The 2017 US Open begins next week at Flushing Meadows and things look too unpredictable for there to be a clear favourite.
With the world no.1 ranking at stake in both the men and women’s singles at stake on top of the next generation emerging, who will escape Flushing Meadows in glory?
Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are fighting for the world no.1 ranking now that Andy Murray has pulled out following the draw. In recent years however, all three haven’t had much luck here so expect them to be vulnerable.
Switzerland’s Federer is carrying a back injury from Toronto, which adds an extra lay of unpredictability to a really unstable draw.
Nadal and Federer should easily make the quarter finals at a minimum but they could have next gen contenders to cope with, in form of Grigor Dimitrov and Dominic Thiem at that stage before meeting in the semi finals.
The Swiss maestro could yet fall earlier in the fourth round if meet Nick Krygios, who is capable of knocking out big seeds on his day.
As for the next gen containing; Dimitrov, Krygios, Thiem and Alexander Zverev, the most likely challengers in the latter stages are going to be Dimitrov and Krygios. Thiem isn’t strong away from clay which makes his title credentials questionable.
Zverev is only 19 with two masters titles but hasn’t cracked it in the Grand Slams where it’s best of five sets.
In term of dark horses, Lucas Pouille and Del Potro stand out because they are both excellent on hard courts and will fancy their chances of going deep. Should they also slip up early, its realistically anyone’s for the taking.
Eight women are fighting it out to obtain the Women’s no.1 ranking.
Their names are;
- Simona Halep
- Garbine Muguruza
- Elina Svitolina
- Karolina Pliskova
- Caroline Wozniacki
- Johanna Konta
- Svetlana Kuznetsova
- Venus Williams
By quarter finals stage, we will definitely lose one of Wozniacki or the home favourite, Williams given that they are in the same section.
Out of those names, Konta stands as the best bet to go far. The rest have poor records at Flushing Meadows except for Romania’s Halep and Williams. Halep has reached at least the last eight on her last two visits here whilst Williams is a former two time champion.
Halep could be the first to fall given that she faces the returning star of Maria Sharapova.
This will be Sharapova’s first appearance at a Grand Slam since the 2016 Australian Open. As a result, expect her to come out fighting with determination to prove why she deserved a wildcard.
There are several unseeded players such as Lucie Safarova, Catherine Bellis and Donna Vekic capable of producing shock runs. The latter two however are relatively young so will have to dig deep in the final stages to achieve something unexpected.
This is easily the most unpredictable draw ever for BOTH the men and women’s singles at same tournament.
Prediction wise, you would be betting at your own peril of the selected players making early exits.
I definitely am backing Konta out of the women but for the male winner, I am going to make a long shot call and say Krygios.
I say Krygios purely because this could be his time to make the leap and become a Grand Slam champion depending on if he gets past Federer in the fourth round.
With big names either out or vulnerable, the other next gen players have all had chances but failed to take them this year on many occasions, so this is Aussie K’s turn to try and triumph.
Ultimately, this tournament is anyone’s for the taking including those in via qualification, wildcards and lucky loser selection.
Prediction: Nick Krygios and Johanna Konta.