With the draw complete and the first round action about to begin, we take our annual look at the contenders for this year’s US Open men’s tennis crown.

Men’s event

Novak Djokovic does not have a great record in the US Open; in fact it is by far his weakest Grand Slam event. Therefore, he must have been pleased with a draw that gives him a great chance of making it all the way to the final. The most interesting match on his predicted path could be a potential quarter-final clash with Rafa Nadal.

A seventh title for Roger Federer at the ATP 100 event in Cincinnati was enough to claw back the World No. 2 spot that he had lost to Andy Murray just a week earlier. As a consequence the Swiss player received a relatively easy draw for the Grand Slam event in New York. In fact, barring any major upsets, the path to the semi-finals looks pretty clear for the five-time champion. At that stage of the event, he is likely to encounter either Andy Murray or Stan Wawrinka.

Things do not look quite so easy for 2011 champion Andy Murray, who has been hand handed a fairly tough route to this year’s final. The Scot will have to overcome controversial Australian Nick Kyrgios in the first round – a task which he has managed in two Grand Slams already this season – before potentially facing Wawrinka, Federer and Djokovic in the latter stages.

Another former winner, Rafa Nadal, also faces a tricky opener as he takes on Borna Coric, the man who beat him in Basel last year. If Nadal does avoid that potential banana skin, there are two more waiting in the shape of Italian Fabio Fogini and Milos Raonic before the World No. 8 can look forward to a quarter-final clash with Novak Djokovic.

Current World No. 4 and last year’s finalist Kei Nishikori has also been handed a tough route to the final in this year’s draw starting with a first round match against French player Benoit Paire. Other names that could halt the Japanese player’s progress include Radek Stepanek, Tommy Robredo, Gael Monfils, David Ferrer and Grigor Dimitrov. If he can get past those, it is likely that Novak Djokovic will be waiting for him in the semi-final.

Defending champion Marin Cilic opens his title defence against Argentine qualifier Guido Pella, and will be aware of the fact no player has retained the title since Roger Federer won five-in-a-row between 2004 and 2008. His inability to maintain top form for extended periods has blighted his season and will be an ongoing concern going into this tournament.


With six different winners in the last seven years, the US Open has developed a reputation for being the most unpredictable of the Grand Slam events. But despite the fact that Federer has not won this event since 2008 and Djokovic has just a single title to his name, these two will still lead the betting when the action gets underway on Monday.

The unpredictable tag may be slightly misleading as only two players outside of the “big four” have won the event in the last 11 years, so everything still points to a victory for Federer, Nadal, Djokovic or Murray.

With Nadal still struggling for form, the two-time winner can probably be discounted as a championship contender which leaves us with top the three players in the world. In recent weeks both Federer and Murray have beaten Djokovic and the Serbian has looked far from his best; however, the World No. 1 will not face either of those players until the final.

With the World Nos. 2 and 3 likely to meet at the semi-final stage, the Swiss player should just have the edge, he beat the Scot on his way to the title in Cincinnati last week and looks to be hitting top form at just the right time.

A Djokovic/Federer final can be backed at 9/4 with Bet365 and Federer looks like a good bet at 4/1 with the same bookmaker to lift the crown

If you fancy Murray or Djokovic to win, Betfair are giving new customers a price boost on those players in the Tournament Winner market. Click here for more details.


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