This year’s US Open has a relatively open feel to it given the absence of some of the game’s best. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are both not in action at Flushing Meadows, but this still a Grand Slam and their absences mean plenty of the sport’s emerging players have a golden opportunity at capturing their first major title.

Here is our preview of the tournament which gets underway on Monday.

In-form Djokovic the man to stop

There’s no doubt that world number one and three-time US Open winner Novak Djokovic is by far the most likely winner. The Serb has been in superb form this year, winning all of his 21 matches and he’s currently on an unbeaten streak of 24 victories. He’s already landed the Australian Open for a remarkable eighth time as well as adding the ATP Cup and Dubai Tennis Championships to his trophy cabinet this year, so the omens are strong on further success at Flushing Meadows.

The 33-year-old has won 17 Grand Slams, including four of the last nine, and it’s no surprise he’s 4/5 to win another – a victory that would take him just two away from Roger Federer’s record of 20. He’s looked in great form in the Western and Southern Open in New York and if he can continue his purple patch, it’s going to take a pretty spectacular performance to beat him.

Tsitsipas could emerge from the pack

As mentioned, with both Federer and Nadal absent this is a golden opportunity for the new batch of players on the tennis circuit to really make their presence felt. Dominic Thiem (7/1) gave Djokovic plenty to think about in the Australian Open final this year, but he was disappointing at the aforementioned Western and Southern Open and he needs to bounce back quickly here. Daniil Medvedev (6/1) enjoyed a stellar campaign on the North American hard courts in 2019 and if he can repeat that this time around he holds solid claims.

They are both entitled to go well, but Stefanos Tsitsipas (7/1) might just be the one to cause Djokovic the most problems. The Greek has had a decent 2020 so far, winning the Open 13 event in Marseille before losing to Novak in the Dubai Tennis Championships final. Those good performances came after he won the ATP World Tour Finals in London at the back end of last year, added to the fact he was an Australian Open semi finalist in 2019, showing he’s a man to follow on the hard courts. Can Tsitsipas turn up and make it count at Flushing Meadows? We’ll soon find out.

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