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Social Sound Off: Blue Collar Warriors

Social Sound Off: Blue Collar Bunch
By Nicholas J. Walz
Monday, September 1, 2014

The second Monday of the US Open is Labor Day in the United States, a holiday that celebrates hard-working American men and women.

The US Open is known for inclusivity and international flair, but make no mistake: this Grand Slam is American at the core. Those who succeed here earn their victories in the city that never sleeps, always working to be bigger and brighter.

USOpen.org asks you, the fans, to tell us: which player in this year’s competition works hardest to make the most of their talents?

Sound off in the comments section below – this a merit system, so those who put in the effort and provide the best responses will be rewarded with a shout-out tomorrow, when we reveal which players gets your vote.

Some suggestions:

Caroline Wozniacki: The former world No. 1 dealt with the humbling circumstance of falling out of the Top 10 in recent years, becoming an afterthought as it pertained to predictions of who could challenge Serena Williams for a US Open title in 2014. Now, with the women’s final within reach, Wozniacki is the highest seed remaining in her half of the draw. Maintaining stamina shouldn’t be an issue: the 24-year-old Dane has been training herself for the upcoming New York City Marathon in November.

David Ferrer: Endorsed by no less that reigning US Open and Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal and Australian Open champ Stanislas Wawrinka as the most consistent player on the ATP Tour, the Spaniard Ferrer has survived in the Top 5 during an unparalleled era of men’s stars despite being just 5-foot-9 and yielding the power advantage in most matches to the comparatively strapping elites. He stumbled here to Gilles Simon, but not due to lack of effort or heart.

Lleyton Hewitt: Moments like last year’s five-set victory over sixth-seeded Juan Martin del Potro feel especially good considering the scope of the 33-year-old Aussie’s career. He was a heralded teen, then the best in the world – the only former US Open champion in this year’s men’s draw not currently in the Top 10 (he’s currently ranked No. 41) – then a veteran, fighting along with the weight of expectation of an entire continent on his back. He couldn’t take down this year’s No. 6, Tomas Berdych, yet he remains a respected adversary.

Tommy Robredo: Another Spanish player, fearless in going the distance to win, Robredo has six five-set wins at majors in the last two years, including at this year’s Open against Italian Simone Bolleli when he fought back from two-sets-to-love down. In 2012, he nearly had has career stopped by a knee injury – how far he has come in his 30s.

Venus Williams: A Labor Day list would be incomplete without an American on it, and the 34-year-old Williams has represented her nation proudly with her performance this summer. Like Robredo, 2012 saw her career derailed – by Sjögren's syndrome, an autoimmune disease – and the comeback to form since then has had some amazing highs this year, such as her back-and-forth battle with eventual Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova at the All England Club and her run to the final in the Montreal Masters, beating sister Serena along the way. Even in her third-round loss here against notorious grinder Sara Errani, Venus showed great guile in rebounding to force a deciding-set tiebreak in the 6-0, 0-6, 7-6 affair.

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