It has been an outstanding year for the Spaniard. Having taken the second half of 2016 off, Nadal returned with renewed vigour, reaching the final at the Australian Open, and of course winning La Decima at Roland Garros before coming a bit of a cropper on the grass.
His hard-court preparation has not been great – not one back to back win in Montreal or Cincinnati in the last two Masters double-headers before New York.
Nadal’s looks to meet Richard Gasquet as his first seed, and with a 15-1 winning record against the Frenchman, and an equally strong 19-4 against Tomas Berdych as his likely fourth round match-up he looks to be a good bet for the second week, although Berdych did get the last Slam win over Nadal in the 2015 Australian Open quarter-final.
We are set for a rematch of this year’s Australian Open in the quarter-final as Grigor Dimitrov comes into the US Open with the biggest win of his career at the Cincinnati Masters. In Melbourne he came awfully close to making that Slam breakthrough, and he might be ready now.
Federer’s resurgence has been the stuff of legend, sure, but his lack of match play coming into this end of the year might ear-mark him as a surprise early exit. He starts against US hope Frances Tiafoe who charmed many with his run in Cincinnati, and his first seed is likely to be Feliciano Lopez.
Nick Kyrgios could be lurking in the fourth round, and after he dispatched Nadal, he showed that when he gets up for the big events, he is a real force to be reckoned with. Dominic Thiem could be waiting in the quarter-finals. The Austrian has yet to make it past the fourth round so a quarter-final match up for him could be a bonus.
The Next Gen are coming, and Zverev is leading the charge. He has had the lion’s share of the bug results against the big players, beating Djokovic in Rome for his maiden Masters title, and Federer in Montreal.
Interestingly he has not even been past the second round in New York, last year losing to Dan Evans. He starts against a qualifier, and could face the big-serving Kevin Anderson in the third round. US hopes will fly high with Jack Sock in the fourth round and the big serving American who is enjoying quite the resurgence, Sam Querrey.
Vote in our Poll – Who will win the US Open 2017?
The US Open takes place between 28 August and 10 September.
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