Andy Murray Leads My List Of US Open Favorites Over Novak Djokovic

by Sean Randall | August 25th, 2016, 4:40 pm

Less than 24 hours before the draw, here are my US Open favorites:

1. Andy Murray

Aside from his (understandable) loss to Marin Cilic Sunday in Cincinnati, Andy Murray comes into New York red hot on the court and sky high in confidence. Not having to deal with Roger Federer will help, however he hasn’t faced a Novak Djokovic or a Rafael Nadal since the clay. But with Djokovic iffy right now, he’s the man to beat.

2. Novak Djokovic
Wrist? Something else? Another early exit could signal something more sinister. But he’s always done well in New York and with an easy first week he’ll get his game back into rhythm. I just have to see how he looks on court first and see how that serve is going before I buy back in.

3. Marin Cilic
Marin Cilic won 2014 US Open and then he made the semifinalist last year. And after winning his first Masters in Cincinnati last weekend the guy is clearly in a groove. And I don’t care that Murray was gassed. That said, he’s also a guy who could get bounced at any time, however, he’s shown the rare ability in this era to knock out the big guys.

4. Milos Raonic
For some reason the Canadian has never done well in Flushing. But the quick courts, decent crowd support all should help, so what’s the issue? Enter Johnny Mac! He knows the US Open, he knows the courts and he helped get Raonic to his first Grand Slam final.

5. Juan Martin Del Potro
I loved his Rio run, but folk,s we are talking best of five sets here. One long 5-set match could spell doom, I just hope not. If he gets a good draw, gets some upsets and gets to week two in fresh shape…watch out! Then again, he’s the ultimate floater in the draw, one who could meet a Murray or a Djokovic as early as the first round.

6. Kei Nishikori
Former finalist has been solid of late, but I don’t think he has the firepower to beat a Murray and a Djokovic the final weekend.

7. Rafael Nadal
Like Del Potro, how will Rafael Nadal’s wrist handle five sets? Yes, he did well in his Rio return but in Slams he’s struggled the last year and that could play a role psychologically if he gets in a close match.

8. Stan Wawrinka
He’s a 2-time US Open semifinalist but this year he’s just been so up-and-down. And where are the big wins?

Other players to watch:
Nick Kyrgios: Should soak up the New York atmosphere, but can he keep it together, keep it focused over 5 long sets against a top opponent?
Gael Monfils: If his back is OK (a big “if”), has been a tough out of late.
JW Tsonga: Just 2-2 this summer, maybe he can get hot? Or maybe not.
Grigor Dimitrov: Has rebounded after a rough mid-season slump, but again we are talking best-of-5 here.
Dominic Thiem: Since his grass lead-up success, he’s really hit the skids. Maybe after playing just a few matches the last month he’s recharged his battery.

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61 Comments for Andy Murray Leads My List Of US Open Favorites Over Novak Djokovic

jane Says:

“more sinister” — like what? a demon? O_o

these pics are from today’s practice. alas, the wrist seems far from healed. he also had it on a TENS physio machine earlier this week. sigh… get well nole!

Humble Rafa Says:

You have a poll without the Arrogant One on it?

Majority of this forum thinks His Arrogance will win the USO (I take no pleasure in saying this, I am merely stating a fact).

J-Kath Says:

Got it Jane!

Improvement will be related to the cause. A swelling? Slow to reduce….counting down…and if first matches are doable with ease.

chrisford1 Says:

Proper handicapping by Sean. We are still at a “what the heck is wrong with Djokovic?” stage. It is certainly about the left wrist, but is there more? We don’t know. Since 2010, Novak was Mr Consistency in making at least SFs of big events. He gets the bums rush at Wimbledon ending his QF streak and latest SF streak. then wins in Canada and things seem to be on track. Then goes down failing to rise to Delpo’s level of tennis as he usually does.
I think there is something else besides the wrist. Personal issue, the vegan diet causing a loss of stamina and strength, the left shoulder…I of course like everyone else (not in his camp) – don’t know.
Whatever it is, I hope it all something he can soon overcome and be back to being Ironman Nole always going deep in any event he enters. He may just need a couple cheeseburgers.

