US OPEN 2003
General Info ... WTA Info ... ATP Info ... US Open Review
Match Schedule ... Results ... WTA Supplement ... ATP Preview



ATP 2003 US Open Preview

ATP Player Preview



PREVIEW MEN in US OPEN 2003

Welcome to the 123rd edition of the US National Championships, known since 1968 as the US Open Tennis Championships. With 122 years of history, the US Open is one of the oldest major sporting events in the country.

 

Event

First held

Kentucky Derby (horse racing)

1875

US National Championships/US Open (tennis)

1881

Stanley Cup (hockey)

1893

US Open (golf)

1895

World Series (baseball)

1903

Indianapolis 500 (auto racing)

1911

NFL Championship/Super Bowl (football)

1920

The Masters (golf)

1934

NBA Finals (basketball)

1947

 

The US Open, taken with the US National Championships, is the second-oldest of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments (Wimbledon being the oldest) and the only one to have been played each year since its inception in 1881.

 

Since the Open Era began in 1968, allowing amateurs and pros to compete against each other for prize money, 142 Grand Slam tournament championships have been contested. The 2003 US Open is the  143rd.

 

 

POINTS AND PRIZE MONEY.... With men’s singles prize money totalling $5,156,000, the following is a breakdown in US dollars of the individual prize money, ATP Champions Race points and ATP Entry Ranking points for the men's singles competition at the 2003 US Open:

 

 

Prize Money
Race
Points
Entry Ranking Points

Champion

$1,000,000

200

1000

Finalist

500,000

140

700

Semifinalists

250,000

90

450

Quarterfinalists

125,000

50

250

Round of 16

65,000

30

150

Third Round

37,500

15

75

Second Round

22,500

7

35

First Round

12,500

1

5

 

Point Allocations for all tournaments for the ATP Champions Race 2003 and an explanation of the system can be found on pages E2-E3 of the 2003 ATP Media Guide.

NO DEFENDING CHAMPION.… With 2002 champion Pete Sampras choosing not to play and subsequently announcing his retirement, there is no defending men’s champion at the US Open for the first time since 1971, when 1970 winner Ken Rosewall did not play. These are the only two times that the US Open has been without its men’s defending champion in the Open Era.

 

The last time a Grand Slam men’s champion did not return to defend his title was earlier this year at the Australian Open, when 2002 winner Thomas Johansson was forced to miss the event due to a knee injury.

 

Sampras won his 14th Grand Slam tournament at last year’s US Open, extending his record for most Grand Slam tournament singles titles which had previously been set when he won his 13th at 2000 Wimbledon, surpassing Roy Emerson’s 12 major titles.

 

 

AGASSI LOOKS FOR NINTH GRAND SLAM TITLE…. The active player closest to Sampras in number of Grand Slam tournament singles titles is No. 1 seed Andre Agassi, who has won eight majors, two at the US Open (1994 and 1999). A third US Open title for Agassi would give him sole possession of sixth place for the most all-time Grand Slam titles. 

 

Top Grand Slam titleholders

1.

Pete Sampras

14

2.

Roy Emerson

12

3.

Bjorn Borg

11

 

Rod Laver

11

5.

Bill Tilden

10

6.

Fred Perry

8

 

Ken Rosewall

8

 

Jimmy Connors

8

 

Ivan Lendl

8

 

Andre Agassi

8

11.

Richard Sears

7

 

William Renshaw

7

 

William Larned

7

 

Rene Lacoste

7

 

Henri Cochet

7

 

John Newcombe

7

 

John McEnroe

7

 

Mats Wilander

7

 

 

TWO IN A ROW…. Roger Federer is attempting to become the first player since Pete Sampras in 1995 to win Wimbledon and the US Open back-to-back. Five players have combined to win Wimbledon and the US Open back-to-back eight times in the Open Era. Three players have done it twice: Jimmy Connors in 1974 and ’82, McEnroe in 1981 and ’84 and Sampras in 1993 and ’95.

 

Wimbledon – US Open Perfecta

1969

Rod Laver

1974

Jimmy Connors

1981

John McEnroe

1982

Jimmy Connors

1984

John McEnroe

1989

Boris Becker

1993

Pete Sampras

1995

Pete Sampras

 

 

STAR SPANGLED BANNER YEARS…. Last year, with Pete Sampras defeating Andre Agassi in the US Open men’s singles final one day after Serena Williams overcame sister Venus in the women’s final, the tournament had its first all-American men’s and women’s singles finals since 1979.

 

US men have advanced to the US Open final 11 of the past 13 years, winning seven titles in that period. Five of the finals have been all-American affairs, including Sampras’s 63 64 57 64 victory over Agassi last year.

 

Since 1990, no other single nation has had more than 11 Grand Slam tournament finalists, period. This includes those instances of all-countrymen finals. Nor has any other single nation collected more than five Grand Slam tournament titles in the past 14 years. As impressive as US players have been at the US Open since 1990, stepping back to examine US results in all of the majors during that time shows that the United States have produced 45 Grand Slam tournament finalists and snared 26 titles.

