Djokovic The Favorite For 18, Tsitsipas, Thiem Challengers; US Open Picks And Pans

by Staff | August 27th, 2020, 5:36 pm

There’s no Roger Federer, no Rafael Nadal, but Novak Djokovic is in the US Open draw and looking like the strong favorite to close the Grand Slam title gap with his rivals. Djokovic leads a decent draw which features seven of the Top 10 players including Australian Open finalist Dominic Thiem, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev, Daniil Medvedev and fellow former champions Marin Cilic and Andy Murray.

The top seeded Serb has to like his chances with a comfortable early draw out the 16s where he could run into the dangerous John Isner. But best-of-5 will make things nearly impossible for the American. On these quick courts, he could run into another American in the quarters against either Taylor Fritz or Reilly Opelka. Opelka is battling a knee injury which forced him out of the Cincinnati stop. Fritz is a little-known commodity over five sets so I like the Canadian Denis Shapovalov to shine and get through, unless Opelka is heathy. Speaking of that, let’s hope Novak’s neck troubles are a thing of the past. David Goffin and Filip Krajinovic are in there as well, but I don’t expect much from them.
The Pick: Novak Djokovic

Tsitsipas is having a great week at the Cincinnati event, though somewhat fortunate getting players who are either injured (Opelka) or coming off long matches (Anderson, Isner). But I think he’s more than proven he’s up to the task regardless of situation. Tsitsipas has a nice draw with Borna Coric in the third round, maybe a Dusan Lajovic in the fourth (out of a very weak section), then possibly Zverev in the quarters. The big German who made the Australian semifinals, will be tested right out of the block by former finalist Kevin Anderson. The South African underwent knee surgery in February and now will try to go best-of-5 on that repaired knee. I like Zverev (though could see Anderson pulling the win if Zverev is on a walk-a-bout) to get through and make the fourth where he could meet Hubert Hurkacz. I think Zverev pulls through but the Greek is the better player.
The Pick: Stefanos Tsitsipas

With Andrey Rublev, Grigor Dimitrov, Matteo Berrettini and Medvedev, you have four guys who could and have made a deep run at the US Open. I don’t think Berrettini gets back and I feel like Dimitrov needs more seasoning and best-of-5 won’t help post-virus. But the Russians Rublev and Medvedev should get to a tasty quarterfinal showdown. I know Medvedev lost yesterday to Roberto Bautista Agut, but I liked how he looked in the first set and earlier in the week. I think best-of-5 will make him that much tougher to beat. He beats Rublev in five and returns to the semifinals.
The Pick: Daniil Medvedev

After an awful start at the Cincinnati leg of this event, Thiem has to make amends. His draw should let him do that early. But he’ll have former champion Marin Cilic in the third, probably Dan Evans in the fourth after the Brit takes down the Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime, then a dynamite showdown with Milos Raonic. Raonic will have to navigate through an in-form Bautista Agut, then maybe Sam Querrey. On these quick courts, I like Raonic over Thiem to get out of the toughest quarter of the draw.
The Pick: Milos Raonic

Djokovic d Tsitsipas: Could be a rematch of the Cincinnati final.
Raonic d Medvedev: Quick courts help the big serve.

Djokovic d Raonic: Raonic drops to 0-11 (maybe 0-12 if they meet this Saturday) against the Serb who collects No. 18.

If this event looks a lot like Cincinnati, it should. It’s a bizarre dynamic basically replaying the tournament just going best-of-5 over two weeks instead of one. So in theory, the results should be pretty similar.

And with the expanded draw and many not playing, the early rounds should be fairly easy for most players, if not boring. Also, the top guys got a week of play in and best-of-5 will make them even tougher to beat.

If the show courts — not used for Cincinnati — are as quick as the outer courts, then that should help the big men like Opelka, Isner, Raonic, etc. But if Novak’s neck is OK, I don’t see anyone beating him.

