Tennis  

Nadal, Pliskova are top seeds

Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic. Mike Hewitt/Getty Images/AFP/Mike Hewitt / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

Rafael Nadal is basking in the wave of his new top ranking as the first seed in the Men’s Draw while Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic is the top seed. Erstwhile number one player, Andy Murray is seeded second and comes to Flushing Meadow a green horn in the hard-court season, having skipped the warm-up tournaments in order to recover fully.

The excitement in the Women’s event is the legion of contenders for the top in rankings at the end of the tournament.

Wimbledon champion, Roger Federer is the third seed in the top seed. After losing to Germany’s Alexander Zverev in Montreal, the Swiss took time off to prepare. The challenge by the next generation continues, with Zverev seeded fourth, and his Austrian “mate” placed fifth behind Marin Cilic, a former champion in New York. Grigor Dimitrov, winner in Cincinnati is in seventh spot and Belgium’s David Goffin is back in action seeded ninth.

American John Isner leads the home pack as the tenth seed.

The other member of the upstarts, Nick Kyrgios is the fourteenth player ahead of Tomas Berdych, Lucas Pouille, Sam Querrey and Gail Monfils.

Karolina Pliskova heads the women’s list with a slim margin and is followed by “lady in waiting” Simona Halep of Romania. Former US Open Champion, Angelique Kerber is seeded sixth behind Carolina Wozniacki, Elena Svitolina and Wimbledon current champion Garbine Muguruza who is aiming at her third Grand Slam title. Johanna Konta of Great Britain, Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia, Venus Williams, Agnieszka Radwanka of Poland and Dominica Cibulkova round up the top ten. French Open Champion Jelena Ostapenko is seeded eleventh but a hot contender.

The hype at Flushing Meadows is the definite signal that the conclusion of this year’s Open is likely to produce a new number one among the women. Since the commencement of computer ranking by the Women’s Tennis Association, this is the frist time that more than 4 players have the possibility of topping the list. Although Pliskova heads the seeding based on current points, Simona is only five figures behind her with 6385 and the Romania needs reach the fourth round to surpass the Czech player unless she also keeps winning.

This year, Halep had the first opportunity to attain number one if she had won the French Open. Next she needed to win another determining match in Eastbourne and just recently in Cincinnati. Garbine Muguruza would need to reach Round of 16 to have any chance, but she will need to do better than her record of never having gone past the second round in New York. The fourth seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine must reach the semi-finals; and her record of five titles this year places her in good stead.

Will Alexander Zverev continue his impressive run this season and proceed to win his first Grand Slam? His age mates Thiem and Goffin as well as Murray, Nadal and Federer stand in the way.



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