AndyMira Says:

I want Andy to win and i know Andy is the favourite but Nole should be put co-fav with put Nole in 2nd seems not right..oh we all know his problem but didn’t he already proved to us in Toronto despite all his problem he still capable of winning?This is one of the great champion we’re talking about…

PS..Hope to God Andy have a good sense and not ‘peek a boo’ in here today or tomorrow..he may get a cold feet when he sees his name on top of Nole for the 1st time!

PS2]..Rafa no 7?Hmm..hope Rafa will play like a mad bull and proved Sean wrong for put him behind Milos and Kei..You compared Rafa of today with Rafa of 2015 Sean?Let’s kick Sean’s A@# Rafa!!VAMOS!!

Wog Boy Says:

I disagree about Raonic, quick, low bouncing courts don’t suit Raonic’s game, he is not the player that picks up ball early, even his serve is readable for the good returner and he has a big cut on his FH and BH and needs more time to hit the ball, medium fast higher bouncing and clay suits him the most.

Agree about Andy, outright favorite, as for Nole, get well soon mate, it’s no good watching you and knowing you can’t give your 100% which is so obvious to see.

lakie Says:

I agree with AndyMira. Djok should be co-favorite. He won Toronto. Andy did not win Cincinnati. Why would we count Djok out? we do not even know whether his wrist is actually hurt. Some say left wrist, some say right wrist. Who knows?

Wog Boy Says:

It was never secret that it is left wrist and nobody ever said right wrist, it started around FO, even blind Freddy could see it after Delpo match that his left wrist was tapped, in case some missed it it very visible here:

Van Persie Says:

Nole should have skipped this UO. One of Serena’s secrets was, that she took once in a while a break, when needed…

Van Persie Says:

Will also agree, that Andy is the heavy favorite for the title

Wog Boy Says:


I was thinking excatly the same about USO, Nole just doesn’t look at the right place atm, I hope he proves me wrong, but I doubt it.

Van Persie Says:

Yep WB,

We shall see…perhaps he proves us wrong.

Margot Says:

On no! Sean picks Andy! Doomed I tell you! Doomed! Not according to the bookies, phew.

J-Kath Says:

One to watch: John Millman who can play hot – gave Andy a hard match – yesterday put out Richard Gasquet. Could be a spoiler.

Willow Says:

Also agree with Seans picks, much would depend on Novak and the wrist i would think, but i doubt he or Rafa would be playing if it were too serious, or they didnt think they could win, Novak will IMO be out to prove W and Olympics were just a blip on an incredible year, Rafa im not expecting much just hope he proves me wrong, Andy has been on the crest of a wave recently, and will want it to continue, money would be on Andy, but only slightly though ….

Willow Says:

I Very much doubt Delpo has the stamina for 7 best of five matches, he might get drawn in the same half early as an elite player and pull off a shock, then lose to a no disrespect journey man, or it could be the other way around, however i would say its his best chance of another GS ….

Colin Says:

Back in 2012, shortly after Andy lost the Wimbledon final to Fed, there was an article on another website by the same Tom Gainey who favours us with his insights here. The title was “Why Andy Murray will never win a slam”.

It was a rather confused piece as Mr Gainey couldn’t seem to decide whether he was writing about winning slams or getting to No 1 in the rankings, which are quite different things. We could all come up with multiple examples of unseeded players winning slams. When Venus Williams won Wimby, she’d scarcely won a match all year; the same was true of Ivanisovic.

As careers lengthen, we are seeing a number of late bloomers, and Andy is probably the best of the current crop. There seems a good chance Nole is not at his best, and if he isn’t Andy remains the most likely winner.

