman; he’s a business, man!

Tennis is in an Empire State of Mind right now as the US Open is currently underway. Yes, the quote might be talking about New York, but it certainly applies to The Open. So let’s break down that short verse.

Flushing Meadow’s concrete jungle holds 22,500+ fans and cost more than $250 million dollars to build, making it the world’s largest tennis-specific venue. Some of the biggest most memorable matches and were played under the bright lights of Arthur Ashe Stadium.

And you want to talk about “where dreams are made of” and “there’s nothing you can’t do”? How about Pete Sampras beating Andre Agassi in the 1990 finals to become the youngest champion? Or in 1994 where Agassi became the first unseeded player to win the Open?  What about the 5-setter between Blake and Andre that ended at 1am with Agassi famously saying, “I wasn’t the winner tonight, tennis was.” And let’s not forget 2005, when Kim Clijsters made her comeback complete with her first Grand Slam title. And most recently, American Melanie Oudin made a Cinderella-like run; upsetting the likes of Elena Dementieva, Maria Sharapova and Nadia Petrova before the clock struck midnight and she lost to Caroline Wozniacki. As you can see, the list can go on and on.

The US Open might be only one of four Major tournaments in the year, but for me, it’s the best. There’s something electric about having the rowdy New York crowd, 22,000 strong, cheering late into the night that makes this tournament special. I’ve only experienced the excitement through my “window to the world,” also known as my television. I can’t imagine what the energy level would be like in person. Needless to say, I’ve cleared up plenty of room on the DVR for the next 2 weeks. Sorry “Jersey Shore,” but you’ve just been fist pumped out of the top spot. As much as it’ll hurt me to do so, I’ll need to postpone the GTL (Gym, Tan, Laundry) for a few weeks.

Here at Tennis Warehouse, a few of us have grabbed our Magic 8 balls and made our predictions of what the final match ups will be. Winners are in bold.

Tiffani
Men’s Final: Andy Roddick vs Andy Murray
Women’s Final: Kim Clijsters vs Maria Sharapova
My take: I like both of these match-ups and the winners. Roddick is obviously a fan favorite and it’d be nice to see him explode back into the top 10 with an Open win. Plus, you can count on at least 8-15 shots of Brooklyn Decker by the camera crew. Who can root against Kim Clijsters? She’s such a sweetheart. Kind of like Sammie from the “Jersey Shore.”

Chris
Men’s Final: Rafael Nadal vs Roger Federer
Women’s Final: Kim Clijsters vs Venus Williams
My Take: I think most people would agree the Rafa vs Fed final would be a dream match-up. And not just for Nike, although I think I can hear Phil Knight counting the Benjamins now. Women’s final would be a fun one with two big hitters and one of them being American.

Brittany
Men’s Final: Andy Roddick vs Rafael Nadal
Women’s Final: Caroline Wozniacki vs Venus Williams
My Take: Interesting men’s final. On one hand, I’d love to see Rafael Nadal complete the career slam, but on the other hand, Brooklyn Decker. Toss up! The women’s final would be a snoozer because I think Venus would roll through Caroline.

Kana
Men’s Final: Rafael Nadal vs Robin Soderling
Women’s Final: Na Li vs Kim Clijsters
My Take: I think this would be déjà vu of this year’s French Open final. Nadal wins it in straight sets with a running forehand passing shot on the final point. Crowd goes crazy. Nadal drops to the ground in tears. End scene. I think Kana’s Magic 8 ball was defective when it came time to making the pick for the women’s final match-up. Na Li goes out in the 1st round. Oopsie.

Spencer
Men’s Final: Andy Murray vs Roger Federer
Women’s Final: Maria Sharapova vs Kim Clijsters
My Take: Will Murray finally win his first Grand Slam? Not as long as the guy standing across the net has anything to do about it. Between the both of them, a total of 16 Grand Slam titles. Roger has 16, you do the math. This could be Sharapova’s comeback tournament versus a former Comeback Player of the Year.

Jason
Men’s Final: Andy Roddick vs Rafael Nadal
Women’s Final: Kim Clijsters vs Maria Sharapova
My Take: The men’s final is so tough! My mind says Nadal, but my heart says Brooklyn, err, I mean, Andy. I can’t pick against Clijsters, although I think this match would go to 3 hard fought sets.

So whose dreams are going to come true this year? What matches are going to make it out of the court and into the history books?

You know what they say: if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. Flushing Meadows, that is.

Where does the US Open rank on your list of favorite Grand Slams? What match ups are you most looking forward to?

Jason, TW

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