The Favorite for the US Open? I Take Roger Federer!

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The Favorite for the US Open? I Take Roger Federer!

Jacopo Tezza (on top) is the director of the Evert Tennis Academy in Boca Raton.

Originally from Italy, Jacopo has coached both at the University of Central Florida and the Texas Christian University, before becoming director of the academy founded by the Evert Family in collaboration with IMG.

Currently working with World No.103 Olivia Rogowska, Jacopo collaborated with futre WTA stars such as Madison Keys, Lauren Davis, Maria Sanchez. With this piece Jacopo joins the team of Tennis World USA.

He will share with us his expertise and impressions on the world of tennis.
There Were Once the Fab Four by Jacopo Tezza It has been another great year of tennis, full of great matches and drama.

Once again it was Nadal domination on the red clay at the Roland Garros, and after one of the greatest matches of the year, Djokovic beat Federer for the Wimbledon glory. The hard court season is now fast approaching and with that, a whole new thrill of who will win the last Grand Slam of the year.

Although Nadal, Djokovic and Federer have dominated the tennis scene in recent years, going into the US Open next month, I believe we may see a different face stepping up to the occasion. The Big 3 (Nadal, Djokovic and Federer) remain as such, but I think the gap is closing, as there are several younger players that have proven themselves in past seasons as worthy opponents, and seem “almost” ready to take the scene away from them.

Djokovic seems to have found his 2013’s mojo where for the first part of the year he was unbeatable. He recently got married and Boris Becker seems to have given him the necessary confidence to perform at his best in the clutch moments.

I like Federer’s chances in New York personally. The courts are fast and suit his aggressive skills extremely well. It seems he has found a great level of comfort with his new racket and new aggressive strategy thanks also to Stefan Edberg.

I would really like him to bring out the serve-and-volley often. I believe keeping an aggressive mind set is essential for Roger to make a run to the title. You can never count Nadal out either. He is a natural competitor and I’m sure he is hungry to regain the number one spot, but even hungrier to get one Slam closer to Federer.

With some adjustments, Nadal has proven his game to be successful on the hard courts. He’s adjusted his game by playing closer to the baseline, serving bigger and taking the ball earlier. The wrist injury has however happened in the worst possible moment, undermining Nadal’s chances to have a proper preparation for the US Open.

So, who’s going to step up to face these guys? The list is longer than it has ever been with Murray, Dimitrov, Raonic, Wawrinka, Berdych and Nishikori etc. The draw will play an important factor for whoever will be in the final.

I think any of these players have the potential to defeat the Big 3, but their chances can improve based on the match ups. Despite the match ups, Dimitrov seems to be the one taking over Murray’s spot.

He has already put few ATP titles under his belt, his game has been extremely successful and has caught the Big 3’s attention.

Dimitrov challenged Djokovic almost to the limit in the semifinal at Wimbledon, and it is possible that Dimitrov will play even better on the fast courts at Flushing Meadows. Although younger than all the Big 3 players, Dimitrov has already reached a semifinal in a Grand Slam and has matured tremendously as the season progressed.

He seems to have learned how to use his talents which have greatly elevated his game. No matter your favorite, we’ll all be watching to see whether Federer will add an 18th major to his sterling career, if Djokovic or Nadal will close the gap with Federer in majors won, or maybe it’s time for a newcomer to own the title.

I do expect another “familiar” final with 2 of the Big 3 in the final, but this new generation of players is pushing for more ground and the gap is closing. If I were to pick a favorite, I would go with Federer, with a minimal advantage over Djokovic.