US Open Men’s singles draw analysis

The final Grand Slam of the year is with us, as the world’s attention turns to Flushing Meadows, New York.

With this the last chance of Grand Slam glory for players in 2015, there’s plenty of talking points, with Marin Cilic arriving to try to defend his surprise 2014 success. Once again the draw has thrown up some fascinating prospects, some of which are discussed below.

 

Seeds:

1 – N. Djokovic

9 – M. Cilic 17 – G. Dimitrov

25 – A. Seppi

2 – R. Federer

10 – M. Raonic

18 – F. Lopez

26 – T. Robredo

3 – A. Murray

11 – G. Simon 19 – J-W. Tsonga

27 – J. Chardy

4 – K. Nishikori

12 – R. Gasquet 20 – D. Thiem 28 – J. Sock

5 – S. Wawrinka

13 – J. Isner 21 – I. Karlovic

29 – P. Kohlschreiber

6 – T. Berdych 14 – D. Goffin 22 – V.Troicki

30 – T. Bellucci

7 – D. Ferrer 15 – K. Anderson 23 – R-B. Agut

31 – G-G. Lopez

8 – R. Nadal 16 – G. Monfils 24 – B. Tomic

32 – F. Fognini

 

Likely Quarter-Final match-ups (If Draw goes to the seedings):

Djokovic (1) – Nadal (8)

Nishikori (4) – Ferrer (7)

Wawrinka (5) – Murray (3)

Berdych (6) – Federer (2)

 

First Quarter

Is there any stopping Djokovic from winning another slam?
Is there any stopping Djokovic from winning another slam?

Novak Djokovic, as the top seed, finds himself at the top of the draw once again, and the Serb should be very pleased with the draw ahead of him. First up is Joao Souza, with the first real test potentially against Vasek Pospisil in the 2nd round. In the 3rd round, he could face Andreas Seppi, the man who knocked Roger Federer out of the Australian Open at the same stage this year. 14th seeded David Goffin is projected in the 4th round and like Seppi, the Belgian could be dangerous, but I can’t see Djokovic losing before the quarter-finals. Intriguingly, 2-time Champion Rafael Nadal could meet Novak in the quarter-finals, in a rematch of their French Open clash. To get to that stage though, Rafa will need to see off the upcoming youngster Borna Coric in the pick of the first round ties. His third round opponent could be Fabio Fognini, with the Italian winning 2 of their last 3 meetings. Those were both on clay, but I’d back Nadal to win a best-of-5 match on the hard courts of New York, before possibly having to overcome a tricky 4th round tie against Milos Raonic, Feliciano Lopez or Fernando Verdasco.

Raonic has been suffering injury problems since Wimbledon, and may come to Flushing Meadows under-cooked, creating a chance for either Lopez or Verdasco to take. Mardy Fish could be the one to upset the apple-cart as both Spaniards are unpredictable at times, but it would take a great effort for the returning American to go a long way here.

 

Predicted Quarter-Final:

Djokovic (1) – Nadal (8)

Potential surprise runs:

Feliciano Lopez, Mardy Fish

3 1st round matches to watch:

Bautista-Agut (23) – Herbert

Verdasco – Haas

Coric – Nadal (8)

 

Second Quarter

Could 'La Monf' reach another US Open Quarter-Final?
Could ‘La Monf’ reach another US Open Quarter-Final?

If you’re an unseeded player, the place you want to be is the second quarter, as Kei Nishikori and David Ferrer are the top seeds in it, with both returning from injuries. Last year’s runner-up Nishikori has an exciting first round match-up against Benoit Paire, with a possible upset alert starting to sound. It is still expected that Kei will be progress through, and Alexandr Dolgopolov could provide another test in round 3, after reaching the semi-finals in Cincinnati recently. French pair Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gael Monfils will like their chances of making another slam quarter-final, and I’d fancy Monfils to progress if Kei is not completely on the ball. ‘La Monf’ was so close to the semi-finals last year against Federer, a match that he should have won.

