U.S. Open men to watch: One last hurrah for Roger Federer?
Aug 24, 2014 10:28a ET
Reason to believe: Pospisil will not be a true contender this year, but the potential he showed this summer by reaching the Washington, D.C. final in July and by giving Roger Federer a tough three-setter in Cincinnati -- where Federer won the title -- proves he's on the verge. Pospisil and partner Jack Sock also put on quite a doubles show this summer winning Wimbledon and Atlanta.
Reason to doubt: We are not expecting a title from Pospisil, but he's a great competitor that will make all the other players in contention step up their game.
Photo: Rob Carr / Getty Images North America
Reason to believe: Tsonga had an impressive win over Roger Federer to win the Toronto Masters to end an 18-month title drought. Though he was promptly bounced from the first round in Cincinnati, Tsonga will be well-rested and able to play the duration in New York if the stars align.
Reason to doubt: Tsonga lacks consistency and at 29, he needs to be playing his absolute best to have a shot at the title. He missed last year's U.S. Open and has never advanced past the quarterfinals in New York. Photo: GEOFF ROBINS / AFP
Reason to believe: If he plays, he'll be the top American in the draw and as such will have the crowd on his side. The U.S. Open is also the site of the 15th-ranked player's best ever Slam performance -- a quarterfinal bid in 2011.
Reason to doubt: Isner pulled out of this week's Winston-Salem warmup event after turning his ankle. He says it was a precautionary move and intends to play next week, but his odds are long even if he's healthy. Photo: Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images North America
Reason to believe: The first of his two major wins was the 2012 U.S. Open on the heels of his Olympic gold medal win in London. If stepping onto Arthur Ashe Stadium can reignite his momentum, he could see a third Slam title.
Reason to doubt: Murray has yet to win a title this year and has suffered losses to Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal (twice), Grigor Dimitrov (twice), Milos Raonic and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Photo: Ronald Martinez / Getty Images North America
Tomas Berdych/Grigor Dimitrov
Reason to believe: On any given day, Berdych and Dimitrov can run the table. Both have played Grand Slam semifinals and both can go that extra step.
Reason to doubt: Berdych hasn't seen a Slam final since losing to Rafael Nadal in the 2010 French Open. Dimitrov struggled before losing to eventual champion Novak Djokovic in July's Wimbledon semis. While solid bets to see week two in New York, that may be it. Photo: Ronald Martinez / Getty Images North America
Reason to believe: This past year, Raonic has shed his baby fat and grown up on the court with results to prove it. Reaching the semifinals at Wimbledon and defeating countryman Vasek Pospisil to win the Washington D.C. title, Raonic is poised for the next big stop in his career, a Grand Slam title.
Reason to doubt: It's one thing to beat Pospisil at a smaller venue. It's quite another to go after the likes of Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Photo: Ronald Martinez / Getty Images North America
Reason to believe: The ever-present Spaniard has not been ranked lower than No. 7 in the world since November 2010. Since then he's always been Spain's No. 2 player, second only to Rafael Nadal. But without Nadal, Ferrer has a chance to grab his first Grand Slam title.
Reason to doubt: He had a chance in Cincinnati to grab a Masters title, but couldn't overcome Roger Federer despite an impressive 5-0 stronghold in the second set of their three-set match. Ferrer has proven he can hang with top dogs, but he can't quite jump past them. Photo: Jonathan Moore / Getty Images North America
Reason to believe: Wawrinka, the No. 4 seed, has three titles this year, including a major (Australian Open) and a Masters (Monte Carlo), with the wins coming over Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. He reached the semifinals last year in New York and could do it again this year if he stays focused.
Reason to doubt: His results have been a mixed bag since winning Monte Carlo, with only one semifinal and two quarterfinal appearances in seven tournaments. He will need the consistency he displayed in Melbourne to have a legitimate shot. Photo: Al Behrman / AP
Reason to believe: Five-time U.S. Open champion Federer claimed the No. 2 seed when Rafael Nadal withdrew and comes to New York with eight final appearances in 12 tournaments played this year, winning three titles -- the most recent being last week in Cincinnati.
Reason to doubt: Federer reached the final in both Toronto and Cincinnati, winning the latter. That's a lot of matches on a tough surface. Can he maintain this level of play for two weeks in New York at age 33? Photo: Jonathan Moore / Getty Images North America
Reason to believe: Seeded No. 1, Djokovic loves New York. He's reached the semifinals or better the last seven years. Five of those years, he's reached the final and won once with a four-set win in 2011 over defending champion Rafael Nadal.
Reason to doubt: Since winning Wimbledon, Djokovic could not get past the third round in Toronto or Cincinnati, which didn't give him many matches on the hard courts this summer. Photo: Jonathan Moore / Getty Images North America