Five top ATP players looking to do better at US Open than Wimbledon
As the dust settles on another memorable Wimbledon, attentions are already turning to the final Grand Slam of the annual tennis calendar, the US Open.
While Serena Williams now holds all four majors in the women’s game, the ATP honours are being dominated by Novak Djokovic. His own bid for a career Grand Slam faltered at Roland Garros, however, when Stan Wawrinka upset him in the French Open final.
Serbia star Djokovic, a winner at Flushing Meadows in 2011, is Coral’s early favourite for a second US Open title at 6/5, but others will be targeting improvements on that hard surface in New York. Who are they and why? Read on to find out!
Great Britain’s number one Murray was swept aside so easily by Wimbledon finalist Roger Federer in the semis of his home Grand Slam. Having made relatively smooth progress to the business end at SW19 himself, the Scot will be bitterly disappointed he could not regain grass court glory.
Having won Wimbledon in 2013, Murray has also previously been champion at Flushing Meadows (back in 2012). His game makes a smooth transition from grass to hard surfaces, so he’s well worth considering at 10/3 for another US Open victory.
Spanish sensation Nadal is a two-time winner of the USA major, the last coming two years ago. His shock early exit from Wimbledon to Dustin Brown will have given ‘the king of clay’ a chance to lick his wounds, having lost a match at the French Open for only the second time in his career against Djokovic previously.
Flushing Meadows is admittedly not his best surface, but Nadal should come back much stronger given his extra rest. Odds of 11/1 say he will lift a third US Open crown.
Swiss number two Wawrinka needs to triumph at Wimbledon and Flushing Meadows to complete the career Grand Slam, and join an elite list which includes compatriot Federer, whose shadow he has been in for so long. A surprise winner of both the Australian Open last year and French Open this season, Wawrinka is a late bloomer that cannot be underestimated.
Slumping to shock defeat by Richard Gasquet in the Wimbledon quarter-finals, Wawrinka has reached the semis of the US Open before. He thus needs to make that extra push to build on previous exploits in New York for glory this time round, and it’s 12/1 he finds himself flushed with further success stateside.
Having to withdraw from Wimbledon through injury was a big blow to rising Japanese star Nishikori. Runner-up at last year’s US Open after knocking Djokovic out, it is on the hard courts where he has tended to perform best.
With plenty of time to return to full fitness after a calf problem before Flushing Meadows, nifty Nishikori will be looking to go one better this time around, despite a drop in the ATP rankings. Odds of 14/1 say he can take the US Open title back to the Far East.
Be very surprised if you hear much talk about defending US Open champ Cilic in the build-up to this year’s edition. A surprise winner last season, the Croatian succumbed far too easily to Djokovic in his Wimbledon quarter-final.
Hard surfaces suit Cilic, though he to battle past the likes of Kevin Anderson and Gilles Simon before straight sets wins over Tomas Berdych, Federer and Nishikori helped him take the US Open title. A repeat victory looks unlikely, however, as Cilic holds long odds of 28/1 to defend his crown at Flushing Meadows.