7th-seeded Ferrer is lacking match-time due to not playing since Nottingham, but couldn’t have asked for some better opening rounds to get himself up to fitness. That said, defending Champion Marin Cilic is lurking in a possible fourth round clash, and it seems too soon for the returning Ferrer. Cilic’s potential match against Grigor Dimitrov in the 3rd round could be tasty, but Grigor has been out-of-form for a long time now so I can’t see him progressing further.

 

Predicted Quarter-Final:

Monfils (16) – Cilic (9)

Potential surprise runs:

Gael Monfils, Alexandr Dolgopolov

3 1st round matches to watch:

Nishikori (4) – Paire

Tsonga (19) – Nieminen

Chardy (27) – Shane

 

Third Quarter

2012 Champion Andy Murray finds himself in Federer’s half, so is the top seeded player in the third quarter. His first round match is potentially the highlight of all the round 1 matches, as the Brit is drawn to face Nick Kyrgios. Despite this tricky match, Murray hasn’t actually been given a bad draw, until his projected quarter-final clash. I always think Adrian Mannarino is a danger player at the US Open, but he should prove no real obstacle to Murray here. He could face Tomaz Bellucci in round 3, with big-serving Kevin Anderson posing a different type of threat in the following round. Stan Wawrinka should face Murray in the quarter-finals, as the Swiss star has straightforward draw, by his standards. Albert Ramos-Vinolas is his first opponent, with Jack Sock projected to be his first test in the third round. Gilles Simon could provide a threat in the next round, but I’m struggling to see how we’re going to avoid a Stan-Murray clash.

Will we see this dangerous backhand inflict more damage onto his opponents?
Will we see this dangerous backhand inflict more damage onto his opponents?

American Rajeev Ram could make a surprise run to the third round given his draw, but the same could be said for Britain’s James Ward, who if he progressed past Bellucci, could face Murray in the third round. I’m confident most British tennis fans, would love to see that.

 

Predicted Quarter-Final: 

Wawrinka (5) – Murray (3)

Potential surprise runs:

Rajeev Ram, James Ward, Dominic Thiem

3 1st round matches to watch:

Troicki (22) – Tiafoe

Ram – Harrison

Kyrgios – Murray (3)

 

Fourth Quarter

5-time champion Roger Federer features in the final quarter, and opens against the highest ranked non-seed, Leonardo Mayer. Should he progress, exciting matches against Marcos Baghdatis  and Phillip Kohlschreiber could follow, before an expected clash against either big-serving Ivo Karlovic or John Isner. Federer’s projected quarter-final opponent is Czech Tomas Berdych, but should he not progress that far, a huge opportunity is created for another player. Bernard Tomic could be the beneficiary of an early slip for Berdych, but the mercurial Richard Gasquet could have something to say about that. Gasquet faces youngster Thanasi Kokkinakis in round 1, an Australian who could cause an early upset.

Will we see one last hurrah from Hewitt in his last slam?
Will we see one last hurrah from Hewitt in his last slam?

Veteran Lleyton Hewitt appears in the US Open draw for the final time, with a winnable first round match against Aleksandr Nedovyesov. Should he progress through, his farewell match in New York could be against fellow Aussie Tomic, in something of a passing of the torch. One thing is for sure, Lleyton will fight hard to win, but I’d fancy Tomic to see it through.

 

Predicted Quarter-Final:

Berdych (6) – Federer (2)

Potential surprise runs:

Bernard Tomic, Sam Querrey

3 1st round matches to watch:

Querrey – Mahut

Kokkinakis – Gasquet (12)

L. Mayer – Federer (2)

 

 

Thanks for taking the time to read my analysis of the 2015 US Open Men’s singles draw, I hoped you enjoyed it. Agree with what I said? Why not offer your opinion below by commenting!

For any questions or queries on this blog, or other blogs, either contact me on my twitter handle – @Tennis17MAD or via email at – jamesfroud0608@hotmail.co.uk

(All photos shown are my own)

 

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