Someone just referred to Nole’s vegan diet; is he really vegan? It baffles me why any professional athlete would embrace this unnatural regime. Look at our teeth. If humans had evolved to avoid meat, we’d have the dentition to prove it. Vegans need supplements to be healthy, so why embark on that course in the first place for any other reason than worry about treatment of animals? Such concern is admirable, but it’s daft to pretend you’ll be healthy as well as kindly.

Sorry to drag in diet again, but if Nole really is a vegan, it is a legitimate topic.

Willow Says:

Colin i thought he was gluten free not vegan, anyhow ive said for a while he looks too thin, commies have even said it, he changed his diet for health reasons, maybe its been a curse as well as a blessing ??, ….

About Murray i think its safe to say that some people have been left with egg on their faces, will he care about the number 1 ranking probably ?, nice to have it i suppose but not the be all and end all, Murray has 3 GS, but has never been ranked number 1, on the other hand Wozniacki, Jankovic, Safina, all spent quite a long time at world number 1, but never won a GS, so i know whos career i would choose to have ….

J-Kath Says:

Agree with Willow: Can’t see Del Potro going through too many 5-setters. Has a good chance if he can close his matches in 3-sets.

Still think the final will be Nole v Andy. And if Nole gets there he’ll be well enuf to win.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

If it does come down to Andy/Novak, I think the odds are heavy in Novak’s favour. But is Novak as likely to win six matches in a row? This is probably a closer bet.

To me, the guy who just won the grand slam, the first man in 50 years, is the favourite. He’s dominated the field for several years. A couple less than perfect months doesn’t change that, not for someone of his mental strength. Of course, if his backhand is really compromised, all that changes. Andy, more than anyone, would be able to take advantage of a weakness like that.

Regarding Del Potro, Willow, I agree that winning a Slam is unlikely. But he is the biggest bomb in the draw I can remember. He can get Novak in the first round! Speaking of Andy going after weaknesses, Andy relentlessly attacked Del Potro’s backhand in the Olympics, and you know what, Del Potro didn’t look too bad, and was still forcing play at the end of a very long 4 set match against a player who makes you run, at the end of a very long double-duty tournament.

Del Potro can shock someone this tournament.

The only one on this list who I think is misplaced is Nishikori. He might knock off Milos, but he won’t beat Andy or Novak, and I don’t think he can beat Rafa right now either.

I say Novak #1, close behind is Murray #2, a good drop to Rafa #3, then Stan, Milos, Cilic, Del Potro. And Thiem growing into his role as the Great Young Hope – you know he’ll make a big slam run someday.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Remember also: Del Potro will be significantly fitter at this tournament, and will always get a days rest between matched. He just beat a hot Novak (fresh off a Masters win), and a streaking Rafa (ladies, get that thought out of your head), and played nearly even with Andy. Has anyone else ever been as close to beating 3 of the B4 in a tourney?

RZ Says:

@AM – thanks. I hope Andy reaches (and wins) the final. Regardless, I’m assuming his performance this year will be better than his 4th round loss last year. A lot for him and the others will depend on the draw.

RZ Says:

Hi all, FYI the racket bracket isn’t available until the draw is out, which should be in a little bit. I’ll try to get it set up tonight, if not then tomorrow sometime. Entries would be due before the first match is played on Monday.

vami Says:

After photos of Novak’s injury his winning odds slightly dropped from 11/10 to 9/8. That’s still not too shabby for an injured guy. Andy is a distant second at 2. It looks like that oddsmakers are not buying the injury story or Andy’s confidence thing, contrary to majority of opinions on this site.

IMHO a lot will depend on the draw and schedule of play. My crystal ball sees a lot of day matches with big servers for Novak.

AndyMira Says:

@RZ…you’re welcome sis!Yeah,agree with you..IMO no one is more motivated atm except Andy..i just hope he can handle the gigantic pressure that come with the label ‘favourite’ on his shoulder successfully…knowing there’s so much at stakes… the great novak only be able to clinch FO after 12 attempts..all because of pressure..