 

Nationalities of Grand Slam finalists since 1990

Nation

Grand Slam titles (US Open)

Final appearances (US Open)

United States

26 (7)

45(16)

Spain

5 (0)

11 (0)

Sweden

4 (2)

9 (2)

Australia

4 (3)

8 (4)

Germany

3 (0)

9 (1)

Russia

3 (1)

5 (1)

Brazil

3 (0)

3 (0)

Czech Republic

2 (0)

4 (0)

Ecuador

1 (0)

1 (0)

Austria

1 (0)

1 (0)

Croatia

1 (0)

4 (0)

Netherlands

1 (0)

2 (0)

Switzerland

1 (0)

1 (0)

France

0

3 (1)

Chile

0

1 (0)

Ukraine

0

1 (0)

Argentina

0

1 (0)

Great Britain

0

1 (1)

 

 

A VARIETY OF GRAND SLAM CHAMPIONS.... There have been seven different winners at the last seven Grand Slam events, starting with Thomas Johansson’s success at the 2002 Australian Open. Four of these men – Johansson, Albert Costa, Roger Federer and Juan Carlos Ferrero – were first-time Grand Slam winners. The longest streak of different winners in the Open Era is eight, achieved Wimbledon 1975 through Roland Garros 1977 and again Wimbledon 2000 through Roland Garros 2002.

 

 

SIX DIFFERENT FINALISTS SO FAR IN 2003…. In 2003 to date, six different men have advanced to the final of the Grand Slam tournaments. In fact, the only two players to have appeared in more than one final in the past seven Grand Slam events are Andre Agassi and Juan Carlos Ferrero.

 

With the current trend, it is possible that the men’s game is heading for a fourth year in the Open Era in which eight different men have contested the finals of the four Grand Slam tournaments. All three previous occurrences have been within the last six years, including two consecutive years 2001-2002.

 

Eight different Grand Slam finalists in one year (Open Era)

 

2003 Australian Open

2003 Roland Garros

2003 Wimbledon

2003 US Open

Champion

Andre Agassi

Juan Carlos Ferrero

Roger Federer

???

Runner-up

Rainer Schuettler

Martin Verkerk

Mark Philippoussis

???

 

 

2002 Australian Open

2002 Roland Garros

2002 Wimbledon

2002 US Open

Champion

Thomas Johansson

Albert Costa

Lleyton Hewitt

Pete Sampras

Runner-up

Marat Safin

Juan Carlos Ferrero

David Nalbandian

Andre Agassi

 

 

2001 Australian Open

2001 Roland Garros

2001 Wimbledon

2001 US Open

Champion

Andre Agassi

Gustavo Kuerten

Goran Ivanisevic

Lleyton Hewitt

Runner-up

Arnaud Clement

Alex Corretja

Patrick Rafter

Pete Sampras

 

 

1998 Australian Open

1998 Roland Garros

1998 Wimbledon

1998 US Open

Champion

Petr Korda

Carlos Moya

Pete Sampras

Patrick Rafter

Runner-up

Marcelo Rios

Alex Corretja

Goran Ivanisevic

Mark Philippoussis

 

 

NINE GRAND SLAM CHAMPIONS IN MAIN DRAW.... There are a total of nine Grand Slam tournament champions at the 2003 US Open. Two of these, Andre Agassi and Lleyton Hewitt, have enjoyed success in New York. A third former US champion, 2000 winner Marat Safin, was in the draw seeded No. 26 but withdrew due to his long-term wrist injury.

 

Player

Grand Slam Tournament Titles

Andre Agassi (8 titles)

1992 Wimbledon

 

1994, 99 US Open

 

1995, 2000-01, 2003 Australian Open

 

1999 Roland Garros

Michael Chang (1)

1989 Roland Garros

Albert Costa (1)

2002 Roland Garros

Roger Federer (1)

2003 Wimbledon

Juan Carlos Ferrero (1)

2003 Roland Garros

Lleyton Hewitt (2)

2001 US Open, 2002 Wimbledon

Yevgeny Kafelnikov (2)

1996 Roland Garros

 

1999 Australian Open

Gustavo Kuerten (3)

1997, 2000-01 Roland Garro

Carlos Moya (1)

1998 Roland Garros

 

There are 46 members of the club of Open Era Grand Slam tournament singles titleists, Juan Carlos Ferrero joining at this year’s Roland Garros and Roger Federer following at Wimbledon. The complete list is as follows:

 

Andre Agassi (USA), Arthur Ashe (USA), Boris Becker (GER), Bjorn Borg (SWE), Sergi Bruguera (ESP), Pat Cash (AUS), Michael Chang (USA), Jimmy Connors (USA), Albert Costa (ESP), Jim Courier (USA), Stefan Edberg (SWE), Mark Edmondson (AUS), Roger Federer (SUI), Juan Carlos Ferrero (ESP), Vitas Gerulaitis (USA), Andres Gimeno (ESP), Andres Gomez (ECU), Lleyton Hewitt (AUS), Goran Ivanisevic (CRO), Thomas Johansson (SWE), Yevgeny Kafelnikov (RUS), Jan Kodes (TCH), Petr Korda (CZE), Richard Krajicek (NED), Johan Kriek (RSA/USA)^, Gustavo Kuerten (BRA), Rod Laver (AUS), Ivan Lendl (TCH), John McEnroe (USA), Carlos Moya (ESP), Thomas Muster (AUT), Ilie Nastase (ROM), John Newcombe (AUS), Yannick Noah (FRA), Manuel Orantes (ESP), Adriano Panatta (ITA), Patrick Rafter (AUS), Ken Rosewall (AUS), Marat Safin (RUS), Pete Sampras (USA), Stan Smith (USA), Michael Stich (GER), Roscoe Tanner (USA), Brian Teacher (USA), Guillermo Vilas (ARG) and Mats Wilander (SWE).

