After claiming the last two grand slams at Roland Garros and Wimbledon, Rafael Nadal will be brimming with confidence and looking towards winning his first US Open title and the career grand slam. With Roger Federer seemingly struggling with form after being knocked out at the Quarter-final stage in the last two grand slams, Nadal will hope that his knees can hold up on what is his least favourite surface. Despite Federer’s struggles in recent months, the 16-time grand slam champion can never be written off. His struggles at Roland Garros and Wimbledon may yet lead as strong motivation to prove his critics wrong and show the world he can still be a force in tennis in the next couple of years.
Further challenges should come from Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic. Murray has generally performed well at the slams this year reaching the final at the Australian Open and the Semi-finals of Wimbledon. However he has failed to raise his game at the latter stages and been soundly beaten by the better player. Murray has reached the final before back in 2008 and I believe he can do it again and become the first British grand slam champion since Fred Perry in 1936. Novak Djokovic has had a disappointing year by his standards and will look to build on a Semi-final showing at Wimbledon where he was eventually beaten comfortably by Tomas Berdych. Bigger threats may indeed come from Berdych and Robin Soderling who have both challenged at the latter stages of the last two grand slams and it seems it will not be long until one of these guys claims a grand slam.
Further players to look out for include Marin Cilic who will look to raise his game following a disappointing run of tournaments since his Semi-final showing at the Australian Open. The Americans will also be out in force with Andy Roddick, John Isner, Sam Querrey and Mardy Fish all capable of going far at this years open. In particular, John Isner who is now famously known as winning the marathon match against Nicholas Mahut at Wimbledon could be a real danger man as he has come on and leaps and bounds in recent years and will look to build on his impressive US Open from last year. Ernests Gulbis and Richard Gasquet could also spring a surprise or two if they can put injuries behind them. Overall this US Open looks wide open and the warm-up tournaments over the next month should act as a good indicator to who is looking capable of mounting a challenge at this years US Open.