Halep, Djokovic, and Federer are US Open favorites
Simona Halep walked into Cincinnati fresh off a big victory at the Rogers Cup and didn’t miss a beat. One would think that the accumulation of tough matches, sometimes playing twice a day, would add up. Not for Halep. Since losing the first set in her opening match against 66 ranked 25-year-old Ajla Tomljanovic, Halep had not lost a set going into the Cincinnati final on Sunday. The rest of the top women fizzled at Cincinnati. Stephens lost early to Mertens, and it was not surprising given how hard she had to work against Halep at the Rogers Cup final. Serena Williams’ comeback was set back when she lost a highly entertaining match to Petra Kvitova, who looked like a favorite until she to fizzled away. So, in the end, we were left with Halep and Kiki Bertens, the 17th ranked woman in the world, who had to beat some top players on her way to the final. Bertens prevailed in three tough sets.
Unfortunately for Halep, she just ran out of gas. Two Masters tournament finals in two weeks is a bit taxing on the body. Especially for someone like Halep, who builds her game off her fitness. Fitness won’t be a problem for Halep at the US Open. She’s had plenty of rest and should be at the top of her game. The field better watch out!
So, what about Federer and Djokovic?
Since Wimbledon, Federer’s only tournament leading up to the US Open was Cincinnati, where he reached the final and ultimately lost to a rising Novak Djokovic. Not a bad prep for our GOAT. I’d consider both Djokovic and Federer favorites, with the slight edge to Federer simply because he’s Roger Federer. However, the Cincinnati final between these two legends was telling. It establishes the fact that Novak Djokovic is indeed back. For a while, I was reluctant to think that at 31, Djokovic would regain any sort of resemblance to his old self. He proved all doubters wrong by winning Wimbledon, and since then he’s had some solid results on the hard courts.
Look for Halep, Federer and Djokovic go deep into the US Open draw!