 

^ -- Johan Kriek was South African when he won the 1981 Australian Open, but he was a naturalized US citizen when he reclaimed the title in 1982.

 

In the Open Era, only nine men have notched their first major by winning the US Open, the same number as have claimed their first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open and Wimbledon. Roland Garros is by far the most likely scene of a player’s first major title.

 

Joining the Grand Slam Tournament Title Club

Australian Open (9)

 

 

Roland Garros (19)

 

 

Jimmy Connors

1974

 

Ken Rosewall

1968

Mark Edmondson

1976

 

Jan Kodes

1970

Roscoe Tanner

1977

 

Andres Gimeno

1972

Vitas Gerulaitis

1977

 

Bjorn Borg

1974

Brian Teacher

1980

 

Adriano Panatta

1976

Johan Kriek

1981

 

Guillermo Vilas

1977

Stefan Edberg

1985

 

Mats Wilander

1982

Petr Korda

1998

 

Yannick Noah

1983

Thomas Johansson

2002

 

Ivan Lendl

1984

 

 

 

Michael Chang

1989

 

 

 

Andres Gomez

1990

 

 

 

Jim Courier

1991

 

 

 

Sergi Bruguera

1993

 

 

 

Thomas Muster

1995

 

 

 

Yevgeny Kafelnikov

1996

 

 

 

Gustavo Kuerten

1997

 

 

 

Carlos Moya

1998

 

 

 

Albert Costa

2002

 

 

 

Juan Carlos Ferrero

2003

 

 

 

 

 

Wimbledon (9)

 

 

US Open (9)

 

Rod Laver

1968

 

Arthur Ashe

1968

John Newcombe

1970

 

Stan Smith

1971

Boris Becker

1985

 

Ilie Nastase

1972

Pat Cash

1987

 

Manuel Orantes

1975

Michael Stich

1991

 

John McEnroe

1979

Andre Agassi

1992

 

Pete Sampras

1990

Richard Krajicek

1996

 

Patrick Rafter

1997

Goran Ivanisevic

2001

 

Marat Safin

2000

Roger Federer

2003

 

Lleyton Hewitt

2001

         

 

 

NINETEEN U.S.  CHAMPIONS IN OPEN ERA…. Of the 46 different Open Era Grand Slam champions, 19 have won the US Open at least once in their careers. Jimmy Connors and Pete Sampras head the Open Era list with five titles each.

 

Player                        Titles          Years

Jimmy Connors               5          1974, 76, 78, 82-83

Pete Sampras                 5          1990, 93, 95-96, 02

John McEnroe                 4          1979-81, 84

Ivan Lendl                        3          1985-87

Andre Agassi                   2          1994, 99

Stefan Edberg                 2          1991-92      

Patrick Rafter                  2          1997-98

Arthur Ashe                      1          1968

Boris Becker                    1          1989           

Lleyton Hewitt                  1          2001

Rod Laver*                      1          1969           

Ilie Nastase                      1          1972

John Newcombe*            1          1973           

Manuel Orantes               1          1975

Ken Rosewall*                 1          1970

Marat Safin                      1          2000

Stan Smith                       1          1971           

Guillermo Vilas                1          1977

Mats Wilander                 1          1988

* also won pre-Open Era US Open titles

 

 

THE ‘ONE-SLAM WONDER’ CLUB.... Two players have claimed their first Grand Slam tournament titles this year: Juan Carlos Ferrero at 2003 Roland Garros and Roger Federer at 2003 Wimbledon. They are among 22 Open Era players with only one Grand Slam tournament singles trophy bearing their name. Six of these are playing the 2003 US Open.

 

Active Champions

Michael Chang *

1989 Roland Garros

Albert Costa

2002 Roland Garros

Juan Carlos Ferrero

2003 Roland Garros

Roger Federer

2003 Wimbledon

Goran Ivanisevic

2001 Wimbledon

Thomas Johansson

2002 Australian Open

Carlos Moya

1998 Roland Garros

Marat Safin

2000 US Open

                Players at the 2003 US Open in bold

                * Chang will end his career at this year’s US Open

 

Retired Champions

Pat Cash

1987 Wimbledon

 

Thomas Muster

1995 Roland Garros

Mark Edmondson

1976 Australian Open

 

Yannick Noah

1983 Roland Garros

Vitas Gerulaitis

1977 Australian Open (DEC)

 

Manuel Orantes

1975 US Open

Andres Gimeno

1972 Roland Garros

 

Adriano Panatta

1976 Roland Garros

Andres Gomez

1990 Roland Garros

 

Michael Stich

1991 Wimbledon

Petr Korda

1998 Australian Open

 

Roscoe Tanner

1977 Australian Open (JAN)

Richard Krajicek

1996 Wimbledon

 

Brian Teacher

1980 Australian Open

GETTING BETTER WITH AGE.... At 31 years, 27 days when he lifted the Challenge Cup in 2002, Pete Sampras became the second-oldest US Open men’s champion in the Open Era, Ken Rosewall having won the title at the age of 35 in 1970. This bucked a trend in recent years in the men’s competition at the US Open, which had seen the 20-year-old Lleyton Hewitt win in 2001, and the 20-year-old Marat Safin crowned champion in 2000. The 2003 final between Sampras and Agassi was in fact the oldest final played at the event in the Open Era. (Agassi was 32 years, 4 months and 10 days on the day of the final.)

