Back in 2010, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer were the top seeds at the US Open for the last time, with the Spaniard winning the title to complete the Career Grand Slam and Roger losing in the semis to Novak Djokovic in five sets.
This was one of the best chances for tennis world to see the first clash between two great rivals in New York but that never happened (12 months ago Roger had lost against Juan Martin del Potro in the quarters with Rafa waiting in the semis).
The 51st edition of the US Open in the Open era kicks off next week and for the first time since 2010 Nadal and Federer are the top seeds, hoping to reach the final and round up their Grand Slam rivalry with the only title match that is missing.
2010, 2013 and 2017 champion Rafael Nadal is the best player of the world, conquering Toronto and skipping Cincinnati in order to rest and hit New York in the best possible shape. Rafa is already in New York, training with Stan Wawrinka on Tuesday and waiting for the draw to see his potential rivals.
Roger will try to advance into his eighth US Open final and he will try to lift the first trophy since 2008 here, losing two finals after that and missing a few more opportunities to add more titles to his tally. 2009 winner Juan Martin del Potro is the 3rd seed, entering the US Open with 37 ATP wins so far in 2018 and with a solid run in the last few events.
If he avoids marathon and long matches in the opening week, the Argentinian will be very tough to beat here, looking to at least repeat what he did 12 months ago when he lost in the semis to Nadal. World number 4 Alexander Zverev has won just two matches in New York so far and he brings a big change in his coaching staff, with a three-time winner Ivan Lendl joining his team in order to help him excelling his game and score another good Grand Slam result after reaching the last eight in Paris.
Just like with Murray, Lendl for sure knows how to fix the cracks in Zverev's game and to draw the best from him at the biggest tennis stage where the German often struggled to live up to expectations. Kevin Anderson is the 5th seed and the last year's finalist, playing well at Wimbledon and Toronto and seeking another deep run in New York after a favorable draw in 2017.
No one will want to see the hard-hitting South African on the other side of the net in the quarters and that is safe to say for the 6th seed Novak Djokovic as well, heading to New York as Wimbledon and Cincinnati champion and playing on a high level for the first time in more than a year or so.
Including his first final at the US Open in 2007, Novak has reached 10 consecutive semi-finals at the last Grand Slam of the season, winning two titles and losing in the title match no less than five more times overall, standing as one of the top contenders for the big result in two weeks time.
2014 winner Marin Cilic is another player who can spoil the party of Nadal and Federer, losing in three sets to Nadal in Toronto and against Djokovic in Cincinnati, building up his form for the showdown in New York. Grigor Dimitrov has won eight matches at the US Open overall, playing in the fourth round twice, and he will have to raise his level compared to what he showed so far in the season if he wants to stand a chance for a good result.
The Bulgarian has won 22 matches on the Tour in 2018, scoring good results at the Australian Open, Rotterdam and Monte Carlo but showing almost nothing in the other events to stand outside the Top 10 of the ATP Race. John Isner and Stefanos Tsitsipas will probably be the most dangerous players seeded in 9-16 group and it should be interesting to see who will make the most damage from the lower group of seeds placed in 17-32 group and we should get many answers when the draw comes out. The Top 16 seeds at the upcoming US Open: