Men's Singles Draw Analysis - US Open 2019
The final grand slam of the year - US Open 2019 is all set to kick-start in New York tomorrow. The US Open can also be called as the unpredictable slam as we have had four different champions in the last five years. The big three- Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic will have different priorities.
Federer will be looking to end his long title drought in the US Open as he last won it a decade ago in 2008. Djokovic will be looking to defend his title while Nadal will look to get some motivation from his triumph in the US Open 2017. The slam gap between the big three is reducing slowly with each tournament and this year's US Open is a big-stakes tournament for all of them.
Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer are in the same half of the draw and there is a big possibility of them clashing against each other in the semi-finals. Nadal will breathe easy as he can face either Djokovic or Federer only in the finals.
Indian tennis fans also received good news as two Indian players made it to the main draw of the men's singles competition with Prajnesh Gunneswaran and Sumit Nagal making the cut. The last time that happened was 21 years ago when the dynamic duo of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi competed in men's singles during Wimbledon- 1998.
Prajnesh drew the red hot in-form World Number 5- Daniil Medvedev in the first round while Nagal will face the GOAT- World Number 3- Roger Federer. Both the matches are dream encounters for the youngsters and they will immensely benefit from this experience of playing against the best players in a highly competitive tournament.
A couple of blockbuster matches were announced in the men's draw with equally talented players pitted against each other.
Some of the matches which the fans would love to watch are the two Next-Gen encounters as Tsitsipas takes on Rublev while an all-Canadian clash - a rematch of US Open 2018 will be held as Felix Auger will face off against Denis Shapovalov. Fans can expect some surprises to happen in some of the matches such as Nick Kyrgios vs Steve Johnson, Fognini vs Opelka, Kudla vs Tipsarevic (who is playing his last slam), Basilashvili vs Fucsovics, Herbert vs De Minaur, Mannarino vs Evans, Kohlschreiber vs Pouille, Seppi vs Dimitrov, Hurkacz vs Chardy, Raonic vs Jarry, Fritz vs Lopez, Berreteni vs Gasquet, Cilic vs Klizan, Struff vs Ruud, Tsonga vs Sandgren, Karlovic vs Tiafoe and Monfils vs Ramos-Vinolas.
The big 3 will have their task cut out as an army of challengers lie in their path. Djokovic will have to beat some dangerous names if he wants to reach the semi-finals Querrey who beat Djokovic in Wimbledon 2016, Wawrinka who trounced him in US Open 2016 finals, and Medvedev who upset him in Cincinnati 2019 semis are all in the line.
Roger Federer will have to deal with some good hard-court players in Pouille, Goffin and 2014 runner-up Nishikori till the semis. Nadal does not have it easier either as he begins his campaign with Millman (who stunned Federer last year) followed by the surprise package in Kokkinakis in the next round. An encounter with his Spanish compatriot Verdasco in the third round and a clash with either of the giants Isner or Cilic in the fourth round. Next-Gen sensations await him with either Zverev or Khachanov in the quarterfinals and either Thiem or Tsitsipas in the semifinals.
We also had a last-minute pull-out with Kevin Anderson withdrawing due to a serious knee injury. His place has been taken by lucky loser Paolo Lorenzi who will face 16-year-old American- Zachary Svajda in the first round.
While the Next Gen players will look to stake their claim in the big stage, they have lots of challenges to overcome. The likes of Tsitsipas has a death draw for him with Rublev, Kyrgios, and Thiem awaiting him till the quarterfinals.
The veterans like Cilic, Wawrinka, Verdasco, Berdych, Kohlschreiber, Fognini, Lopez, Agut, Simon, Gasquet, Isner, Tsonga, Karlovic and Monfils will be looking to show to the world that they have a lot left in the tank and will aim hard to go deep in the tournament.
Only time will tell if any of the Big 3 - Federer, Nadal and Djokovic will hold another slam as they have won the last 11 slams continuously since 2017.
Fans can be assured of thrilling and non-stop action with surprises and upsets throughout the two weeks from August 26 to September 8.
We may get some fascinating stories and fantastic memories under the lights which will remain in our mind for the rest of our lives.