 

Twelve players age 30 and older have entered the 2003 US Open, including No. 1 seed Agassi. Another - Greg Rusedski - will turn 30 during the tournament.

 

In the Open Era, nine different men age 30 and older have combined to win 17 Grand Slam tournament singles titles, most recently with Agassi winning the 2003 Australian Open. The Australian Open is the Grand Slam tournament most often won by men age 30 and older, as has happened seven times. ‘Thirtysomethings’ have won Roland Garros and the US Open four times each, but Wimbledon only twice.

30 and older Grand Slam tournament singles Champions (Open Era)

Age

Player

Grand Slam Event

30 yrs, 9 days

Petr Korda

1998 Australian Open

30 yrs, 10 days

Jimmy Connors

1982 US Open

30 yrs, 3 months, 14 days

Andres Gomez

1990 Roland Garros

30 yrs, 5 months, 18 days

Rod Laver

1969 Australian Open

30 yrs, 7 months, 9 days

John Newcombe

1975 Australian Open

30 yrs, 8 months, 29 days

Andre Agassi

2001 Australian Open

30 yrs, 9 months, 30 days

Rod Laver

1969 Roland Garros

30 yrs, 10 months, 26 days

Rod Laver

1969 Wimbledon

31 yrs, 9 days

Jimmy Connors

1983 US Open

31 yrs, 1 month

Rod Laver

1969 US Open

31 yrs, 11 months, 25 days

Arthur Ashe

1975 Wimbledon

32 yrs, 8 months, 28 days

Andre Agassi

2003 Australian Open

33 yrs, 7 months, 2 days

Ken Rosewall

1968 Roland Garros

34 yrs, 10 months, 1 day

Andres Gimeno

1972 Roland Garros

35 yrs, 10 months, 11 days

Ken Rosewall

1970 US Open

36 yrs, 2 months, 12 days

Ken Rosewall

1971 Australian Open

37 yrs, 2 months, 1 day

Ken Rosewall

1972 Australian Open

 

 

GRAND SLAM ACHIEVERS….  The top Open Era Grand Slam performances are as follows (players at the 2003 US Open in bold):

 

                                                                 Overall                    US Open

            Jimmy Connors                             233-49                        98-17

            Ivan Lendl                                       222-49                        73-13

            Pete Sampras                               203-38                          71-9

            Andre Agassi                                196-44                        62-15

            Stefan Edberg                                178-47                        43-12

            John McEnroe                                167-38                        65-12

            Boris Becker                                  163-40                        37-10

            Mats Wilander                                144-37                        36-11

            Bjorn Borg                                      141-17                        40-10

            Guillermo Vilas                               139-45                        43-14

            Michael Chang                             120-55                        43-16

            Jim Courier                                    118-38                        24-10

            Goran Ivanisevic                            108-49                        21-13

            Arthur Ashe**                                 106-28                          38-9

            Stan Smith**                                  102-41                        35-15

            Wayne Ferreira                              99-51                        17-12

            Yevgeny Kafelnikov                     97-35                          22-8

            Ilie Nastase**                                   97-41                        29-14

            Todd Martin                                   96-43                        30-13

            John Newcombe**                           93-21                          27-6

            Ken Rosewall**                               92-19                          30-6

            Roscoe Tanner                                90-33                        40-16

**Also played pre-Open Era matches

 

Ferreira, who will play his 151st Grand Slam match here at the US Open, is also bidding for his 100th Grand Slam victory in the first round.

 

 

FERREIRA NARROWS THE GAP WITH EDBERG…. Wayne Ferreira is playing his 52nd consecutive Grand Slam event at the 2003 US Open, bringing him ever closer to Stefan Edberg’s record of 54 straight Open Era Grand Slam tournaments played. Ferreira’s streak was threatened when he sustained a muscle tear in his right adductor (groin) during his third round match at 2003 Roland Garros, but he recovered in time to keep the run intact at Wimbledon, where he lost in the first round.

 


 

Rank

Player

Consecutive Grand Slam Tournaments Played

1.

Stefan Edberg

54

2.

Wayne Ferreira

52*

3.

Jonas Bjorkman

37

 

Mark Woodforde

37

5.

Guillaume Raoux

36

6.

Sjeng Schalken

34*

7.

Byron Black

33

 

Paul Haarhuis

33

9.

Hicham Arazi

30*

 

Jim Courier

30

 

Tim Henman

30

 

Richey Reneberg

30

 

Alexander Volkov

30

Players at the 2003 US Open in bold

* including the 2003 US Open

 

Jimmy Connors holds the record for the most Open Era Grand Slam tournaments played, having played 58 events, starting with the 1970 US Open and ending with the 1992 US Open. Michael Chang is playing his 57th Grand Slam event as a wild card at this year’s US Open, but his retirement here means that he will stop one short of Connors’ record.

 

With Pete Sampras having also confirmed his retirement from the game, Andre Agassi (along with Wayne Ferreira) has edged ahead of his great rival for total Slams played – the 2003 US Open will be Agassi’s 53rd event, while Sampras stopped at 52.

 

Rank

Player

Grand Slam tournaments played

1.

Jimmy Connors

58

2.

Michael Chang

57*

 

Ivan Lendl

57

4.

Mark Woodforde

55

5.

Stefan Edberg

54

6.

