Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro, the 2009 US Open Tennis champion, poses with fans upon his arriving at the international airport in Ezeiza, Argentina, on September 16.
Back in July, this is what I wanted to know:
Last year, Gilles Simon and Juan Martín del Potro stormed into the Top 10 with some surprise and some expectation. Something tells me only one of the will defend a good chunk of points he earned in the lead up to the US Open, and I can't even say I'm sure about that.
Well, I was thinking of del Potro, and he clearly more than defending his points by becoming the tour's newest champion at the US Open.
How will the recent world No. 1 fare coming back from rehabilitation and family disarray?
Not too well. Rafael Nadal's knees are fine, but his abdominal muscle might be torn. It affected his play to the point that he lost twice in two tournaments to the US Open champ, the only time he's ever lost three times to a single player in a single season. (He lost to him in Miami as well.)
How will the top American Andy Roddick recover from an injury absence and the heartbreak of another Wimbledon title that got away?
Losing two tight matches to the USO champ earlier in the summer and losing a fifth-set breaker to John Isner in the third round of the USO, his earliest exit since losing in the first round in 2005, indicates he hasn't recovered at all. Probably won't. At least not enough to contest another Slam final.
Will Serena Williams stay healthy and play a fuller summer than she has in recent years?
Yes. And look how that ended...
How will the new mother Kim Clijsters, returning from her relatively brief retirement, handle all the new girls?
She beat Victoria Azarenka in one of her first event back, as I expected, and toppled Venus and Serena en route to her second US Open title. Ironic that she would be the one to make me look psychic.
Will Venus Williams finally get herself back to a US Open final?
Will Elena Dementieva?
It seems to me the only top player around which there is no question mark is none other than Roger Federer.
When he lost a big lead against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Canada, I thought I was wrong. But then he won Cincy so I thought not. He made his sixth-consecutive USO final until he ran into the biggest player with the biggest question mark who answered his critics (I said he could go jump in the lake and get fit...) resoundingly.
Del Potro meets with anchors (L-R) Al Roker, Jenna Wolfe and Matt Lauer on NBC's 'The Today Show' on September 15, 2009 in New York, New York.
Of course Melanie Oudin gets an honorable mention for her gutsy run to the quarterfinals. It's going to be interesting to see where she goes from here, especially since the American tennis establishment seems dead set on punishing her coach for speaking the truth about the American tennis establishment.
I may cover Davis Cup. I may not. It's going to be a busy weekend on the farm.
Thank you all for reading, and I'll "see" you soon!