Novak Djokovic starts as the overwhelming favorite in the men’s draw at the US Open. Djokovic played only one tournament after Wimbledon at Cincy and lost to in-form Daniil Medvedev. Despite the loss, Djokovic looked comfortable in his matches and it’s hard to see anyone beating him in best of five sets.
The next generation headed by Stefanos Tsitsipas and Sascha Zverev looks lost. The next gen starts are unable to put together a string a wins to challenge the Big Three.
The lone next gen star that had a good summer was Daniil Medvedev. It remains to be seen if he can prevail in a grand slam. He is also coming into the US Open having played a ton of matches. He is only 23 but at some point, it’s going to catch up with him.
Easy Draw for Nadal
Rafael Nadal won in Montreal and took the smart decision not to play Cincy. The surface is too fast for him and it’s not worth risking an injury just before a grand slam.
If Tennis Gods wanted Nadal to win the US Open, it’s the draw they would favor. His route to the semis looks clear with no big names in the way. He could face Dominic Thiem in the semis.
Federer – Recent US Open Performance Doesn’t Inspire
Federer hasn’t performed well at the US Open in four years. The slow surface, high humidity under the roof, and limited preparation (he only plays Cincy where the surface is very different from the US Open) have led to poor performance at the US Open.
Federer is in Djokovic’s half and they could meet in the semis. Before he gets there, he will need to get through Goffin in R4 and Nishikori in the quarters. Semi-finals looks possible on paper but his past performance indicates he will get tripped up before then.
As always, women’s tennis is in a hot mess. Naomi Osaka started the year off strong and now struggles to win more than a couple of matches in every tournament. Same for Ashleigh Barty.
As you can expect, Serena will show up strong in any grand slam. She plays Maria Sharapova in the first round and should the first round match easily. How far she goes depends on what physical condition she is in. She had some injury hiccups in the summer swing. I just hope she doesn’t get involved in any controversies like in the years past.
Americans Sofia Kenin and Madison Keys had some success in the summer hardcourt swing. Both may make deep runs in the tournament but hard to see either one winning the title.
Bianca Andreescu was the pride of Canada after winning the Canadian Open. Then she did the most Bianca thing – pulling out of Cincy with an injury. If she can stay fit (a big if), she stands a good chance of winning the US Open. When she is fit, she can beat anyone, including Serena.