John Alexander

53

 

Andre Agassi

53*

 

Wayne Ferreira

53*

9.

Pete Sampras

52

10.

Marc Rosset

51

Players at the 2003 US Open in bold

* including the 2003 US Open

 

 

HOW HAS THE US OPEN TOP SEED FARED IN THE OPEN ERA? Andre Agassi is hoping to outperform the odds for the No. 1 seed at the US Open. In the Open Era, the top seed has won the title only eight times in 35 meetings. The last US Open top seed to win the title was Pete Sampras in 1996, when he also successfully defended his US Open title. The worst performances by US Open top seeds in the Open Era were two first round losses: John Newcombe in 1971 to Jan Kodes and Stefan Edberg in 1990 to Alexander Volkov. The breakdown is as follows:

 

 

TOP SEED

ROUND ACHIEVED

1968

Rod Laver

Lost Round of 16 to Cliff Drysdale

1969

Rod Laver

Won title

1970

Rod Laver

Lost Round of 16 to Dennis Ralston

1971

John Newcombe

Lost First Round to Jan Kodes

1972

Stan Smith

Lost Quarterfinals to Arthur Ashe

1973

Stan Smith*

Lost Semifinals to Jan Kodes

 

Ilie Nastase*

Lost Second Round to Andrew Pattison

1974

Jimmy Connors

Won title

1975

Jimmy Connors

Lost Final to Orantes

1976

Jimmy Connors

Won title

1977

Bjorn Borg

Lost Round of 16 to Dick Stockton

1978

Bjorn Borg

Lost Final to Jimmy Connors

1979

Bjorn Borg

Lost Quarterfinals to Roscoe Tanner

1980

Bjorn Borg

Lost Final to John McEnroe

1981

John McEnroe

Won title

1982

John McEnroe

Lost Semifinals to Ivan Lendl

1983

John McEnroe

Lost Round of 16 to Bill Scanlon

1984

John McEnroe

Won title

1985

John McEnroe

Lost Final to Ivan Lendl

1986

Ivan Lendl

Won title

1987

Ivan Lendl

Won title

1988

Ivan Lendl

Lost Final to Mats Wilander

1989

Ivan Lendl

Lost Final to Boris Becker

1990

Stefan Edberg

Lost First Round to Alexander Volkov

1991

Boris Becker

Lost Third Round to Paul Haarhuis

1992

Jim Courier

Lost Semifinals to Pete Sampras

1993

Jim Courier

Lost Round of 16 to Cedric Pioline

1994

Pete Sampras

Lost Round of 16 to Jaime Yzaga

1995

Andre Agassi

Lost Final to Pete Sampras

1996

Pete Sampras

Won title

1997

Pete Sampras

Lost Round of 16 to Petr Korda

1998

Pete Sampras

Lost Semifinals to Patrick Rafter

1999

Pete Sampras

Withdrew before his first-round match

2000

Andre Agassi

Lost Second Round to Arnaud Clement

2001

Gustavo Kuerten

Lost in Quarterfinals to Yevgeny Kafelnikov

2002

Lleyton Hewitt

Lost in Semifinals to Andre Agassi

2003

Andre Agassi

???

* In 1973, there were dual No. 1 seeds

 

The No. 1 seed has not been successful at a Grand Slam event since Lleyton Hewitt at 2002 Wimbledon.

 

 

SOWING THE SEEDS....  Two men are receiving their first Grand Slam tournament seeding at the US Open: No. 24 Mardy Fish and No. 29 Feliciano Lopez. Six more have their first US Open seeding: No. 5 Guillermo Coria, No. 11 Paradorn Srichaphan, No. 16 Martin Verkerk, No. 19 Agustin Calleri, No. 27 Mariano Zabaleta and No. 32 Vince Spadea.

 

 

FIRST TIMERS.... There are 27 men making their debut appearance at the US Open. Of the 27, ten are qualifiers, one is a lucky loser and four are wild cards.

 

The last Grand Slam tournament champion to win a title on his first appearance at that event was Andre Agassi at the 1995 Australian Open. Verkerk recently reached the final at 2003 Roland Garros in his first appearance there, losing to Juan Carlos Ferrero.

 

 

PICKING A FAVOURITE….  It seems logical that the player with the most hard court match wins for the year would be among the favourites to win the world’s most prestigious hard court tournament, the US Open. In that case, Andy Roddick is one of the favourites for the 2003 US Open championship, with his tour-best 34 hard court match wins. Roddick also led the tour for hard court wins coming in to last year’s US Open, having a 30-9 record on the surface. But in the past 13 years, only one player has entered the US Open leading the tour in hard court match wins and gone on to win the tournament. Pete Sampras achieved this feat in 1993. On three other occasions, the tour’s hard court wins leader entering the US Open has been runner-up.

 

The ‘Hard’ Road to Glory

Year

Player

Hard Court win-loss

US Open Result

1990

Stefan Edberg

35-3

1st round

1991

Jim Courier

31-9

runner-up^

1992

Michael Chang

29-7

semifinalist

1993

Pete Sampras

39-7

champion

1994

Pete Sampras

34-2

round of 16

1995

Andre Agassi

46-2

runner-up

1996

Michael Chang

44-8

runner-up˜

1997

Michael Chang

36-6

semifinalist

1998

Andre Agassi

44-8

round of 16

1999

Nicolas Kiefer

28-10

3rd round

2000

Thomas Enqvist

29-9

round of 16

2001

Andre Agassi

30-5

quarterfinalist

 

Patrick Rafter

30-7

round of 16

 

Jan-Michael Gambill

30-13

2nd round

2002

Andy Roddick

30-9

quarterfinalist

2003

Andy Roddick

34-7

???

