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The US Open starts today, and it’s prediction time. First, the men (i’ll review the womens event another time.)<br /><br />Most are going for Federer or Roddick, which makes sense given the last year. Both are very comfortable in big events, and are hard to beat. But I am going with Lleyton Hewitt for several reasons.<br /><br />a) He hasn’t been over to the Olympics, so his preparation has been far better than the other top guys.<br />b) He has won 2 of the warm up events in Washington and Long Island, as well as runner up in Cincinnati.<br />c) He won the US Open in 2001, so he knows what to do.<br />d) He is really motivated this year<br />e) He has a good draw.<br />I feel it’s his time again.<br /><br />A possible 1/4 final line up:<br />Federer-Agassi, Srichapan-Henman, Nalbandian-Hewitt, Ferrero-Roddick. The big questions are whether Roddick can beat Safin in the 4th round, and if Henman can wake up to his potential. I don’t fancy Moya to do much, he seems distracted, so that section is Srichapan’s. But, as in other years, there will be some unknown surprise player to knock out one of the big guns. It always happens. Ferrero’s section looks like anybody’s. Andre will be hard to beat if he gets momentum, given that it is one of his last chances for a big title.<br /><br />Some great first round matches:<br />Federer-Costa<br />Dent-El Aynaoui<br />Agassi-Ginepri<br />Henman-Karlovic<br />Hewitt-Ferreira<br />Safin-Enqvist<br />plus a possible R2 Grosjean-Haas.<br /><br />Dangerous unseeded floaters: Philippoussis (as usual), Karlovic (a semi awaits if he can beat Henman), Haas, Youzhny.<br /><br />For the final, it will be the winner of the Agassi-Federer quarter vs Hewitt. (Or not, but you have to have a go.)