US Open 2018: Top Favourites for the US Crown
It has been a spectacular year of tennis, so far, which finally brings us to the last grand slam of the year, the US Open 2018.
The " Big Three" have won one grand slam each this year and have raised the bar for New York Fans. The former US Open Champion Andy Murray makes his return after a long haul since Wimbledon 2017.
With all that in mind, let us look at the potential path for the top title contenders:
The World No.1 Rafael Nadal is the favourite to win the title this year, having won the Canadian Open prior to the US Open has further strengthened his chances. The defending champion opens his title hunt against a fellow Spaniard David Ferrer and might face last year's runner-up Kevin Anderson in the quarterfinals.
The Spaniard's potential semifinal might be against the 2009 champion Del Potro, with whom he won against in Wimbledon 2018 in an epic showdown. The number one-seeded potential final match might be against his arch-nemesis Roger Federer or the Renaissance man Novak Djokovic.
Speaking of the Renaissance man, the six-seeded Serbian has attained his top form again after a thrilling victory against his rival Roger Federer is Cincinnati Masters, which made the first man to complete the Master's sweep.
The two-time US Open champion has his opening match against Márton Fucsovics and his projected quarter-final meeting is most likely to the World No.2 Roger Federer. The World No.6 potential semi-final might be against Zverev or Marin Cilic and he might have to face his toughest rival Rafael Nadal if the Serbian happens to reach the final.
The five-time US Open champion Roger Federer has been playing consistently well but looked a bit shaky in the Cincinnati final against Djokovic.
The Swiss maestro starts his title quest against Yoshihito Nishioka and might run into Nick Kyrgios as early as in the third round. The World No.2 potential quarterfinal opponent might be Novak Djokovic and his projected semi-final contender is Marin Cilic, who he beat in the Australian Open final this year.
The final showdown will potentially be against his biggest adversary Rafael Nadal, with whom he won their last four matches.
Juan Martin Del Porto
The 2009 US Open champion is in top form having reached the finals in Los Cobos Open and beating Nick Kyrgios in the Cincinnati Open.
The World No.3 opening round tie is against the American Donald Young and he could face Andy Murray in round-three. He has been handed a tough draw as his potential round-four might be the young sensation Stefanos Tsitsipas and a likely semi-final showdown against the defending champion Nadal. If the Argentine manages his hold up, then Djokovic or Federer might be looming at the final stage.
The Dark Horses
The World No.8 John Isner and World no. 5 Kevin Anderson are one of the top title contenders. They have proved time and again that they have the guns to beat the best players in the world. They would be relieved that they won't have to go above 6-6 in the decider because the US Open has a tiebreaker policy in the fifth set.
It will surely be exciting to watch whether the "Big Three" will continue their dominance or will someone chip in to spoil the party.
Published 25 Aug 2018, 12:45 IST