Novak Djokovic is again the man to beat as he is looking to defend the US Open title for the first time in New York in the coming fortnight.
The 32-year-old Serbian has enjoyed another stellar campaign on the courts with victories at the Australian Open and Wimbledon to take his tally of majors to 16, while he has also claimed his 33rd Masters title in Madrid.
Djokovic’s record in Grand Slam events is ominous to his rivals with 13 wins from his last 14 matches with the solitary defeat coming against Dominic Thiem in the French Open semi-finals.
He has won his last 14 matches on hard courts in Grand Slam matches so it is difficult to look beyond him for the men’s singles title.
Djokovic does have the weight of history against him as he has never managed to defend the US Open crown and that will give hope to the other members of the ‘Big three’ players – Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer – in their quest to win in New York for the first time in two and 11 years respectively.
Daniil Medvedev goes to Flushing Meadows having never progressed beyond the fourth round of a Grand Slam, but he looks a good prospect outside of the ‘Big Three’ to at least secure a final spot this year.
The 23-year-old Russian is enjoying an impressive run of form, having won 14 of his last 16 games, more ATP matches than anyone on the tour.
He has reached the final of three tournaments, losing to Nick Kyrgios and Nadal at the Citi Open and Canadian Masters respectively, before claiming his first Masters title by winning in Cincinnati, where he saw off world number one Djokovic on the way.
The only negative to Medvedev’s chances could be his packed schedule of late and the possibility of burning out at the US Open progresses, while he is on course to face Djokovic in the last eight.
However, he has defeated the Serb in their previous two meetings and will no doubt be confident of completing a treble.
Serena Williams is the favourite at 5/1 to win her seventh US Open title and first in five years which will finally move her level with Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam wins, while Simona Halep is 7/1 to claim her first title at Flushing Meadows on the back of her Wimbledon success and Naomi Osaka is 10/1 to defend her crown.
Looking further afield and Madison Keys is worth keeping an eye on at her home Grand Slam as the 24-year-old American is a value 14/1 to break her duck at a major.
Keys reached the final in 2017, where she lost out to compatriot Sloane Stephens, but she arrives in New York in great form having won the recent Cincinnati Masters. Last year’s beaten semi-finalist appears to have added some more aggression and power to her play and looks a good shout to progress far again.
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