The final Grand Slam of the tennis calendar is upon us and Flushing Meadows always delivers.
Two weeks of top-class tennis from the Big Apple – it doesn’t get much better than that.
Defending Men’s champion Dominic Thiem won his maiden Slam here last year, however a wrist injury forced him out of Wimbledon, the Tokyo Olympics and now the chance to defend his US Open title.
Unsurprisingly, Novak Djokovic is the betting favourite coming into the tournament. It wasn’t to be for Djokovic (above) in Tokyo as his quest for the Golden Slam was halted by Alexander Zverev.
However, a win at the Arthur Ashe Stadium (8/11) on 12th September would see him become the most successful men’s player in history in terms of Grand Slam titles.
Taking that last step towards Grand Slam immortality has evaded Serena Williams for so long, so the Serbian will be desperate to land his 21st Slam here and overtake Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal, who will both be absent from the tournament.
A triumph in New York would also see Djokovic complete the ‘Calendar Grand Slam (win all four majors in the same calendar year)’. No man has done that since Rod Laver in 1969.
The favourite to stop Novak is Daniil Medvedev (9/2). The Russian has saved his best form for Flushing Meadows in recent seasons, pushing Rafa Nadal to five sets in an agonising final defeat in 2019 and succumbing in three sets to eventual winner Dominic Thiem in last year’s semi-finals.
Olympic gold medallist Alexander Zverev comes into this Slam full of confidence at 11/2. He dispatched Karen Khachanov in straight sets in the final in Tokyo, after ending Djokovic’s dream of a ‘Golden Slam’ in the semis.
The German followed that up by beating his good friend Andrey Rublev in the final of the Cincinnati Masters.
Stefanos Tsitsipas is a decent outside price at 10/1. Four Grand Slam semi-final appearances at 23 certainly tells its own story.
He’s yet to advance past the third round of this tournament, but Tsitsipas looks to be at the front of the queue in terms of the next generation of talent.
The big question surrounding the women’s draw is can Naomi Osaka bounce back?
She endured a bittersweet Olympics experience, but she was crowned champion at Flushing Meadows back in 2018 and 2020.
Serena Williams’ (below) quest to overtake Margaret Court’s Grand Slam tally would be another storyline heading into these championships but she had to withdraw due to injury.
Unfortunately, a disappointing summer on the tour implies her chances are fading, with an injury causing her to withdraw from Wimbledon in the first round for the first time in her career.
There may be some value in backing Simona Halep at 25’s. She’s one of the most consistent players on the tour and this Slam is the only one missing from her cabinet.