^ lost to Stefan Edberg, who entered the US Open in a second-place tie for most hard court match victories.

˜ lost to Pete Sampras, who entered the US Open in second place for most hard court match victories.

 

Just behind Roddick on the year’s hard court win-loss leader list is Wimbledon champion Roger Federer at 29-8.

Andre Agassi is the tour’s all-time leader in hard court tournament titles, having won 44 tournaments (of 58 total) on hard courts, including three of his four titles this year (Australian Open, San Jose and TMS Miami). This is eight more than Pete Sampras’s final tally of 36 hard court crowns. Below is a list of active hard court title winners.

Hard court title leaders (active)

Player

Hard Court Titles

Last Hard Court Title

Andre Agassi

44

2003 TMS Miami

Michael Chang

21

2000 Los Angeles

Thomas Enqvist

13

2002 Marseille*

Lleyton Hewitt

13

2003 TMS Indian Wells

Wayne Ferreira

11

2003 Los Angeles

Yevgeny Kafelnikov

9

2002 Tashkent

Tim Henman

9

2003 Washington

Marcelo Rios

7

2001 Hong Kong

Mark Philippoussis

7

2001 Memphis*

Patrick Rafter

7

2001 Indianapolis

* played on indoor hard court

 

 

THE LONG, HOT SUMMER.... Andy Roddick has dominated the warm-up to the US Open, winning three of the six hard court titles on offer, at Indianapolis, and back-to-back at the Tennis Masters Series events at Montreal and Cincinnati.

 

Two-time US Open champion Patrick Rafter is the only player in the past 14 years who has been able to turn multiple titles during the summer hard court season into complete US Open success. In 1998, he won at Toronto, Cincinnati and Long Island then successfully defended his US Open crown, becoming the first man to win two or more tournaments in the summer hard court season plus the US Open since Ivan Lendl in 1987. (That year, Lendl won Washington and Montreal before winning his third consecutive US Open championship.)

 

In the 15 years since Lendl dominated the summer hard court season, there have been 12 instances of a player winning multiple summer hard court tournaments only to lose in the US Open. Four times the player has lost in the first round. However four players – including Rafter in 1998 – have advanced to the US Open final following a multi-win summer.

 

Multiple summer hard court winners at the US Open

 

 

Hard court events won

US Open result

1988

Andre Agassi

Stratton, Livingston

Semifinals

1989

Brad Gilbert

Stratton, Livingston, Cincinnati

First round

1990

Stefan Edberg

Los Angeles, Cincinnati, Long Island

First round

1991

Pete Sampras

Los Angeles, Indianapolis

Quarterfinals

1992

Petr Korda

Washington, Long Island

First round

 

Pete Sampras

Cincinnati, Indianapolis

Runner-up

1994

Boris Becker

Los Angeles, New Haven

First round

1995

Andre Agassi

Washington, Montreal, Cincinnati, New Haven

Runner-up

1996

Andre Agassi

Atlanta Olympics, Cincinnati

Semifinals

 

Michael Chang

Washington, Los Angeles

Runner-up

1998

Andre Agassi

Washington, Los Angeles

Round of 16

 

Patrick Rafter

Toronto, Cincinnati, Long Island

CHAMPION

1999

Pete Sampras

Los Angeles, Cincinnati

Withdrew – injury

2003

Andy Roddick

Indianapolis, TMS Montreal, TMS Cincinnati

???

 

 

JUNIORS TO MAIN DRAW.... Including No. 4 seed Andy Roddick, there are five US Open junior boys’ champions competing in the men’s singles main draw of the 2003 US Open. Since the US Open Junior Championships were inaugurated in 1973, Stefan Edberg is the only male to win boys’ and men’s singles titles. He won the boys’ title in 1983 and within 10 years won the men’s title in 1991 and 1992. The five players hoping to follow in Edberg’s path – and the year of their US Open junior titles – are as follows:

 

Sjeng Schalken

1994

Nicolas Kiefer

1995

David Nalbandian

1998

Jarkko Nieminen

1999

Andy Roddick

2000

 

 

BOYS AMONG MEN.... The United States Tennis Association has a long-standing tradition of awarding a main draw wild card to the US junior champion, determined by the USTA Boys’ 18 Super National Hard Court Championships in Kalamazoo, Mich. The 2003 champion is 18-year-old Robert Yim of Glendale, Calif.

 

In the Open era, US junior boys champions have a 17-34 record in the US Open. Justin Gimelstob was the last US junior champion to win a US Open match, defeating David Prinosil 64 64 46 46 63 in the first round in 1995. Jay Berger and Aaron Krickstein had the most success as junior champions in the US Open. In 1983, Krickstein advanced to the fourth round, losing to Yannick Noah. In 1985, Berger advanced to the fourth round, also losing to Noah.

 

Junior Champions in the US Open

Year

USTA Boys’ 18 champion

Round reached (opponent)

2003

Robert Yim

???

