The US Open, the fourth and final Grand Slam tournament of the tennis calendar, is nearly upon us – and it’s time to take a look to see which of the world’s best players may be about to claim the title.
It’s a title that only 1 player has defended this century, though Roger Federer managed to do that for four years with 5 victories from 2004 to 2008. The remainder of that role of honour reads Safin 2000, Hewitt 2001, Sampras 2002, Roddick 2003, Del Potro 2009, Nadal 2010, Djokovic 2011, Murray 2012, Nadal 2013, Cilic 2014 and Djokovic 2015.
So let’s take a look at the top-10 players in the betting.
The world number one has a consistent US Open record since 2007 – F/SF/SF/F/W/F/F/SF/W – but even those 2 wins in his last 5 appearances don’t make him an even-money shot. A beaten finalist four-times, he may also have lost a little motivation having completed his personal grand slam at this year’s French Open, and having lost the chance of completing a calendar-slam by going out in the third-round of Wimbledon.
Reached the 2008 final and won the title in 2012, but not made it past the quarter-finals since. In great form but, having achieved his season’s dual targets of winning Wimbledon and the Olympics, he too may just lack the required motivation.
The big-hitting Canadian has yet to get past the fourth round here, but should do that here having posted career bests in both the Australian Open and Wimbledon this year. Danger to all, but would likely need to avoid Djokovic and Murray, who both have his measure.
Del Potro 20/1
The 2009 winner has been plagued by injury, but looked near back to his best when runner-up at the Olympics. Beat Djokovic there, but has been beaten by the likes of Kohlschreiber, Sock, Isner and Pouille recently.
The 2014 Australian Open and 2015 French Open winner often raises his game for the Grand Slams, and he’s made the semi-finals here in 2013 and 2015. Got the game to beat anyone, but has been notably apathetic of late.
The winner in 2010 and 2013 started this season in good form, but has looked out of sorts recently in defeats by Coric, Del Potro and Granollers. Also not made it past the quarter-finals of any slam since 2014.
Showed his liking for this event with two quarter-final appearances before winning in 2014, and he put-up a good defence when reaching the semi-finals last year. Also made the quarter-finals of Wimbledon for the last 3 years, and put himself firmly in the picture with a final winning performance over Murray in Cincinnati.
Beaten by Cilic in the 2014 Final, but has struggled with injury for much of the year. Not sure his body will endure the rigours of a slam, and that aforementioned final is the only time he’s been past the quarters in a slam.
Became the youngest players to make it to two grand-slam quarter-finals at the 2015 Australian Open since Federer, but his abundant talent is ruined by his awful temperament. May well win a slam one day, but yet to pass the third round here yet.
The Austrian is another rising young star, and he’s won more than his fair share of titles in the last two years. However, he’s yet to really shine at the slams yet, though did make the French Open semis this year.
US Open Tennis Summary
With Djokovic looking to become only the second player to defend the US Open title this century, and Murray maybe taking his foot off the gas after his Olympic win – this may be a chance to back someone at a big price. The two that appeal the most are previous winners Del Potro and Cilic, with the latter appealing most after his recent win over Andy Murray.