Men: Roger Federer
Women: Serena Williams
Once again, I'm being boring and picking the 1 seeds. Believe it or not, I spend quite a ridiculous amount of time studying the draws before I make my pick. I swear I'm not just playing it safe. It hardly matters, of course. I was 0-5 with my US Open picks.
In filling out my brackets, I was a bit more daring in the early rounds, particularly on the men's side. I have both Djokovic and del Potro losing in the first round. It's not actually likely, I will grant you. But if it happens, I get to look like a genius. High risk, high payoff. My last four for the men:
Federer v. Chardy
Wawrinka v. Nadal
Fed over Nadal in the final, avenging last season's loss.
I played it a bit safer on the women's side. Henin was my first round upset. Again, unlikely. But anything's possible. Final four:
S. Williams v. V. Williams
Clijsters v. Sharapova
Serena over Clijsters in the final, avenging her US Open defeat and perhaps gaining a measure of moral redemption as well.
Nothing too risky in that quartet. All four have won multiple hard court Slams.
Shame on me for failing to list retractable roofs among the Aussie Open's assets. Melbourne's got 2, New York 0. So here we are with a rain delay right of the bat and yet two courts are playing tennis.