US Open men's singles preview: Federer and Nadal against Djokovic

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US Open men's singles preview: Federer and Nadal against Djokovic

The US Open 2019 will begin with three certainties; the defending champion Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. The Big Three - and who else? - are the natural favorites for the final victory of the tournament, for a series of reasons that reflect all that we have seen this year and, substantially, also in the past seasons.

Djokovic leads the seeding, and his path to a possible final could include Stan Wawrinka or Kevin Anderson in the fourth round, Daniil Medvedev in the quarterfinals and Federer in the semifinals. The Swiss Maestro, in the top half with Nole, has on his side of the draw David Goffin, Grigor Dimitrov, Milos Raonic and Kei Nishikori.

Certainly, adversaries that could put him in difficulty, on the hard-courts of Flushing Meadows. In the bottom half, the favorite for a place in the final is obviously Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard has Marin Cilic, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, John Isner, Karen Khachanov and Alexander Zverev on his side.

For Rafa, a possible semi-final could be against Dominic Thiem or Stefanos Tsitsipas. Probably no opponent of the Big Three currently has a remote chance of winning a Grand Slam. Djokovic, for the surface and for what he is doing in the last year and a half is the favorite for the final victory, even considering a draw not impossible.

Draw even better for Nadal who, at least theoretically, could take advantage of overall comfortable rounds to reach a possible final. Today, of the Big Three, Federer is the one who has the least chance of winning today. His draw is not very simple, and in Cincinnati, he did not show great physical fitness.

The real outsiders could be the Russians Daniil Medvedev (who is going through a great psycho-physical period) and Karen Khachanov. Needless to deny that the Next Gen players will have everything to prove in this fortnight, during a tournament that often, in past years, has given many surprises.

However, for what we have seen in recent months, Zverev, Tsitsipas or Kyrgios do not seem to have any chance of winning. As seen in 2019, Cilic and Anderson will not have many possibilities, even if on this surface, in a positive fortnight, they could give their fans great surprises.

Some chances also for Thiem; historically he does not go through a good psycho-physical shape in the second half of the season. However the Austrian could exploit a draw not altogether impossible, at least to reach a semi-final.

US Open 2019, men's singles - Percentages: Novak Djokovic 50% Rafael Nadal 40% Roger Federer 10% Outsiders: Daniil Medvedev and Karen Khachanov