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12 Comments for Djokovic The Favorite For 18, Tsitsipas, Thiem Challengers; US Open Picks And Pans

RZ Says:

Hey all, I hope everyone has been doing well. To state the obvious, I haven’t come to this site much recently and don’t think I will in the near future, except perhaps for an occasional “Go Andy”. So I’m not inclined to post a racket bracket for the U.S. Open (or the French Open, if that is still happening). If anyone else is interested in running a bracket, you can set it up at

Enjoy the tennis and stay healthy, safe and sane.
And, as always, go Andy! 😃

Comisetti Says:

He’s number 1, he’s always favorite everywhere until against Nadal in clay.

Wog Boy Says:

This was hard to watch, but win is win, he didn’t have to spend 3 hours on the court, Raonic laughing.

chrisford1 Says:

Djokovic 10-0 vs Milos.
Osaka’s BLM stunt cost men and women a day’s rest.
Doko played 3 hours and skipped his presser because his “neck got worse after the match” acc to a USTA spokeswoman
He gets less than a day to recover.
Milos is in a freaking zone, serving well.
Hope Novak can face adversity and go all in, not “save himself for the USO”. Winning his 2nd Masters Sweep will be as big in assessing his career as another Slam, many people inc me, believe. And he would have 3-5 more years, hopefully, to try and win 2 more Masters (Monte Carlo and Cincinnati, again) that would be 3 Masters Sweeps, a “forget about anyone beating it” record like Rogers semi-final streak at Slams, or Nadal’s 13+ FO titles.
And Djokovic looks unstoppable to stop as #1 for the rest of the year. Rafa is maxed out already on points at the USO, Italian, and French Open, Djokovic can only gain points or “bank” his 2019 USO, IO, FO points. After that, I think the only tournaments possible are Paris Bercy and the ATP Finals, at least not cancelled yet, I think…
283 weeks as #1. And counting.

Wog Boy Says:

I can see Milos winning his first match against Nole after 10 losses. It was brutal match, Nole has only 18 hours recovery time and injury issues, hard to see him beating Milos , but again…
I watch Milos agains Filip, he wasn’t any better or worse than before, he should hav lost that match, Filip was serving for the match.
As for Osaka, agree, if she try that again in Europe, she should be fined and suspended, at the end she backfliped, but not before she kept the rest of the players as hostages, obviously someone told her there will be consequences, that’s not NBA to blackmail the rest of the tennis world, WTA (and ATP) can go on without likes of Osaka for a difference of NBA that can’t.

skeezer Says:

“ And Djokovic looks unstoppable to stop as #1 for the rest of the year…”
Yep. Djoker will have “Covid” draw this entire year(what’s left of it). Shoo – in.

chrisford1 Says:

Credit to Roberto BA as well for Djokovic’s predicament, Wog Boy. Though his neck was hampering him and he was winning only 56% of his 1st serves, you got to admire RBA…he clawed his way back and had Novak trying everything to shake off the dog.
And like David Ferrer, he never stopped working and made it to the top tier when he was just about 30..Another Spaniard with heart and dedication. *salute*

j-kath Says:

Hi RZ – Ditto “GO Andy”.
Re. Novak – Think he will beat MILOS (who will be 30 in December).
That said, Milos has surprised me…I always knew his serve was stunning, and he always does well but seems to have mastered a few more winning moves.

skeezer Says:

Tennis with an asterisk for sure the remaining of this year. No desire to watch Covid tennis but do appreciate Andy giving it another go. Hopefully he will have the kinks out by next year and join Fed/Rafa for some enjoyable tennis.

j-kath Says:

Skeezer: Maybe it was the right time for Andy to check out his “metal” in more ways than one! Let’s hope that Covid is a bad dream by the turn of the year and we’ll also see the return of Fed/Rafa…meanwhile the younger group are not demonstrating the growth that one might expect….reminds me of Grigor
Dimitrov…high potential reduced to fleeting brilliance.

Django Says:

And then, after creating all that BS, Osaka pulls out. What a publicity hound!
Will always be rooting against her now.

tennismonger Says:

Nowadays when I open up the comments section at Tennis-X, my dachshund rarely fails to prick up his ears…

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