2002

Prakash Amritraj

First round (l. to Paradorn Srichaphan)

2001

Alex Bogomolov

First round (l. to David Nalbandian)

2000

Phillip King

First round (l. to Andrei Pavel)

1999

Phillip King

First round (l. to No. 12 Richard Krajicek)

1998

Andrew Park

First round (l. to Mikael Tillstrom)

1997

Rudy Rake

First round (l. to Bohdan Ulihrach)

1996

Kevin Kim

First round (l. to David Wheaton)

1995

Justin Gimelstob

Second round (l. to Richard Krajicek)

1994

Paul Goldstein

First round (l. to Ronald Agenor)

1993

Paul Goldstein

First round (l. to Karsten Braasch)

1992

Brian Dunn

Second round (l. to Chuck Adams)

1991

Michael Joyce

Second round (l. to Wally Masur)

1990

Ivan Baron

First round (l. to Fabrice Santoro)

1989

Chuck Adams

First round (l. to Ronald Agenor)

1988

Thomas Ho

First round (l. to Johan Kriek)

1987

Michael Chang

Second round (l. to Nduka Odizor)

1986

Al Parker

First round (l. to Anders Jarryd)

1985

Jay Berger

Fourth round (l. to Yannick Noah)

1984

Ricky Brown

Second round (l. to Henrik Sundstrom)

1983

Aaron Krickstein

Fourth round (l. to Yannick Noah)

1982

John Letts

First round (l. to Freddie Sauer)

1981

Jimmy Brown

First round (l. to Alejandro Cortes)

1980

Sammy Giammalva

Third round (l. to Bernie Mitton)

1979

Scott Davis

DID NOT PLAY

1978

David Dowlen

First round (l. to Ove Bengtsson)

1977

Van Winitsky

First round (l. to Brian Gottfried)

1976

Larry Gottfried

Second round (l. to Cliff Richey)

1975

Howard Schoenfield

First round (l. to Antonio Munoz)

1974

Ferdi Taygan

First round (l. to Guillermo Vilas)

1973

Billy Martin

Second round (l. to Stan Smith)

1972

Pat DuPre

First round (l. to Patrick Proisy)

1971

Raul Ramirez

First round (l. to Stan Smith)

1970

Brian Gottfried

First round (l. to Robert McKinley)

1969

Erik van Dillen

First round (l. to Gene Scott)

1968

Robert McKinley

Third round (l. to Torben Ulrich)


 

COUNTRY COUNTDOWN….

 

Nation

Total Players

Seeds

Wildcards

Qualifiers/Lucky Losers

USA

20

4

8

1

Spain

16

6

 

1

France

12

2

 

2

Argentina

9

6

 

 

Germany

7

1

 

2

Sweden

6

 

 

3

Czech Republic

5

1

 

2

Australia

4

2

 

 

Belgium

4

 

 

 

Croatia

4

 

 

2

Netherlands

4

2

 

 

Russia

4

1

 

1

Austria

3

 

 

 

Italy

3

 

 

1

Slovak Republic

3

 

 

 

Belarus

2

1

 

 

Brazil

2

1

 

 

Chile

2

1

 

 

Great Britain

2

 

 

 

Morocco

2

1

 

 

Peru

2

 

 

 

South Africa

2

1

 

1

Armenia

1

 

 

 

Denmark

1

 

 

 

Ecuador

1

 

 

 

Finland

1

 

 

 

Korea

1

 

 

 

Paraguay

1

 

 

1

Romania

1

 

 

 

Switzerland

1

1

 

 

Thailand

1

1

 

 

Yugoslavia

1

 

 

1

Top of Page


US Open 2003: Previewing the Men

The highest level of men’s tennis competition on the planet will come together and compete in the largest sporting event in the world, as the 2003 US Open Tennis Championships will kick off on Monday morning, August 25, and conclude with the decisive men’s final on Sunday afternoon, September 7.

Last year the talk of the US Open was Pete Sampras. He looked close to retirement two months earlier when he lost in the first round at Wimbledon and didn’t seem fit to continue his career. However, winning his 5th US Open and 14th Grand Slam title over fellow American and long-time nemesis Andre Agassi not only proved the critics wrong, but made for unbelievable drama.

So who will be the talk of the 2003 US Open Tennis Championships? Only one of what many believe are the finest athletes in the world will emerge from the pack and hold the trophy up in the air, forever etching another Sunday afternoon moment tennis history.

128 men will walk into the USTA National Tennis Center hoping for that dream to come true, but just one will finish the two week journey a winner. So who are the fittest and finest men on the ATP Tour heading into the US Open?

USOpen.org sizes up the title chances of the familiar names likely to take part in the 2003 US Open Tennis Championships.

The Frontrunners:

Andre Agassi - Agassi’s career has seen it’s ups and downs, perhaps more dramatically so than any athlete in the history of sports, but one thing that was always evident even during the low points of Andre’s career was that the US Open was his most consistent Grand Slam tournament. Sure, in his most recent comeback he has owned the Australian Open, and he has been no slouch on the grass and clay over the years, but he always seems to save his best for Flushing. There is another key for Andre – his nemesis Pete Sampras will not be competing this year. Why is this key? Andre has reached the final five times in his US Open career, and has lost three time – all to Sampras. Of the two times Agassi did win the crown, Sampras was eliminated early in the 1994 tournament, and in 1999 he was out with an injury. Maybe Sampars didn’t knock Agassi out every single year, but it certainly seems like he did, and it would surprise nobody if Andre himself felt a relief knowing Pete is home watching on television.

