For the Open previews, Tennisense will be skipping ATP/WTA players who have pulled out of the Open, even if they are currently ranked in the Top 10.
Current Ranking: #3
Is Roger Federer the top favorite to win this year’s U.S Open? I’ve heard a lot of people ask that question. My mind immediately comes up with a snappy counter question. How can you bet against a man whose win-loss record stands at 35 – 3 for the year, and has won five tournaments, including two grand slam titles from January till date? It is a tough proposition for anyone making a case against Federer, as the Swiss has a lot going for him. Not only has he dominated the rest of the field this year, he’s dominated Nadal as well. In terms of Federer annual dominance, this is unprecedented. He comes into the U.S Open, having faced Nadal three times this year and defeating his arch nemesis in all three encounters. There is this… well-known fact that he skipped the one part of the season where Nadal went on a rampage but we’ll call it smart scheduling. Point is, Federer is the man to beat at this year’s final grand slam, but he does come into the tournament with one lingering doubt.
Federer’s back flared up in Montreal. That was both a bad and good thing, and both extremes of fortune, hinged on timing. It was bad because it affected him enough to stop him from playing his free flowing game. It visibly showed in the final, where he was run over by the young and talented Alexander Zverev (another favorite of mine to win it all as discussed here). The good news? It happened in Montreal, which gave Federer the choice to rest it out by skipping Cincinnati. He did just that and arrives New York proclaiming a rejuvenated back and apparently raring to go. Still, if you’ve been following Federer throughout his career, you’ll know he does not like to play up his injuries. He’ll make light of the severity as long as it doesn’t suggest a sign of vulnerability in his game. If his back is acting up or flares up again mid-tournament, then going by what happened in Montreal, he’ll be a sitting duck for the younger guys.
That being said, I do believe Federer is the favorite to win the U.S Open, based on what he’s done so far this year. However, it all hinges on his health and his back. Is it really fine? Only Federer knows, and only time will tell.