Ever since the French Open this year, the ATP has been in a state of transition with world number 1, Novak Djokovic losing a few unexpected matches, Andy Murray winning big titles, Milos Raonic qualifying to the final of a Grand Slam and more such. That makes the US Open 2016 – the season’s final major tournament – even more interesting.
Sportwalk takes a look at what the draw has in store for us!
The US Open 2016 Draw Analysis
The top half is headed by top seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic who’ll begin his title defense on Monday against Jerzy Janowicz of Poland in a tricky opening round clash. Czech youngster Jiri Vesely – who stunned him in Monte Carlo, earlier this year – is his probable second round opponent. Novak has another potentially tricky match-up in the fourth round where he will face either French Richard Gasquet or big-serving native hope John Isner. But Gasquet will have to overcome next-gen star Kyle Edmund in the first round itself. Djokovic’s recovery from injury will be one of the key things to look out for in the next two weeks.
An all-American 1st round match-up between Jack Sock and teen Taylor Fritz is surely going to be one exhilarating contest.
Having won his maiden Masters 1000 title, Marin Cilic would love to capitalize on his good form and defeat Tsonga en-route to a possible quarterfinal match-up with Djokovic.
This quarter is going to have a few potential mouthwatering clashes in course of the next 9 days. 4th seed Rafael Nadal of Spain is opening his US Open 2016 campaign against a not-so-familiar foe, Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan. Nadal’s main challenger in this quarter of the draw would be 5th seed and 3rd in Race rankings, Milos Raonic who’s going to have to overcome a stern test from 10th seed Gael Monfils in order to face Nadal in the quarterfinals. Lucas Pouille or Roberto Bautista Agutare is potential fourth round opponents for Nadal but they aren’t expected to create much pressure on him.
Definitely the most exciting quarter in the whole draw, the third quarter offers plenty of jaw-dropping matches and potential thrillers before the quarterfinals. 3rd seed Stan Wawrinka and 8th seed youngster Dominic Thiem of Austria head the quarter. Wawrinka has got the toughest draw among the top 4 seeds. He faces big-hitting Spaniard Fernando Verdasco in the first round itself. If he gets past that, he’s got a possible third round clash with the most promising teenager right now, 27th seed Alexander Zverev; which is followed by an even tougher probable fourth round match against either 14th seed Aussie hope, Nick Kyrgios or 17th seed, another Aussie hope, Bernard Tomic.
On the other hand, Thiem starts his campaign against a much lower ranked Aussie, John Millman. But he has got a difficult third round match against Djokovic slayer, Sam Querrey of USA. Wild card entrant and 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro will open his campaign against fellow Argentine Diego Schwartzman. He has a potential second round clash against 19th seed in-form American Steve Johnson. A potential third round clash against Fabio Fognini, David Ferrer or Alexandr Dolgopolov. If he goes on to win all of these matches, he’ll be probably facing Thiem for a place in the quarterfinal.
2nd seed and one of the prime contenders for the title, Andy Murray opens his campaign against Lukas Rosol. Andy has got a rather easy draw, with Gilles Simon being a potential third round opponent; and, Feliciano Lopez or Grigor Dimitrov being potential 4th round opponents. Lopez opens his campaign against rising teen Borna Coric. Kei Nishikori, 6th seed, and Japan’s biggest hope, starts off fresh against Benjamin Becker. Karen Khachanov, one of the best rising ATP stars is a potential second round opponent of Kei Nishikori. 12th seed David Goffin can be a threat to Nishikori en route to the quarterfinals.
The US Open has always been one major that’s stood out because of its amazing courts and ambiance. And this year looks no different! With nail-biters expected aplenty, fasten your seat belts for an exciting couple of weeks.