The final Grand Slam of the season is upon us, with play in the main draw of the US Open getting under way next week. Flushing Meadows has witnessed a number of classics over the years and there’s reason to believe that this year’s men’s tournament will be as compelling as ever. He’s a quick preview of the 2019 US Open.
There is little doubting who the favourite to win this year’s US Open Men’s title is. Novak Djokovic comes into the final Grand Slam of the season as the world number one with the Australian Open and Wimbledon titles already under his belt for 2019. The Serbian’s defeat at the Cincinnati Masters affords a glimmer of hope to his rivals, but not much.
Of course, the usual suspects are worth noting alongside Djokovic as frontrunners. Rafael Nadal won the Montreal Masters before deciding to skip Cincinnati. The official reason for that was “fatigue,” but most suspect the Spaniard spent the time resting and refining his hard court game. And then there’s Roger Federer. Because there’s always Roger Federer, even if it’s been 11 years since he last won in New York.
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As already referenced, Medvedev arrives at the US Open as the player in the best form on the ATP circuit. The Russian has forced his way into the top five of the rankings after winning in Cincinnati and making the final of the Washington Open. Kei Nishikori’s form has also gradually improved in recent weeks. The Japanese player as a former finalist is always a threat at Flushing Meadows and is worth watching again this year.
Storyline to watch
Federer was one point away from beating Djokovic and winning his 21st Grand Slam title at Wimbledon. Of course, as we now know the Swiss was eventually beaten by the world number one, raising questions over whether he can still get the better of his peers on the big occasion when it matters most.
It’s been 11 years since Federer won the US Open. There are concerns that the humidity of the final Grand Slam of the year will have an adverse effect on the 38-year-old, but there are no such worries over the standard of his tennis. The next two weeks will be another test of Federer’s sticking power at the top of the men’s game. Can he keep up with Djokovic and Nadal?