After fans witnessed some brilliant tennis in 2016 Rio Olympics, the focus now shifts to the last Grand Slam of the year – US Open – which starts from Monday. Some of the top stars might not have been able to shine in Rio, but they will be keen to make amends in the US Open.
Grand Slams are always one of the biggest events in the calendar year for any tennis star, and here is a look at some of the top players who are strong favourites to win the US Open.
The Serbian had a disappointing Rio Olympics, but has been one of the best players in the ATP circuit for some time. Djokovic won the first two Grand Slams in the year – Australian Open and French Open – and will be looking to win his third of the year. If the world number one gets his game spot on in the US Open, it would be difficult for anyone to beat the star player.
The Scot might not have as many titles as that of Djokovic, but he comes into this US Open with Rio gold under his name. Hence, Murray looks to be confident for the title in US as well. One will not be surprised if Murray, who has been seeded second, faces Djokovic in the final of the competition. That has been the case in some tournaments this year.
The fourth seed might not be a huge contender for the title this time, but make no mistake, his performances in Rio were good enough to stand him out as a threat in the competition. He finished fourth in Rio, but the Spaniard did show that he was coming back to fitness, and was also finding his energy back. However, it remains to be seen if Nadal, who was troubled with wrist injury in the last few months, can bring his A game in the Flushing Meadows. If he does, the competition is going to be fierce among the top stars.
Other contenders: Kei Nishikori, Stan Wawrinka, Milos Raonic, Marin Cilic
The American is one of the greatest players to have ever played the sport, and with the top seed being the home favourite, she will be keen to win her seventh major title in the Flushing Meadows. Though Serena could not bring a medal in Rio, she will erase such not-so-good patches from her memories and get the ball rolling in the US Open.
The women's competition is always a tight one to call, as it is very competitive. Any player who can take her game to the next level in the US Open can win the event. Radwanska is a top player in the women's circuit, but the Polish girl, to one's surprise, has not progressed beyond the fourth round in the US Open. The 27-year old experienced player will hope to better his unimpressive Grand Slam record. The task is not an easy one for Radwanska, but not impossible either.
The German was on top of her game in Rio, winning silver medal; hence she will be a confident player in the last Grand Slam of the year. The world number two already has had an incredible season, with Australian Open victory and a runners-up finish in Wimbledon, and US Open title could be an icing on the cake for the star.
Other contenders: Garbiñe Muguruza, Simona Halep, Madison Keys