US Open: five men to watch

DANIIL MEDVEDEV

Defending champion Daniil Medvedev has both infuriated and wowed US Open fans. But no matter which side you’re on, there’s no denying the Russian’s immense talent, fast and mostly unreadable serve, groundstrokes and tireless defence. He’s the No. 1 player in the world, but he’s been a bit inconsistent and has only won one tournament win this season, although he lost to Rafael Nadal in the Open final. ‘Australia. It will be his first Grand Slam since Roland Garros as the All England Lawn Tennis Club made the political decision not to allow Russian and Belarusian players to play at Wimbledon because of the war in Ukraine.

RAFAEL NADAL

Rafael Nadal arrives for the ‘Tennis Plays for Peace’ exhibition match on Wednesday to raise awareness and provide humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
Credit: AP/Frank Franklin II

Nadal, 36, continues to hang around. Despite a rib injury and his long-standing foot problem, he still managed to win the Australian and French Opens this year and take his Grand Slam tally to a record 22, including 14 on clay. red beat of Roland Garros. His activity has been limited by those injuries this season, but Nadal has four US Open titles, the last of those in 2019. He was recently knocked out of the Western and Southern Open by reborn Bora Coric , and played very little. since losing to Nick Kyrgios in the semi-finals of Wimbledon. But assuming reasonable health, he can’t be whittled down to Flushing Meadows.

CARLOS ALCARAZ

Carlos Alcaraz reacts after winning a point against Cameron Norrie during...

Carlos Alcaraz reacts after winning a point against Cameron Norrie at the Western & Southern Open August 19 in Mason, Ohio.
Credit: AP/Aaron Doster

The Spanish teenager showed himself to the world at the US Open last year, beating Stefano Tsitsipas on his way to the quarter-finals, where he retired with a leg injury in the second set of his match against Felix Auger-Aliassime. But the Open crowd clearly loved him and he lived up to his promise of greatness with four titles this season, including a decisive win over idol Nadal in Madrid. It hasn’t exactly been a great summer for Alcaraz, but assuming he’ll be embraced by Open fans, there’s no reason to think he won’t be able to top his successes at the Open. last year at Flushing Meadows.

TAYLOR-FRITZ

Taylor Fritz reacts as he wins a point against Rafael...

Taylor Fritz reacts as he wins a point against Rafael Nadal in the men’s singles quarter-final at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London July 6.
Credit: AP/Kirsty Wigglesworth

No American has won the US Open singles title since Andy Roddick in 2003, which was his only Grand Slam crown. So maybe if the stars align, Taylor Fritz might have a chance. He beat Nadal in the Indian Wells final this year for the biggest title of his career. Fritz lost to Nadal in a grueling five sets in the Wimbledon quarters and lost another tough five sets to Tsitsipas in the Australian round of 16. At the recent Western & Southern Open, he knocked out Andrey Rublev and Kyrgios before losing to Medvedev. It’s time for another American to show up at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

BORNA CORIC

Borna Coric reacts after winning a point against Stefanos Tsitsipas during the...

Borna Coric reacts after winning a point against Stefanos Tsitsipas in the men’s singles final of the Western & Southern Open August 21 in Mason, Ohio.
Credit: AP/Aaron Doster

Completely out of left field, the 25-year-old Croatian won the Western & Southern Open last week, beating Tsitsipas in the final and Nadal in the second round. At Open 2020, Coric produced a stunning comeback over Tsitsipas, coming back from two sets and 1-5 down in the fourth set to win it in the fifth. He missed a full year after right shoulder surgery in March 2021 (at the Hospital for Special Surgery’s Sports Medicine Institute in New York) and dragged this season until his impressive showing at the Western. If he plays like that at the Open, he could be a threat.

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