The favorites to win the US Open Men’s Title
The defending US Open champion, Rafael Nadal, has announced that he has withdrawn from the Grand Slam tournament after being unable to recover from a wrist injury. As a result, the favorites for the tournament come down to the top three players in the world.
Even though the seedings might say otherwise, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray are once again the favorites to triumph at the US Open this year. That much is a given, considering no player has come close to permanently dethroning any of the Big Four (Nadal included) in recent years.
The playing field is perhaps most even at the US Open, where all of these players are former champions.
However, it cannot be denied that the era of the Big Four is coming to an end, and the most likely player to make way will be Roger Federer. But that is only due to the age factor. However, the Swedish Maestro proved at Wimbledon that he still has enough gas left in his tank to mount a serious challenge for the title.
Interestingly, only Federer seems to be the most in form player at the moment. Federer was able to reach the final of the Toronto Masters, where he suffered a defeat against Jo-Wilfred Tsonga. However, it must be noted that Tsonga defeated the world number one, Novak Djokovic enroute to the final as well.
Federer took his good form to Cincinnati and defeated David Ferrer in the final for his eightieth career title. Djokovic, however, was once again upset at Cincinnati, this time by Tommy Roberdo.
Djokovic has just not been himself since his triumph at Wimbledon this year. The world number one crashed out in both the Cincinnati and Toronto Masters to lesser opponents. It is true that he only recently got married and might have other things on his mind, but the 2011 champion needs to find his form quickly again.
Andy Murray has had a very ordinary 2014. He has not been able to make it to a grand slam final this year and his Wimbledon title defense this year was undone by Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter finals stage. As a consequence, Murray dropped to the tenth position in the ATP rankings, his lowest position in years.
However, Murray’s results in Toronto and Cincinnati have not been shockingly poor. He exited both tournaments in the quarter finals stage, losing in Toronto to Tsonga and to Federer in Cincinnati. But you do expect someone of his pedigree to do better in the lead up to the tournament where he won his first Grand Slam title.
So it looks like the race for the men’s singles championship at the 2014 US Open is wide open. With a host of young competitors coming through in the last two years, there is a huge possibility that we might see an upset or two at the tournament. However, it is hugely unlikely that one or more of the Big Four (Big Three, now that Nadal is injured) will not be in the final at the Arthur Ashe Stadium.