• Joseph Marino

2019 US Open Preview:

Bright lights, bustling traffic, and ruckus echoing throughout the infamous, sleepless city, it seems like an inhospitable spot to host a tennis tournament, let alone a major. Yet it is poetic to have the last major of the year end with a roar, rather than a whimper.

The US Open brings with it the exciting atmosphere of the Big Apple and the largest prize purse of any tennis tournament at a staggering$57 million. Not only these facts, but the richest tennis tournament also boasts the largest stadium and the electric night matches that said stadium hosts. There is no bed time for the tournament, as matches have been known to extend to 1 or even 2 AM.

This year, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic is the defending champion and odds on favorite.`The Serbian has been the most dominant player on tour, winning two majors and one masters 1000 event this year. He is also riding the high of Wimbledon, having conquered Federer in about five hours, staving off two match points in the process. It would be tough to bet against him, but the the field is speckled with hungry dark horses and esteemed veterans.

Rafael Nadal is entering the US Open having only played one lead up tournament at the Rogers Cup, which he won. The boosted confidence of winning in Montreal and the extra rest he took advantage of makes the Spaniard a dangerous second favorite. Nadal must also be delighted by the fact that Djokovic and Federer have landed on the other side of the draw.

Meanwhile, Roger Federer is entering the US Open in a precarious situation. Not only has Federer's mentality been questioned since blowing the Wimbledon final, but he wasn't able to reassure the public of his champion mentality at the Cincinnati Open, washing out in his second match to Rublev, 6-3, 6-4. Despite Federer's lackluster performance in Cincinnati, the extra rest and time in New York can only benefit the 38 year old.

The other man to watch out for who has had the greatest success in this years US Open lead up series, and one who also boasts the most match wins on the tour this year is Daniil Medvedev. Since WImbledon, he has made it to the final of the Washington Open, the final in Montreal, and won his maiden masters 1000 crown in Cincinnati. At these tournaments he notched wins over Cilic, Khachanov, Thiem, and even Djokovic.

The draw is filled with plenty of others to watch out for, including the three time major champion Stan Wawrinka. The Swiss man has been on a spectacular rise in the rankings since his double knee surgery, rising from 263 in June of 2018 to his current ranking of 24. He is nestled in Djokovic's 1/8th of the draw and could be a bracket buster to watch out for.

There are some first round matches to get your popcorn ready for including Tsitsipas vs. Rublev. Rublev is on a high after running through Federer less than two weeks ago and Tsitsipas has been in disappointing form in recent tournaments. Nadal is facing off against last years US Open quarterfinalist, John Millman, who had beaten Federer to get there. Neither Players have it easy their opening match

No. 1 - Novak Djokovic

R1: Carballes Baena

R2: Querrey / Londero

R3: (27) Lajovic

R4: (23) Wawrinka

QF: (5) Medvedev

No. 3 - Roger Federer

R1: (Q) Nagal

R2: Benchetrit / (Q) Dzumhur

R3: (25) Pouille

R4: (19) Pella

QF: (7) Nishikori / (12) Coric

No. 4 - Dominic Thiem

R1: Fabbiano

R2: Bublik / (Q) Giraldo

R3: (30) Edmund

R4: (13) Monfils

QF: (8) Tsitsipas / (10) Bautista Agut

No. 2 - Rafael Nadal

R1: Millman

R2: (WC) Kokkinakis / (Q) Ivashka

R3: (32) Verdasco

R4: (14) Isner / (22) Cilic

QF: (6) Zverev / (9) Khachanov

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