The men move to wonderful Washington D.C. this week in what should be a very exciting tournament. Unfortunately, Andy Roddick has withdrawn from the tournament due to abdominal injury. Still, there are plenty of other big names in the event. Gael Monfils, Mardy Fish, Viktor Troicki and Jurgen Melzer are the top seeds.
Now here are my predictions:
This could be a decent section. There are plenty of dangerous players here: Dimitry Tursunov, Michael Llodra, Grigor Dimitrov and Janko Tipsarevic. However I think Monfils is simply much better than any of these guys. I don't think he will struggle too much in getting to the semis.
This should be a very competitive section. Troicki is the favorite by seeds, but I don't see him making it through. There's a good chance he will have Ryan Harrison in his first match. Harrison's been on a roll and I see him pulling off the upset. Big serving Kevin Anderson is also in this section, as is John Isner, James Blake and David Nalbandian. Isner made it to the finals in Atlanta last week, and after a week off I think he's ready to make another big run at a tournament title. I think he will knock off Harrison in a very competitive quarterfinal.
Melzer is the top seed in this section, and he could be a threat to take the title. He can be up and down, but he's having a very good year. Marcos Baghdatis, Thomaz Bellucci, Xavier Malisse, Ivo Karlovic and Donald Young are also in this section. In perhaps the best first-round match of the tournament, Tommy Haas and Fernando Gonzalez are slated to go head-to-head. Baghdatis did very well here last year, and I think he will do very well again. He's always a fan favorite, and I think they will once again have a lot to cheer about in this tournament.
Another interesting section. Fish and Fernando Verdasco could be on a collision course. However, Niokolay Davydenko, Giles Muller, Radek Stepanek and Philipp Petzschner could stand in the way. I think Fish and Verdasco will make it through. Fish has been playing a lot of tennis and I have to wonder if he will eventually run out of gas. Fish has also been playing well, and I think his confidence will carry him through.
Monfils vs. Isner
I think Isner's serve will hold up in this match, and it will be enough to help him pull out a win. Isner had a disappointing summer last year, after the long Wimbledon match. I think he's headed for big things this year.
Winner: Isner in two sets
Baghdatis vs. Fish
This would be an interesting match. Fish has a bigger serve and I think that will be the difference. I think the confidence Fish is playing with will be enough to get him into yet another final.
Winner: Fish in two sets
Isner vs. Fish
The All-American final will be just what the fans and the tournament wants to see. These two played in the final in Atlanta, where Fish rallied for a close three-set win. Isner let the match get away from him late in the second set, but I don't think he'll make he same mistake again. I think all the matches Fish has played will finally catch up to him.
Winner: Isner in two sets