After Novak Djokovic’s withdrawal, there’s opportunity aplenty at the US Open.
The tournament has seen surprises with Daniil Medvedev and Dominic Thiem in recent years and next month there could be another new US Open men’s winner.
Defending champion Daniil Medvedev is the top seed and the favorite. But the Russian could run into resistance in the third round against much-hyped NCAA champ Ben Shelton, then potentially Nick Kyrgios in the fourth and either Montreal winner Pablo Carreno Busta or in a rematch Felix Auger-Aliassime. Carreno Busta opens against Thiem while Kyrgios collides with good friend Thanasi Kokkinakis in the best of the men’s fourth rounds.
Andy Murray is the star of the second quarter but far from the favorite. Those labels belong to Stefanos Tsitsipas, Casper Ruud and Taylor Fritz who will all likely jostle for a first US Open semifinal berth. All three have done well in hard court Masters this year with Fritz taking Indian Wells, Ruud making the Miami final and Tsitsipas a recent Cincinnati runner-up. Former champion Stan Wawrinka, Tommy Paul and Sebastian Korda are also in the quarter. Murray opens with a tough one against Miami semifinalist Francisco Cerundolo.
Teen sensation Alcaraz leads the third quarter. But the Spaniard could face the Croatian buzzsaw Borna Coric who just won in Cincinnati. Alcaraz opens against fellow youngster Sebastian Baez with former champion Marin Cilic in the fourth round and either Jannik Sinner or Hubert Hurkacz in the quarters.
Three-time winner Nadal has to love his draw. Undefeated on the year in Slams, Nadal could face Fabio Fognini in the second round, Miomir Kecmanovic in the third with either Diego Schwartzman or Frances Tiafoe in the fourth. Nadal’s first test could come in the quarters from either Andrey Rublev, Cameron Norrie or even John Isner who will battle for that last eight berth.
Medvedev, Tsitsipas, Ruud, Kyrgios and Murray will all play on Monday.
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