Van Persie Says:

Something non Muzza related, but Uk-ish folks will forgive me, or I hope. Just descoveed That Kyle Edmjnd and I have something in common. We would both like to play doubles with Marat Safin :)

AndyMira Says:

@RZ, guys must be delighted with Andy’s draw..



J-Kath Says:

Sorri AM – would rather have DelPotro in Andy’s draw than an inspired Stan. Sigh, sigh…

On the whole, none of the draws present as horrific.

RZ Says:

@AM – that is a pretty good draw for Andy but it is still tricky. Just about all those guys can be pretty dangerous. I’m not so worried about Monaco or Granollers on a hard court, but all of the others are capable of brilliant days when they can beat anyone – Rosol with his zone-like serving, Simon running down everything.

I think the person most looking forward to R4 is Judy Murray! :-)

AndyMira Says:

@JK..That’s the thing..we don’t know whether stan will emerge inspired or not..his perfomance below par atm..even IF he’s suddenly getting inspired when he’s to meet with semi final stage..the advantage surely on Andy’s side JK..we have to remember,Andy is in momentum..and he’s not going to let anything come between him and the precious trophy at that stage..

courbon Says:

Delpo is in Andy’s half of the draw….

Van Persie Says:

Hi courbon,

Finally a Nole fan here…Do not really like Janowicz for a first round…Vesely 2 round :D

AndyMira Says:

@RZ..H@#$ yeah!A very pretty draw indeed..RZ..i understand your concern..but somehow,i’m not worry at all when i look at Andy’s draw..he will handle them brilliantly RZ..just wait and see..What we have to concern about is that…THE GREAT NOVAK DJOKOVIC in final..That’s the real threat i tell you..

PS..I hope Mom Judy still know who she has to root for when that time come LOL!

jane Says:

stan has a tough early rounder again: at wimbledon he had delpo; here he has hotsauce. could go out early again.

also delpo is on the bottom, in stan’s section again. in fact, stan’s quarter is tough all round: zverev, kyrgios, delpo, thiem and hotsauce.

novak, rafa, cilic, raonic, isner, karlovic, agut, tsonga are all on the top half.

courbon Says:

Hi Van Persie-just quickly reading while on the beach ( nothing cool as San Torini just Spain but still nice…) And watching kids not to disapear….

Van Persie Says:

Have fun Courbon :)

Come on, Spain is lovely. Drink a Sangria for me, pls…but also take good care of the kids ;).
I started work again this week. :(

Ok, enjoy your holiday!

RZ Says:

@Jane – a little off-topic, but did you hear that Jack Sock is scaling back his doubles play to concentrate on singles? That means we’re unlikely to see Pospi-Sock in the men’s draw unless both guys happen to lose very early. :-(

courbon Says:

Vp-not a fan of Sangria but Mojitos go down well with my stomach.Thanx, we’ll speak next week

Van Persie Says:

Mojito is also fine :)

J-Kath Says:

AM: Don’t put much weight on momentum. Jane is reporting Del Potro in Andy’s half as well as Stan.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

DelPotro gets Ferrer 3rd round, Thiem 4th round, and Wawrinka in QF.

So the Del Potro bomb, in the sense of him getting a top tenner in one of the first couple rounds, is defused.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Incidentally, if Del Potro does make the QFs, he’ll crack the top 60 – automatic entry to Masters events.

Kerryman Says:

To “Humble Rafa”:
“The Arrogant One?” I don’t know who you are referencing, but let me assure you, you are not a patch on the as_ of any of these professional players and surely in no position to call any of them arrogant. Do you know one of them personally? Do you have real knowledge of his arrogance? You are the type of yoyo that makes these sites so crappy and offensive and unattractive to be a part of. Really. Stop and think of it: you are sitting, standing, laying down with a device of some sort and commenting on the arrogance of a player who is one of the best in the world (again, I don’t know who you are talking about) and you don’t know the player and yet you call him “The Arrogant One.” How juvenile and inappropriate for any serious discussion about professional tennis. You couldn’t get a point off any of the top 1000 on the computer. Get real.