Lleyton Hewitt - After winning his first Grand Slam ever here in 2001 against Pete Sampras, and fresh off his second Slam title in Wimbledon last year, Hewitt returned to Flushing last year as the No. 1 player in the world. Hoping for a second straight showdown with Sampras, Hewitt was denied by Andre Agassi in the semifinal, and has been in a bit of a tailspin ever since. He fell in the fourth round in Australia, then in the third round in France, and finally was dethroned in the very first round at Wimbledon, a loss that also knocked him all the way down to No. 5 in the world. Hewitt has a history of being inconsistent when playing with a head of steam, and with his recent woes on his mind – last year’s loss to Agassi in particular – revenge will be on his mind. He’ll likely have a decent draw with his low world ranking, so perhaps he’ll take the mindset of underdog and roll into another final.

Andy Roddick - Sooner or later it was bound to happen. Andy Roddick has everything it takes to be a top tier tennis star, and following in the footsteps of Pete Sampras, the hard serving, talented American is improving every year in every Grand Slam except for the French Open, where the clay surface seems to take a little bite out of his game. Sampras managed to win 14 Grand Slams without ever reaching a final in France, let alone a title. Roddick followed up back-to-back trips to the quarterfinals here in Flushing with his first ever semifinal appearance, at the Australian Open in January. Then, following his hiccup in France, Roddick reached another semifinal at Wimbledon, losing to eventual champion Roger Federer. Like Agassi, the US Open crowd seems to bring out the best in Roddick, and all indications are that he is all set to get over the hump and get to his first-ever final. Then, anything is possible.

The Contenders

Roger Federer - Everyone is jumping on the Roger Federer bandwagon. It seems as if all the hype revolving around Roger’s serve-and-volley game and all-around ability is finally being realized. In fact, if Federer can get to the final here, he has a legitimate shot at finishing the year ranked No. 1 in the world. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. While the Swiss Sensation has been red-hot, winning his first Grand Slam title last month at Wimbledon, he does not have a very strong history at the majors otherwise. In 16 career Grand Slam events going into Wimbledon, he won just 29 total matches and only advanced to the quarterfinals twice. Last month alone he won seven matches. A breakthrough, yes, but let’s see him gain a little consistency before we anoint him another title.

Juan Carlos Ferrero - “The Mosquito” had many people buzzing when he plowed through the field at Roland Garros and took home his first Grand Slam crown a few months ago. But it is beginning to look like Ferrero is a one-trick pony, unable to match his dominance off the clay. Ferrero was riding high after a huge run in Paris, where he followed up his semifinal appearance in 2001 with a trip to the final in 2002, and wrapped it up with the title in 2003. But unfortunately, he once again was dropped early at Wimbledon, and even though he’s likely to be a top seed here at the US Open, he will have a tough time getting to the quarterfinal, let alone the final.

Sjeng Schalken -The Dutchman made quite a name for himself a year ago, when going into Wimbledon he had a losing record in his seven year's worth of Grand Slam events, courtesy of fifteen first round losses, five second round losses, and eight third round losses. Then, he erupted, not only finally breaking past the third round, but advancing all the way to the quarterfinal, where he finally fell to eventual champ Hewitt. Fluke? No. He came back and did one better at the US Open, reaching the semifinal where he once again fell to the eventual champ (Sampras). While he did seem to revert back to his early round ways in the Australian and French Opens, he did lose to decent opponents (Mario Ancic and Fernando Gonzalez, respectively), and then last month reached another quarterfinal at Wimbledon, where he lost to, you guessed it, eventual champ Federer. If the draw can set up so that the eventual champion is not in his side of the bracket, he may make the finals this year.

The Sleepers


Marat Safin - After beating Sampras in the final here three years ago, Safin was heralded the next great thing, and here and there has shown signs of what could be. But after losing in the finals at the Australian Open last year he fell apart completely, suffering through a horrible season in which he didn’t win a single title until December. However, that was the first sign that he was finally putting all his extraordinary talent together. With the monkey off his back, he seemed to add some confidence to his monster serves and soft touch, and was suddenly a force again. Unfortunately, injuries hit just as he got hot, and he pulled out of Sydney and the Australian Open with a sore shoulder. Since then, he hasn’t played much at all. Supposedly the time off is doing him well, and he plans to play here in August. If he can take advantage of his low seed (if he even gets one) and can shake off the rust with an easy draw, he might just surprise a few and make a dramatic return to the final, much the way Mark Philippoussis did at Wimbledon last month.

Fernando Gonzalez -The Chilean reached the quarterfinals last year, and is really one to watch. After titling at the World Team Championships in Germany on clay, Gonzalez lost to eventual champ Ferrero in the French Open quarterfinals, then has only played one match since (a first round loss on grass at Wimbledon). Clay is by far his best surface to play on, but last year was no fluke. Gonzalez has a propensity for the dramatic – he has a winning record against top 10 players, and this year alone has defeated Hewitt, Schalken, David Nalbandian, Felix Mantilla, Jiri Novak and Jan-Michael Gambill, with only one loss to a top player (Ferrero at the French Open). This could be the real sleeper of the group.

Mark Philippoussis - Questions of The Scud’s health were answered last month at Wimbledon, when Philippoussis nearly went all the way, falling in the final to Federer. The 1998 Runner-up hasn’t been on his serve in about five years. If the heat index is high late August and early September on the sweltering courts of Flushing, so will Philippoussis’ chances to return to glory.
Top of Page