By News Team
Last Updated: 25th August 2021
Novak Djokovic equalled Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal’s total of 20 Grand Slams when winning Wimbledon and with both those rivals out with injury, he looks to have every chance of surpassing them at the US Open at Flushing Meadows. Plenty of younger challengers will ensure he has no room to relax however, and aside from the Serbian, this year’s tournament has a competitive look to it.
We preview the tournament ahead of the action which begins on Monday.
Djokovic seeks to bring records tumbling
Not only does the world number one seek to surpass two of the all-time greats in New York, he bids for a historic Grand Slam – to win all four majors in a single year – a feat only achieved five times across both the women’s and men’s game.
While for most of the season the Serb has been in imperious form, there has been a slight decline recently after he lost in the Olympic semi-final to Alexander Zverev in Tokyo. He then also performed disappointingly in the bronze medal match, losing to world number 12 Pablo Carreno-Busta.
Djokovic hasn’t played competitively since that defeat and comes into this year’s US Open fresher than most of his competitors. He will need to get up to speed quickly but given his almost superhuman ability to raise his game when it matters most, he should prove difficult to beat. He can be backed for a historic success at odds of 4/6.
In form Zverev out to avenge last year’s heartache
Most of Djokovic’s rivals are seeking an initial major success and will have taken confidence from his defeats in Japan. World number two Daniil Medvedev will be striving to go one better than his run to the 2019 US Open Final, where he lost in five sets to Raphael Nadal. This is the 25-year-old Russian’s best surface, and he comes here in form after winning the Canadian Open. However, a recent defeat to fellow country man Andrey Rublev in the semi-final of the Cincinnati Masters takes the gloss off his appeal at 4/1.
Eventual winner of that event Alexander Zverev could be about to avenge his agonising defeat in last year’s US Open final, where he let slip a two-set lead. The German world number four is unbeaten in 11 matches since making the switch back to hard courts and will come here full of confidence. Odds of 11/2 look to offer some value.
Since his narrow loss to Djokovic in the French Open Final, World number three Stefanos Tsitsipas has faltered in the latter stages of tournaments, and he may still be bearing the scars of that defeat. At 9/1 he is the final player in single figure odds to win the tournament, but he will need a return to his Roland-Garros form to stand any chance.
It would be a surprise if any players outside the top four in the betting emerged to throw down a challenge in the latter stages at Flushing Meadows, but Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini and Canadian Denis Shapovalov both look capable of going deep into the tournament. The promising Felix Auger-Aliassime put together a good run to reach the quarter-final of the Cincinnati Masters, where he lost in three sets to Tsitsipas, and could be a lively outsider.