Markus Says:

Not being nice here but just wants to give credit when credit is due. I saw Djokovic’s short press conference for tha US Open. He speaks really well, makes a lot of sense, with enough humilty without resorting to false modesty; also showed a bit of wry sense of humor.

AndyMira Says:

@JK..Ha ha..then things got interesting more and more..Honestly,i don’t think any one of them can stop Andy from reach the final JK..I know,it’s hard for you to believe it but i do..Andy is in form of his life atm and to qoute Andy’s”I’m feeling very positive just now about my body and my game,mentally,i’m in good place”…He sounds like a man in a mission right?And usually when someone in this mood,nothing can stop them except themselves..But,to be fair..we will see..

chrisford1 Says:

Kerryman, “Humble Rafa” is a comedic 1st person take on Rafa. He can be quite funny, sometimes perceptive, sometimes is flat. Part of his stock in trade is fear of Uncle Toni, his naivete, his nicknames “Fang”, “Eggman” and “The Arrogant One” for his three rivals.

Margot Says:

AM and Kath: re JMDP I now have had a lovely vision of Andy rushing over to play Stan’s quarter and then zooming back to play his own! Well, I know he’s superman but…;)
BTW AM, Rafa has a good draw hasn’t he, and he too has missed JMDP, dunno about Foggy.

J-Kath Says:

AM: Sorry – Simply because you think so is not re-assuring. Nonetheless, thank you for your support for Andy. Obviously it would be great for Andy fans but the sky can turn red very easily these days. I think Rafa will win. Leave it please.

Van Persie Says:

Your honour staff,

Why is Vami moderated?…His posts are not offensive.


Yep, as you predicted, first round for Nole: Janovicz,big server..

RZ Says:

The ATP Racquet Bracket is up! You can use this link to enter.

Please let me know if something is weird/wrong with the site.

Giles Says:

Kerryman. Crazy man, crazy. Get a life.

jane Says:

RZ, yeah that’s sad about poppy-sock, but old news.
it was announced before the olympics.
i think in canada.

jalep Says:

RZ — are you doing a WTA one or do you want me to do it?

AndyMira Says:

@M…Yeah,it seems Rafa ‘managed’ to avoid a dangerous aka big server for the first 4 rounds..Denis Istomin,Stephane Robert or Andreas Seppi,Alber Ramos Vinolas and Roberto Bautista Agut or Lucas Pouille and then he potentially will meet with Milos in QF and The Great Novak in semis[DOOMED here M!]..and i don’t want to say anything about final if you don’t mind M..

M..Good luck with Andy okay..i’ve still put my money on him to go to the final..there is no doubt whatsoever in my mind..

Ocean view Says:

Can someone fill me in on what Novak was talking about when he said he had “personal issues” after Wimbledon? The rumors are martial problems, but why would he mention this if they are resolved? Please enlighten me.

Willow Says:

Tennis Vagabond @ August 26th 10.21 am, thanks for the feedback, and lol to your post @ 10.29 am a streaking Rafa ( ladies get that thought out of your head ) ….

Willow Says:

Hi Jalep nice to see you here ;-)) ….

AndyMira Says:

@Ocean View…Sorry but that’s just it i guess..PERSONAL..and personal should be solve in private setting,no matter what the issues are and novak is one of the player that always guarded his privacy and personal matter from public view and i respect him very much for that..Whether it’s marital problem or world problem,we give him space to handle it whichever he wants it okay?

Willow Says:

AM Yeah its Novaks buisness and none of ours, its a tennis forum not marriage guidance, all right to speculate on the wrist, the rest is just tabloid fodder ….

AndyMira Says:

Yeah Willow…agree..Ocean View sounds a nice women and poster and i don’t want her to get ‘Hello’ed’ by our dear posters..

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