With the last major of the year starting tonight, the spotlight will surely be on American Serena Williams on completing a calendar slam and become the first player to do so in 27 years. The Men’s side of the draw sees some of the top players coming to Flushing Meadows in form, with the likes of Roger Federer and Andy Murray coming fresh off Masters 1000 victories, with Novak Djokovic reaching the finals of both those Masters events. Akshay Kohli writes for Sports Rediscovered, taking a look at the bookies’ favourites, and those who pose a threat to them.
Favourite – Novak Djokovic
Though losing in the Rogers Cup and Western & Southern Open finals, overcoming the Serb in 5 sets is way tougher than beating him in 3 sets. Consistency is the key at any Grand Slam and Djokovic is by far the most consistent player on tour. The Serb has either matched or bettered his results at all tournaments this year as compared to 2014.
Admitting that he is a bit disappointed with his game, the Serb also said the weather in New York suits him which will help him play better. A former champion here, Djokovic would be gunning to win three out of the four Slams this season.
But with Rafael Nadal in his quarter, Djokovic would be tested rather early in New York.
Contenders – Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka
Though it seems obvious, these three players are the only ones who have a chance to win the US Open this year besides Djokovic. All three have scored victories over the Serb in recent times, with Federer and Murray beating Djokovic in the finals.
Wawrinka is one of the few players who can outlast Djokovic from the baseline and though he lost to the World No.1 in Cincinnati, the Swiss has a chance against the Serb.
Dark Horse – Rafael Nadal
Nadal recently played his chances down at the US Open especially now that Djokovic is in his quarter. As Federer said, the former champion can’t be counted out and if he finds his range and form, it will be very tough for his opponents to stop him.
Favourite – Serena Williams
A heavy favourite at the US Open, it would be a huge surprise if Williams loses at Flushing Meadows this year. A chance to become the first player in 27 years to win a calendar slam, the American’s serve is the most lethal weapon she possesses.
Her fighting back abilities along with raw power is something not many players can match and once she starts dominating, it’s hard to stop her. With Maria Sharapova withdrawing from the event this year, Serena’s chances have taken a major uplift.
Contenders – Simona Halep, Kvitova
Halep and Kvitova are the players Serena would have to look out for at the US Open this year. While Halep has been inching closer to defeating the American, Kvitova is one player who can beat Serena if she gets on song.
Surprise players – Belinda Bencic
A real hard hitter, the rising star from Switzerland is one of the two women this year to have overcome Serena. Knocking on the Top-10 door, the Swiss is ranked at No.12 on the WTA Charts and would be looking to cause a few upsets at the US Open this year.