This year’s US Open looks a wide open affair! Rafa Nadal has not played the US hard-court season due to a wrist injury and sadly he has just announced he will not be able to defend his US Open title at Flushing Meadow.
World number 1 Novak Djokovic (5/4 Bet365) has been in poor form since winning the Wimbledon title back in July. Early loses to Tommy Robredo and Jo Tsonga in recent tournaments hardly give his fans much confidence but at least Tsonga went on to win the Toronto Masters title. Novak has the skill to win when he isn’t playing well to still get the results. The Serbian should get through the early rounds relatively easily and play himself into form
Newly crowned Cincinnati champion Roger Federer (9/2 Bet365) is probably the player in the best form. The Swiss master won his 80th ATP title in Cincinnati and was also runner up at Wimbledon to Djokovic. Now seeded back in the ATP top 4 he will avoid the likes of Nadal and Djokovic until at least the semi-finals and confidence is not an issue for the resurgent Roger.
Former champion Andy Murray (7/2 Bet365) is still struggling with consistency in his game. Losing to Dimitrov at Wimbledon so easily hurt him a lot, but the Brit loves these courts and if he can get his serve and shots working then he could well be a contender for the last major of the year. Letting a double break go against Federer in Cincinnati doesn’t look good for Andy and he may well have a tough draw being down the rankings these days. Big chance still.
Stan Wawrinka (14/1 Bet365) won the Australian Open in January and has the game to cause further upsets at Flushing Meadows. He has broken into the ATP top 4 and could be very dangerous on these courts as he was last year where he took out Murray, before losing to Djokovic in 5 sets in the semis. Lost to Kevin Anderson in Cincinnati though and needs to leave that result behind.
Can Grigor Dimitrov (14/1 Bet365) cause a big surprise and reach the later stages of this year’s US Open? His seeding will be top 8 so he will avoid the big names until the quarter finals and he has the game again to compete for the title. Possibly a dark horse but the Bulgarian lost to Sousa in the 1st round last year and needs a few early round wins to set him on his way.
David Ferrer (66/1 Bet365) has been as consistent as ever. The Spaniard played excellent in Cincinnati to reach the final and even took Federer to 3 sets. I am not sure the Spaniard has what it takes to win this title. He lost to Gasquet in the QFs last year and to Djokovic in the SFs in 2012. Ferrer should make it through to the 4th round easily, but it will all depend on the draw to see if he can get further. He will always give it his all.
Tomas Berdych (33/1 Bet365) has been quiet lately too. He has had early round loses to Lu, Lopez and Pospisil on the US hard courts and looks out of form. Can the Czech turn it around? Like so many of the top players he is going to have to win some matches and play himself into form
Jo Tsonga (20/1 Bet365) won the Toronto Masters title a few weeks ago with a run of matches where he defeated Federer, Djokovic, Dimitrov and Murray consecutively. He was in fine form but I am not sure he can play like that week in week out and don’t see him as a likely contender, though he is a big price. Other French players Richard Gasquet (150/1 Bet365) and Gael Monfils (100/1 Bet365) are capable of making a few upsets, but I doubt they will string a run together capable of reaching the later stages of the tournament.
Milos Raonic has had a very solid few months. Reaching the Wimbledon semi-finals and also showing some good form on the US hard-court circuit, winning the ATP Washington title. His serve is powerful and effective on hard courts, but he is very beatable and although he should reach the 4th round of even quarter finals I don’t think he has what it takes to win this title.
The USA’s best hope will be big serving John Isner, (100/1 Bet365) who is usually so consistent he could cause an upset if one of the top seeds is off form.
Ernests Gulbis (80/1 Bet365) is as unpredictable as ever. The Latvian still remains brilliant on occasion, but awful on others, but again capable of an upset or two.
Feliciano Lopez (250/1 Bet365) is back inside the ATP top 20 again after some consistent displays, but I cannot see him as a serious contender and will do well to reach the 4th round.
Kei Nishikori (33/1 Bet365) has injury concerns and unless he is fit and confident the Japanese star may have to wait to have a bold show at a Grand Slam.
Others that can spring a surprise are Marin Cilic (80/1 Bet365), Alexandr Dolgopolov (200/1 Bet365) and then Aussie youngsters Nick Kyrgios (50/1 Bet365) and Bernard Tomic (200/1 Bet365) are looking for success.
I think this years US Open is wide open and there for the taking. I expect the top players to step up and depending on the draw I think Andy Murray could well make a very bold effort, if not then Novak Djokovic could well seal another Grand Slam title.