2020 US Open Men’s Preview and Predictions
The US Open is finally here. After a lot of controversy, and lots of players waiting until the last minute to commit to New York for arguably the biggest stage in the game of tennis, this blockbuster slam is officially ON. In my opinion, this slam will prove to be one of the most exciting US Open’s ever. Why do I say that? Well, because it’s going to be a mess of a draw. There will be no clear favorite given the lack of competitive play the players have had. Add to that the fact that two major stars will be absent (Nadal and Federer), and this tournament is ripe for upsets, unpredictable matches, and new faces in the second week. Some folks may say that will make it less quality tennis. I disagree. I think it will result in an exciting two weeks of tennis.
All that being said, when it’s all said and done, it will be a familiar face holding the US Open crown at the end of the two weeks. Here’s how I think the top 5 seeds will fare at the tournament.
#5 Alexander Zverev: after a disappointing 2019 by his standards, Zverev was back on track in the beginning of 2020, reaching the semis of the Australian Open. That was quite an accomplishment given Zverev has gained the reputation of bowing out early at the slams. Was this a preview of things to come for Zverev? Possibly so, however, given the long layoff and his inexperience in reaching the later rounds at slams, I don’t see Zverev going into the second week in New York. Expect him to bow out in the 3rd or 4th rounds.
#4 Stefanos Tsitsipas: Tsitsipas ended 2019 with a bang, capturing the ATP finals in stunning fashion. Although he bowed out early on at the 2020 Australian Open, Tsitsipas continued his success from 2019 into 2020 capturing the title at Marseille and reaching the Dubai final where he lost to Novak Djokovic in straight sets. Tsitsipas has the ability to go far in New York if the draw opens up for him. However, the semifinals are as far as he can go. Medvedev, Thiem and Djokovic are currently a step above Stefanos in these hard courts, and I don’t see Tsitsipas getting through any of those three.
#3 Daniil Medvedev: Medvedev was an absolute monster in the second half of 2019, capturing Shanghai, St. Petersburg, and Cincinnati, while also reaching the US Open final and losing to Nadal in an epic five setter. In 2019, if he wasn’t winning a tournament he was in the final. That monumental effort may have been a bit too much for the new Iron Man of tennis, because it seems as though the tank emptied in 2020. He failed to reach the heights from 2019 in the three tournaments he played. The break may have actually been a good thing for Medvedev, because his 2019 version would be the clear favorite at this year’s US Open. Make no mistake, Medvedev can win this tournament. Will it be this year? If he comes out swinging, he will be tough to stop. Expect to see him in the final.
#2 Dominic Thiem: Thiem keeps getting closer and closer to winning his first Grand Slam. He made back to back finals at the French Open in 2018 and 2019. We all know how great he is in the red clay. However, he is now an absolute tour de force on hardcourts as well. Winning the 2019 edition of Indian Wells may have given him the confidence he needed on hard courts, because he gave Djokovic everything he could possibly handle at the 2020 Australian Open. All that being said, he still doesn’t have a great record at the US Open. He’s made multiple fourth rounds and has a quarterfinal appearance. However, he did bow out in the first round in 2019. Thiem is way due for his first Grand Slam though and has the ability to get past the likes of both Medvedev and Djokovic. A semifinal appearance is a good bet.
#1 Novak Djokovic: anybody that wants to win the US Open will have to go through Novak Djokovic. He is the number one player in the world and at the very top of his game. Once again, he showed how tough he is by winning the 2020 Australian Open when it looked like Thiem was going to run away with it. It is a monumental task to take down Djokovic on a hard court, especially at the US Open, where he has reached eight finals and won three times. He is the clear favorite to lift his 18th Grand Slam title.
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